"It's not my job"

phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
Have you ever used those words while talking to a superior? I always told myself I would never say that until the day I did.

One day I was working a late shift (2pm to midnight) and my manager before he left came to see me and told me it was someone's last day and I had to walk him out at 6pm. I was told to get his badge, his laptop and make sure he doesn't bring home any equipment. It felt so awkward... Why my manager couldn't stay back and do it himself, or why they didn't walk him out earlier is beyond me. The next day I talked with my manager and told him it wasn't my job to do such things and if I were asked to do it again, the answer would be no. He just said 'that's fine' and then moved on to talk about other stuff.

I never thought I'd ever use those words while talking to a superior but there you have it.
2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP


  • Welly_59Welly_59 Member Posts: 431
    In reality your job is whatever your reasonably asked to do in my view.

    If you didn't feel comfortable doing it then that's another issue
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I did it last week sort of. The billing lady wouldn't cancel a circuit even though it's her job and she tried to sucker me into it, and I told my boss I do not believe we should be spending our time on this stuff. He agreed though.
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is someone I had interacted with in a work capacity and talked with quite a bit. TBH I don't even understand why they allowed him to stay for the day instead of walking him out as soon as they told him they were letting him go. Having to watch him clean his desk to make sure he doesn't pack anything that's not his and having to walk him all the way out to the door just felt wrong for me.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    It's all about teamwork and flexibility but not to the point of being a pushover.

    I get where you're coming from though.

    I honestly hate it when people say that because you know those aren't the people to rely on unless something is going to benefit them. But of course when they always say that. Not just once in a while.
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
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  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,077 ■■■■■■■■□□
    We have a saying at my place of work "and other duties, as assigned." While I empathize with your position that walking someone out should be your manager's responsibility, someone coming to me saying "that's not my job" is the second fastest way to get on my Sh** list (the fastest is insubordination). There are better ways to say what you mean that don't get you placed at the top of the list for the next round of lay-offs. Mastering these skills are what's known as "managing up."

    "Hey boss, we need to talk. Look, I try to be a team player and I'm willing to work outside my area of expertise when there's no way around it but in this case, I have concerns. Am I capable of walking next to someone and making sure they don't swipe office supplies on the way out? Sure but that's about the extent of my training. With the company not ensuring someone trained in personnel matters walking him out, this decision placed the entire company at risk of lawsuits. If this happens again, if you need someone to walk with you while you or someone from HR walk him out, I can be there but just me? Not the best move from an employment law perspective."

    Notice that nowhere above do I call the boss out for not having the guts to do it himself. Instead, I point out the risks to the company of someone untrained in employment law doing it. Say all the right things to show you're a team player without giving them a reason to have you involved since your expertise in this is effectively ensuring the ex-staffer doesn't swipe a few pens.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I believe you were in the wrong saying that. Maybe your manager was wanting to see if you could you to step up and take on some more responsibilities. If my manager asks me to do something I would say almost say yes. Unless I believed it was something our department shouldn't be doing, like in this situation, maybe HR should be doing that? Then I would ask him if that isn't something our department should be doing. But if you thought you shouldn't be doing it because your manager should be doing it, I would think you would be wrong here and looks bad on you. It is your manager's job to make sure tasks get done and he is the one who defines what tasks your position does. Your all part of the same team working together.
  • BlucodexBlucodex Member Posts: 430 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That's an HR function IMO for a number of reasons. At the minimum an HR representative should also have been present. And why can't your boss walk the guy out? Not enough details on the situation and company.

    I watched an intern try to help an executive who had been around 5+ year walk his things out on request of the VP (security and compliance) to which the exec said no thanks but was clearly agitated. Talk about disrespectful and no spine by the VP.
  • PC509PC509 Member Posts: 804 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I've had to say it several times at a previous job. I could not do that without getting in trouble at work. It was someone else that had to do it (safety and compliance reasons).

    This one? I've only had to say it once. I could do it, and it was an easy job. But, by opening the case of the device, it was no longer 'certified'. An official person had to open the case and connect the connector (serial port). Sucks, but that's the way it is. (it was a truck weight scale).
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,077 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm going to say it again, there are better ways of saying "it's not my job". In the instance above "Boss, can I do it? Yes. Will I do it? If you really want me to. But realize that I'm not certified on X equipment and me cracking it open will probably void the warranty."

    "It's not my job" should never be in the vocabulary of anyone who wants to keep or advance in their job.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,753 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Managing upward is a skill I recommend everyone learn sooner than later.
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Member Posts: 114
    I think in that situation I'd prefer to say something like "I don't have the necessary legal or personnel management experience to do that."

    Situations like this seem to be quite common, when companies don't want to pay for a sufficient number of managers, security guards, etc. to provide full coverage. Staff get asked to do jobs that they are not trained for, and which could expose the company to substantial legal or security risks if they're not done correctly.
  • PC509PC509 Member Posts: 804 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I'll do whatever I can. I'll sweep, take out the trash, wash windows. I'll do anything.

    But, when it comes to "It's not my job", it's not actually saying "That's not my job" and leaving it at that. It's more like "I'm not able to do that, but I'll take ownership and make sure it gets done". If it's really not my job (someone submits a ticket to have chairs moved from the hallway; maintenance done on a system that's not anything at all related to IT), I'll direct them to the department that does do that work. Sometimes, it that they thought the ticketing system was for all departments and not just IT...

    "It's not my job" better follow with "but, I'll get the person that is responsible for it and make sure it gets done". Delegation, not passing the buck.
  • PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Was he laid off?

    Seems like a manager, someone from HR, or a security guard should have walked him out.
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Priston wrote: »
    Was he laid off?

