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Need advice guys. I'm just overall having a bad day, but I'm really pissed off about something. I'm working on several projects for work - one of them, someone else is directing. and I am being responsible in terms of my part - if i say i'll get it done, i'll get it done. and i'll go out of my way to finish something, and even learn something that's technically not my "job". this project takes relief off of my shoulders because all i have to do is do what i was assigned instead of having to micro-manage everyone.

And then I am directing another project. So this person.... I allowed her into the group because she seemed to have work experience on her resume that aligned with the responsibilities. during the interview for the research fellowship, we specifically went over the time commitment. And i was very specific about how much commitment was needed for her role for every week. During the first half of the project, we specifically discussed that she needed to commit 8-10 hours a week , and during the second half, we only needed 4-5 hours since her role is primarily in the first half of the project.

She hasn't been doing ANYTHING. she puts in the bare minimum of about 1 - 2 hours a week. the research fellowship is extremely individual, and is done on everyone's own time, but literally, since august, she's done one week's worth of stuff. And it's really simple stuff, too. I have the format all set out, and all she has to do is fill in the research documents with research on the sources I already collected. My sibling in high school can do this stuff! It's just a matter of putting time into it. Last week, I sat down to have a talk with my group, to go over our roles, our time commitments, and what we thought our responsibilities were. I thought this would be a democratic way of allowing everyone to kind of focus on their specific roles and responsibilities. She was clear.

Today, I get an email from her saying she cant do this assignment because she's "cramming for a paper due this week." and then she asked me if I could just do it. First of all, most of us in our work office are also students - post bac. students or grad. students. We all schedule our calendars around school, work and research. Second of all, if she was doing all of her work since August, and then she bailed out on this assignment, I'd go easy on her. BUT, she's done like one week's work of basic stuff. Maybe a few pages or so. Third, she's too busy to do something that takes 15 minutes? But she's not busy to go on her facebook and comment on all of her friend's pictures, post on her wall, upload pictures, etc. Are you SERIOUS? WOW. I usually have the mentality of "if you want to get something done right, do it yourself." But I realize that if we want to get anything done, we need her to get her stuff together and GET ON IT.

I am "the boss" on this project so there is no "manager" or even professor to go to - this is a project the committee asked me to direct, so I do have the ability to let her go if need be. There is a faculty advisor that I communicate with, but I have all control over the resources, etc, and the advisor is just in terms of giving me feedback on the content of the project, but the management is up to me. However, if i choose to let her go, it will most likely stir up drama, and yadayadayada, a lot of unnecessary drama. Knowing this person, I know she'd be the type to take this up to as far as she could go and complain to everyone. Niss once told me about working with people -- thinking of them as brooms. It was an analogy - the handle can be broken - you can fix the handle, replace the handle, etc. In this case, I want to fix the handle first so I could still use it for my needs.

Here is the thing, I plan on having a talk with her about her commitments. First of all, I understand that most of us are students and we have school responsibilities. But, i also want to make it clear that there are time commitments and responsibilities for this project. If she can't balance both and want to focus on her schoolwork, I understand. But she will need to be straightforward about what she can do and what she can't do. Does this seem reasonable? I mentioned this to my faculty advisor, and I got the impression she thought this was being too cold-hearted. I feel so authoritarian right now, but really, the work.needs.to.get.DONE. and if she can't do it, i need to hire someone who CAN do it and deserves the paycheck and funding. Okay, so... i am really angry right now. Plus, a lack of sleep, so I can't think logically or calmly right now. Can you guys help me figure out a calm, logical, but firm/strict way of relaying this? without me just being a ruthless, heartless dictator? because that's what i feel like right now. My mom often tells me i have ice in my veins when I get pushed against my values or across my lines. askdja;d
 

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If your advisor tells you that you are being too unyielding, ya gotta listen.

You said paycheck, so I assume that there is compensation involved, even though people volunteer for the assignment.

Your only options are to talk to your advisor and ask him/her how to handle it (in their opinion). Let the student go, work out a deal with the student to where you do part of the work and she does part of the work, or insist that she do all of the work and get on the stick.

Make a decision and move on it.


As an aside, and no offense meant, but you have way too much drama in your life, gurlfriend. :tongue:
 

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If your advisor tells you that you are being too unyielding, ya gotta listen.

You said paycheck, so I assume that there is compensation involved, even though people volunteer for the assignment.

Your only options are to talk to your advisor and ask him/her how to handle it (in their opinion). Let the student go, work out a deal with the student to where you do part of the work and she does part of the work, or insist that she do all of the work and get on the stick.

Make a decision and move on it.


As an aside, and no offense meant, but you have way too much drama in your life, gurlfriend. :tongue:
Don't think there is too much more to be said besides that I would lean towards upholding accountability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
None taken. I agree that I do have too much drama and stress in my life right now.

As for the work, there's no way we can "work out a deal." I'm actually doing 75% of the project already, and we recruited people for specific tasks as assistants - filling out research documents for sources, doing intellectual property paperwork, etc. Everyone else is doing their job fine, and at first, I thought about dispersing this person's tasks throughout the rest of us, but then my decision was that I will speak to her gently and firmly to remind her of her responsibilities and check that she is still committed to the project. or if there are new commitments in her life that she wants to take into account. It's not fair to the rest of us to have extra responsibilities when we are already working on our own projects

i will ask my advisor how to handle this. or be more yielding/gentle about it... I guess after years of doing stuff like this, I realize I need to be more firm about what everyone's roles are. Otherwise, people tend to step over me and think it's okay to slack off. If it was a situation where she regularly has a good work ethic, I don't think anybody would mind working out a deal and splitting up the work. But because everyone's schedule is CRAZY not to mention no sleep, AND she hasn't really done much in the last few weeks, it's like :dry::dry::dry:
 

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curious, I think you need a hug. You've been having bad days lately.
FINALLY....some hugging going on!!!! :):laughing:
 
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To get back on topic...Curious - I can understand your frustration in trying to manage the work load of various colleagues. Sometimes when I am feeling very time pressured and overwhelmed, I get stuck in the proverbial weeds and think that I have to do everything.

Maybe when you meet with your colleague, be clear but kind about the fact that you need "X" by "Y" date and ask her if there are any problems or issues about competing this objective. Maybe your colleague is having personal or health issues that you don't know about. If she has issues about completing the task, maybe she will feel releaved about being released from her commitments without any major hard feelings. I am not sure if there is any renumeration involved with her involvement on the project...this might complicate matters, but if it is a contract position and no deliverables have been produced then nothing can be billed for. Time is ticking.
 
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