Just ran across another of those bits of wisdom on how to keep from being fired at your next job. The writer states that the worst thing you can say is that it’s not your job. If that’s not the most trite, hackneyed bit of “wisdom” I don’t know what is. People really get paid for this kind of advice?

Let’s look at it. If you, as a manager, really want everyone to pitch in and do anything that comes up, whether it’s their job or not, aren’t you really saying that you want people with less expertise to do the work required?

In my last position I spent a lot of time cleaning up messes caused by people who went ahead and did MY job – wrong. At the same time, I spent a good part of my day doing things that THEY should have been doing but didn’t have time, because they were doing my job.

Of course, my manager didn’t see it that way. I saw people jumping in and taking care of business. He saw people who’d drop what they were doing to take care of whatever little task happened to pop into his head.

Maybe a better way of managing is to define the tasks, make sure the people doing them have the tools and training to get them done, and ensuring that all the departments are working toward the same goals.

Don’t get me wrong. If a customer calls me about a problem I’ll try to help. At the same time, though, I’ll find out why the right person didn’t take care of it – or get them involved to make sure it’s corrected properly.

So, for any manager to label someone a slacker because that person resists doing a job that isn’t theirs is just bad management. There, I’ve said it.

Now, time to get back to my job – finding another job.