not my job.

A huge pet peeve of mine is when you reach out to someone for assistance and the answer that is “not my job.”

Every person has something they do – which is not their job. It is not about job, or position really in many cases but a person looking for help, or extra tasks that need attention. I agree that if you are not the SME not-my-job(subject matter expert) that you should divert to the SME’s expertise. Yet, a good approach is more tactful than the statement above. First, it is ok to say, “I normally do not work in that area – but let me see if I can help you…” or perhaps “I am not sure that I will be able to help you, but I bet I can find someone that could – have you tried to call …” Not only does the “not my job” statement come across is irresponsible – it also can set a devastating first impression, especially if you consider the request often comes from someone new, or not sure where to go. Interactions, no matter how brief, can have long term impacts.

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