I've been working with a boss for 3 years now. About a year and half back, as the workload increased, we got another resource into our team. I and this guy share the workload together. We are partners. It means that we both need to complete a chunk of work together. If one is slacking then the other needs to finish it.

However, since the time he's joined I've been seeing that I get assigned the majority of the work and I'm kept burning at 100% at least. I'm usually at 100-120% throughout the year with absolutely no breaks. While this guy gets assigned the bare minimum because he's extremely incompetent. He cannot get the task done properly. Also he lies outright about how much work he's done and is very manipulative. He omits particular words so as to give an impression of having done more work. Sometimes he takes credit for work that was done by some other team. And my boss for some reason chooses to ignore it.

Overtime I had been burning out. I don't get a single day in the year when the work is less. So I started hinting to my boss about his lack of work and the high pressure on me. It didn't make a difference so I started having a 1-1 meeting with him and explaining to him, pointing out the proof of what work I was doing and what he was doing. I did these for a couple of times. It still made no difference. So one day I called him into a meeting room and had a heated venting out because I could not tolerate this anymore. Since that day he's changed. He now does assign more work to my colleague.

However, in spite of all this I still see that I'm always kept busy at 100-120% while my colleague is allotted only 50% of the day. And this really makes me angry. If he takes a proper share of work then I can stop burning out.

So my question is what is the proper way to resolve this? It's not like I'm completely overloaded with work. But it's just that there is non-stop work for me. While this guy chills out sitting right next to me on Facebook, YouTube and other websites. I literally see him surfing the whole day.

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    It looks like you have tried all the possible ways to change the situation. Probably this is the time you want to look for another job.
    – samarasa
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 15:40
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    This might be something that your boss is already aware of, and when it comes to pay reviews he is already taking action by recommending more money for you than the other guy - and he wouldn't let you know, because it wouldn't be professional for him to share an evaluation of another employee with you. That said -if he has never stated how much your work is valued, then that might be something else.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 23:27
  • @samarasa Although I do feel like giving up at times, I feel that the boss has a few really redeeming qualities, for example, when I talk about something (related to the job) he listens to me. He takes responsibility according to his post (making decisions) which not one of my previous bosses had done. He's my 12th boss and the best one so far. Judging by the stats I'm inclined to not switch jobs and accidentally end up with an a***ole.
    – Mugen
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 6:30
  • @HorusKol Well, in my company the ratings are out of a 5 point scale (whole integers only). So more or less you know everyone's rating around you (everyone gets a 3). Judging by that I'm expecting that there wouldn't be much difference. But yes, at times he does acknowledge my work being of a good quality and how annoying the colleague is. That feels good, no doubt.
    – Mugen
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 6:34
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    good work is rewarded with more work. An important lesson to learn. If getting more than 100%, see where the extra load is coming from. Do you take over that other guy's tasks? Don't. Do others come to you to get the job done, which is the other guy's assignment? Stop that. Is your reward appropriately reflecting your work results? If no, ask for a raise.
    – michi
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 10:16

3 Answers 3


So my question is what is the proper way to resolve this? It's not like I'm overloaded with work. But it's just that there is non-stop work for me. While this guy chills out sitting right next to me on Facebook, YouTube and other websites.

If you aren't overloaded, but you are working non-stop, then I'm not quite sure there is a real problem to be resolved here. At work, you are supposed to work, not have periods of time where you aren't working so that you can chill out. You seem to feel the same based on your characterization of your coworker.

Still, if you feel you must "resolve this", you should talk with your boss.

But when you do, don't focus on your coworker. Instead, focus on yourself. Point out what your non-stop work prevents you from doing that you feel you should be entitled to do. Point out what training you could take, what expanded duties you could take on, etc.

You've already vented about the unfairness that you couldn't "tolerate" any longer, so your manager knows your feelings. Don't rehash those complaints - clearly they are a waste of time and will only make you come across as a whiner.

If I had to make a bet, I'd bet that you will be rewarded more than your under-performing coworker. Perhaps you are paid more now, perhaps you'll get better annual reviews, perhaps you'll get more choice tasks and projects. Managers usually aren't stupid, they expect more of better workers, but they also reward them more often.

But if after all of that you still cannot "tolerate" this unjust situation any longer, it might be time for you to consider seeking a different company. If you do, work hard to find a job and culture where everyone is treated exactly the same so that you are no longer "pricked out". In my experience, unequal work loads are the rule, rather than the exception. So look hard before you jump - you don't want to end up in another frustrating job, and have to go through this all again.

