My co-worker that I have been put together on two man projects with is out of his element in the work they are giving him, while it's the kind of work that I have been doing for years. It's most likely because they have run out of the work that he is familiar with and what I'm doing is more in demand. I've been trying to train him over the last few months, but he is so out of his depth, I really don't even know where to start. These projects are really fast paced and there is a lot to do in a short amount of time, and in the end I usually end up pulling 18 hour days at the end of the project redoing most of his work.

He's a good guy, and I feel like going straight to management would be kind of like talking bad about him behind his back. On the other hand, trying to talk to him about it could just prolong the problem if he doesn't want me to bring it up to management. I really can't keep up with these hours anymore and I'm not sure what to do.

How can I get paired with a co-worker with more relevant experience without putting the current one at risk of losing his job?

  • 2
    So what is it that you want? You want him to learn faster, you want to stop being the one teaching him, you want another more capable coworker assigned with you... I suggest you add that goal in your post. Welcome to The Workplace btw :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:07
  • What I am getting from this post is that you have a co worker that's fairly new and doesn't have your experience and you end up doing most of the work. What are you hoping to accomplish here? Do you want him to learn and contribute faster? or you want him off your project so you can do it on your own?
    – Isaiah3015
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:11
  • Hadn't really thought of that. My main goal was to just get management to figure something out, but I guess I should think about what would be the ideal outcome. Not necessarily that the co-worker is new, just that he has been given a role he is not trained for that I think they assumed he could do.
    – humdinger
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:14
  • yes @humdinger I suggest you think of what you actually want to get from this, and include it on your post so we can help you achieve that goal, otherwise people will have a hard time understanding (guessing) what is that you want to do.
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:18
  • 1
    Have you talked to your co-worker about this, do they know you are pulling 18 hr days to re-do their work? Also, it doesn't matter if he doesn't want you going to management, because if he isn't willing to fix the issue, then he's asking for a free ride, at your expense.
    – JJohnston
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


You really need to let management know what's going on. If you bury the issue, you're also burying yourself in an untenable workload and burying the fact that your co-worker needs more help.

Raise this as a project risk with management and suggest that your friend undertakes some additional training or is able to shadow you in order to learn from you without slowing you down too much.

Obviously, the resourcing will have to change in order to reflect the realistic effort needed to finish the work.

Don't feel bad about your co-worker, he obviously knows what the situation is and will appreciate some practical help, or be allowed to do the work that he's good at. He's probably feeling really stressed right now at being completely out of his depth, so a way out of this will be welcome to him.

It might be tactful to speak with your co-worker before you talk to management, so you're best able to address your co-workers needs and that he fully understands that you're not stabbing him in the back (you're doing this to help him, after all).

  • "He's probably feeling really stressed right now at being completely out of his depth" +1 to this. This is a terrible feeling and often helps lead to Imposter Syndrome. If he's aware that he's struggling then finding a project that suits him better will be a boon to him and you both. Oct 13, 2017 at 21:19

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