Monday, March 31, 2014

Don't be too good at your job

"And any other duties as needed."

Most of our job descriptions (if you even have one) include that line. What that really means is, "We can throw any shit at you that we want and if you opt not to do it, then we can fire you because, well, it's in the contract."

That's not a promotion - WAIT YOU WANT ME TO DO MORE WORK... FOR THE SAME PAY? THAT'S MESSED UP. Futurama Fry

Lovely right?

In some instances that's useful. A co-worker leaves and your boss asks you to take a couple of their duties over until they find a replacement - as long as they have a date that that will end, no big deal right?

But many times, if you're good at your job, if you are conscientious and do your own personal job description well, your higher ups will add on other "small" things "every once in a while" so that you can help around the office/company. If you're still good at your job, even with those additional items, then those additional items may become part of your job permanently. Your higher ups may realize, "We don't need to hire a new person to take over the person that quit's job because Bob can absorb a lot of those duties. We save money! Yay!"

Now if you're Bob, that's fucked up. So as Bob, you have a few options. First, look competent but not too competent. Get your work done, but gripe just a little about how it's overwhelming. Hopefully someone will get the picture and recognize that Bob is at his "tipping point" and can't take on extra. Period. Second, ask for a raise - I mean if you're doing this person's job, why shouldn't you get extra pay? Request the extra pay until they find someone else and this may help them light a fire to find someone else. Third, say no. Seriously. You can do it in a nice way - tell them you enjoy your job and your position with the company, but you currently feel that you're doing your job requirements just well enough and that adding requirements may cause your other work to falter.

Keep in mind that if you choose option three that because of that lovely clause at the beginning of the post you may lose your job or receive a poor review from your superiors. "Bob is not a team player and is not willing to take on extra work to help the company."

Can you tell what happened to me at work this past week? I'm definitely Bob. I look too competent apparently and I get asked to do things - not other people's work mind you, but things that need to be done and are usually distributed around the college. This past week three distributions came to me at once. I could say no or I could ask for extra pay, or I could remember that that clause is in my contract...and that these are only short-term requests.

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