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Fed Up!

By Martin- ·
What can I do about working in a place with a poor IT manager/supervisor?

By ?working? I mean I do it all...ALL.

And by ?poor? I mean, incompetent.

And by ?incompetent? I mean, no knowledge of IT, no knowledge of management, and no desire to gain any, plus actually turning up to work is not only a financial burden to the company but a health hazard to me.

Yes, his mistakes have cost the company dollars, big dollars, and he?s hidden it well with lies and misinformation. The majority of the loss was time...something that an auditor can?t find on a financial database, and something Managment can easily be fooled by. At least ours can.

On a good side there is a new manager on the scene and he seems to be very switched on. I'm hoping to secure some time with the new guy and get him to see straight.

How can I make the top brass see that the guy needs to be fired? Or involuntarily retired?

There are many holes that need filling in the IT department?s ship. I?m trying my hardest but I?ve fun out of fingers and toes to plug them. The remaining holes are his responsibility and I can?t climb over the top of him to plug them, nor leave my own alone.

The ship is sinking and it?s the First Mate who?s going down with it. That's not the way it happens in the movies!!

Can someone help?

...By the way...the "heath hazard" I suffered was a head injury.

It too cost the company money, but that wall needed replacing anyway.

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If you make the decision to start documenting...

by Tig2 In reply to Fed Up!

Do yourself a favour. Don't just present the problem to senior management, present what you would consider a solution.

many times, a host of people can communicate the problem and a desire to see something done about it but don't communicate a viable solution.

"My plate is too full to take on more" can be better communicated as "I wish i were able to take on new tasks. Can we consider my current priorities? I don't see anything that can move but if YOU can..."

Or, "I am spending a great deal of time explaining my job to my current manager. I know that this OTHER manager has more background in IT. Perhaps if I were reporting to him/her communication could be improved."

At worst, "My current manager is not really tuned in to the IT situation and I am frustrated because I seem to be unable to clarify things for him/her. These are the issues I see (add issues in clear, validatable terms). I think that a solution might be to develop a shadow plan.

In each case, you keep your communication style neutral and throw out an idea. Maybe other management will adopt your idea, maybe not. But you prove that you have taken the time and effort to think it through and solution the challenge. It also communicates your value- you don't just complain, you consider.

Just my $0.02- Good luck!

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Some great advice

by Martin- In reply to If you make the decision ...

I've been thinking about keeping this as constructive as I can also. I guess that'll help keep things emotionless/neutral too. I know my top manager will appreciate things if I'm not just whining to him about the supervisor.

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Martin - that is the point

by j.lupo In reply to Some great advice

TiggerTwo has provided really detailed and good advice. I have found from actual experience that I do more harm by getting upset and emotional about something (even if it is fueled by my passion and everyone knows it).

It is important to set your meetings, create an agenda, collect all supporting information and package everything you need for the meeting. Then when you create the meeting invite, send the package with it.

With my code reviews, I have started doing this for the team (we are all remote) and our reviews work much more smoothly without the heated arguments about how something should work. Now I know a code review is not the same as what you are talking about, but I have used the ideas TT mentioned in my code reviews and found them improved.

We went from 3 hour walkthrus to 20 minutes. Another point, was that people given the package were much more prepared to discuss the points and even had other supporting information or opposing information. It made all sides of any issues become clear and move us closer to solutions.

Good Luck.

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Approaching the manager

by Martin- In reply to Fed Up!

How should I bring this up with the top boss?

I can secure time with him, no problem, but I don't want to just barge in and fire off both barrels at once.

They can back-fire you know!

Should I take the records as everyone has suggested and put them in a memo, or deliver my concerns verbally at first, and present the facts only if needed?

I guess the outcome I'm looking for is more independance and freedom to get on with my not be so tied down.

Any words or phrases that I can use to communicate this point strongly and effectivly?

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In this situation

by Tig2 In reply to Approaching the manager

Prepare your written documentation and analysis. Have it ready in hand when you speak with the boss. Communicate an agenda of points that you would like to cover and bring a copy for all meeting participants. Email this agenda with the meeting invitation. Incidentally- if you meet with more than one person, bring copies of all or your written documentation for each participant.

