Unfair Workplace Delegation

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about lazy workers allowed to be that way:

In my job at a casino, my manager always gives the hardest tasks to the hard workers. He does not try to train the slacker who doesn’t put forth the effort. Should the manager be training the lazy worker to do all positions? Also, what are my options? I am tired of being the chosen one to do all the jobs that are the most difficult? I want fairness.

Signed, Want Fair Play

Dear Want Fair Play:

Your complaint is as old as there have been managers and the managed. Even the Bible relates a fable told by Jesus of resentment of some employees getting the same pay who came late and another of a father who lavished favors to returned wayward a son and the resentment of a son who worked faithful for his dad. Currently, I know of an on-going situation like yours in a Veterans Hospital. There several hardworking capable employees get the demanding jobs and the playboys/girls get the easy ones. Life is unfair and especially some workplaces are terribly unfair. How unfair is it for you? Is your pay higher than the slackers? Do you have seniority over the lazy? If so does your pay and seniority compensate for being expected to do the hard jobs? We all want to be rewarded for what we do and for those who do little not to be rewarded. What do you do? Do you mumble to co-workers, friends, and your family about the slackers and the failure of your manager to deal with them? Are you letting this injustice fester and hatred grow inside your head and gut? Do you hate to go to work day after day or night after night? If you answer “yes” to these questions, you will continue to be unhappy in your job. Is there another option? You have a voice for more than complaining and writing to us.

Saying that does not mean I do not empathize with you. I do. I dislike a situation in which the slacker is allowed the easy tasks. I dislike a boss that dumps the hard jobs on the hard workers. I want you to use your voice in a professional constructive way. First get the facts. List the jobs you have been assigned for the past couple of days or weeks. Also list the jobs that the slackers have been assigned. Now you are ready to talk with your manager. This should not be an off the cuff informal complaint but a time-out session with him. In that session you should express both your commitment to your job and your feeling that work is not being distributed fairly. Here is where your lists can play a role. You also might offer to train the slackers to do the different assignments. Yet another approach is to enlist co-workers like yourself you are assigned the hard jobs, and together you make the case for all co-workers to be cross-trained to do all assignments.Managers want their area to run smoothly. That should be your chief argument for cross-training and equitable distribution of the workload. Emphasize your commitment to efficient and effective productivity; to pleasing your internal and external customers. Referring to your manager as “coach” and to your work group as “team” can help persuade him of what he needs to do to have a top-quality operation. Does this make sense to you? It might take courage for you to voice your anger, but you do not need to feel guilty about speaking up. I look forward to hearing from you after you decide how you will deal with this. Be strong. Be firm. Be of good humor.Working together now is no fun for you. Turn that around. Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden