17. October 2021

Should I be expected to absorb the extra work of colleagues with kids?

By Dr Kirstin Ferguson

Each week, Dr Kirstin Ferguson tackles questions on the office, profession and management in her recommendation column “Got a minute?” This week, feeling pissed off at a colleague with kids, constructing confidence in writing emails, and dealing with unfair dismissal.

Illustration: Dionne Gain

Illustration: Dionne GainCredit:

I work full-time, take pleasure in my work and I am childless. I have my private struggles like all of us do throughout this pandemic and whereas I actually do empathise with working dad and mom, I am additionally pissed off with the scenario. In our crew, we’ve a full-time working guardian whose youngsters are studying from house, so I am the simple selection for our supervisor to flip to for somebody to do the extra work. Why do I have to pull up the slack for somebody’s private selection to have kids? If they’re actually struggling, why don’t they discover much less demanding work or simply put in the extra time? I am drained of continually absorbing the extra work.

You can inform out of your letter we’re at the finish of a really lengthy 18 months and endurance ranges are being sorely examined. My first thought is your boss wants to do a a lot better job of managing your crew so that you’re not feeling resentful in the direction of anybody else about what you might be being requested to do. But some of that is additionally for you to take into consideration since as you mentioned, everybody has their struggles and proper now, the guardian in your crew appears to want extra assist. I’m guessing they may be horrified to assume that their very own private scenario was inflicting you a lot anguish.

I suggest speaking with your boss to attempt to current goal information about the extra work you’re doing to see in case you can each discover a resolution. I’d keep away from criticism of your colleague’s selection to have youngsters. One day you might need one thing come up in your life the place you will want to prepare some flexibility and assist out of your workmates, and so the extra empathy you possibly can reveal now, the extra seemingly you might be to obtain in the future. Hang in there. This pandemic has been powerful for thus many. I do have compassion for what you will have been via and hope you’re able to come out the different aspect quickly.

I am penning this e-mail to share with you that I am a novice in e-mail writing. I do not know how ought to clarify the matter. I desperately need to be taught this, however I don’t have any good mentor. I would be glad in case you advise me about this. In the office, it’s a horrible activity for me to ship an e-mail to somebody. I at all times take tons of time on this. But the principal downside of mine is I am weak in English. I can’t make right sentences. Please recommend one thing.

Given the problem you discover in drafting emails, I can solely think about the braveness it took to write a letter to this column. Thank you a lot for doing so. I would additionally like to inform you that I didn’t change a single phrase of your letter (usually I want to edit for size or maybe make clear the intent) however your letter was worded completely.

Reading your letter jogs my memory that too usually these of us with English as a primary language take with no consideration the ease with which we talk in writing. How would you’re feeling about expressing your issues to your boss and seeing if there’s any skilled growth assist they’ll present to assist construct your confidence?

I’m additionally placing a call-out to the great neighborhood of individuals who learn this column each week to please contact me (particulars under) with any sources or businesses which may be in a position to help in order that I can move them on. Thank you once more!

I was dismissed from my place, which I was in for nearly 20 years, a number of years in the past. I had a stellar profession with no points throughout my employment till the finish and even then, I was not knowledgeable of my dismissal till I was notified by my employers’ legal professionals. After taking them to Fair Work, the dismissal was became a retirement, and I had to signal a non-disclosure settlement and the employer was required to pay my authorized charges. I nonetheless really feel aggrieved as some points, like bullying, weren’t lined in my listening to. Am I in a position to take additional motion towards my former employer after being to the Fair Work Commission?

Your letter is an ideal instance of how imperfect our authorized system can generally be. It seems like whereas sure facets of your dismissal have been dealt with, you don’t really feel you have been in a position to get every part off your chest that you simply wanted to. Whether or not you will have a authorized avenue to do this may be very troublesome for me to advise on and so your legal professionals will be the greatest individuals to inform you whether or not you will have a possible civil declare for one thing like discrimination, private harm or breach of contract.


I do assume it will be worthwhile fascinated by what your objectives are in any motion you’re taking. For instance, are you searching for monetary compensation for what occurred? Or are you wanting the alternative to specific your ache and frustration to your former employer about how they handled you, given it clearly nonetheless weighs closely on you? Only you possibly can reply that and take into consideration what goes to be the greatest course of motion to enable you transfer on to your subsequent alternative.

Send your questions on work, careers and management to contact@kirstinferguson.com. Your title and any figuring out info won’t be used. Letters could be edited.

Dr Kirstin Ferguson is an award-winning chief, creator, govt coach and public speaker; she is the former deputy chair of the ABC. You can join with Kirstin at kirstinferguson.com or on Twitter @kirstinferguson and LinkedIn @kirstinferguson.

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