Hi I hope you can help?
What do I do if a colleague replies to someone senior copying me in saying that they are too busy to do x and y and then they say "corky2 can you help?"
I snap and then send an abrupt reply (possibly because I would prefer if they actually checked with me first and secondly because they know I am busy)
I am usually too helpful and end up staying late to get stuff finished, which I used to do in my old job so I am trying to avoid going down the same route again.
Any tips to improve my response?
Reply to the original, making sure the senior person is copied in and say something like "unfortunately Bob (or whatever their name is), my workload is similar to yours and I'm not able to help on this occasion"
Polite, a clear no, but also points out that you have your own work to do!
Ultra Bookie - thanks so much - that's much better than my reply!
To be retained and used in future.
Or get the boss to make the decision. I tend to say something like 'I could work on that if the boss agrees that it is higher priority than xxx and doesn't mind me missing that deadline'
Shows willingness but also shows that you are busy
The abrupt reply sounds fine to me - they are trying it on - let them and the boss know you aren't going to be messed with !
Oh so my reply saying yet again you expect me to cover your arse and accidentally ccing the other person in.
i would say
' i am afraid that i do not have the capacity to complete this today. Please can you see if there is anyone else available to assist otherwise I expect that I will be able to deal with this on if this would be acceptable'
or something like that! Delegate upwards!
It rather shows the shitty culture of the place where I used to work but I gave a polite refusal once and was reported for it. On the next occasion, I agreed but just didn't do it. I said, "sorry I didn't have time" and that was accepted.
So a lie was preferred to honesty - ridiculous I know.
I like SuperCaz's method - let someone else make the decision.
I use it a lot. Recently I've been getting a lot of people coming to me saying that their work is Top Priority and that the head honcho on site wants me to drop everything to work on it.
My reply is that he needs to tell me himself as I am already working on one project that he considers top priority and if he has changed his mind then he needs to communicate that to me
I always hold my ground and prioritise my workload to what I have to get done, everything else takes second place. My boss likes that and needs me to do that, and in return trusts me to work independently. That's a mutual respect and if I ever need her she comes out fighting for me, she does that because she knows she can trust me and I work really hard, and am good at what I do.
So if I say no, she completely supports me, even going up against senior management. That is faith in me from her, but also deep respect to her from me. It works.
Just reply back saying youre happy to carry your colleague, but who will be taking up the slack for your own workload?, pointing out to them that you are already working late. Make them have to answer who is going to do your work first before you even look at picking up their slack
(post edited after I went on a rant about 'management' and then realised the post was about a 'colleague' not a 'manager')
Set up a rule in outlook so all messages that are not addressed to you are automatically shifted to a cc. folder. Then only look at them if someone specifically asks you to do something.
Fab - thanks everyone for your replies.
Next one - how should I respond if the head of department says "are you business at the moment?" GIven that I am always busy working on stuff for my line manager what should I say? I am ending up with projects that impact on the work I do for my line manager.
As you can see I am not good at this stuff but this is a new job so I am trying to be impress.
If they ask you if you are busy tell them you are. But ask what they want you to prioritise. If they know you are busy they should understand that they can't have it all now.
Alternatively, offer to stay late but ask about overtime or taking time owing at a less busy period - nobody should have to work for gratis.
...don't copy in the boss all the time, it is just running to teacher. If your boss needs to know something, they can ask you. say no to the request politely but leave the boss out and stand on your own two feet as it were.
Thanks Screamapillar and Mr Puffy - no overtime and no time off in lieu either so I am trying to avoid staying late
I have a plan - thanks!
I found yesterday "You have to be fecking joking" resulted in some other poor sod getting the sh!tty stick
Corky2 wrote (see)
Thanks Screamapillar and Mr Puffy - no overtime and no time off in lieu either so I am trying to avoid staying late I have a plan - thanks!
I'm pretty sure you can't legally be expected to work extra hours without pay or time in lieu. I suggest people are trying it on.
If you have to stay late because you are poor at organising your own time that's one thing but you certainly shouldn't be doing it either because there's too much to do or because you are working on something for someone else (let them stay late!)
At my work, I spend a lot of my time on the phone (I chair a lot of conference calls with colleagues, mainly in India). There is one UK-based chap who rings me on my landline, but gets the "call-wiating" dial tone, so hangs up (fair enough). He then tries my mobile, which I hang up as I'm speaking to a large number of people on a conference call and I consider it be rude to leave a call that I'm chairing to answer my mobile for this particular person. He then Instant Messages me, which I try and say "I'm busy, I'll call you later" and as I am usually also sharing my screen via Webjoin to my colleagues I feel he is lucky to get that. He then emails and CC's his boss, and his boss's boss as well as my boss. All this is done in the space of about 2-mins, for what is basically a very small issue or question.
If it was just a one off that would be fine, but this happens regularly. He can see my diary via Outlook so he knows I am busy. I just ignore him now and deal with his emails when I am able to, and if that is the next day so be it. His managers must get annoyed with him as he copies them in on all of his emails!
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