But since you’ve raised your concerns and been advised to drop the matter, that’s precisely what I recommend you do. If it helps, you can tell yourself (and only yourself) a story about why the not-so-secret shopper is being allowed to get away with it. Maybe she’s unwell. Maybe she completes work in microbursts when you’re not watching. Maybe she’s so incompetent that assigning her tasks creates more work for everyone else. Maybe she’s paddling harder than is visible on the surface. Maybe management is building the case to declare her redundant. Whether she’s a charity case or a leech, none of those scenarios requires further intervention from you. And the more you lean over into someone else’s business, the more unbalanced you become.
What is your business, and where you need to center your focus, is your own performance and compensation. If your increased workload is dragging you down, ask your manager to help you prioritize. State the problem without presuming to prescribe the solution.
Train your powers of observation on tracking your own progress. Update your manager and Swamped Co-Worker frequently - via email, so it’s in writing - on what you’ve completed. That record may be useful in making a case for more money come review time, or it may help you assemble a portfolio of accomplishments when the time comes to look elsewhere.
Speaking of which: If you decide to explore sunnier prospects, don’t bring shade with you. Trashing the dimwits who treated you unfairly, however justified it seems, only tells prospective employers that you may say the same of them one day.
Karla L. Miller offers advice on workplace dramas and traumas. You can send her questions email@example.com.