Friday, November 19, 2010

How should I handle it when a coworker takes credit for my work?

When I have down time at work I'll ask my coworkers if I can help with anything. This one person often gives me assignments that she doesn't know how to do or where to start. The problem is when her boss asks if it is done, she says yes that she finished it with no regard to me. I don't mind helping her out, but give credit where credit is due. I get along great with this person for the most part. Should I stop helping her? Should I tell her boss (she has a different bosss than me)?How should I handle it when a coworker takes credit for my work?
It's okay to be friendly with people at work, but never confuse it with friendship. When push comes to shove, they will throw you under the bus to preserve their job or get a raise or promotion. I recommend you not help her. Not because you don't get the credit, but because if she can't do her job effectively perhaps it should go to someone else. Help her if she asks for it, but I would stop volunteering. And ';helping'; does not mean to do it for her. I have people ask me all the time to figure something out for them, but I guide them to working it out on their own rather than jump straight to the answers. I think it's better for everyone in the long run.

Use your down time to straight your files, the supply area, purge unnecessary files from your computer, etc. If you really want to help with some of her tasks, ask your own boss if there's nothing for you you're going to go help her--make sure s/he knows. Bosses talk to each other. Chances are you can get credit that way.How should I handle it when a coworker takes credit for my work?
Helping her is not helping you- I'd stop.

When she asks why you can't help just let her know that you aren't able to help someone that isn't a team player any longer.

If either boss asks, let them know you are happy to take extra assignments from them so that everyone is aware of the help you do give because it's not working for you currently. Credit should be given when credit is due.
It sounds like a real soul sucking situation. You may be damned whatever your approach. Bring it up with her or her boss there's a good chance that you come across as petty and vindictive. Say nothing and possible continue being encroached upon and taken advantage of. These you likely are already aware of.

It is difficult to truly understand your situation by reading your brief explanation here as the dynamics of your workplace is likely more complex than you can relate here. I think that better than posting your question here you should find an ally at your work place that knows both your co-worker and her boss and have a confidential conversation with them how best to handle the situation.
Do not talk to her boss. Talk to your own boss about what your duties are and that when you are done with your work you have been helping others in the office accomplish different tasks. Perhaps you will find that more responsibility will be given to you. I would never stop helping others. I would definitely finish my own responsibilities, get permission to assist others, and then go from there.
Stop helping her or just say you don't know how to either. I bet she's being nice so she can keep taking advantage of you. Once she sees the jig is up, she'll move on to someone else. Her boss will find out.
stop helping her, do they pay you to do someone else's work, usually in that case someone just doesn't want to do their work
DO NOT just bring it up to the boss out of nowhere that will come off petty even though it is a serious situation. She's a wench and she's taking advantage of you by playing nice then taking credit. Next time she says ';Yes I did finish it.'; and doesn't include you I'd bring it up w/ her. Depending on what it is that you're doing for her I'd say something like, ';Oh, was that something that only you were suppose to do? You won't get in trouble since I did it will you?'; Of course trying to sound genuine. With that you're addressing the fact that you KNOW she's not giving you credit and the fact that you're not gonna keep ignoring it but yet you said it in still a concerned nice way. I'd give her one more chance, next time she says ';I did it';, you stop helping her immediately and don't feel bad about, obviously there are other ppl there who credit you when you do something for them so they are worth more of your time. If she stops talking to you which sounds like something a person like her would do then who cares, she could have done the right thing in the first place. If she comes to you asking for help then say you're already too busy and that (Boss's name here) knows that you're helping someone on something and you want to make sure you do your part. Depending on your mood you can leave it at that or keep her happy by saying sorry maybe later.
I'd call this coworker an Opportunist (taking advantage of the situation) and a Slacker (sitting back, doing nothing, while someone else does her work), and Devious. Triple Whammy.

Does she ever offer to help you?

Next time this ';coworker'; gives you her assignments-tell her you'll ';Have to check with your supervisor first.'; If she (supervisor) says ';Ok,'; guide her as to how to complete her assignment-and document that fact. Don't do it for her.

Personally? I wouldn't volunteer. If I had down time, I'd get so busy I wouldn't even look up. Since she had no regard for me, I have none for her. We're even.

If she was a great person, she would have given you credit. There's no shame in doing that.

If she ever asks you why you stopped helping her-I'd say that: ';I don't mind helping you - but you're totally disregarding me, who helped you, when you tell your boss your assignment's finished.'; I'd immediately walk away-and document.

If she never spoke to me again - no loss. She doesn't sign/direct deposit my paycheck/sign my vacation leave, or performance review. She doesn't count. My conscience would be at total peace. Hers wouldn't be-because now she has to scramble to complete the assignment.

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