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bad manager, what to do

By louis29 ·
I've been in my current position for very nearly 12 months. I work in a small IT department, me and my boss. Its my bosses first management position and i've got to be honest he's not very good at it. Things have been getting more and more strained between us because I get that he doesn't trust me, He never delegates, and can never take my word for something he always has to go back and check and do things his way. Recently he has started picking me up on even the smallest things even things that aren't my fault. Its got to the point now where it's starting to effect my life inside and outside of work. My confidence and motivation has gone and i come home from work and it just winds me up even more!!! What should i do? I'm currently looking for a new position but with no confidence its quite difficult to sell yourself in an interview. If i was to hand my resignation in, how do i explain it to future employers. Or what would people views of taking 6 months off then travelling be. Im 24 years of age with 2 years commercial experiance

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Talk to your boss

by Zazelle In reply to bad manager, what to do

You know him, is it worth a try?

Ask for a meeting to discuss the situation. Assuming he isn't very good at on the spot discussions mention when you ask that you feel the relationship between you is getting a bit tense lately and give him a chance to think about this before the meeting.

Plan what you want to say. Be open and honest but blame the situation, not the person. Say "I feel that the way I'm being managed isn't bringing out the best in me" rather than "you're a control freak and I can't take it any more".

Ask yourself what would be the best possible result from the meeting but plan for every possible scenario. How will you defuse things if he gets angry or starts to criticise your work or attitude. Equally importantly how will you react if he agrees with you but has a slightly different spin on things.

Decide in advance how you are going to end the meeting. If it gets a bit stressful thank him for his input and ask for chance to meet a few days later when you've had chance to consider what he's said.

Remember that both of you are relatively new to your positions and you both have a chance to grow and learn from this situation without having to leave. If you don't even try to develop the skills to turn the situation around you could easily walk into the same situation at the next job.

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Bad managers

by grahamthorsen In reply to bad manager, what to do

Well, in my opinion the best thing to do would be to confront him in a relaxed environment. It's OK to share with him how you feel about his management of you. It's quite possible that he is completetly clueless about how you feel and what he is doing. Try not to blame him, just try and validate your feelings. This way he has the opportunity to tell you he had no idea. If he does know what he is doing and when you try to explain to him that helping you become more "efficient" (if thats the case) instead of breathing down your neck would be much more productive to both of you. Developing this open communication does a couple important things. 1) It shows that when you have a problem with him you go to him not his superiors. 2) It shares what he might otherwise have no idea about. 3) It gives him the opportunity to change or adjust his management style so that he is more effective as a manager. (After all he is a new manager). Remember that he is still used to being responsible for everything he does as an employee, so it may be hard for him to let go to that responsibility. The last thing I would advise would be to approach him him with confidense. He needs to know there is a problem, that you are willing to work it out, but that you are not intimidated by him either. If at the end all these things do not work, then I would talk to his superior. But make sure you approach him first to give him a chance to adjust. Oh one last thing, you have only been in the corp environment for 2 years. You WILL become better and better at what you do. Just NEVER give up. NEVER. You will get there. And you will proud that you stuck to it.

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You're focused on the wrong problem

by amcol In reply to bad manager, what to do

This will not be the last bad boss you'll ever have. This will not be the worst situation you'll ever be in. This will not be the only time your self confidence will be tested.

No situation is black and white. You've presented your side, and without doubt if we heard from your boss we'd get an entirely different perspective. Every relationship, no matter what kind, requires both parties to work at it if it's to be successful. In your view you're the victim, but only you know...REALLY much you yourself have contributed to making this situation untenable.

What you're missing is that you're allowing this to affect you. Whether you realize it or not, you've made the choice to let this person and this situation get under your skin. You've relinquished control overy your own life. Why not choose otherwise?

It doesn't matter if you stay at this job or get another. What matters is you need to grow up, and rather quickly. Adversity breeds character, and with maturity comes wisdom. You're lacking in both areas, and that's why you're having a problem, not because your boss doesn't trust you.

