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In the recent excellent post on "The Dark Side of Volunteering", arrete included the statement" <snip> "...just like work, when you are good at something, they just give you more to do."

I have noticed this my whole career. I have worked hard and delivered on my projects, expecting to be rewarded by larger-than-average raises and/or promotions. Don't get me wrong, I have been rewarded, but not commensurate with the efforts I have expended.

What I have noticed, though, is that I just keep getting more (and harder)work -- especially assignments related to cleaning-up after others who have screwed-around on a project and delivered very little of substance or who delivered something that is so messed-up that I have had to basically toss-out all of their work and start from scratch.

Every time that this has happened, I have delivered superb results (to the delight of our customers and my boss)...but it seems like I just get more 'clean up someone else's crap' assignments in return.

What I have noticed, though, is the people who either screwed-up the assignment (or did very little, but talked a lot) seem to be the ones getting rewarded. This may be the classic case of their being 'show horses' thereby getting the good food (e.g., pay and promotions) and me being a 'work horse' and just getting more work as a reward for my efforts.

Any suggestions on how can I change this -- short of personality transplant <grin>?

I'm about 2-1/2 years away from qualifying for an 'early out' retirement package -- which gives me a pension that will cover about 1/2 of my living expenses in retirement (plus a co-pay medical insurance plan).

I'm in line for another promotion (which is the 'big carrot' that my boss keeps dangling in front of me) -- which would sweeten the retirement pot even more.

I'd love to start doing more of intercst's 3-for-1-type activities, but I just keep getting larger and tougher assignments (with very short timeframes to get them done)....and, being the person I am, I just 'put my shoulder to the grindstone' and get them done.

Aalso, I work for a Fortune 500 company that is going through some real tough times right now, so I don't want to appear to be a slacker (for fear of being put on the next 'reduction in force' list).

omni
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What I have noticed, though, is that I just keep getting more (and harder)work -- especially assignments related to cleaning-up after others who have screwed-around on a project and delivered very little of substance or who delivered something that is so messed-up that I have had to basically toss-out all of their work and start from scratch.

Every time that this has happened, I have delivered superb results (to the delight of our customers and my boss)...but it seems like I just get more 'clean up someone else's crap' assignments in return.

What I have noticed, though, is the people who either screwed-up the assignment (or did very little, but talked a lot) seem to be the ones getting rewarded. This may be the classic case of their being 'show horses' thereby getting the good food (e.g., pay and promotions) and me being a 'work horse' and just getting more work as a reward for my efforts.

Any suggestions on how can I change this -- short of personality transplant


Some suggestions:

1) When you 'take over' a project, take it over....be sure the original folks who screwed it up are removed from the project.

Redefine the project as 'your project'. Otherwise, if you are told to 'help out' so and so, it is so and so who will get all the credits for the work you do to save his tail.

2) Immediately come up with YOUR project plan and timeline. The original person/team needs to be redefined as your team. Define the 'problems' of the project at the time, and get your bosses consensus that things are 'that way' and that you and you alone have figured out how to solve the problems. THen later you and you alone claim credit....and expect appropriate acknowledgement.

3) Be sure you and not so and so are the ones writing the status reports, holding the meeting on the project etc.

4) If that can't be done, volunteer tidbits to help so and so out, but let him/her sink on his own accord. Do your 'part' but define your part as doing only what so and so asks, not redoing his/her project.

5) The boss still has to give so and so some work.....whether he/she ever gets it done is something else.

6) You need to have enough 'exposure' in a project, otherwise you stay a 'work horse'.

7) If you can't get so and so out of the way, give him/her only weekly status reports that are 'working on it', and let his boss figure out he doesn't have a clue.

Make sure your annual reviews are written to reflect what you have done.....keep a record...make sure your accomplishments appear.....

The boss still has to justify all the people in his dept.....he may not have a choice of who is there.....or wound up there.....

Don't work 60/hrs a week for 40 hours pay.....unless you need to so you reach the 2 more years mark.

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What I have noticed, though, is the people who either screwed-up the assignment (or did very little, but talked a lot) seem to be the ones getting rewarded. This may be the classic case of their being 'show horses' thereby getting the good food (e.g., pay and promotions) and me being a 'work horse' and just getting more work as a reward for my efforts.

Any suggestions on how can I change this -- short of personality transplant <grin>?


Don't know what to tell you ... it's classic rock and hard place scenario. Pipe up and you look like a whiner and a backstabber, keep quiet and things stay the same. I've been in a similar situation, and I've learned that "troublemakers" are not looked kindly upon, even if they're in the right.

My advice, take it or leave it, is to talk yourself up as much as you can (the way your coworkers do) while avoiding sounding like a whiner.

I'm about 2-1/2 years away from qualifying for an 'early out' retirement package -- which gives me a pension that will cover about 1/2 of my living expenses in retirement (plus a co-pay medical insurance plan).

Also, I work for a Fortune 500 company that is going through some real tough times right now, so I don't want to appear to be a slacker (for fear of being put on the next 'reduction in force' list).


Yikes. Be careful. Maybe you should just suck it up, keep being the good worker bee, and carefully document in writing all of your accomplishments. If you only have to live through this another 2 1/2 years, sounds like it would be worth it.

