The question on my mind right now is this – At what point do the people who always end up taking on extra stop doing it?
Are you the person at work who always ends up having to do your job and someone else’s because the company downsized or the person who’s supposed to be doing it is just fucking unreliable? Are you the partner at home who ends up doing the bulk of the housework because your spouse is tired or just doesn’t feel like it? Are you the parent who ends up doing all the kid stuff even though the other parent is also capable?
I’m not talking about situations where these arrangements are agreed upon. Like, at work, they give you a raise for taking on the extra work. Or, you and your partner have decided that one of you will mow the yard and garden while the other manages the inside of the house. Or, you and your spouse work out that it’s best if one of you is largely responsible with keeping the tiny humans alive.
What I am talking about is basically shit rolling downhill. You know it needs to be done, but since no one else is doing it, you do it. Some of us take the approach of “meh, fuck it.” And I totally get that. It’s not your responsibility and your boss should be doing a better job managing the workplace. If you pick up the slack, maybe your boss won’t realize that the person responsible isn’t doing it. Maybe you’ve even said something and nothing changes.
I’m just not wired like that. If I see something that needs to be done, I just do it. Every now and then I have some kind of internal explosion and stop doing it – like when I quit doing Mr. Lyndsy’s laundry because he kept leaving his socks in every conceivable place EXCEPT the hamper… I also may have said to him that I wanted to shove his socks down his throat. There was also the time that I told him if he put another dish in the sink (I’d already been washing dishes for like 20 minutes) that I would kill him. OR the time I gave him the death glare when he suggested I use dish soap with lotion in it after complaining that my hands were scaly and nasty. But I digress.
It’s usually work situations where I end up ready to scream. I’ve learned to try to express my frustration constructively, but when those pleas go without a response, I tend to just do what needs to be done, regardless of whether it’s fair. Someone is depending on a finished product, so it has to be done.
There’s always the option of quitting, unless you need money. Then you’re just sort of buggered. But what kind of damage is this doing to our emotional states? Does this ruin our patience for other pursuits? How much do we end up taking home to our partners? Is this how workplace shooters start? Like Milton in Office Space who eventually sets the building on fire? JUST GIVE HIM THE DAMN STAPLER AND A PAYCHECK!
I don’t think I tend to be unreasonable though I’d wager a lot of unreasonable people say that. I did ask a former boss once if I was really that difficult to work with since I’d had a string of bad employment situations. His response suggested I was losing my mind to even ask. ::shrug::
What do you all do when you’re constantly picking up the slack? Do you just quit eventually? Try passive-aggressiveness until someone figures it out?