CDZ Overworked...

Anathema

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I’m at something of a loss relative to an issue at work. I work in an engineering-related department of a large electric utility company. We’re a Unionized department of 10 employees. 8 of us inOver a trio of Technician Classifications, and 2 in the more bureaucracy-related Senior role.

Each of us 8 techs covers the work for a specific geographic region. I’ve worked 4 of the regions over time, but have spent probably 16 of my 19 years covering Central. I keep my area as up to date as possible. Not everyone else does the same. Which brings us to my problem...

I am constantly inheriting incomplete or untouched work from other districts because I’m caught up and other people aren’t. I don’t mind helping out occasionally, but this is a constant issue and the work I tend to inherit is generally the most unpleasant work in those areas.

The Company has the right to assign work, so I can’t refuse the work and the Union can’t file a grievance. I’ve talked to our Supervisor, who I really like, about it numerous times. He’s always telling me how much he appreciates me picking up the slack, teaching other Techs better ways to do their jobs, and keeping my area clean. That’s great but it doesn’t help my stress level over having to clean up other people’s messes.

I have my quarterly 1-on-1 meeting with my Supervisor on Thursday. Any ideas on how to approach this topic thst might get better results?
 

Chuz Life

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I’m at something of a loss relative to an issue at work. I work in an engineering-related department of a large electric utility company. We’re a Unionized department of 10 employees. 8 of us inOver a trio of Technician Classifications, and 2 in the more bureaucracy-related Senior role.

Each of us 8 techs covers the work for a specific geographic region. I’ve worked 4 of the regions over time, but have spent probably 16 of my 19 years covering Central. I keep my area as up to date as possible. Not everyone else does the same. Which brings us to my problem...

I am constantly inheriting incomplete or untouched work from other districts because I’m caught up and other people aren’t. I don’t mind helping out occasionally, but this is a constant issue and the work I tend to inherit is generally the most unpleasant work in those areas.

The Company has the right to assign work, so I can’t refuse the work and the Union can’t file a grievance. I’ve talked to our Supervisor, who I really like, about it numerous times. He’s always telling me how much he appreciates me picking up the slack, teaching other Techs better ways to do their jobs, and keeping my area clean. That’s great but it doesn’t help my stress level over having to clean up other people’s messes.

I have my quarterly 1-on-1 meeting with my Supervisor on Thursday. Any ideas on how to approach this topic thst might get better results?
Insist that the safety director be present as you would like to share some safety concerns.
 

Disir

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Yes. I "inherit" incomplete or completely butchered assignments all the time. My supervisor is largely not aware until we get in there and see what is really going on. Sometimes I get handed something because I can take care of it. I'm stuck with mine.

But, if what you are getting is the worst of the worst then I would simply tell your supervisor that you are glad that you are trusted to complete work for others and you are happy to do so but this is causing stress. I would propose helping to finish the easy peasy work. Why are you being punished for doing well? It's killing the incentive.
 

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Sounds like you are in a lead roll without a lead title and pay....so ask for it...
 

JackOfNoTrades

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I’m at something of a loss relative to an issue at work. I work in an engineering-related department of a large electric utility company. We’re a Unionized department of 10 employees. 8 of us inOver a trio of Technician Classifications, and 2 in the more bureaucracy-related Senior role.

Each of us 8 techs covers the work for a specific geographic region. I’ve worked 4 of the regions over time, but have spent probably 16 of my 19 years covering Central. I keep my area as up to date as possible. Not everyone else does the same. Which brings us to my problem...

I am constantly inheriting incomplete or untouched work from other districts because I’m caught up and other people aren’t. I don’t mind helping out occasionally, but this is a constant issue and the work I tend to inherit is generally the most unpleasant work in those areas.

The Company has the right to assign work, so I can’t refuse the work and the Union can’t file a grievance. I’ve talked to our Supervisor, who I really like, about it numerous times. He’s always telling me how much he appreciates me picking up the slack, teaching other Techs better ways to do their jobs, and keeping my area clean. That’s great but it doesn’t help my stress level over having to clean up other people’s messes.

I have my quarterly 1-on-1 meeting with my Supervisor on Thursday. Any ideas on how to approach this topic thst might get better results?
Hate to say it, but at some point, you have to learn to say no...tactfully. Try and make them understand that you can't (and shouldn't) carry the load by yourself.
And experiment sometime by intentionally making yourself unavailable. Something you could pass off as an innocent explanation. See how they handle it.
Don't know what area of tech you are in but I've been in your shoes. I eventually had to draw a line in the sand..but I did it nicely.
 