Take a mature, healthy, adult look at what's going on here and you'll know what to do without asking our advice. Grow a backbone, and some calluses while you're at it, and don't let this affect you so much. It's just work, it's not real life.

I thought all you youngsters had a better handle on the work/life balance than us old farts? Apparently not.

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by PSK_ In reply to You're focused on the wro ...

I think you may be making assumptions about this problem based on you own managerial experience. Yes there really are unreasonable a--hole bosses out there that were promoted one rung above their competence level, and not all people with a gripe are whiners... Selah

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Of course

by amcol In reply to amcol...

This poster has presented us with a few sentences describing a situation of some complexity. We don't know anything about the poster, the boss, the situation, the company, or anything else other than what the poster has said.

What other choice IS there than to make assumptions? In this as in all posts? And on what other basis is there to make those assumptions, other than our own experiences?

We're not mind readers.

As it happens, I have a similar boss. I've had quite a lot of managerial experience, both being one and having one...more than 30 years in the IT business. I work with a lot of folks in their early twenties, and believe it or not I was once in my early twenties myself.

Thanks for your input but the fact that there are unreasonable bosses is not exactly a news flash. Lawrence J. Peter wrote "The Peter Principle" decades ago...nothing revelatory about folks being promoted to the level of their incompentence either.

My experience and my instincts are both screaming at me that this poster has a lot more to do with the problem than he realizes. He also has a lot more control over the situation that he realizes, which is almost always the case with any situation and anybody. That was my message.

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why be a jerk when replying?

by dvsjr In reply to You're focused on the wro ...

As I started to read your reply to this person in an obviously
stressful position, I thought you were giving some good advice.
Then it turned into the angry IT guru sort of thing which I think
is too bad. Had you perhaps cut out some of the snide remarks
and condescension, I would have partly agreed. Stress is so
common in IT situations, we should be offering good advice,
especially here in a forum devoted to IT people. Getting a thicker
skin is indeed one way to deal with this, talking it out, going to
your boss and overcoming some of the apprehension associated
with it is also a good start. However, its clear that you are the
junior person, as such you might be looking for acceptance and
guidance, and you are not getting it, in fact, you're reading the
signals he is giving you as negative, which is probably making
you feel bad. Some of us are more sensitive than others, and
while some people rudely call it growing a backbone, I think
where amcol said "you dont really know" is probably right.
Imagine your boss is stressed, and more to the point, unaware
that he is giving off indications that make you feel he is
communicating his disklike with you and your performace. He
may not mean to do this at all, so go ahead and tell him. Tell
him how you feel, and I bet you will find he is completely
unaware of it. Only you can control yourself, that is to say, if you
let it get to you, then no matter what position you are in, no
matter how "perfect" you will find this problem coming back.
Counseling for stress and anxiety is perfectly healthy. You're 24.
See someone, get the help you need to deal with stress so you
can be happy and healthier in your job and in life. I think we
have all at one time or another been right there in the same
boat. Good luck!

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by rlee In reply to You're focused on the wro ...

I agree on the points that you'll never know who your other bosses will be, that you need to figure out how to make the situation work, that you need to learn to work with varing styles of management, even Atilla the Hun. Even it any of the means a therapy session with a professional to examine your weak and strong areas when dealign with thes personalities.

On the other hand, not being 24 and probably considered an old fart, I too had a boss that didn't have a clue how to be civilized to someone who she deems plyable via blame and condemnation. I know I didin't have the answer for ever thing but I also knew I couldn't be the mes she was trying to make me out to be.

I suggest examining the boss and note what may be goign on for them that is makign him so controlling. Probably stems from childhood stuff you can't begin to do anything about but learn your bosses style. Then you can anticipate the rage areas and prepare your ego, and yoru nerves, for the impending and you also learn to brush this off a bit better. No doubt while, learning this valuable lesson, you are job hunting.

