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Betrayed? & confused

By myst33 ·
I accepted a position that included managing a small IT staff. The Sr. manager hired me & asked if I was intending to stay for several years since they would be retiring w/i 2 yrs & wanted somone who would ease into their position. They pointed out that prev. asst. managers failed because they were all too pushy & clashed w/ the Sr. For over a year, I've had no problems"tending
the shop" while Sr was on vacations until now after the Sr. went on the last holiday vacation and returned. Just before vacation Sr. had asked me to set up some work assignments which I did & started going over the new assignments w/ the workers the week before the Sr. left for vacation. On return Sr. goes ballistic when I say in passing that I completed handing out the new assignments which would begin in two weeks. I was stymied. The Sr. tells me I shouldn't have "started anything new" while they were gone. I tell Sr. that I thought the slow holiday period was a great time to prep the new assigns. Although all employees were aware of the assignments the Sr. left, the Sr tells me that that was a big mistake & that the workers view me as "untrustworthy" - I had thought I had gotten nothing but positive feedback from the workers & don't know why the Sr. would be reacting this way. This was before any employees had arrived since vacation time, so they hadn't had any time to give feedback - although it may be relating something previous - I have no idea. Sr. tells me " I'm just trying to help you" by telling me this - but I sense it is the Sr that views me as untrustworthy. Since I did not initiate anything new or something the Sr. was unaware of, I feel that I was simply continuing to do what I was asked to do. I was too stymied to argue w/ them but feel that if this Sr views me as
"untrustworthy" then I'm wasting my time @ this job because when this Sr. leaves it may be unlikely I will be promoted into their position; the very reason I was hired. - Am I being dense on not forseeing this reaction? - Any suggestions on how to handle this is welcome..

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trouble on the horizon

by Philip In reply to Just a comment of support

the only think I can say, from experience in the US, start looking for another job as the backstabbing will start from now ... your collegues will, through the existence of "reign by terror" , forget about the good things and drop you -- start thinking that you will be isolated and treated as a lepre. Your boss will be manipulative and making sure you are to be blamed for every glitch in the system as you will be his #2 and you will have failed to inform him and to advise him of any remedial actions to avoid the glitches ... whatever you do it will be wrong ... and the carrot principle of taking his place ... how will the person act if he knows he is immediately replaceble ...
I think you are at a dead end in the company and you fell into a trap that was well executed (I think many managers in the US are better trained in the office politics than in human resource management and getting things done ... work delegation is a word with no meaning as it affects directly the self-preservation through job protection ... sorry for this to be that harsh ,,, you are probably a very integer person who has been "had"

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Not Written, Not So!

by thincker In reply to Betrayed? & confused

Hi Naive Person:

Ben there and done that --- I have worked in the IT industry many moons and have been at every level there is -- Now a CEO.

The most important thing to know is reading the road signs -- your new employere alerted you to the tough issues. It should have signaled you to get it in writing --- even if you have to write the memo yourself.

In these situations when you receive "orders" to execute on some responsibility you should immediately follow-up with a memo (e-mail) to "file" with a "cc" to the person requesting your asction.

In this way, it is in writing and you are asking him for a "veto" check in the event you "misunderstood" their request.

It is unfortunate that the world has gone full circle and we are forced to do what was standard 15 years ago but since everyone is in "CYA" mode or in "territoriality" mode most subordinates are left with no "armor". And afterall, the pen is mightier than the sword.... Good luck

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Exactly, put it in writing whenever you can (sometimes creatively)

by zaferus In reply to Not Written, Not So!

I'm in a similar position about being the QB on a lot of projects given to me verbally.

I usually put an E-mail that lists what I'm going to be working on and say "did I miss anything?" This has the benefit of getting it in writing under the guise of being thorough. A double benefit.

Zaf

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Don't worry....he's a psycho

by esteck In reply to Betrayed? & confused

I've worked for a couple of people like this in the past. They attempt to promote themselves by having others fail. I don't think you did anything wrong or didn't communicate well. I would suspect that if you talked to the other fired employees you'd find their incident occurred during a similar absence of the boss or similar circumstances.

