Tactful way to get out of a new project at work that hasn't started yet
April 30, 2014 7:18 AM Subscribe
I have been asked by my supervisor (who was asked by his supervisor) to work with our marketing group, specifically one person I, to write trade articles on a product we developed and will launch next year. I don't want to. How do I get out tactfully and quickly?
posted by waving to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This new task, on top of my current tasks, would be added on to my current work load. I work in R&D as a Ph.D. level scientist for a medical device manufacturer, and I have extensive experience in writing for publication, trade and peer reviewed.
My resistance is due to the marketing manager in charge of this project is someone with whom I have zero interest in spending any more time with than needed. Ms. Marketing would clearly have final word on the project, the writing, deadlines, lack of deadlines, and my experience with her has proven her to be disorganized and blaming. She’s also a narcissist and constantly showers herself with accolades while doing as little as possible. So, how do I get out of this project? I don’t need a promotion and have no interest in impressing my higher ups other than to continue doing good work in my current role. I have already had a meeting with my boss about a month ago when he brought this up with me, and I agreed to do it, but now I have changed my mind. During the meeting, it was very vague, the marketing person wasn’t even there. There haven’t been any meetings since the first so I haven’t done anything to move this forward with the excuse I have been waiting for Ms. Marketing to spear head it and get it going. I wasn’t asked specifically to get started on it other than to look into literature a competitor wrote for a similar product launched a couple years ago, to investigate key opinion leaders (cold calls??) but no other specific instructions. I’m sure I will get blamed for the lack of progress already, so it’s probably best I do something now, but what? I need to come up with a good reason for not being interested other than “I don’t want to” or “I don’t like working with her”. I am busy with current work, so maybe that angle would be best? I would like to suggest that they create a new position for this task, a temp if they so desire.
I’m definitely not interested in expanding my resume, as I may retire in the next 2 – 5 years anyway. I don’t love or hate this job and actually wouldn’t be upset if they laid me off, but I don’t want to quit either. I just want to keep doing what I am doing, which is a lot.