Help me put my foot down while still keeping my cool at work.
January 15, 2013 8:52 PM Subscribe
I need advice on calmly asserting that a new task that's been dumped on me is A) unsuitable for my skill set and B) unreasonable in terms of time and expectations.
posted by andraste to work & money (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I work for a small nonprofit (previously ten staff). I am a senior staff member, part-time and have been here over a decade. My job is in writing, editing, policy and research, and my workload is full but manageable. I am also well known and well respected in my work.
Four months ago a new CEO was appointed and brought with her five senior staff from her previous organisation. Two existing staff were then made redundant, including the only administrative support person. We are now an organisation almost entirely made up of "senior staff members" without support staff. As a result, I have now been tasked with organising our AGM, which used to be the role of the admin support person. This is a boring, time consuming job largely involving updating databases, sending emails, printing and sending documents, sourcing a venue, catering, writing running sheets, doing nametags, etc.
I am not an event organiser and I don't want to do this. It's not challenging, it's not interesting, it's not something I possess skills in. I am very good at the work I do, but I think I would be a very bad event organiser. There isn't a checklist, manual or guidance on organising this. It's also a lot of work. I already have more to do this year and already work extra unpaid hours. When I raised yesterday that it was a big job, I was told dismissively that "it takes no time" and "it doesn't have to be a circus".
What I find most humiliating is that this has been presented to me as if it's a great opportunity for recognition. I don't need recognition; I have that already. I feel they're insulting my intelligence by suggesting that. I was also told that doing the AGM is going to be in my new position description and part of my KPIs.
I'm incredibly stressed about this, to the point that I had a full blown panic attack yesterday when I was told about it and have been in tears part of the day today.
I have expressed that I am not happy about the situation, and I have a meeting tomorrow to discuss this with my deputy CEO. I am almost prepared to resign if I'm tasked with doing the AGM. I know that's a ridiculous threat to make but I really don't think I can cope with this. Of course, if I don't do it, it will most likely fall to someone else who's in the same position I am, and I think that is also unacceptable.
I am not an assertive person and have a tendency to burst into tears under stress. What I need is advice for a way to calmly but clearly express "I will not do this" and to have it accepted and not dismissed. Suggested wording is very welcome, especially ways to combat the dismissals of "it'll be fine, it'll be no trouble".