I worked on a test team for [a large tech company] as a contractor/vendor. My test lead had been hired because he was friends with his manager, and it became pretty obvious that he wasn’t really cut out for the job. He had his own office while the rest of us were on the main floor, so he wasn’t really doing much to lead us, and he spent a lot of time surfing the internet or playing on his phone. He asked another person on the team to help him write his KPI reports since he didn’t know how to use the spreadsheet tools. He told other team members to train new members, and write the training manual (which he didn’t read or know the contents of).
Over time, I ended up leading the team unofficially, communicating with our [Tech Company] project manager and [contract company] managers, leading the team when our lead went on vacation for two weeks during a test pass, and planning our test schedule. At this point, I was still being paid the same rate as everyone else who wasn’t doing any additional work. It came to a point where I was basically the only person on the project that knew the state of the project and how to run anything. On a call with my [Tech Company] business manager, I pointed this out and told them I basically was the person who would make or break their project, and if it broke, then that would impact their contract with [Large Tech Company] and that I should be compensated for my extra work.
He hesitated and asked me questions like, “don’t you want to help your team/company?” and other questions like that which I think was to make me feel bad for asking, but I stood my ground. Eventually, I was given an extra $2 an hour, because “that was the most” that he could do. It was a small raise, but I’m glad I pushed for it.