Think of it as preperation for your future. endeavors. This experince will not only toughen you up to make it to your next job but it will also help you notice this personality disorder down the road before you get in the door. Good luck!

...Been there, done that, ego back in tact.

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Response to OverCritical

by Whidbeytomas In reply to You're focused on the wro ...

You have identified a problem but you have some work to do. Is your boss out to get you? Is your boss guilty of punishing by proxy? Is your boss unhappy with your performance?

First review what you know.
1. You know your boss seems to have a negative view of you.
2. Your boss tends to act out internal feelings (these feelings might relate to you or to anything else).
3. The pleathora of negative comments, particularly comments about things beyond your control suggests a predisposition to negativity without regard to facts. (This might be a general behavior or it might have a specific target.)
3. Your boss might be telling you something (we have no idea what).
4. You are not happy.

The first mistake is to assume you know what this behavior means. It is usually a good sign when a boss is communicating. If your boss were silent while harboring these feelings, it would be time to polish your resume.

I suggest that you document the negative comments, especially comments about circumstances outside your control. In your documentation, include data about time and cirumstances, the complaint, the suggestion for improvement, ect. Be careful be objective and accurate. Sometimes one side sees things bigger than they are and the other side sees things smaller than they are. This information may be helpful in providing prospective, but only if it is fair and accurate.

Then schedule a time to meet with your boss. Start by letting your boss know that you want to be the best at what you do and you would appreciate his candid opinion on how you can improve.

If your boss provides meaningful and helpful feedback, keep your list to yourself and see if better communication helps. Try to respond to this feedback and check on your progress. (Be careful not to make yourself into a "project.")

If your boss blows you off saying everything is great, tell your boss how happy you are to hear him say that. Then let him/her know that the reason you wanted to talk was because you perceived a problem. If your boss says, "what do you mean?" Show him/her your record of the problem.

I think the best strategy with a boss like this is a low key effort to open communication. Low key and assertive. (Most people confuse assertive with persistent or aggressive; the primary attribute of assertiveness is mutual respect.) But if communication only leads to more abuse, you know it is time to consider other options (legal or alternate employment).


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It's just a job, for pity's sake!

by jkameleon In reply to bad manager, what to do

> My confidence and motivation has gone

Confidence: You may never, ever allow anything to affect it, no matter what. If it can be affected by something as unimportant as your boss, there must be something seriously wrong with you.

Motivation: Awwww, c'mon! You get your paycheck, don't you? What else would you want, a little kiss on your bottom perhaps?

> and i come home from work and it just winds me up even more!!!

You may never, ever take your job home with you. It's bad for your nerves, bad for your family life, and above all- it's unprofessional. Learn to switch it off the very moment you leave that office building. Belive you me, you'll feel much better.

> If i was to hand my resignation in, how do i explain it to future employers.

There are better future employers waiting for you in the future, as well as worse. Live with it.

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I agree and disagree with some of your comments

by Why Me Worry? In reply to It's just a job, for pity ...

But I was stuck in the same situation in terms of "bringing your work home"

As a senior systems engineer, I was required to be on call 24/7 and could not avoid coming home and forgetting about the office. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been woken up at 3:00am or so (not to mention my wife who was angry as ****) simply because it was easier for the idiots in 2nd level support to call me instead of attempting to troubleshoot the problem themselves. How can this not affect someone emotionally? You can't even come home without the office coming home with you. They may as well have implanted my cell phone in my head so that they could track me 24/7 for stupid things. Yes, being on call 24/7 is part of the job and is something I was aware of as part of this field, but when you get called excessively at 3:00am and then be expected to come to work at 8:00am sharp and be able to function after have gotten minimal sleep, I don't see how this arrangement is beneficial to anyone. Yes, there is no loyalty among employers, as I have seen firsthand, and anyone is expendable, but this excessive 24/7 on call bullcrap has to stop if we are to keep our sanity and not go on a shooting rampage against our former employers.

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