My current coworker has very little, if any, responsibilities. My manager is aware of the issue and has let the issue linger for months on end, resulting in me being the one to pick up the slack for all of her work, per my managers direction.

My manager has scheduled time this week to talk about responsibilities, and expects the rest of the team to “call it like we see it,” calling her out for her lack of responsibilities.

I see this approach as passing the buck and I'm not sure how to respond to the request, since I feel it’s not my responsibility to have this kind of manager/employee conversation? How can I best position/prepare myself for this conversation, or share my lack of comfort with my manager?

3 Answers 3


Just side-step the uncomfortable aspect of having to call out your colleague.

State your roles and responsibilities that form your own role, and then state the additional work you have to perform above that. Mention that this extra work is causing you to stay late or that your own work is being delayed/affected because of the extra work.

You don't have to outwardly name names here - just point out the effect this extra work has on your own workload.


"call it how you see it" - Describe what your main A responsibilities are. Then describe what additional B ones are added over. Say how that overload is affecting your time, effectiveness and quality.
Outline those extra tasks you are given and leave for your manager to gather all those extras (I suppose your other colleagues would also have some to share) and leave for your manager to gather them all and pinpoint where is the problem. For him.
Your problem is the manager. As you said he knew about the problem but is making you call it out and lift guilt from him. By this play he can act pointing it was you (and your other co-workers) who made him fire/PIP the incompetent one. This might be a sign of manager who is afraid on making decisions and pulling the trigger on important issues.


It's not up to you to determine your responsibilities, or anyone else's. It's not up to you to call out anyone else's lack of responsibilities. That is your manager's job. If your manager really wants you to “call it like we see it,” then you should call out your manager for his or her lack of responsibility. That's what should happen.

Your manager sounds awful, and scheduling time this week so you and your co-workers can gang up on the other co-worker is a terrible idea. Your manager is asking you and your your co-workers to conspire against another. That's not only unethical, it's possibly illegal. And why? To what end? Is that person suddenly supposed to realize they need to shape up? It's far more likely that the person will quit. It's even possible that the person may do something even more drastic if they are convinced they are hated by all.

This kind of thing makes sense in the military, where a unit tries to elevate a weak member to come up to a higher standard through peer pressure. But that works largely because the military is highly invested in bringing underperforming members up to standard, and because you can't just leave the military.

Do not conspire with your co-workers against another. Performance monitoring and performance improvement is your manager's job. At the meeting, simply state your responsibilities and nothing more. If you want to call out anything, then call out any responsibilities or tasks that are not covered when everyone else has spoken. Or call out that you feel overloaded with your responsibilities and are having a hard time meeting your commitments. But that's it. It's up to your manager to assign the uncovered tasks or balance coverage.

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