How to deal with this co-worker?
June 17, 2012 1:07 PM Subscribe
How to respond to an unexpected, somewhat unwanted "favor" ?
posted by glassrose to Work & Money (29 answers total)
I'm a college undergrad who's been working as a paid summer intern for a certain number of hours/week for a month or so now. I've never had a job or internship before this, so I'm clueless about some of the office politics and nuances and whatnot that accompany a job... so please bear with me if I sound too naive.
I'm pretty happy with my schedule as it is: I work about 5 hours a day for 2 days a week and have the rest of the week off to sort of relax, which is nice because I usually take summer uni classes this time of year, instead.
Anyway, I work with a certain colleague on a project, and even though she isn't technically my "boss," she sort of like my "supervisor" even though she does the same work that I do. She is more experienced than I am with the project and so she usually ends up sort of giving me instructions and pointers in my work, which I am fine with.
However, I often find that she isn't really considerate about when my working hours start and end... I've told her quite a few times when and how long I work every week, and yet she continues to push work on me over the weekend (which I'm not paid for). Since this is my first internship (or job, really), I want to leave a good impression and have a good evaluation at the end of the summer, so I usually end up just doing the work on the weekends, even if I sort of feel like I'm getting stepped all over.
Lately, though, when she has been emailing me work to do over the weekend, I sort of just ignore her emails and address whatever work she has for me on my working days, instead. Sometimes it's just that I am genuinely busy with other stuff, sometimes I just don't feel like dealing with work on the weekend. I wasn't sure how she would react to this, but then she sort of surprised me with an email saying that she went and spoke to my boss (who is her boss, too) requesting additional hours of work per week approved for me... which I find a little awkward. The way she phrased it in the email sounds like she is "offering" it to me as an "option" that I can decline but really it sounds like she will be very disappointed if I don't accept. I'm not sure how to respond to her without being offensive or something. When it comes down to it, I guess it wouldn't kill me to work additional paid days every week, but it's sort of just jarring for me to know that, at some point, this old lady went and asked my boss to let me work more... >_< I just don't know how I should feel about that.
Does this happen often in workplaces and is just something I should get used to? Otherwise, what's the most polite way I should respond to her?
Thanks, and I'm sorry for the wall of text / ramblings.