I work in a 2-member development team. We have been working at the client's site for a month. I have done about 85% of the project work, and my coworker has done the rest.

This coworker refuses to work on any new development or bug fix, saying she hasn't worked with that code before. When the client sends in any change request, she either lies to the client I have worked with that code or sends me an email asking me to work on it. She has also made some personal comments about me before my other colleagues in the office.

I am very disturbed by her behaviour and requested my manager to not send me to the client site with her. However, he said he has warned her, and asked me to continue working at the client site with her, because he thinks she won't be able to do the project on her own.

How should I get the project work more evenly distributed in the team?

  • 2
    I cannot say with certainty, but have a meeting with manager/hr/she/you and discuss your concern. Moreover finish the project successfully (even at your expense), and request you manager not to be assigned with her.
    – user47813
    May 9 '18 at 7:36
  • @Masked Man Thanks for editing as I wud have not been able to do it due to my weak english
    – Cartina
    May 9 '18 at 17:34
  • @Cartina You are welcome. :)
    – Masked Man
    May 10 '18 at 5:08

Your manager's duty is to manage the workload of you. If he assigns you more work you will need more time. You should create a written(!) trail, where you state, that the tasks assigned to you will delay the project. Do not make it about your coworker, make it about your workload.

It is not your duty to finish a project in time, your duty is to finish work assigned to you in a reasonable time in a reasonable quality. If your manager does not want to write emails and prefers talking regarding this topic, send an email afterwards like:

Thanks for talking to me about my workload. I understood that I should proceed with... If I misunderstood anything please correct me.

The important part about this solution is, to not take responsibility for the project, but for your work. Managing projects is the duty of your manager.


Listen to your manager: finish up the project and this problem will be resolved and, she is not technically strong and she will not be able to do it.

Looks like her days are numbered.

  • Actually my manager has been saying this for past 8-9 months and this project seems like will continue for another 5-6 months
    – Cartina
    May 9 '18 at 2:22
  • 4
    People like this unfortunately exist and we must coexist with them.
    – solarflare
    May 9 '18 at 3:11
  • 1
    I agree with this, as it seems quite evident that your manager is aware of her being a problem (and plans to fix it). If he is aware and told you that then he is taking work pressure off you. But also dont let this continue indefinitely, if this arises again I would be more insistent on the matter @Cartina
    – DarkCygnus
    May 9 '18 at 3:23
  • 8
    This is the proper response. Your manager has 1 problem, a subordinate that disturbs productivity and is a weak performer. Don't "solve" this by putting an ultimatum to your boss - then he will have 2 problems and you will be one of them. May 9 '18 at 7:11

Your manager obviously believes they can keep postponing dealing with this until the project finishes. So you'll need to put an ultimatum to them and make sure your manager knows you will follow through and be ready to do just that. I can't advise what that ultimatum should be, but preferably something that won't get you fired, be really careful there make sure you seek advise before you come up with something.

But do come up with some alternative arrangements which are acceptable for both you and the business. This could be something like no more joint client site visits without a third person, having your manager directly delegate tasks directly to your coworker after a group meeting, etc.

Get the right timing with this too preferably right after an incident occurs with your coworker which highlights your plight so you are not seen as being the difficult one.

  • OP should consider this the other way around as well. If the project's end is imminent and they believe they can stick through and just request to never work with this person again.
    – Leon
    May 9 '18 at 8:22
  • @Already requested many times and also after completion of phase 1 and phase 2.
    – Cartina
    May 9 '18 at 13:33
  • 1
    @Cartina you will find this if your request is not in the form of an ultimatum, otherwise you are simply asking. May 10 '18 at 1:46

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