Last year I was assigned with someone X (who I report to him) to a task (develop an application from scratch). This task needed lot of development and tests and many changes happens on the go. Person X changed to another department, and I continued developing this task.

Later on the executive asked my manager to take this task from me (because it is critical) and he continue developing and test it. I am not involved anymore in this task. I asked my manager why this happened, and he replied that it's because it is critical and he found some bugs in it, but the full complicated process is working. He said the executive just doesn't trust your work. I explained that since I spent a year developing and fixing things in it and the full process is working, I was waiting for a compliment even a raise from this for the hard work. He made me feel like I failed with this task.

In any case, I forgot about the task, and I focused on improving my skills. Later on, some modifications on this task were needed and my manager asked me and my coworker to work on it. My coworker started working on it, however next week he is going on a vacation and asked me to continue on it especially because I am familiar with it.

The problem is that I am not interested in working on this task anymore. If I am not taking credit for it, he didn't want me to be involved and they don't trust my work, the why do I have to continue working it?

So how can I tell my manager that I am not interested in this task so that he doesn't take it a negative way?

  • Are you sure the reason they took the task away from you is because your work wasn't good? Maybe they just wanted to give it to someone the executive already knew and trusted. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 16:00
  • @AffableAmbler yes as i said they trust my manager for this work.
    – Moudiz
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 16:04
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    So you can decline tasks you don't want to do at will?
    – Cris
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 18:04
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    @Cris i didnt say I want to decline , he can pass this task to another coworker but doing this will be negative thats why i am asking for an advice here, also my problem is not doing this task... the thing i want some credits to advanced in work or ill not be promoted. undertand me?
    – Moudiz
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 21:10
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    @Moudiz You've clarified that point in comments of at least one answer also, maybe you should add it to the question? If your "problem is not doing the task" then change your title from "how to tell my manager not interested in a task..." to "how to make sure I receive credit for a task..."
    – benxyzzy
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 14:03

5 Answers 5


I don't believe there is a way to decline this task without it going badly for you.

The better way of looking at this is that it is an opportunity. For whatever reason they didn't trust you a year ago. Now the manager is not only bringing you back onto the project but he is doing so while he is going on vacation. This implies a pretty high level of trust. At the very least it means that (s)he thinks you've improved enough to handle it, which is a good thing.

The best way to handle it is to accept the task and do a fantastic job while your manager is away. To try and decline now would be very bad.

  • The way I read it, the manager assigned OP and another colleague, and this other colleague is the one going on vacation, not the manager. And the person who said they didn't trust OP isn't their current manager. So it doesn't follow that (a) OP's manager has a high level of trust in them or that (b) the person who originally showed lack of trust in the OP has now revised their opinion of them. It might be just that they're hoping OP's experience will offset OP's perceived flaws.
    – muru
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 10:59
  • @muru: The original says that the manager asked him and the coworker to work on it. It was ambiguous as to who was going on vacation and who asked him to be the sole person working on it. I think the edits tried to clear this up but it looks like something might have been lost in those edits. If the OPs manager didn't ask him to work on it then the clear path would be for the OP to go to their manager and let them know what's going on. Presumably the manager would either tell him to do it or reassign.
    – NotMe
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 19:30

Who asked you to continue work on this task, was it your coworker who is going on vacation or your manager?

If it is your coworker, I would bring it up with your manager that he has requested you to work on a project you've already been removed from. Your manager will be able to provide clear direction as to what your tasks and responsibilities are, if any, in your coworkers absence.

You would be unwise to say "I don't want to work on this because my ego is bruised from the feedback I got last time and I don't like this project anymore." It won't look good for you to decline work. Maybe they want to give you another chance, or maybe your successor isn't doing as good of a job. Or maybe they just want you to temp for a few weeks until your coworker returns. Whatever their needs, you should do it with a smile while you are employed.

  • my coworker said that, and I am not asking to decline it, I am saying how to work on a something they seeing I am not good at ?
    – Moudiz
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 15:52
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    @Moudiz: Just follow your manager's directions. Make sure your work is complete and free of error. Try to anticipate any additional requirements or problems with the work and provide solutions to those. If you do those things then they'll see that you are doing a good job.
    – NotMe
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 15:57

Simply put, you realistically cannot and should not refuse the task as it will effect your already tarnished reputation.

I use the word tarnished base on your own words:

He said the executive just doesn't trust your work.

Based on that feedback alone, I would start looking for another place to work. If they don't trust your work, that doesn't say much as it relates to your growth opportunities at your current place of employment.

Short answer: Do what your asked, and find another place to work where you're skills will be appreciated.

  • 1
    I am not saying i want to refuse i am just want some credits about my work, or ill not able to promoted or get raise. i am going to work in it after all i love this task however if you are not appreciat in your work this would make less motivated
    – Moudiz
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 21:17

I wouldn't say you're not interested in doing the task but tell them (emphasizing if necessary) that you were taken off the task and since then, have been assigned other tasks and do not have the time to do it.

You could also point out that since your co-worker has been working on it for over a month, by the time you've familiarized yourself with the changes, his vacation will be over and it's not worth it.

If management insists then you may have to bite the bullet and do it but otherwise, get on with the work you've been assigned.

  • If your boss tells you to do it, you have the time to do it.
    – JeffC
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 21:00

It sounds like the fundamental problem here is the lack of recognition or praise for the original work you did. It bruised your ego, and as a result it has affected your motivation. Sometimes a manager can make a poorly worded comment in the middle of a fluid discussion, but these words will affect the employee for a long time! That is bad for you, and for the company.

Although it happened last year, if it is still an issue for you now, then I think you may want to address it directly. You could request a private meeting with one of the managers, and explain to them how you feel.

What exactly do you want from them now? I might ask some questions along these lines:

  1. I recall I was taken off the project because my work was not good enough. That made me feel undervalued, because I had worked very hard on the project. Was that the real reason, or am I remembering incorrectly?

  2. If so, could you please explain what I was doing wrong, so that I can improve in future?

  3. Do you trust me more this year? Have I improved since then? Are there specific areas I should focus on now?

If you find this kind of one-on-one conversation does not usually go how you would like, then you could write an email instead, so the manager will have time to consider it more fully before replying.

It might be that the management had quite valid business reasons to take the project away from you last year, which should not be taken too personally. It is possible that your work was good, but that an extra level of quality was required to finish the project off. (This can sometimes be the case regarding subtle concerns like the security of a system, or accessibility, or branding...) Or it might simply be that they thought resources would be more efficient if they were arranged differently at that time. Either way, I think it's reasonable to ask what the specific reasons were, so that you are not left wondering, and may learn something to improve for the future.

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