So for the background I worked for a department for 2 years and in my field its considered top of the line work. But I also have other non related technical skills and developed a crucial scheduling application for them among other things. It saves their scheduling manager two weeks as it automates basically his entire job and integrates with the time clock system. I gave them very specific requirements for the amount of time I would need so they knew ahead of time. They did not compensate me for the last two weeks of work on this project and it was quite upsetting at the time. But I let it go and did not involve HR.

Through all this I dealt with employees being highly inappropriate, a lot of racism like tons of it, homophobia, and misogyny. Towards the end of my employment in this department I was really tired of some of these guys and how they were treating the women I worked with and I stood up for an employee who was being sexually harassed (putting sexually suggestive pictures of her around the office and men's urinals) and I was retaliated against for doing this because I wasn't one of the "bros". Our HR department did not help the poor girl and she was shit on for along time after for not playing along.

Over the next month or so I started getting blamed for a lot of problems with things that I didn't even work with. Mind you I had top marks on every review in this department and in every department before and I had never had a complaint. But then I started to get blamed for stuff I wasn't even involved with like failed projects or quality control.

Needless to say the harassment kept on and HR did not do anything about it. I started looking elsewhere and other departments were very interested at first but then I stopped getting communication. I got blackballed for a position I was looking at in another department and did not find out about that they had spread rumors about my professional work ethic. So I left and took my first job back at a 15k loss of income per year.

Before I left though I provided them with the source code and complete documentation on how to run every aspect of the application because I document my code extremely well. I'm also not an asshole and didn't want to make someone's future job harder.

But now more than two years later they want me to "make changes" but I do not feel like I am obligated to their department especially after the non payment, the pay cut, and the way I was treated. Also they have all the required material to do the changes themselves they just didn't RTFM the info they need is on the first few pages.

So I do not know how to go about this. I really do not want to help them after all that. I also don't want to seem like a shit employee either as I have been asked several times recently by my current department to move up into management because I am a consistently top performer.

But I also want to get paid and if I help them I most likely wont get paid either because its another department. It is a problem I have encountered in the past when my skills were needed by another department as soon as talks about paying for my time were brought up I was told they couldn't pay me for my time.

Also to complicate this my senior director is over both my current department and that department so I don't want to piss him off either but I still want to get paid for my work and I want to be treated fairly.

Additional info: It is all within the same company we have about 20k employees.

  • 7
    Short answer: No. Medium answer: No, because why? Long answer: That Ray Liotta laughing scene. Aug 26, 2020 at 10:13
  • 1
    So, you're not part of the organization any more, right? Aug 26, 2020 at 10:27
  • 2
    It is all within the same company.
    – Matt
    Aug 26, 2020 at 10:27
  • 16
    The So I left sentence makes this story hard to understand. You actually did not leave the company, at all. Did you? Aug 26, 2020 at 10:53
  • 12
    You really need to clarify the "didn't get paid" bit, because it's confusing a lot of us. Do you mean unpaid overtime, or did you really not get paid at all while working in that department?
    – Simon B
    Aug 26, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


As I've said multiple times before, you don't get to decide what you do at work, your employer - or more specifically, your current manager - does.

The only appropriate thing to do here is to talk to your current manager and say that your old department has asked you to do some work for them. Explain to your manager how long you think the work will take, and what impact it will have on the other work you're doing.

Your manager will then either ask you to do the work, in which case you do it, or say that your current work is more important. If they say your current work is more important, you let your former department know that, and redirect any further questions on the work to your current manager.

You are of course allowed to have personal feelings in this; depending on your relationship with your manager, you may want to explain why you don't want to do the work. We can't tell you whether that would be a good idea or not, only you know how that would affect your relationship with your manager.

  • May I suggest to have the first part of the starting sentence removed? Otherwise, this becomes a candidate for a dupe. Aug 26, 2020 at 10:36
  • This is along the lines of my thinking my current manager thinks very highly of me I do not think she would have an issue with me explaining why I don't want to help them. I think this is the route I will go.
    – Matt
    Aug 26, 2020 at 10:40
  • 5
    @SouravGhosh If it's a duplicate question, it's a duplicate question no matter what words I write in the answer; here's a potential target if you want one. Aug 26, 2020 at 11:30
  • 1
    @Matt if the manager is aware of the harassment atmosphere in parts of the company and wants to oppose it, this is a perfect time to play their cards right, because suddenly the oh so mighty and smartass guys from that other department need her help. If she wants to do some political power play there, be sure you two are on the same page. Aug 26, 2020 at 13:22
  • So I took this advice let her know what happened. It went far up to vp level it was that bad and looks like it actually made some major things happen as what happened was lawsuit worthy. She told me what ever I wanted she would back me up and I said screw them they did me dirty and I want nothing to do with them. They still haven’t found a replacement software or how to fix the issues and the aren’t allow to contact me.
    – Matt
    Apr 21, 2022 at 17:17

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