I am working on a software development project with a coworker who is senior to me in rank and age. This coworker has a life long disability and he regularly uses medication which often makes him makes sleepy and confused. It became clear that he would not be able to contribute much to the project. Thus, I ended up doing 90% of the work which is the most important part of the project.

Moreover, the coworker never showed initiative at any time during the project. He was even reprimanded by management for playing video games at work, while I was working away.

Throughout the project, I made the manager aware of the inconvenience of working with the coworker and also gave the him high level overviews of what I had accomplished.

But in team meetings, my manager keeps praising the team (i.e. both of us) for getting the work done. He does not explicitly acknowledge my efforts in private meetings either. Somehow, he does not realize all the effort I have put. Since he is at a higher level and has not done software development for a long time, I can't show him all the code and the challenges I overcame because he would not understand that.

How can I show my manager that I did most of the important work and get due credit for it ?

Given our company culture and my manager's undue obsession with the word "team", it is likely that I will get the same bonus as the disabled coworker who did very little.

PS - The post before this one How to deal with disabled coworker who wastes time in office?

  • @SaggingRufus - I don't think its a duplicate. The manager gives credit to the team instead of me, at least publicly. – HighFlyer Dec 5 '18 at 18:53
  • 3
    Why do you feel you need specific praise? It's a team game - and sometimes, some of the team don't (or can't) contribute as much as everyone else. Your boss knows that you did most of the work, your colleague does, and you do too. Big whoops all round. If you go around saying that "This was successful, and it was a team effort", you'll get more kudos than going around saying "It was me. ME! ALL ME! I DID IT MYSELF, I TELL YOU!" – PeteCon Dec 5 '18 at 18:56
  • 1
    @sf02 - What is your point ? The quantity and quality of the work is different. – HighFlyer Dec 5 '18 at 18:56
  • 1
    @PeteCon - I just hope I don't end up making up for the slack of the coworker, i.e. putting 2x or 1.5x the effort and getting paid 1x the money. Its easy for the management to hire two people and make one do most of the work. – HighFlyer Dec 5 '18 at 19:00
  • 2
    @HighFlyer By praising the team the manager is praising you. You are a part of the team right? Would you rather he break down publicly that you did 90% of the work and the coworker did 10% and that it was very difficult and incovenient for you? What exactly do you want from the manager? – sf02 Dec 5 '18 at 19:00

He may know more than you think, i.e. more than he is letting on.

As long as your co-worker is getting in trouble for sleeping and you're keeping your boss updated you should be fine.

  • "[in] meetings, [he] keeps praising the team" I assume that is his style. If he calls out others instead of 'team praising' then add that data to your question. – J. Chris Compton Dec 5 '18 at 19:09

I use this answer a lot, but do you really want to be that guy?

Working on a team is exactly that. You are working on a team. I have worked on projects where I do 100% of the work and the team gets praised. This may seem odd but look at this way. The only reason I even had time to do that work was because my team was either:

  • Doing other work that was not assigned to me
  • Doing the day to day maintenance tasks
  • Attending meetings so I did not have to

If you don't want to be on team and contribute to the team, find a job such as Piano Tuner or something else where you can work all by yourself THEN you can get all the credit (and complaints)

  • The way it works here is that if there is an issue in the work I did (i.e the 90% or the "engine" of our software), I will rightly be blamed for it. But, any praise is for the whole team. I wonder how individual recognition works in other companies. – HighFlyer Dec 8 '18 at 3:55

Sorry, but I had to chime in with an answer due to this last paragraph:

Given our company culture and my manager's undue obsession with the word "team", it is likely that I will get the same bonus as the disabled coworker who did very little.

What does it matter what your coworker gets as a bonus? If you got a 10% bonus, but so did your coworker, would you be upset? A 20% bonus?

Instead of looking at it from a lens of Me vs Them, why don't you just omit them from your mental picture? Your boss is giving you a bonus of X. Was that in line with your worth? It doesn't matter whether your coworker got no bonus or twice the bonus you did.

  • I don't care who gets how much as long as I get what I deserve and I don't think I got a "good" bonus. – HighFlyer Dec 8 '18 at 3:41
  • I dunno. In your post, you say that you're worried about the boss praising both of you (instead of just you) and worried about the boss giving both of you raises (instead of just you.) If this is simply a "I didn't get the raise I feel I deserve" then the coworker is irrelevant - bring up your accomplishments with the boss, while leaving out the "Coworker Bob doesn't deserve a raise/praise". But as it is, this sounds more like "I don't like Coworker Bob, and I want to figure out how to make him suffer." I mean, geez, you're upset that a manager simply said something good about him. – Kevin Dec 8 '18 at 4:40

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .