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Within my team most of us have an area of speciality (sometimes this overlaps) but there are some basic daily tasks that we all share - our instructions being that we help each other out.

There’s a guy on my team who is actively not sharing the load. I’ve been completely inundated in my last few sessions and when I’ve dashed past him to the printer he’s been googling personal/non work related things on the computer. I can physically hear that his phone rang about five times. Mine was off the hook but he didn’t take a single call. This is not a courtesy thing, he’s supposed to take my calls if his phone isn’t going and vice versa. I also overheard him having a casual what you doing at the weekend chat with a colleague from another department who had wandered into our area.

We’re supposed to call on each other to help in case the other person hasn’t noticed we’re busy, but due to the proximity of our desks I think it was abundantly clear that I was rushed off my feet. I also do find it condescending to point out something so obvious.

Adding to this, there was talk at our last meeting (before I discovered this about him) about monitoring people who don’t pull their weight. He became fiery and aggressive at this saying that this attitude is toxic and ruins team spirit. Our manager ended up agreeing with him. And then I discovered how he is. He’s also very quick to accuse and point fingers.. and in sessions like the ones I’ve had recently I’ll be far more likely to make mistakes since I’m not getting a second to breathe!

How should I tackle this? He’s already quite aggressive, and the manager is desperate to keep him. Also I am getting the work done, just under a lot of time pressure.

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    Why are you the only one under so much pressure if the team is supposed to "share the load"? – sf02 Apr 4 at 15:34
  • Because we’re not always all together. So in the recent sessions I mentioned the two of us were the only two in the same area covering X amount of tasks. On other days there are several staff members physically together or on other days I’m away in another room working on one of our tasks. – Lateble Apr 4 at 17:33
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the manager is desperate to keep him.

There's likely the insurmountable problem. You really only have 2 options. Either convince the manager of your perspective or suck it up/move on.

It's entirely possible that your manager doesn't actually support him as much as he was just trying to keep the peace. From your description, I've seen no desperation rather than just agreeing with him in a group meeting.

I'd meet with your manager in private. Make your case there. Be concise and only deal with things that don't make you sound spiteful. In other words, focus on what's not getting done. If you mention phone calls don't say anything about them being personal calls, just that he's on the phone a lot which could be a cause. Personally, I wouldn't mention it at all. Make no judgement as to "why".

Second, I'd stop rushing to cover for the slacker. Give them an honest day's work but don't pick up the slack for someone who doesn't deserve it. If there are consequences, he'll share them too, right? And that's another point of discussion of why it doesn't get done.

Essentially, you're enabling him. It's like your kid knowing his room has to be clean but you clean it anyway. Do your work and don't put more hours in than the coworker. The problem needs to be seen, not just discussed. By that I mean, the consequences need to happen otherwise you'll just keep being the guy who covers for everyone else, giving permission to slack.

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We’re supposed to call on each other to help in case the other person hasn’t noticed we’re busy but due to the proximity of our desks I think it was abundantly clear that I was rushed off my feet. I also do find it condescending to point out something so obvious.

If you are supposed to ask for help then you should ask. Something polite and non-confrontational like: "I'm really busy, any chance you could do X for me?"

This might not solve your problem but it would be a reasonable first step.

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Inform the manager that you think the other guy is slacking off, and then stop caring about what he does. He is not your problem, he is your managers problem.

You just make sure that you are doing your best and every day you tell the manager exactly how much work you do during the day.

Right now your colleague is making you look extremely good - use that as leverage to get a raise.

  • Well he kind of is his problem because he is supposed to be taking the load that is now falling on the OP. – Bill Leeper Apr 4 at 18:41
  • @BillLeeper and OP's manager will see that and if the OP hangs tough and does what I tell them they will be in a position to be financially rewarded. OP needs to escalate to management who should take appropriate action, OP just needs to do their job and tell management how much they are doing. – user1666620 Apr 4 at 18:59

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