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I am an intern at a multinational company(nameless for obvious reasons), it's a nationally mandated internship so quitting is kinda difficult.Anyways I was working in a department that was focused on managing distributors primarily through a database management website, then I got transferred to another department and I have to enter in data manually because it's handwritten(T-T). I could deal with my new assignment, but members of my former department keep bothering me and make me do their jobs for them. It was made clear to them they had to leave me alone and shouldn't saddle me with their work, but how can that be enforced when their boss calls me and asks me about the progress of the stuff his subordinates hand to me. It's very difficult to juggle both duties because I have only so many hours in a day, my average coding skills help but still have to take time to think of the code. I got a dressing down from my new boss, asking me about my lack of productivity whilst my former department members watched on in silence. I couldn't rat them out because I could not afford annihilating them, don't want my temporary reassignment to be made permanent. Talked to my Dad about it, said I should do both duties that he had it worse.

I am just so miserable, was so dedicated before the reassignment; I would resume at work at 7:15 or 7:30, but now I just roll out of bed and get there 8:55 or 9:15, then I would leave not a minute after 5.

It's clear we need more manpower with the new task, every person who had participated in the task before had people to help. We are just 2 and tried using python for the thing, the results are too inconsistent and getting hand writing samples is not possible.

I find myself going back to sleep if I wake up early. Today I saw a window with no iron bars, I looked out of it and thought of jumping. Even small things like them making fun of me because I can code and they can't start to annoy me. I probably will do something I will regret if I don't do something about this soon.

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    "their boss calls me and asks me about the progress of the stuff his subordinates hand to me" -> "I'm sorry, there seems to have been a miscommunication - I'm not involved with XYZ work anymore." – brhans May 3 '17 at 21:36
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    By your description, your former department members don't appear to be particularly concerned with your well-being. As such I don't think alienating them should be too much of a concern for you. You current boss needs to know the real reasons you're falling behind on your current assignments. – brhans May 3 '17 at 21:48
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    "Today I saw a window with no iron bars, I looked out of it and thought of jumping. Even small things like them making fun of me because I can code and they can't start to annoy me. I probably will do something I will regret if I don't do something about this soon." This is a bit concerning - I recommend that you seek some sort of professional counselling or other service to talk some of this through. – HorusKol May 3 '17 at 23:55
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    Fyi, while you don't name the company in this post, it's still on your network profile. Additionally, using your real name is not a good idea for a question like this. – Herb Wolfe May 4 '17 at 1:00
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    You have a working schedule. They need to make a decision what your working schedule looks like. So, if you are asked to do this and that, say: "I am now working for department Y, and am committed for the coming hours to duties A,B,C. If you want me to to work for department X, doing duties D,E,F, could you please clarify this with my manager from department Y whether it is is ok for me to re-commit my time?" It's their duty to make this decision, but certainly, you do not owe them more than 9 to 5 (or whatever schedule you work on). They do not treat you well, it's not your fault. – Captain Emacs May 4 '17 at 9:39
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You don't need to juggle the priorities, your boss does. Whenever they ask you to do work that wasn't assigned to you by your boss, say

I'll be happy to help you with that, but you'll need to clear it with my boss first.

If your boss says no,then they can be annoyed with him or her, and not you. If your boss says yes, then he or she will know why you're not getting your regular work done as quickly as expected. But what I suspect will happen is that they will not ask your boss, because they were told to leave you alone. In any case, it's not your problem.

This is similar to SnWhite's answer, but I don't think you should get into a discussion with them about what you're currently working on, because they will probably try to convince you that their tasks are more important. Simply refer the whole discussion to your boss.

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    I came here to post this answer (more or less). This is all that the OP needs to do (and understand) really. He can get a million requests from random people, but his boss decides what he should do. – Masked Man May 4 '17 at 3:45
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I find myself going back to sleep if I wake up early. Today I saw a window with no iron bars, I looked out of it and thought of jumping. Even small things like them making fun of me because I can code and they can't start to annoy me. I probably will do something I will regret if I don't do something about this soon.

Seek professional help immediately. Lack of motivation may be the least of your problems.

There are people and places that can help.

Do it now.

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    Agreed - OP needs psychologist or psychiatrist, and needs him now. And quite possibly he needs a lawyer - workplace harassment is serious offence. – Mołot May 4 '17 at 10:14
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    Was in the same place a while ago. Go to your doctor and get something for depression. It helps a lot in getting through the day. – Snowlockk May 4 '17 at 15:47
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If you don't want to explicitly state that you no longer perform these tasks in order to save face or stick to cultural norms, when asked to do a task or if the other manager asks where your progress is, tell them:

I will work on XYZ after I complete Task 1, Task 2, and Task 3 which are my priority for the day.

OR

Once I've completed my assigned work for the day I will start on XYZ.

You're not telling them no but you're also making it clear their tasks are not your priority and your role is. If they give you push back, use your manager,

My manager said I need to complete Task 1, Task 2, and Task 3. If you think I should be removed from these and focus on your task, please talk to him/her and he/she can reassign my priority for the day.

Now it is on the other department to officially assign the task to you through your manager, who will then be made aware you're working on other stuff. If they aren't willing to take these steps they either wait for you to "get to it" or the person who should be completing it does it.

  • Cultural norms or not: There is an interesting study about how a big airline company suffered several devastating accidents because of misplaced norm adherence. OP needs to find a polite, but decisive way to clarify to his superiors that as much as it is his duty to carry out tasks, it is their duty to decide time allocation. – Captain Emacs May 4 '17 at 9:41

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