    Seems like a manager, someone from HR, or a security guard should have walked him out.

    "XXXX was let go today" is what I was told.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • blargoeblargoe Member Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    It was completely inappropriate for you to be asked to do that. I would have worded my response differently, but they would hear how and why I would be uncomfortable in that scenario. I have always seen HR deal with this type of thing; in a real company there are people trained on how to deal with all of the possible directions someone finding out they are terminate may react.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yes. I quit a job because of this. They hired me to support their SIEM and then because I was the newest person they put me at some IT admin assistant job where I just answered phones and forwarded tickets. They could have gotten anyone else from any other department to do this mindless job. There were other problems too, but that was the main one.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would've phrased it a little better but I also don't believe that your manager should've put you in that position. Seems to me if you have the responsibility to hire and fire in the org you should be the one who manages the exit of the person. I would've said something along the lines of the fact it was a little awkward and made you feel uncomfortable. But in reality if you don't have a HR department to exit this guy correctly it doesn't sound like your manager will take a HR-ish sympathetic view to your problems anyway.
  • Kai123Kai123 Member Posts: 364 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I was not in when this happened but I would of 100% of used the phrease.

    Not long ago, management took our small team leaving just 2 on the desk to take apart furniture and move it to the other side of the building all day for another department moving in.

    We are extremely stretched as it is. It clarified to me what higher management think of us. Its NOC support but the idea of customer retention seems to be lost on them.
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Member Posts: 398 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's never acceptable to say "it's not my job" to a superior, regardless of the task they assign you. You can convey the message in a different way though. Explaining your discomfort with the task is more acceptable. Totally agree with how you felt about it though.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□

    At the end of the day you need to play the game by the rules. The rules would be if someone makes you feel bad you don't complain about it being "not your job", you frame it from a HR/People point of view. This protects you and your job.
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. It feels good to know I'm not alone in thinking that kind of task should be handled by HR or building security and at the same time, I've learned I should of phrased my feedback differently.

    To EANx and DatabaseHead: I've googled the term 'managing up', read a few links and then proceeded to order Dave Kerpen's "The Art Of People: 11 Simple Skills That will Get You Everything You Want" from Amazon. Looks like I have some more reading to do :)
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    When you see "and related tasks" on your job position description lol.

    Anyways, Like others, I do think you could have paraphrased that better, but I understand when someone think enough of something.
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Member Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The kinds of crap I say that for are calling a company about their fax machine not picking up, or a phone number not working, or a URL not working. I get users who seem to think I should be responsible for xyz.com, that they log into is not working. I know I am getting burned out on being end user facing and I feel I am getting short with repeated computer illiteracy, especially from people in their 20s and 30s...

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • MitMMitM Member Posts: 622 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The only times I have said "it's not my job" is jokingly. Unless I'm really busy with deadlines, I'll help anyone and just let them know as an FYI, that this is not typically my area.

    In this situation, If I felt like you did, I wouldn't have used those words but I most definitely would have said, that's above my pay grade. I think you as the manager should handle this.

    I've noticed a good portion of the time when people say "it's not my job", is out of frustration because they constantly feel being taken advantage of. This is not an employee problem, this is a management problem. You can have the title manager/director/VP, but that doesn't make you good or even semi-good leader.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 693 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Just about every job I applied always ended the list of duties with a catchall phrase "And may perform other duties as assigned", or words to that effect. Yes I had to do things that where completely legal but wasn't, initially, comfortable doing. In short, the unpleasant dirty work, like firing someone.

    I was on a contract with NETCOM HQ in Fort Huachuca (Arizona), the government employees took the complete opposite view towards contractors. If you stepped out of your lane, even to assist in an urgent situation that you had the skills to assist with, they would beat you back (verbally) telling you not to step out of your box.
  • EnderWigginEnderWiggin Member Posts: 551 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've never said it, but I will if I need to at some point. I'm very up front in interviews about not being anything other than a tech. I don't manage people, I don't train them (I'll train someone in the process that we use, but they need to already have the skillset to complete the tasks), etc. I come in, I do my technical work, I go home. If they aren't okay with that, they just don't extend an offer. And I've never been asked to do anything that I said I wasn't willing to do right from the get go.
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Member Posts: 621 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I try to never say those words but I understand. I had to go into a doctors office one Friday and reclaim a bunch of leased equipment while a police officer watched. These were people who I've worked with closely, designed their network etc. It was one of the most awkward moments I can recall. Problem was, even though I felt that wasn't my job there was no one at the office to do it.
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Welly_59 wrote: »
    In reality your job is whatever your reasonably asked to do in my view.

    If you didn't feel comfortable doing it then that's another issue

    My thought as well. I would hesitate saying this unless the answer was clear cut and the other person was obviously confused. If you feel that this is something that someone else should be doing, you could communicate that to the manager.
  • technogoattechnogoat Member Posts: 73 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey phatrik,

    we are from he same city

    Not sure about our province laws but that situation seems super awkward and you have no clue how the person could of reacted. You aren't trained for that and it seems like the it is the managers responsibility since it is at higher level decisions.

    Seems like IT workers will always do random crap that they shouldn't be doing in the first place

    Guess you got to suck it up until you get more power further into your career though I'd imagine you shouldn't take responsibility for certain actions
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    This obviously wasn't in a large company or security would've handled this. If anyone has worked in a smaller company you know you sometimes have to do things that aren't "IT related". Quit being snowflakes, he had to take a couple minutes out of his day and walk someone out of a building... icon_wink.gif (or stick to large corporations) Guessing this person was in his department since his manager was going to do it too
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