A senior co-worker is currently away on sick leave. Before leaving she told us to expect her back in approximately two weeks, but now it appears she will be out for three weeks, if not longer.

Ever since her departure all of her tasks have fallen on my shoulder. I don't mind doing her share of the work, it's just that I was never wholly prepared to do the things that she does; not to mention I'm constantly interrupted by my boss and other co-workers who come to me to get things done. My boss is not into his job (but that's another story). I feel like there should be three of me in the office since I'm essentially doing work for that number of people (including myself) right now.

Anyway, I was never wholly prepared to do my co-worker's job. Any job training I've received were from me looking up information online, or I've had to call my co-worker to guide me through the process.

All of the important computer duties (e.g. processing payroll, credit card transactions, transferring of budgets, etc.) are being done under her computer username since I can't access those things with my login. I'm sure it's against company policy to share usernames and passwords, but if my co-worker hadn't done this the office might as well have closed down until her return. I can't request computer access for myself, because I have a different job title than my co-worker.

How can I request training and additional clearance through my employer if the job that I'm doing isn't aligned with my current job duties?

  • 1
    It's great that you're taking it upon yourself to solve this problem, but you need to ask for help instead of going around major company policies and procedures. Someone in authority needs to know they do not have a solution for this problem. Just ask in a professional manner.
    – user8365
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


This is an interim solution while your coworker is on leave, not (hopefully) a permanent change. These things happen, someone needed to pick up the slack and they have enough faith in you that they chose you. Handling payroll is a big responsibility.

In these situations it's best to buckle down and do your best rather than complain. It will (should) be remembered positively that you don't fold or complain under pressure and therefore should put you closer in the line to advancement. As an employer it would definitely be in your favour if you worked for me.

Passwords and other security can easily be updated when your colleague returns.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .