Picking up the slack

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Oct 01, 2005

Q. My co-workers don't take responsibility for their duties, and I often end up picking up the slack. What can I do?

You may need to bring the issue to your manager, says Jessica Janowski, a receptionist at Merrimack Veterinary Hospital in Merrimack, N.H. "Just remember, it's important to address the issue, not the person," she says. "For example, you might say, 'I really feel overburdened.' You don't want to burn any bridges or create bad blood between you and a co-worker."

If the problem involved a group of people or a department, it's even easier. When you speak to the manager, say you have a problem the team needs to work on. "If you can avoid placing blame, you get to the issue a lot faster," Janowski says.