You challenge is that you will continue to run into people like this in your career so how will you respond, not react, to this type of person? What can you learn about identifing this personality trait and avioding or minimizing it's impact on you for the future? Also, how can you have fun and learn something from this situation? Forget about the questions like "why did this happen to me....?" These are the bad questions to ask when talking about relationships between people and coworkers.

My susgestion is that when you go, either on your own or against your will, that you ask 1 question of his boss, "How many people will Sr have to hire and fire before you realize Sr is the problem?" No matter what they say, this will get them thinking about the real problem (Sr's inability to effectively manage people) and eventually take action to fix it. Believe it or not, the 2 people I've known like this both were later fired. And, no one was sorry to see them go.

Sr has hired 4 people for the position and none of them have worked out. Come on, give me a break! Is he that incompetent at hiring? Is he that inept at training and communicating with his subordinates? The problem is that you work for a psycho.

Good luck

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Imminent Failure

by mattforchat In reply to Betrayed? & confused

myst,
I've been in that kind of predicament in the past. I spent a few years trying to be more of a "team player" for that exact kind of management structure....only to give it up, mvoe on to a better job where the people appreciate what I do,etc. Basically the realization I came to was that no matter what I did, I was setup to fail, either because mgmt would change their mind mid-stream or because I was forced to plan in a vacuum as mgmt didn't deem IS/IT a necessary business function......
Good luck!

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Communications

by mlanphea In reply to Betrayed? & confused

This is an obvious case of miscommunication. You did what you thought you were instructed, not what your manager wanted, or intended. Get your manager to give clear instructions. Ask questions. Along the way, you will begin to understand what is meant, or intended. And, as you discover that, you will be in a better position to determine if you want to prolong your employment in that situation. But, you have to start with better communications.

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Use Aikido with the bullies

by Gast?n Nusimovich In reply to Betrayed? & confused

For what you describe, your Senior Manager likes to exercise power just to "mark his territory", so you get the picture from the get-go who is in charge.

Fine. Just like in Aikido, use his own force and power against what he tries to do, but never against him.

Always communicate with him through mail, avoid any non-auditable ways of communication. Be careful, he will push you with this.

Always try to have a "perfect" excuse to CC somebody else for every mail, never a "just you-and-me" mail. Again, be careful, he will push you with this point to make it always "just you-and-me" mails.

Always ask for his advice on how he prefers to manage any project: after all, he is the boss!.

Lead him, with courtesy, to define his policy and procedures on any and every project, always through mail and always with "CC witnesses". You must get him to speak openly about how to proceed and how to report on any and every project.

Always make suggestions or proposals on how to handle every project, but get his cut on every one and make certain that it is "his" way how projects are managed.

You must save your own face as well as his face in front of your CC witnesses.

Once you get him, execute every project just as he has said, and on every report get his OK or his comments on ways to improve things.

Always walk ahead of him. Think your every move. Plan meticulously. Do role playing on any move.

And above all else: get results mercilessly.

Always make sure that both you and he get credit for your results: you get credit for the tactical plan and the execution, he gets credit for the over-all plan and his leadership.

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The quality of replies and advice

by eroncone In reply to Use Aikido with the bulli ...

I am amazed by the quality and level from whom your replies have come.

I think we all can learn from this refresher course, unfortunately this time it is at your expense.

Never forget, for every force applied, nature has an equally opposing one.

Be courageous.

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Opportunity

by Joe.Canuck@beer .ca In reply to Use Aikido with the bulli ...

I agree, Difficult managers are opportunities for those who can train them. The company sees value in keeping him, so there must be soemthing strong there which makes the poor personal style worth it. The fact that many people can't work for him means those who can are at a premium. Leverage whatever his strong suit is and use that to make a secure spot for yourself. Once you win his confidence by making his job easier you will have more leeway then anyone else in his eyes. This is because he knows that people who fit his style are rare, and if you do he will be loathe to lose you.

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I would like to add just one simple concept ...

by Gast?n Nusimovich In reply to Opportunity

I would like to add just one simple concept:

Sometimes, success is just the residue of previous failures.

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