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"Can I Get Your Help" Means Will You Do My Work

Updated on March 12, 2009


When Someone At Work Says, “I Need Your Help With…” What They Really Mean Is That They’re Going To Try Pawning THEIR Work Off On You! – Don’t Get Me Started!

I don’t brag about a lot of things but I will tell you this, I’m very good at what I do. Currently I’m an Executive Assistant for a CEO (think Devil Wears Prada but I should be so much thinner and my boss is much, much nicer). At times I know that some of the other people who work in our offices are wishing they had me for their assistant and some just wish they had someone who would do their work for them. While I’m all about the team spirit, I can assure you that this gay was not born yesterday and I can tell a mile away when someone at work says, “I need your help with…” what they really mean is that they’re going to try pawning THEIR work off on you! – Don’t Get Me Started!

Look, I’m smarter than the average gay so if you think your passive aggressive bullshit is going to work on me you are sadly mistaken. However I know that there are people out there who may not be as well-versed shall we say, at seeing through the bullshit and more importantly, protecting themselves. So allow your favorite Gaytriarch to assist you.

If someone should use that fateful “I need your help” line with you and you really don’t have the time to do their project for them use this technique, “Can you tell me what you need help with so that I can see if I have time to do it right now or if it will have to wait?” Usually this stops them dead in their tracks. They think by making it sound as though they only need your help that you’ll drop everything and assist them immediately (even if it means doing everything for them). This also forces them to blow their cover a bit. One person I work with tried to get at it this way and here’s how it went down…learn my little grasshoppers, learn…

CW (Co-Worker): “Scott, can I get your help with a fax?”

Me: Sure, what do you need help with exactly?

CW: I need a fax cover sheet and need to fax something

(Side note, this was something for their personal life not their work life)

Me: (not leaving my seat) Well, the fax cover sheet templates are on the server located in the Fax/Memo folder. Let me know if you don’t find them.

CW: (After ten minutes of making loud noises as she filled out the fax form and then heads to the fax machine) Well, I did the cover sheet but how does this fax machine work?

Me: (still at my seat) Dial “9” and then the number, you don’t need the area code if it’s local and it goes face down in the fax machine.

CW: (still trying to get me to do it) Where does it go in the fax machine? The top?

(They use this, “look at me I’m incompetent” ploy as they’re still trying to get you to do at least some of their work that was never yours to begin with, stay seated, stay strong.)

Me: Yup!

CW: Does it go face down or face up?

Me: Face down.

CW: Do I need to dial a “9” or anything?

Me: Yup

CW: What about the area code?

Me: Not if it’s a local number.

CW: (Big sigh as if she’s just solved the world’s financial crisis) Okay, well I took care of it. Now how do I know if it’s gone through?

Me: It’ll print a receipt and it states “OK” under the status if it went through.

CW: The paper just came out and it has “OK” on it, does that mean it went through?

Me: Yup.

CW: Oh, hope you don’t mind but I told the people I was faxing this information to that if they had any questions to just call you.


Look, I don’t mind helping anyone, I had a woman who after I held the door for her at Starbucks this morning, even though I had to wait for a little for her to get to the door say, “Why don’t you go ahead of me? You guys are always holding the door and then you have to wait too.” To show that chivalry is not dead, I insisted she go first. But when someone is just lazy I tend to think of an expression my father uses, “I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.” When someone at work says, “I need your help with…” what they really mean is that they’re going to try pawning THEIR work off on you! – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

      Brillant!! It is nice to see I am not alone and that I would handle the situation exactly the same!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle

      I might print this out just as a reminder that I'm not alone in these situations.