Job Duties Being Added Unfairly

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about assigned to a new task:

I’m pretty much at the bottom of the barrel at my job, doing medical records. My General Manager has asked me to do “facility contract audits”. I was hired to do medical records, and I feel completely uncomfortable doing this task. If I screw up, this is VERY important documentation. Having said that, this is the Office Manager’s job, and for the 4 yrs that I’ve worked here, it’s always been the OM’s job to do this. But, she is very slow, and I believe the GM and her have a “personal” relationship, because he always passes the buck, and slowly her job duties are taken away. Others feel the same way, but no action is taken.I feel taken advantage of, and threatened if I say I don’t want to do it. Please help.

Signed, Don’t Want The Tasks

Dear┬áDon’t Want The Tasks:

Does this tie in with your question from earlier today? It sounds like a rather unhappy workplace!I will have to respond to this one in the same way as I did earlier, I’m afraid. Most employees are hired with the work description of “Other duties as assigned.” If you are asked to do the work and can do it, that is considered a new duty for you. In fact, that is the essence of delegation–work is assigned down the chain of command.

I can see the concerns you might have, but apparently your boss feels you can handle the tasks. If you feel you should not be doing this because of legal issues, perhaps you can point out the documentation for that. But, if you simply don’t want to do it, that is another matter. It sounds to me as though you need to talk to someone above your boss’s level to clear up all the concerns you have about your work. Dr. Gorden often says that when things are so bad we simply can’t tolerate them, we need to vote with our feet and move on to some place better.

That may be true in your case as well. I would like to see you work out all the issues, so you can enjoy your job. But if things are so disorganized and poorly managed as they sound, that might not be possible.I do think open and honest communication is the answer to these issues. Only your boss or your boss’s boss can answer your questions, so you need to ask them about all of it. Explain that you want to do a good job, and you want to keep working there, but you have concerns you would like to discuss. If you have a good work record, you will be more likely to have a voice. If you can enlist the support of others, that would help a great deal.Best wishes as you develop a plan of action to deal with these issues.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.