TLDR: Alice is not doing her job and I end up pushing all the activities and doing her tasks because I'm afraid of being let go. Should I inform management about this ?

The backstory:

I've been sending a lot of cover letters via a popular freelance site and ended up landing a 30hr weekly remote job. The position was about QA Engineer(automated testing, manual testing, processes etc.)

Everything was well and I started working on the project right away, however I found out that the company has hired one more person in the meanwhile for the same position so we would be working together. This didn't bother me at all since I am a team player and like to share knowledge and collaborate.(lets call her Alice)

Then the first red flag came. We were going through the standard access/account creation process where there was a small misunderstanding between Alice and our supervisor where she caused a duplicate creation of accounts on production (nothing serious). I just confirmed that my account has been created only once and their discussion continued.

After 2 minutes I received a PM on Slack from Alice which was something similar to "Hey Bob (I'm Bob) just to clarify/mention that we are here to bring quality to the product and we shouldn't be doing stuff behind our backs and backstabbing". My response was: Of course I wouldn't agree more. This was a big red flag for me, because I didn't like the approach and context (it might be just me)

The real problems came afterwards when we started doing tasks. We would have a meeting agreeing on priorities and distributing tasks between us. however Alice never did her tasks and since we were freelance I ended up doing all the work and pushing all the processes.

After the daily sync she disappears and never says a word till the end of the day. I've also noticed she sometimes says stuff she hasn't done in our daily updates channel (I've confirmed my suspicion by crosschecking this a few times). Numerous times I've asked her to transfer our existing Smoke test suite from one tool to another, however she never did it and yesterday I ended up doing it since we had an issue leak on production because we missed it in our smoke test (I missed it since she never probably done it).

Alice also asks obvious slacking questions (eg. Link to QA, after working for 2 months on the project, asks obvious discussed issues and questions that a QA would easily know after 1 day of testing)

Up until now I was pushing all the QA activities and the management is very satisfied with the progress (I even received a raise). I have been working for 2 people for 2 months, since it is freelance and I just started so I didn't want to get fired (because management looked at us like we are in the same boat with Alice).

We have an upcoming Go live and we have 2 days to finish up our regression suite so we can perform the test next week. I've communicated this with Alice and we agreed we will both be creating test cases. One day has passed and I created ~140 (creation means i just create titles with all the combinations) test cases and completed ~60 of them, but Alice has done none so far and there is one day left.

So my question is:

Should I talk to the management about her not doing her tasks, since I am scared we wont be ready for the regression and the blame will fall on me for Alice not doing her tasks ? I've never wanted to blame anyone or accuse, I've always said "We" even when I was doing something, but I am really getting frustrated of Alice's slacking and i don't want to lose this job. If i stop pushing for activities she will never move a finger and we both get fired

EDIT: I haven't talked yet since it is a doubled edged sword, because she might start performing and I might end up as a backstabbing guy and not a team player (which is not at all my nature).

EDIT 2: She also has no raised issues in our defect tracking system which is really weird and the others including me have raised a lot (most of them obvious). We also test resolved dev tasks and she has closed like 5 of them total, while me and the other QA colleague closed the rest.

EDIT 3: To clarify that me and Alice are at the same position and we don't have a person assigning us tasks. We should be driving the whole QA process by ourselves and testing as a whole, however I am the only one doing this + creating tasks for both of us and coming up with activities to work on (So in other words i act as the lead)

@Owen Hughes Yes we are using JIRA she has created 0 total tasks/defects.

