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Not my job

"This is not my job."

I first heard that from a colleague in another jurisdiction in an email. Albeit a friendly person (never met, chit chat through the video conference), she turned down my plea without any hesitation.

Truth be told, it is uncommon to find 'unhelpful' people in my current company. Turning down a 'cry' for help seems like it's a missed opportunity to learn something new or value-add. 

Due to the specific (and sometimes rather remotely specific) skills people bring to the table, collaboration is inevitable. Everybody helps/informs each other about simply almost anything. It is rather difficult to make a decision simply based on what you know now without seeking other people's opinions/help as the company is growing at a rapid rate and roles may overlap. Despite the fact that checks and balances are in place, i.e. we have company's own news feed which is updated every day, every team has their own 'page gardener' to ensure that roles and tasks as well as their ongoing projects are visible to other teams, there is a lag between a verbal and written communication. 

While 'this is not my job' is the easiest and fastest way to avoid extra responsibility/be held responsible for something simply because I was genuinely trying to be helpful, I haven't learnt to say it often (You know, when you'd like to be good in something, you'd do it more often and you'll get better at it). My current solution is to know who are the correct people to contact in terms of  the specific requests, rather than attempting to do something that is beyond my scope of expertise, and taking too much time with an uncertain solution. This way, I'm both being helpful and learn something in the process.


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