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Anathema

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Insist that the safety director be present as you would like to share some safety concerns.
It’s not a Safety issue. Again, we’re an Engineering-related department, not an Operations department.
 

Chuz Life

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Insist that the safety director be present as you would like to share some safety concerns.
It’s not a Safety issue. Again, we’re an Engineering-related department, not an Operations department.

The (overworked?) engineers where I work have created many a safety issue for us. And we are not even into high voltage applications that much.
 
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Yes. I "inherit" incomplete or completely butchered assignments all the time. My supervisor is largely not aware until we get in there and see what is really going on. Sometimes I get handed something because I can take care of it. I'm stuck with mine.

But, if what you are getting is the worst of the worst then I would simply tell your supervisor that you are glad that you are trusted to complete work for others and you are happy to do so but this is causing stress. I would propose helping to finish the easy peasy work. Why are you being punished for doing well? It's killing the incentive.
The Supervisor is the one reassigning the work. He knows all about it. We’ve had the “at least give me the easy stuff” discussion multiple times. He claims to try, but since we are measured on cycle times as a department, he’s gotta give me the oldest stuff first.

Two other techs are inheriting work from time to time but not in the amounts that I am.
 
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The (overworked?) engineers where I work have created many a safety issue for us. And we are not even into high voltage applications that much.
We’re Maps & Records. We are the ones who generally find and fix the errors by Engineering and Operations. We don’t create them.
 
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Hate to say it, but at some point, you have to learn to say no...tactfully. Try and make them understand that you can't (and shouldn't) carry the load by yourself.
And experiment sometime by intentionally making yourself unavailable. Something you could pass off as an innocent explanation. See how they handle it.
Don't know what area of tech you are in but I've been in your shoes. I eventually had to draw a line in the sand..but I did it nicely.
I’m guessing you weren’t in a Union. The Management Rights Claude gives the Company the Right to assign work as they see fit.

I’ve had several conversations with Management. I get the response that work needs to be done and if I have an empty queue, they need me to pick up other work to meet cycle times. Especially since I’m the most experienced Tech in the group.

I’m not sure how one makes themselves “unavailable” in the modern age. Our laptops log every time the screensaver goes on and when we log back in. Not easy to disappear without being noticed.

I’m in the electric utility industry - maps and eecords
 

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The Supervisor is the one reassigning the work. He knows all about it. We’ve had the “at least give me the easy stuff” discussion multiple times. He claims to try, but since we are measured on cycle times as a department, he’s gotta give me the oldest stuff first.
A lot of good advice posted above.

First, your supervisor is not doing his job. He's allowing slackers to skate and punishing his best performer. Second, your supervisor is having you do more work than you are paid for. Pony up the money or you stop covering for the slackers. Third, your supervisor has dug himself into a hole. He should have fixed the slackers' problems or replaced them. Now he's dependent on you. He is in a very vulnerable position. If you balk or walk, he gets exposed for not managing his resources.

You Sir, are in a very advantageous bargaining position for a raise.
 

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I’m at something of a loss relative to an issue at work. I work in an engineering-related department of a large electric utility company. We’re a Unionized department of 10 employees. 8 of us inOver a trio of Technician Classifications, and 2 in the more bureaucracy-related Senior role.

Each of us 8 techs covers the work for a specific geographic region. I’ve worked 4 of the regions over time, but have spent probably 16 of my 19 years covering Central. I keep my area as up to date as possible. Not everyone else does the same. Which brings us to my problem...

I am constantly inheriting incomplete or untouched work from other districts because I’m caught up and other people aren’t. I don’t mind helping out occasionally, but this is a constant issue and the work I tend to inherit is generally the most unpleasant work in those areas.

The Company has the right to assign work, so I can’t refuse the work and the Union can’t file a grievance. I’ve talked to our Supervisor, who I really like, about it numerous times. He’s always telling me how much he appreciates me picking up the slack, teaching other Techs better ways to do their jobs, and keeping my area clean. That’s great but it doesn’t help my stress level over having to clean up other people’s messes.

I have my quarterly 1-on-1 meeting with my Supervisor on Thursday. Any ideas on how to approach this topic thst might get better results?
Document everything and bring FACTS up with your supervisor
 
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Anathema

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]Document everything and bring FACTS up with your supervisor
I’ve got a folder full of his own materials to remind him of. Including his own emails. He knows the problem as well as I do. That’s not the issue. Finding a remedy is.
 