@user1666620 I am usually coming up with all the tasks and what should we do next, so that we are involved in the whole project and its activites. Alice just nods, agrees and proceeds to not do anything we agree on mutually and the management looks at us as a whole not as individuals. So if Alice doesn't work they will blame me also

  • 1
    Do you use something like JIRA or a Project Management Tool? Will this not show your activity and her lack of activity when tasks are flying around a PM system/tool?
    – UIO
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 11:01
  • 2
    Yes, you need to let them know this privately. You've waited far too long already. You didn't select Alice. They did. It's on them to fix the issue. And yes, document, document, document. And if Alice starts performing as a result, that's good. That's what you want. She will hate you, but who cares. This is a job, not a friendship. She needs to start acting more professionally. She needs to communicate her progress. And she needs to do her share. What you should have said initially to her "You do your job. I do my job. And we won't have any problems. " Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 11:01
  • @Owen Hughes Yes we are using a tool similar to JIRA and her presence is close to 0 on that tool.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 13:12

3 Answers 3


Make sure you've document all of the work you've done and let management know all the work you've been doing.

If Alice was assigned a task that you have ended up doing, management need to be aware that it was you who did it. Do not assign blame, state it as a matter of fact.

If somebody else isn't performing, the only way that is your problem is if you are their supervisor. You concentrate on your job.

  • Could you suggest on how to showcase that I have been doing her work. Because as I mentioned in my EDIT I usually propose all the activities and tasks that we do. Management just sees our results (mine) and look at us as a team
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 13:11
  • 4
    "hey boss, Alice has not been pulling weight, just look at her presence in the issue tracker. I've been picking up the slack but we're falling behind". Keep it simple and keep it factual.
    – Borgh
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 13:45
  • +1 @Borgh In your case it might help if you have proof, not only documentation, as backup, because it looks like Alice is likely to get combative. Things like git commits, etc. Just in case it escalates to phase 2
    – rath
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 15:31
  • I have proof 0 tasks/defects in 2 months period, 4 total tasks tested, 20 test cases total created
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 15:36

Beat her with professionalism.

Some things that will solve the issue while equally calling her out, if youre not doing them already:

  • Document everything you're doing.
  • Make sure you are making your presence known on JIRA_*, commenting when things are done and awaiting sign off, assigning tasks back to the right PMs when completed etc. This will flood the system with notifications with your name on showing that you are active on projects and thus busy.
  • Any work you are taking off her, take her JIRA task too, assign it to you and note in the comments you are taking this off her to do and comment why (youre trying to hurry things along etc), make sure its documented loudly. This will make you look like the more productive one and in turn people may question what she is doing with her time. You will have the JIRA logs and email chains to back you up.
  • Be vocally proactive, ask for more work, give constant updates on where you're at (even outside of stand ups), tell PMs you're taking X task of her to help her hurry things along, things like that.

If you are hammering out JIRA tasks, taking tasks off her and giving constant vocal (and JIRA) updates and she is plodding along slowly on 1, who is going to be questioned about productivity?

If she messages you asking why you are doing the above or saying comments like she did, just be honest and professional. If she is accusing you of anything all you are doing is your job. It wont shed her in a good light if she is reporting you for those.

All of this may sound very passive aggressive but you will be looked upon as the more reliable, proactive and productive of the two.

  • _Its worth noting im using 'JIRA' in place of the tool youre using as I dont know the name of your Project Management tool.

Are you using a tool like Git to store your work? Usually Version Control systems track who has committed what, how many lines of code, how many commits, etc. If you do go to management, that may be something you can use to your advantage to show how much you have been doing compared to her. Your JIRA contributions will definitely help too.

I don't know if talking to management is definitely the right solution though; maybe start using the word "I" instead of "we" when talking about what you've done (and keep track of what you've done as you do it in order to prove it). This makes her have to say exactly what she has done too. I don't know how you relay your progress to management/whatever, but I would say something like "over the past X days, I have been finishing up Y area of the testing" - make it so she might feel like she has to justify the work she has done too instead of just smiling and nodding along.

As long as you can justify what you have done as an individual without coming across as vindictive or petty, I think the rest will eventually follow naturally. I don't know if there's any need to talk directly to management about a colleague's performance unless it is the last straw.

  • version control is a very rough proxy for how much work someone does. it is hardly reflective of reality
    – amphibient
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 18:10
  • I only mentioned VCS as one of a few potential sources of proof that OP is doing more than their fair share of the work. I only meant that it is just one piece of the puzzle. Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 8:20

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