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Just Do Your Own Job!

, , , , , | Working | April 19, 2022

My former manager is a real peach. Pardon my Southern. Fortunately, she is not my manager any longer, nor is she actually allowed to ask me to do anything — not even if the building was on fire and she needed help lifting a smoldering piece of scaffolding from her leg to escape.

Truthfully, I would still help her if she acted like a grown-up and ASKED for my help. However, it is out of her wheelhouse. Like, I said, real peach.

On the bright side, after I was no longer under her, I was promoted rather rapidly into a managerial position! We are now equals, which frustrates her even more.

Her new method to get me to do something is to now passive-aggressively hint until I “volunteer” to do it myself, but I have to do it in such a way that isn’t indicative of her “giving” me a task.

This happens in a conference call.

Former Manager: “[My Name], do you know if [Contractor] has been tracking bugs in [Program]?”

I am not responsible for this contractor; she is. I have received no training on the program she’s asking about.

Me: “I don’t know. I haven’t really looked or kept track of others’ tasks outside of [Subordinate #1], [Subordinate #2], and [Subordinate #3].”

Former Manager: “Did you look?”

Me: “I can look, but there is no good way to search for it.”

Former Manager: “You are an administrator. You should be able to look.”

Me: “I don’t get notifications for people not under me, and the search feature only works for tasks. I don’t know what he is working on.”

Former Manager: “You should be able to.”

At this point, I realize she wants to use me to basically “scold” [Contractor] in her stead for something she never told him to do. She already knows he hasn’t been putting in his bug reports. Basically, think of her as that “fun aunt” who likes to think she is cool, relatable, and down-to-earth so she hypes her nieces and nephews up on sugar and then sends them home to their parents covered in mud, knowing Mom or Dad is not going to be happy they ruined their new sneakers.

Me: “Can you show me how?”

Former Manager: “You should be able to do it!”

Me: “Okay, while I am not sure how. Would you like me to email him and ask?”

Notice the phrasing. I am asking her if she wants me to do something.

Former Manager: “No! I want you to look to see if he has entered any tasks.”

Me: “Well, I can certainly look, but as I said, to my knowledge, there is no way to search for who is assigned which tasks. If you know how, I would love for you to enlighten me.”

At this point, I have actually figured out how to search for tasks by clicking on individual profiles, which also shows me he has not logged on in two weeks. None of this needs actual administrator privilege to access. But as she clearly KNOWS how to search and just wants me to be the bad guy for her (on something that is pretty minor), I decide to continue yanking her chain.

Former Manager: “So, he hasn’t reported or been assigned one bug?”

Me: “I mean, if you check the bug list, he has a couple open, so he knows how to use it.”

Former Manager: “Has he put anything else in?”

Me: “I cannot see if he has or hasn’t.”

Former Manager: “You should be able to.”

Me: “How?”

There is a noticeable silence and I can hear the wheels turning in her head as she tries to figure out how to get out of this trap. She can either admit she checked and knows how to check or she can continue this cycle. I throw her a bone.

Me: “Why don’t I email him for you and ask? That seems best, right? Then, if he has any questions, we can figure it out together.”

Former Manager: *Grumbling* “Well, you should know how.”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. I received no training on this software and haven’t had a chance to create a training document for it. I recommend just talking to him.”

Former Manager: *Quick to change topic* “So, you are going to email him, yes?”

Me: “Sure.”

I made sure to mention in the email that she was asking him.

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