So in my job, they let go one of my co-workers, and now I have to take over some of her tasks.

However, that person they let go only showed me once how to do one of her task that I am assigned to, and that was a while ago. Therefore, I do not remember how she did that ask. That task is to make sure the fields on the forms are populating using a pdf editor. The reason why they let her go was because she wasn't doing a good job on those forms.

Well, now I have to do those. The problem is I have no clue how to do those, and there are tight deadlines to have those complete like tomorrow and next day because our customers use those forms. This is what is very stressful to me because I do not want to be fired from my position, but I also don't know what do.

Any advice what to do in this situation?

  • 6
    Have you asked your manager?
    – Kilisi
    Aug 31, 2021 at 0:15
  • Do you have any senior developers, team lead, or manager who may be willing to help you get familiar with this new task ? Is there anyone else in the team who is familiar with this task ? Aug 31, 2021 at 0:17
  • Thank you for the advice! I will probably to talk to my supervisor tomorrow about this issue! Aug 31, 2021 at 0:29

3 Answers 3


Any time you have a work situation you don't know how to handle is a great time to talk to your manager. Ask them how to do the job. Take notes. Then show them that you are a star.


Any advice what to do in this situation?

First thing is to immediately speak to your manager. Let them know that you were not properly trained and that it will take to some time to figure out how to complete the task. This is more so that your manager is aware that the deadlines may be affected and can relay the situation to the customer.

In the meantime, do your best to remember what your former coworker showed you. If there are any other coworkers that may be able to help in any way I would reach out to them as well. Search online, use whatever resources you have available.

In the future, whenever a coworker shows you some part of their job make sure that you take good notes. You never know when that coworker will not be available and you are tasked with completing their tasks.


In almost all work situations, you need to separate problems and assign priority. Some things are just complete nonsense if you prioritize them wrong. It'll be clear once I call out the two distinct problems you have.

  • How to populate the form
  • How to meet deadline

In this case, it is nonsense to even try to meet the deadline without doing it right. There's no way that's acceptable, so the deadline is secondary to doing the form correctly.

Regarding how to fill the form correctly, it should be clear how you resolve it.

  • Documentation
  • Ask someone
  • Google

And since you're new at this, you'll need someone to review your work and confirm its correctness. You may want to find out who actually uses these forms and whether there are examples of correctly filled ones.

If someone tells you that you have missed deadline, let them know that you do not know how to fill them out correctly yet. Ask them for correct copies of the form so you can use it as reference. Ask them to review your work and help you confirm that it is correct. The goal here is to gain allies while acknowledging your lack of progress.

Whatever you do, do not simply meet the deadline blindly and think that'll solve the problem. You'll definitely make the problem worse, especially if the form is being consumed by a poorly made automated system and corrupts data.

If you are a developer, there will be huge amount of pressure to meet the deadline doing things wrong. I don't need to call out specific examples because the industry already has laughingly huge amount of examples, but it's something you'll have to call out and make sure the person sticking to the deadline knows they're sacrificing quality for speed.

  • 2
    When you have tight deadlines and a lack of knowledge your very first stop is your manager. Not slogging through documentation nor sifting through google, and certainly not asking the client if they want things done incorrectly. You go to the person that actually assigned the task and get an instant answer about what to do.
    – NotMe
    Aug 31, 2021 at 2:19
  • 4
    If someone tells you that you have missed deadline, ask them if they want them filled wrong. - in which part of the world is this kind of passive-aggressive response to a customer considered appropriate? Of course whoever ordered those forms wants them filled out properly and on time!
    – Egor
    Aug 31, 2021 at 2:27
  • @Egor Intent is not to be passive-aggressive. Revised that statement to reflect what I meant.
    – Nelson
    Aug 31, 2021 at 3:51
  • 2
    I don't agree with the revised version either (although it indeed isn't passive-aggressive anymore): if I ordered a coffee, waited for half an hour, asked where my coffee is and was told that they don't know how to make coffee yet I'd be very pissed. Customers shouldn't suffer from the incompetency of the business.
    – Egor
    Aug 31, 2021 at 14:13

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