In the meeting, you may have to make your points with your current boss present. Do not discount this possibility. Remember- as far as you are concerned, he isn't there. Make your points calmly and clearly. I can almost guarentee that the first person to turn the meeting into a heated discussion, loses. Don't let it be you.

Using your agenda, drill down to the points that you want to cover and make notes. Stay to your speaking points.

You will want to avoid coffee, sugar, and anything else that makes you jittery prior to this meeting. You need to remember that your goal is to be clear and calm throughout. I have seen people bring forward very valid concerns only to be judged poorly by the way they are presented.

You aren't "firing both barrels" you are "communicating your concerns". Remember, when you identify a problem, identify a solution. Senior management doesn't need problems but they are willing to give an ear to a solution. When you present a scenario of what went wrong, have an example handy of what could have been done to alliviate the problems or avoid them.

Your mission in this conversation is to clearly state your truth and insure that it is heard in the best possible light.

It is always acceptable in a situation that is heated to say, "I apologise if I sound excited. It is just that I am so passionate about seeing this department succeed and add value to the business. I am frustrated that we are not able to do that because... (insert issues here)." That will help you to diffuse.

My favourite trick when walking into a potentially difficult meeting is to imagine everyone at the table in their underwear. Let's face it- NO ONE is threatening in their Fruit of the Looms!

I know that this will sound silly but I'm right- Don't forget to BREATHE! We tend to almost hold our breath in a confrontational situation or one that we perceive as a confrontational situation. If I am not handling something as well as I want to, I stop to breathe.

Let us know how it turns out. Good Luck!

Edited for typo

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He has Angels somewhere in

by rapell In reply to Fed Up!

Human Resource or the CEO is his inlaw. Yes! If not, how would you explain that he got through the interview, or was even short listed for the job in the first place? IT interviews are things you don't guess your way through. You either know, or you don't. So, they may be keeping it off the airwaves, but if you look deep, he/she has some guardian angel-an inlaw, alumni(i wonder where from), old friend, blackmailing the boss, etc...

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Who is the boss there?

by PAUL.SHAW In reply to Fed Up!

Surely you can highlight these issues to your collegues line manager?
You will be respected if you take the bull by the horns and without blowing the lid on the guy, talk to him and find out if you can help, this will tell him that you are serious about the issues
Paul- Liverpool UK

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Document responsibilities

by dmarston In reply to Fed Up!

then make sure you are fulfilling yours and let him worry about his. Let HIS deadlines pass, let HIS projects fail, let HIS mistakes show (and/or be known). As long as you keep doing his job for him, management will not see the lack of performance. Let him fail on his own. Then when the S*** hits the fan, you can pull out the documentation and say ?I?m doing MY job.?

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I do that

by Martin- In reply to Document responsibilities

but when the supervisor's failings directly affect mine, I lose out too.

So I end up being the proactive one and giving him the hurryup or I just do it myself.

It's often the quickest way!

Ive got everything down on paper, all the points made. It's just what to do about it now, and when.

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Educate your boss....control his thinking

by clifton_fl In reply to Fed Up!

It would be best to educate your boss on things which you think must be addressed. As you said, your boss is incompetent. Plan a meeting with him, give him all the information necessary for him to know, and based on that let him decide, Remember "Once you control the mind of your boss, almost everything follows, and mostly you are in control".

Discuss to him what and how you want things to be done. Clarify responsibilities, between you and him. Know his weaknesses and plan to attack it if necessary. If things aren't working, then list some plans that you want accomplished, be sure they support your assigned job responsibilities,(your boss and HR might help)keep them and document it. You may ask your boss to sign over some accomplishments. When trouble comes, you have proofs that you have done your job....and well.

Basic rule "Do your job well, make some extra accomplishment to support continuous improvement" and I think nothing can go wrong.

You have done your part.

Some prayer will surely help, don't forget "God might have some plans for you!"

Now if everything has no impact, and you're not happy, I guess you have to "abandon ship" and find satisfaction and fullfillment somewhere.

Hope this helps. God bless!

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