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I joined this big name company a couple of weeks ago. Today, my manager gave me a task that is due by tomorrow because they have a meeting with an external vendor. The task involves using tools and an environment that I have never worked with before. Worse, I don't have a login to try out anything I might create in the next few hours. My manager is aware of both these issues but has not offered any help beyond putting in a request to IT for a new login. I have a feeling that someone forgot about the meeting and is trying to set things up so I take the blame if my company shows up unprepared tomorrow. How do I handle this situation?

  • If you've been there for just weeks, there is no reason why the company would want to get rid of you on purpose. – Juha Untinen Aug 25 '16 at 5:25
  • @JuhaUntinen There are plenty of possible reasons. OP could even have been brought in just to be used as a scapegoat for a failed/forgotten project. But that's all speculation really. – Lilienthal Aug 25 '16 at 6:56
  • Well you probably know the answer by now, but there is a benefit to your manager by the very fact that you're working on it even if you don't complete it, at least they can say to the vendor, "Oh yeah user1 is working on that at the moment" which is better than if you weren't. – colmde Aug 25 '16 at 7:59
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Do the best you can. If you can rescue them, you'll look like a superhero. If you fail despite making an extra effort, nobody can blame you for not being a superhero.

  • Correct - However, I am preparing for the worst case because it is pretty obvious that I can't rescue them. I should probably give you some more detail. I am a python developer who is being asked to create some new functionality using some legacy COBOL code running on a mainframe machine. I have not used COBOL or worked with mainframes and I don't have a login to even try what I learn in the next few hours. So, I am pretty suspicious that I was chosen for this task. – user56670 Aug 24 '16 at 22:17
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    We can't change your assignment. It is what it is. Cope as best you can. – keshlam Aug 24 '16 at 22:25
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Your comment on another response:

I can't rescue them. I should probably give you some more detail. I am a python developer who is being asked to create some new functionality using some legacy COBOL code running on a mainframe machine. I have not used COBOL or worked with mainframes and I don't have a login to even try what I learn in the next few hours. So, I am pretty suspicious that I was chosen for this task.

Make sure you put something similar to this in an "FYI" e-mail to your boss, just so no one can say that your boss didn't know of this lapse. And like the other post says, do your best. There's not much else you can do.

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