Posted by: Liza | 2005/07/20


My boss has given me an enormous amount of work to do before I leave at the end of next week. There is no way that I'll wade through everything before then. I'm currently working on a big project that is taking up all of my time, and she still wants me to continue tying up loose ends and threw in another 'little' project in just to make sure that I'm busy. Some of this stuff should technically not even be my job but hers! But now I have to babysit my replacement, as well as booking all her courses - naturally keeping to the deadlines that my boss has given me for all the other stuff. She hasn't given me any time to finish this project this week - and all my planning needs to be done by the weekend since we're doing the machine upgrade on Sunday and everything HAS to run smoothly.

What should I tell her? I've tried the diplomatic route - telling her exactly what I'm busy with and how long it will take. She took no notice of that. I then danced to my own tune and just did the most urgent things that REALLY have to be done before I leave. This just p'd her off and now she went and added a whole lot of extra work on my board - with dates attached that she says I HAVE to keep to and that its not negotiable. I can't even get in a word edgewise or she just interrupts and keeps on saying that its not negotiable. I feel that this is totally unreasonable. What do I do?

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Our expert says:
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Sounds a bit spiteful or exploitative. But if you're leaving anyway, and your next job is fixed up, and if you already have your leter of reference, there's no particular obligation on your side to overwork to meet greedy expectations on her part. What fantasy-world is she living in that she thinks she can compel you to keep ridiculous extra tasks she throws in at the last minute ? Of course its not only negotiable, but neglectable. Have you discussed this with your boss ( her boss ) ? PIP's suggestion of the helpless bird act is sound, especially if you put the request in writing and thus on record. It sounds as though she herself isn't especially competent at keeping up with her own workload, and is starting to recognize how much she will lose when you go --- and that she doesn't have much faith in your replacement.
Attend to what are obviously priorities, do what you can do, well ; and leave the rest in her lap, where it belongs. Only work overtime if you are well paid for it. These are HER deadlines, probably caused by bad planning on her part, not yours.

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Our users say:
Posted by: E. | 2005/07/20

You can only do so much in a day. Don’t rush through the tasks she has given you, even if you have to miss the deadlines. If you stress you may start making mistakes - not that I think your work isn't perfect. One mistake is all they need to blame you for any error that may occur for a long time after you have left the company. So either way it seems you can’t win. Take a deep breath and relax. As you probably know from experience, too much stress isn’t good for you.

Thinking of you


Reply to E.
Posted by: lulu | 2005/07/20

Liza, prioritiseer jou werk self en doen wat jy kan voor jy gaan. Die res is haar baby. Wat gaan sy doen? Jou afdank?

Sy is mislik omdat jy gaan en dit jou eie keuse was. Ook omdat jy 'n groot klomp van haar werk doen. Moet jou nie aan haar tantrumpies steur nie en doen net soveel as wat jy instaat is tot.


Reply to lulu
Posted by: Jemma | 2005/07/20

Moenie dat sy jou onder kry nie. Wat kan sy aan jou doen as jy nie alles klaar het voor jy gaan nie? As jy eerlikwaar alles in jou vermoë doen van jou kant af dan hoef jy oor niks skuldig te voel nie. Gaan na haar toe en sê presies vir haar waarvoor jy kans sien en wat jy beslis nie sal klaar hê nie en basta met die res. Jou kinders het so pas in 'n nuwe skool begin en hulle het jou aandag nodig. Nie die simpel koei wat daarop uit is om jou lewe hel te maak nie.

Sit jou voet neer. Soos jy sê daar is ander dinge in die lewe wat baie meer belangrik is as 'n stupid vrou wat self nie die mas kan opkom nie.

Sterkte. Laat weet ons hoe dit met die kinders gaan in die nuwe skool.

Reply to Jemma
Posted by: Liza | 2005/07/20

I've tried the helpless route too. To be honest, she has too much work on her plate, so asking for her help is only going to make her even angrier because I'm then taking up more of her valuable time. This is why I've been delegated to do work that is technically managerial work. She just expects that since she works until 20h00 each night, everyone should be prepared to do the same. I'm already working overtime, working this coming Sunday etc. Its just getting too much. If there was any possibility of having doubts with the job change, they're completely wiped out now. My children need me too, and they are far more important that any job.

Its almost like she WANTS me to leave the company on a bad note.

Reply to Liza
Posted by: PIP | 2005/07/20

Having been there many times before this is what a do now.
If my manager gives me to much to do I put on the "helpless bird act". I go to him/her and say "I really need your help and experience, to help me prioritize all this stuff" You will boost this persons ego and they normally then want to help. I give this person the opportunity to say what they consider most important, and mostly find that they then identify certain things that can wait or be given to someone else.

Good luck

Reply to PIP
Posted by: Lola | 2005/07/20

She is just being a cow. Do what you can, you should be able to judge whats most important. Its not like she can keep you longer than your notice period. If neccesary go over her head.

Reply to Lola

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