Best wishes, jobobb
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Any suggestions on how can I change this...

Compile a list of all your accomplishments, especially about fixing the big screw-ups, and when it comes time for evaluations, hand the list to your boss.

JLC
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I'd love to start doing more of intercst's 3-for-1-type activities,.....


Pardon me for being so blunt, but if you are smart enough to get all the work done, you are ALSO smart enough to go 3 for 1, withpout anyone even noticing.

Anybody can do nothing. The true artists among us can do it without any one noticing :)




Pete


Hint: Blame the delays on waiting for info or input from someone else.
"I'd love to get the project done, but I'm still waiting for Jerry to get back to me on it :)"
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I'd love to start doing more of intercst's 3-for-1-type activities, but I just keep getting larger and tougher assignments (with very short timeframes to get them done)....and, being the person I am, I just 'put my shoulder to the grindstone' and get them done.


Here's some great advice on how to do this... and this guy's an expert! 3-for-1?? How about 8-for-1!!

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17690916
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chooey98 posts,

I'd love to start doing more of intercst's 3-for-1-type activities, but I just keep getting larger and tougher assignments (with very short timeframes to get them done)....and, being the person I am, I just 'put my shoulder to the grindstone' and get them done.


Here's some great advice on how to do this... and this guy's an expert! 3-for-1?? How about 8-for-1!!

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17690916


Excellent! I heartily endorse each and every one of ROTJob's strategies. <grin>

intercst
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<<Excellent! I heartily endorse each and every one of ROTJob's strategies. <grin>

intercst >>



I'm amazed that you would endorse a recommendation to get to work 30 minutes EARLY each day! Are you sure you want your blanket endorsement to cover this particular item?



Seattle Pioneer
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SeattlePioneer asks,

<<Excellent! I heartily endorse each and every one of ROTJob's strategies. <grin>

intercst >>

I'm amazed that you would endorse a recommendation to get to work 30 minutes EARLY each day! Are you sure you want your blanket endorsement to cover this particular item?


I agree that it was tough to endorse that one, but if coming to work 30 minutes early allows you to skip out for 3-4 hours mid-day for a round of golf, it might be worth it. <grin>

intercst
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I'm amazed that you would endorse a recommendation to get to work 30 minutes EARLY each day! Are you sure you want your blanket endorsement to cover this particular item?


I always used the rule that you can leave 'early' for lunch just about any day......just be 'back' at the time lunch hour is supposed to end...you can take 1 1/2 hour lunch...just be back on time.... of course, if you need a coat to go out at lunch, then you need to be going to a meeting if you leave too early...otherwise, you're just 'avoiding the big lunch rush'. Since no one else is back early, makes no difference if you are or aren't.

FOr years, I left at 11:15-20, at 15 minute light lunch, then went to health club across the street, worked out, took shower and got back by 1....everyone else was 'still at lunch'. Most days I didn't need a coat, so hardly a problem.

I also endorse the 'piles of paper' theory.....plus now computer printouts, spreadsheets, reference books, and all the 'company documentation' you can get your hands on. Loose leaf notebooks are great....they can have impressive titles on the binding....no one knows what's inside (RE planning docs and articles?)....just throw one or two 'one subject' pages at the front....Vendor catalogs....Be the one in the office who makes the manager call for an 'office' clean up because things are so 'unprofessionally looking' as far as cubicle overflow..... Most managers like you to have a near empty desk/inbasket so they can come and lay more work on you with no guilt.

You can normally do more work in 5-6 hours than most of the other 'hard working folks' in the office who 'are always so busy and so overloaded', half of it spent in meetings about how overworked and overloaded they were, or discussing schedules, to the point where most never had any time during 'working hours' to be working on the work.





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Thanks for the replies. I knew I'd get some great ideas here.

Telegraph,, jobobb, adn JLC, I will use your suggestions...as they are 'spot on' for my situation. Telegraph, you must know what I'm dealing with -- you even mentioned "Don't work 60 hours/week for 40 hours pay" -- yet that's exactly what is expected of me. Your recommendations as to how best to take over an assignment and get credit for cleaning up after someone else's screw-ups will be extremely beneficial.

chooey98, I appreciate the reminder to check out ROTJob's great post.
I'm already doing some of these -- e.g., I arrive at 6:30AM and work until 6 or 7PM.(Boss is a perfectionist workaholic who usually arrives at 7AM...tho' has been at work as early as 5AM!). We even sometimes have 6AM and/or 7PM meetings (ugh!)..which Boss attends. My desk is always a sea of papers, as I never have time to do any proper filing. Unfortunately, Boss and I work very closely together on our major project, so I'm hard-pressed to find ways to 'hide' either myself or my 3-for-1 stuff. I'm lucky if I get to take a 'real lunch' (e.g. leave the building to eat a meal) once a month -- usually I grab a sandwich and eat at my desk while struggling to meet the inevitable ridiculous deadline set by Boss (who is already pushing this project forward at warp speed)....and Boss doesn't eat lunch.

I will start carrying an armload of papers everywhere I go -- that may definitely help! And I will stop pointing out where the project has weaknesses -- as that is how I often get additional assignments.

Thanks again, everyone!

omni





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