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If You Don’t Want To Be Here, Don’t!

, , , , , , | Working | January 26, 2021

I work with a woman who is lovely but clearly so fed up with her job that she doesn’t want to be there. She constantly pushes the limits of what she can get away with, doing as little as possible and crying when she’s found out.

It doesn’t bother me to start with, but when I find myself doing her work for her, I am not having it. I complain, but it’s too late; our boss has bought into her many lies and is convinced that she is so busy on so many projects — she just shows up to the meetings — and is even taking work home with her! The work never gets done or is so late that someone else has done it already. I am ignored and actually told I could learn something from her work ethic.

Months pass. Now that I’m forced to work with her every day, I can see how lazy she has become. Everything of hers is way behind or full of really basic errors. Every time I ask for more information on her tasks, she doesn’t know or is “too busy to be bothered by that.”

What annoys me more is that she is never at her desk; she’s always getting coffee or arriving late and leaving early. She disappears for lunch and then takes another lunch at her desk — to show how committed she is. I am rushing around doing her work for her and she spends most of the day on her phone or missing.

It gets to the point where I want to quit, when by chance I spot her ahead of me one day in the shops getting lunch. She hasn’t spotted me make my order or stand behind her, waiting for my food. She pulls out her phone and starts loudly chatting to someone. The topic turns to work and she begins bragging about how she has her manager wrapped around her finger, how she will “just claim discrimination” if he ever disciplines her, and so on.

I take the opportunity and record her on video. I miss a lot, but I catch her actually complaining that she is bored at work and has nothing to do! She says she will probably call in sick after lunch.

I leave before her and head straight back to the office. No surprise, she isn’t there. A while later, my manager brings a stack of folders to my desk.

Manager: “You need to prepare this report today. You’ll probably be working late.”

I have had enough. 

Me: “This is ridiculous. How am I going to do this? This is [Coworker]’s work; I don’t know anything about this.”

Manager: “Well, she has called in sick, really unwell actually. She might not be in the rest of the week.”

Me: *Louder than I mean* “What utter bulls***. She is faking it; I saw her earlier. She’s fine.”

Manager: “You’re on a thin rope here, [My Name]. [Coworker] has been telling me all about how much work you’ve been. How much she’s helped you.”

Me: “She did, did she? Such a good employee, is she? Listen to this.”

I pull out my phone and put the volume to max; the whole office can hear at this point.

My manager listens, says nothing, and goes white. He slowly takes a look at the massive pile of work he has dumped on my desk and seems to tense up.

Manager: “Well, that does change things.”

Me: “I’m sorry but I did tell you this. If you don’t believe me, come to her meetings or ask the others.”

Manager: *Pause* “Yes, I think I will do that.”

Over the next few weeks, our manager suddenly, unannounced, would join the meetings that [Coworker] was so busy in. He would say nothing the whole time. A couple of members of the team mentioned that he was asking questions about [Coworker]’s performance. They all had responses similar to mine.

I had to help her with her work for a few more weeks; she was doing it now but I had to check it before it went out. She kept disappearing and her work never improved. A few weeks after that, our manager announced that she had decided to leave the company.