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    +1 for "focus on yourself" - it's all about the value you bring and whether you feel suitably compensated - the only time it's about the other guy is when he's stopping you from doing your job
    – HorusKol
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 23:42
  • Yes, if I'm loaded with 100% then there's no reason to complain. I get that. This is exactly the reason that I don't know how to resolve it further. It's just that seeing this leech sitting next to me, his rude holier-than-thou demeanor, his constant poison spouting about other people, the overly slow mannerism and the sly attitude pisses me off that he's getting by doing so little work when his work is of a lower quality. I have a better quality of work, people from neighbouring teams come to me with questions and yet the reward is more work. Something just doesn't feel right.
    – Mugen
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 6:38
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    @Mugen Ignore the other. As Joe writes, people will value you both for what you do. Frankly speaking, there is something to investigate with yourself: why are you so triggered by your colleague? Not that that is wrong, but it might give you a worthwhile insight and some breathing space.
    – user8036
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 8:09
  • @JanDoggen It's been a long time and I've moved onto a different team. As for that guy who was slacking off, surprisingly he quit the company after 2 years of doing nothing. Thank you for the perspective in your earlier comment. In the long term, I'm realizing that it's always better to figure out what provokes you and work on those points to get more "freed up" internally.
    – Mugen
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 6:28

Is the work he's not doing making it harder to get your work done?

If his laziness means you can't get your work done, then it's fair to go to your boss and explain that you need X from him, and haven't gotten it, and you need it in order to complete Y. Then ask how you want him to handle that.

If it's just an unfair work distribution, then there might be other things going on behind the scenes that you don't know about. Perhaps he is doing something else the boss needs instead. Perhaps he is working more efficiently and getting the same amount of work done and the boss is good with that. He might be on probation because of his lack of work and close to losing his job. Your boss might not be a great boss, and figure if the work is getting done, he doesn't care if it's an equal load. There are all sorts of reasons. But the issue is for your boss to handle, not you.

You should do your work and not pay so much attention to his. However, don't do extra work and burn yourself out -- do as good of a job as you can do while still keeping healthy.

  • We don't have any work dependency. We are assigned individual modules. However, there is this culture of rewarding good work with more work. My boss acknoledges my good work and on rare times he tells me that he doesn't want to assign the work to the other guy because he doesn't do quality work.
    – Mugen
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 6:41
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    @Mugen, in all companies the reward for good work is more work. It also is how you get the skills to move up to better jobs, how you get higher payraises , etc. Be happy your boss is happy with your performance. Don't worry about this guy, he is on the road to be fired unless he has high political contacts (and then worrying about him is even less fruitful). Sometimes things are happening behind the scenes that they can't tell you. You would not know if he is on a performance improvement plan, for instance.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 21:09
  • An update: My boss left the company and the new boss took a look at the tasks assigned. He was amazed at the amount of tasks that I had been loaded with and that my colleague hardly had tasks assigned. He confirmed directly to me that it was an extremely unfair load distribution and helped me out balance out the load. I feel that it's not okay to just assume that the boss is doing the right thing. Especially since I directly reported it in my question .
    – Mugen
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 5:28

In addition to the sound advice given, I'd first suggest that you document everything. While your comment states that you don't have work dependency it does seem that you are on a team of sorts with this guy as you do receive kindred tasks. Having a trail of your output and assignments will make it easy for you later on, should you need something to point to. Someone above surely has the record of your peer and can connect the dots on their own.

A lot of your current sentiment is expressed as complaining and a result of arguably unwarranted comparison. This may stem from feeling that you receive equivalent compensation as the other 'incompetent' guy but you have no way to know that. Perceptions matter, so your first initiative should be to re-envision your current problem in terms of yourself alone.

It's evident you feel overworked and/or underappreciated, but what is your goal? Would the ideal amendment be a raise? Increased work flexibility? Limited workload? You should take some time to figure this out exactly and bring it up to your manager during assessment or a meeting.

Here's the divergence to the current advice, while you take the time to figure out exactly what bothers you, you should consider what you can do alone to improve your situation. There's not enough information to know, but consider, perhaps, that the other guy simply manages expectations better, and allows himself time for flexibility.

e.g. If a task takes 3 hours, you state it will take 3 hours and give yourself little time for flexibility and feel stress to perform at 100% all the time and burnout. Whereas the other guy may state 9 hours and finish in 6, he did less than you could but over delivered on his estimate all while having much more time to begin with. Something to consider.

  • "from feeling that you receive equivalent compensation as the other 'incompetent' guy but you have no way to know that." This statement makes me feel that you're also implying that if a person earns a higher salary than his co-worker then it means that he should also be working more. Are you implying this?
    – Mugen
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 7:38
  • Definitely not in those terms. Output and total contribution are what matter. How much effort required on an individual level isn't necessarily representative of that and if this contribution isn't visible the perception may remain indifferent. More responsibility, being a "top contributor," and generally performing at 'the next level' align with promotions and thus also salary.
    – Legato
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 21:05
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    In general, at the time of this post my primary goal was to have you focus on the self rather than making comparisons to others. If you contribute significantly, especially at a rate exceeding your requirements / job description / level, and can make this fact quantifiable to management, it's absolutely a case for a raise and / or promotion.
    – Legato
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 21:09

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