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"How do I get everyone to see that this co-worker is just plain incompetent?"
I work for a construction company, in a technical capacity.
Recently, several people resigned from my department, leaving me with
a severe overload. There is another woman in my department, who actually
has no idea what is going on, and is completely non technically minded,
and who I really think is not suited to the position that she holds.
I also have a problem with the fact that whenever there is something
that requires someone to work overtime, I get asked, not her. However,
she somehow manages to take credit for everything that goes right, and
weasel out of taking blame for anything that goes wrong (she has to
ask someone else how to do just about everything). How do I get everyone
to see that she is just plain incompetent?
First off, you need to get some perspective on this situation so you don't make a big mistake. What's your primary goal? Is it to expose what a worthless employee she is? Or is it to get a co-worker who can pull their own weight, and help you to have a more manageable workload?
Let's imagine for a minute that you dream up a scheme to expose her ineptness and incompetence. It works. She gets fired. You're happy right? But, months or years from now that stunt could come back to haunt you -- and your career could be ruined. Do you really want to be that type of person who gets ahead by knee-capping your competition? I don't think you'd be writing to Office-Politics if that was your true nature so let's focus instead on a more constructive and direct path that will help you to get what you want without undermining the other person.
Your goal is to have a manageable workload. Obviously if everyone in the office is pulling their own weight your life will be easier. Getting closer to your goal will take some work on your part...
Your objective is to have a meeting with your Boss, where you can present your case for improving office productivity, and balancing your workload. To prepare for the meeting you need to detail the steps and processes you do in your daily work, and list other workers steps and processes in your department. With that report in hand at the meeting, your Boss can readily see where everyone's strengths and weaknesses are. You can bring up the concept of skills and further training to improve office productivity. If any of your co-workers (including the one you believe is incompetent), can be shown to be lacking in a skills area, then it is reasonable for your Boss to step in and get them some special training. In this way, you will not be attacking her, but assisting in her growth, and maximizing productivity. Your position is: You are identifying areas of improvement so that the whole company can benefit.
The danger in this direct approach is that the employee in question may not appreciate you speaking to the Boss about her shortcomings. You have to be prepared to accept her displeasure head-on. Also your Boss may not be interested in skills upgrading. But any bottom-line oriented company is going to want to wring maximum productivity out of every employee, so my advice is to seriously consider this approach.
Good luck. Thanks for writing to Office-Politics. Let me know how things work out.
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