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Being forced to work two roles


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#1 VVV

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:38 PM

I’ve found myself in the predicament of having to do my own role plus backfill another role (core business function so can’t be left) for two months. I am at breaking point (think physically shaking.) I’m expected to do my normal role plus this other role with no additional assistance. Do they think I am magic and can make additional hours appear in the day? I just don’t get it. Would it be worth having a chat to my Union?

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:40 PM

I would definitely speak to the union. Tomorrow.

#3 taters

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:42 PM

Have you spoken to your manager/boss about it? I would chat with the union but wouldn’t involve them until I had tried to resolve the issue directly with my workplace at first instance.

#4 Goldenash

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:43 PM

Two months is a long time. Presuming you have raised your concerns with your management structure clearly (and in writing) with no result then yes sounds like union time.

#5 VVV

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:47 PM

My manager is the one who is making me do it

#6 JomoMum

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:48 PM

Has anyone spoken to you about taking this on? Have you advised anyone about your struggling?

Going straight to the union gives them no opportunity to make changes (assuming you haven’t approached them yet).

#7 VVV

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:54 PM

Yes, I have advised that I am overwhelmed - but how they didn’t predict this outcome is beyond me as the person who usually does this role puts in hours above her substantive each week.

I keep cancelling meetings stating cannot attend due to workload and they just keep asking more and more from me in my normal role during this time, so making absolutely no allowances for my additional workload.

#8 Secret Squirrel

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:56 PM

I’ve been in this situation. I’d suggest writing a list of tasks or deliverables for each role and suggested resources to assist. Ask your manager to help list the tasks in order of priority so there are no assumptions. I wish I did this at the start of my dual role. It means you’re manager is also accountable for your performance.

#9 Smoo

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:58 PM

If you're physically shaking can you go to your gp and get a medical certificate for stress -possibly workcover

#10 PrincessPeach

Posted 26 June 2019 - 09:03 PM

As well as contacting the union, I'd put in your set hours, do what you can whilst you are there & then head home.



#11 VVV

Posted 26 June 2019 - 09:05 PM

I’ve been doing 12-13 hour days. Substantive is 7.6.

#12 StartledFlamingo

Posted 26 June 2019 - 10:55 PM

Yes call the union. You don't need to get them to immediately step in but they can help you understand your options for addressing this and support you - whether it be with information and advice or via advocacy.

If it's taking such a toll on you that it's affecting your physical and or mental health then a chat with your gp is probably worthwhile.

If your workplace has a EAP that's another avenue to explore too.

#13 ipsee

Posted 26 June 2019 - 11:03 PM

That is crazy. Time to start documenting. Send them an email saying 'I can't do X important thing this week as I need to complete Y urgent thing.'

And if they come back and say you have to do X, then you say 'thanks for the help with prioritising, I will focus on X this week, and do what I can on Y, but it will fall behind schedule.'

#14 lizzzard

Posted 26 June 2019 - 11:40 PM

Do you have an HR department? They would be my first port of call if its not possible to resolve with your manager directly. Sometimes you need to be very blunt to get through to people as well  eg, I would say to your boss 'I've done my best but I think we need to get in a temp because I'm about to resign or at least take some extended sick leave - I'm really not coping.'

#15 nom_de_plume

Posted 27 June 2019 - 06:50 AM

View PostSecret Squirrel, on 26 June 2019 - 08:56 PM, said:

I’ve been in this situation. I’d suggest writing a list of tasks or deliverables for each role and suggested resources to assist. Ask your manager to help list the tasks in order of priority so there are no assumptions. I wish I did this at the start of my dual role. It means you’re manager is also accountable for your performance.

This is good advice and the best place to start before involving the union etc. The first thing the union will ask is what steps you’ve taken to try to resolve the issue anyhow.

Do you think they’re trying to test you? It’s a horrible thing to do (and not right of course) but maybe your manager has put you in this position to see how you cope under pressure?

#16 *Spikey*

Posted 27 June 2019 - 07:16 AM

As an ex manager, an ex HR person, a lawyer, an employee, I am telling you that you are wasting your time going to HR.

Blind Freddy (aka your manager) already knows that you cannot extend your ridiculous working hours further to accommodate even more ridiculous demands. HR is there to ensure productivity - the actual employee will be roadkill on the roadside.

Please contact your union today. They will help you plan a strategy, and they will support you in carrying it out.

You do not want to challenge this kind of workplace on your own - at any stage.

Been there. Have the T Shirt. Go Union every time, it's what you pay them for.

#17 IamtheMumma

Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:35 AM

This was me last year/early this year for 3 months. It started me on the path to burnout. No support from management or HR, no extra staff, no paid overtime for the extra hours worked and no extra pay for added responsibility. Union was a bit useless because I wasn't officially in the role so I could, in theory, not do it but then it would be a safety issue and I'm sure I'd be finding myself up for disciplinary action if I refused.  

I noticed my alcohol consumption increased (knocked that on the head once I noticed) and my stress levels increased. It pushed me into burn out. I've left a job I once adored and felt was my calling. I'm still in burn out phase as I don't see myself ever returning to it.

#18 steppy

Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:43 AM

Yep, make a list each week and ask your manager to prioritise. Do it in email so you can easily save each email aside. Document everything. When people call about something you're meant to be doing, calmly reply "I'm sorry, xxx has determined that is not a priority for me this week. Maybe I can get to it next week. You'll have to talk to xxx if you want it done any sooner".

Make them actually manage it.

Edited by steppy, 27 June 2019 - 10:45 AM.


#19 Red Sparrow

Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:21 AM

View Post*Spikey*, on 27 June 2019 - 07:16 AM, said:

As an ex manager, an ex HR person, a lawyer, an employee, I am telling you that you are wasting your time going to HR.

That is why I didn't last in HR. It's not about what it should be about. It sucks the big one.




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