Disir

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How much longer until you retire? Six years? It sounds like you have to move up to a higher position, retire, or find another place to work. Is there any job within the company you can transfer to?
 

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I’m at something of a loss relative to an issue at work. I work in an engineering-related department of a large electric utility company. We’re a Unionized department of 10 employees. 8 of us inOver a trio of Technician Classifications, and 2 in the more bureaucracy-related Senior role.

Each of us 8 techs covers the work for a specific geographic region. I’ve worked 4 of the regions over time, but have spent probably 16 of my 19 years covering Central. I keep my area as up to date as possible. Not everyone else does the same. Which brings us to my problem...

I am constantly inheriting incomplete or untouched work from other districts because I’m caught up and other people aren’t. I don’t mind helping out occasionally, but this is a constant issue and the work I tend to inherit is generally the most unpleasant work in those areas.

The Company has the right to assign work, so I can’t refuse the work and the Union can’t file a grievance. I’ve talked to our Supervisor, who I really like, about it numerous times. He’s always telling me how much he appreciates me picking up the slack, teaching other Techs better ways to do their jobs, and keeping my area clean. That’s great but it doesn’t help my stress level over having to clean up other people’s messes.

I have my quarterly 1-on-1 meeting with my Supervisor on Thursday. Any ideas on how to approach this topic thst might get better results?
Do a lot of twitching and blinking to go along with an imaginary friend you're talking to that's in the meeting with you and your supervisor.
Works every time.
 
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Anathema

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]First, your supervisor is not doing his job. He's allowing slackers to skate and punishing his best performer. Second, your supervisor is having you do more work than you are paid for. Pony up the money or you stop covering for the slackers. Third, your supervisor has dug himself into a hole. He should have fixed the slackers' problems or replaced them. Now he's dependent on you. He is in a very vulnerable position. If you balk or walk, he gets exposed for not managing his resources.

You Sir, are in a very advantageous bargaining position for a raise.
This is a UNION Department. I will get a 3% raise next May, like everyone else in the Department. Our bonuses are based on Union-wide criteria, not individual or department performance. Union employees are not eligible for Work Appreciation System bonuses or incentives.

One of the things I’m bringing up on Thursday is thst I want to know what is being done to bring the underperforming techs up to speed. I’m just concerned that his answer will be that those of us who are caught up will end up “mentoring” them (which would not include additional pay).

They were forced to deal with it when I was out on medical leave for 8 weeks in Feb-April. I have to double-check almost everything they did during thst time.
 

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I’ve talked to our Supervisor, who I really like, about it numerous times.
THAT tells me all I need to know.

"Like" has nothing to do with it...NOTHING is going to change unless YOU change it.

You could...

- Tell him you've started interviewing with other possible employers because this problem is not being addressed.

- Or slow your work down...not yours, but when you inherit a task, take your time with it...when you get handed a new assignment ask which assignment has priority AND MAKE THEM GIVE YOU AN ANSWER. "Both" is not an acceptable answer!

Good luck!
 
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How much longer until you retire? Six years? It sounds like you have to move up to a higher position, retire, or find another place to work. Is there any job within the company you can transfer to?
Whst is this “retire” you talk about. They’re gonna carry me out feet-first. I’m only 46 anyway. Good pension - at 65.

I’m essentially topped out in the Department. Senior Tech is a bid (not progression) job, and I’ve d as breadth told them I don’t want it when the next guy retires in 2/3 years. I’m a worker not a bureaucrat; and that job is almost totally bureaucracy and analysis.

Not likely to find anywhere with the salary and benefits with my limited education (A of S in CADD). Anywhere I go in the Union, I lose Seniority and pay. Management, I cap my pension.

So I’m essentially stuck.
 
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"Like" has nothing to do with it...NOTHING is going to change unless YOU change it.

You could...

- Tell him you've started interviewing with other possible employers because this problem is not being addressed.

- Or slow your work down...not yours, but when you inherit a task, take your time with it...when you get handed a new assignment ask which assignment has priority AND MAKE THEM GIVE YOU AN ANSWER. "Both" is not an acceptable answer!

Good luck!
Thanks.

Unfortunately he knows I can’t afford to take a 30-35% pay cut and loss of benefits; which is what I would likely do, even through a recruiter, if I changed jobs.

I have started taking a little more time to get certain work done, but I can only do so much. I do have a certain work ethic. We have a priority system in our queues already , so most of the time that’s not an issue.

Thanks again.
 

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