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Person gets lazy coworker to unwittingly take on more work with comically simple task descriptions

The Reddit user shared the amusing story of how they broke the coworker's habit of cherry-picking the easiest tasks.

Person gets lazy coworker to unwittingly take on more work with comically simple task descriptions
Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels/Anna Shvets, (R) Reddit/u/SnooBunnies7461

It's frustrating to see a lazy coworker take the easy way out. Cherry-picking the easiest tasks? Not cool! This was what prompted Reddit user u/SnooBunnies7461 to teach their crafty colleague a lesson. They explained in a now-viral post that their team works on a first-in-first-out workflow basis, tackling tasks from oldest to newest. That is, if an employee wants to take on a task, they have to take the oldest one first. But this one particular coworker wouldn't do that and instead would choose a task based on the task descriptions in a separate system.

However, the Reddit user grew tired of her to getting away with grabbing only the easiest tasks and decided to take matters into their own hands. How? All they had to do was change the descriptions on hard tasks to make it sound as if they’re easy. Since these changes weren't traceable, they could make them without alerting anyone else. "I started putting notes in the other system to make them look easy and since that's what lazy member looks for she took a huge amount of work for herself. Then I went into the other system and wiped out my notes like they were never there," they explained.

Representational Cover Image Source: Pixabay | JESHOOTS-com
Representational  Image Source: Pixabay | JESHOOTS-com

Sure enough, u/SnooBunnies7461 soon heard the coworker’s resounding whining about how hard her work week was. "She can't give anything back because the sharepoint stamps the date/time/id of the person who modified an issue so everyone would know what's going on. And she can't complain about the disappearing notes since there's no way to prove they were ever there and you aren't supposed to be looking at them before assigning your work," they shared. "Being so extremely petty I'll not touch any of the notes for the next few weeks and once she goes back to her old habit I'll just do it again."

Many Reddit users claimed to have faced similar experiences with cherry-picking coworkers. What's interesting to note is that those who cherry-pick and work on the easy stuff actually miss out on opportunities to work with harder tasks. This means they never grow and always stay as "newbies" at the job. u/sjclynn shared their own story saying, "I took over a software support department for an early Unix-based computer vendor. I quickly saw that the techs were cherry-picking the bin. Yes, it was all paper then." The Redditor quickly decided to act and make two changes. First they "removed any incentives based on number of calls closed and required them to take the oldest call." 

Image Source: Reddit
Image Source: Reddit

They continued, "I also had a two-tier support structure. They were all pretty senior so they did duty at both levels. They were to work the call for 10 minutes and determine whether it could be closed quickly or needed significantly more time. At the end of 10 minutes, they had to pass the call to the second level who worked the call to completion. If no one was available, the customer received a callback. Using this approach, we were able to quickly address the easy calls while making sure that the hard ones, or troublesome customer ones, were all addressed."

Many internet users seem to appreciate this method with u/Mountain-Resource656 saying, "This is a great way of doing things, IMO! Not just blaming the workers and punishing them to work harder but actively altering a system that incentivizes an unwanted behavior so they can still prosper as best they can while also processing their work better."

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