I'll admit, the topic headline is a little bit strong - even if I wish this eventually happens
. However, I am sure you have all been in this situation before. What is the best thing to do when you have a co-worker who blatantly does not carry their weight, and their decision not to do the work could lead to you getting all the trouble?
I work in tv/radio production and our schedules/specific assignments change every so often. For the past couple of months, I work the "middle" of the day shift - one person works an "early" and another a "late" shift. We are all the same position, it involves working on either a complicated show assignment and/or smaller assignments that we are all assigned. The start of my shift always involves completing a certain show assignment before continuing with the rest of my duties. The problem is, I often have to do more than this. Why? The "early" person has the worst work ethic and attitude I have ever dealt with. TYPICAL EPISODE: I walk into work and get going on the first show assignment, as I always do. This assignment usually takes about two hours due to the many steps it requires. Within the first 30 minutes of my shift, the "early" person asks if I have completed the show assignment - she wants to throw some of her work onto me so she can leave her shift well before her shift actually ends. Every day, I explain that my assignment takes about two hours and our supervisor is just filling me on specifics for the assignment around that time too. About an hour later, she says she has a "meeting" or some other alibi and needs to leave early. Because I am not her superior, I can't make her stay. I usually say, "I can use a little help with the smaller assignments that are under your name, I want to make sure my show assignment is completed properly." At this point, she usually leaves anyway. Sometimes, she'll work on the one easiest small assignment - even if it's one I told her I've already worked on. Predictably, I usually have to complete her smaller assignments in addition to my own work. The one time I asked about this, she became agitated and said, "You're supposed to do x number of things for this show! (completely false, but whatever)." Oh, and did I mention I sometimes am asked to correct her work because she, "clearly did not bother to read the notes."
Fortunately, I have never missed a spot in a show while doing my work and her unfinished work. Part of this, not to come off as arrogant, is because I do a good job and keep tabs on what still needs to be completed. At the same time, we have had some close calls. A few days ago, I called one of my supervisors to explain my concern because we nearly missed a deadline - an absolute no-no. The "early" person's poor work ethic - and forcing others to do her work - harms the show. Not only that, but if something goes wrong, it's going to come down on me even though it's her assignment. I also mentioned how this happens every single day. My supervisor fully agreed with me and said he will have a talk with her.
I know this talk happened because the "early" person did not say a single word to me the next day - not even a "hi" (supervisor never mentioned me either, so I presume she guessed). With a different supervisor working with us that day (we have several; not the same person each day), she left early AGAIN - and did not tell me she left a lot of her work incomplete! Luckily, I do not trust her or her work, so I keep tabs on what still needs to be done. Her sabotage plan backfired; I was able to get everything done on time.
I have heard similar stories from other co-workers who work with her on other days. Sometimes, she takes repeated sick days when she is not actually sick. Or she'll say she is going for a workout during
her shift. She does not get it. Going forward, what works in my favor is that I have the "silent majority" on my side. Other co-workers in our group have begin coming to me asking what to do about this; it seems they consider me a "leader" of our group (again, we are all the same rank so I can't enforce anything). Supervisors have recently begun noticing the "early" person's trend, but I don't know how aware they are of everything that goes on. My question is, what's the best thing to do?
I can't do nothing, because this will
burn me at some point.