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  • #2190130

    How do you deal with a Problem Manager


    by lodai ·

    I am one of 6 IT Support people in our dept and our Manager is one of the most inept people I have ever met/worked with. He is a typical “YES” man to anyone above his position, but to anyone equal or what he deems “beneath” him, every request is an automatic and emphatic “NO”. Every annual budget that he submitted for our dept. was so thin that our OT budget for past years was blown in January. We are barely keeping our heads above water with the equipment that we use. When we request equipment upgrades he says that he can do his job fine with what he has. His managing style is to leave whenever a situation arises, then when it is solved, he takes the credit for it. Talking to him about this was akin to beating our heads against a brick wall that has been reinforced with another brick wall. We have brought up these problems with his boss, as well as HR. BUT he has pulled the wool so far over their eyes that our group has been labeled a “problem group” and that anything we say is not to be believed.

    Help!!! Any ideas out there as to what we can do?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3057607

      Re: Advices

      by tben ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I used to have a problem manager as well, he gives an automatic and emphatic “NO” to any suggestions and ideas from everyone (including the IT Dept), unless someone is willing to summon the ultimate beast (AKA Management) to chew on him. And usually, at the request of the Beast, his answer will turn from a NO to an immediate “YES”.

      Revert divert all his responses to the general users.

      But main strategy is not to remain unhappy with him. Because us being upset and full of wrath will help the situation. Alot of times, I survived by playing him in his own game. Citing him as the reason to all the “NO” and leaving the dirty work of summoning the beast to the rest of the users or requestors.

      By doing so, he will not be able to pull anymore wool before the general public. And hopefully, the managment will see who are the real people that are responsible for the “problem group”.

      I always quote my own opinion before answering any queries from the users, before quoting “his” opinion.

      It took my management 1 3/4 of a year to realise this problem and he was terminated after a long period of suffering.

      • #3060416

        Post your bosses resume, not yours

        by mchap03 ·

        In reply to Re: Advices

        I am surprised that no one has suggested to post your bosses resume to any of the job web sites that exist out there.

        In fact its simpler to create someone else’s resume than yours. Next you know, that person recieve’s a better job offer and leaves, or upper managment finds out that the manager is looking and is no longer around. Bottom line, you no longer have a problem.

        Its sneaky and maybe un-ethical, but its a solution.

        • #3060387


          by sven thirion ·

          In reply to Post your bosses resume, not yours

          I can’t believe you suggested this. This is totally unethical!!! I really hope you’re kidding! This is NOT a solution. What if someone doesn’t like you decides to submit your resume and got you fired? How would you feel?

          I agree with the previous post to go directly to the management, as a group, not by yourself, otherwise you might be looked upon as being a ‘trouble maker’ and they might fire you instead of having to replace a manager.

          Better might be to quote him when a user comes to you with a problem: “sorry can’t do …” and yes, keep a record. Create a paper trial of your correspondence. Have your suggestions, requests and his “no” on paper.

        • #3060340

          Great idea!

          by ·

          In reply to Post your bosses resume, not yours

          I think this is a great idea! Heh heh heh …

          One can say a lot about such an action, but “unethical?” How? (“What if someone doesn’t like you decides to submit your resume and got you fired?” strikes me as a non sequitir — unless you deliberately submit your boss’s resume in reply to a blind ad you know to have been placed by your own company!)

          You’re not forcing her/him out of a job. You’re not lying. You’re not cheating or defrauding. To be nice, you might keep her/his name confidential (so it doesn’t get back to your company). And you should keep the resume truthful.

          S/he may be contacted, but can always say no, and if s/he’s bothered, s/he can request removing the resume from the site where it’s posted. OTOH, if something better comes along, it could be a win-win situation.

          The only “ethical” question in my mind concerns the effect on the unsuspecting future employer, potentially saddled with a real dunce. (But, then, this would be true also if your boss had posted the resume on her/his own.)

        • #3069838

          I like your thinking

          by bbaltas ·

          In reply to Post your bosses resume, not yours

          I’ve never thought of this. I just might give it a try at the company I work for.

        • #3069717


          by johanv ·

          In reply to Post your bosses resume, not yours

          in a professional field. Thank God that managers generally have more common sense to believe rubbish such as what you are dreaming up.

          Can I let you in on a secret? Management actually discuss job searches and individual managers either coach replacements or hire their replacements themselves.

          Your suggestion will backfire and your CV will reflect it for a lifetime.

        • #3060069

          Leading from within a team and building relatinships with Superiors

          by simonodell ·

          In reply to Unprofessional

          No wonder many IT teams end up with managers like this if there are people out there taking this sort of approach! My advice is to not fall into the age old trap of traditional organisational structures of being part of the hierarchy! Many people can not grasp the fact that leadership can come from within a team, it doesn?t have to come from those with positional power. Those that rise above the obstacles put in their way make it to the top, leaving manager like the one described behind!

          Why not take a different approach and build an effective relationship with your manager. Understand there world and adapt to there style. Once you have done this you will be surprised how they actually begin to listen to you. Why is ?NO? the only option and yet it becomes a ?yes? when more senior managers get involved? Only then can you effectively begin to change the behaviour to something more positive.

          These situations are often greater than an individual. Is it something you can change or is it the culture of the organisation? My personal view is if the culture doesn?t allow for this type of behaviour he won?t last long anyway. Don?t be so na?ve to think he can continue to ?pull the wool? over peoples eyes in an organisation that has a culture that doesn?t allow this type of behaviour. If the culture allows it though, maybe it?s you who should consider a move, for you good of your own career!

        • #3070683

          Best Advice

          by brent ·

          In reply to Leading from within a team and building relatinships with Superiors

          Right on. I may be fresh out of school, but I think that gives me the ability to look at this in an unobjective manner. You’re right.

          Anyone who’s ever wanted to make a move towards the top and keep a firm foundation of support beneath them as they move, knows that usurping authority is not the way to do it. All that will get you is an office full of sharks waiting for you to fall off of the boat.

          To be sucessful, you must adapt, you can’t force others to adapt or die. This is business, not the Amazon. One of the major points taught in all of my leadership and management classes, is that you have to understand whom you are dealing with. If something you disapprove of is going on, you can’t just push it out of your way and expect it to not happen again.

          I think what should be done in this management situation is definitely again of understanding the manager in question. Find out why he does things the way he does them. Only after knowing his motivations can you affect change in his management style.

        • #3166127

          Naive view of management

          by secretgeekygirl ·

          In reply to Leading from within a team and building relatinships with Superiors

          Don?t be so na?ve to think he can continue to ?pull the wool? over peoples eyes in an organisation that has a culture that doesn?t allow this type of behaviour

          Pul-lease!! This sort of thing exists everywhere! Inept bosses/managers who made it to that position by some sort of miracle, or from knowing the right people – NOT from their skills, and any desire/ability to communicate.

          If you truly think that just talking to this person and trying to understand his style will work, you have not been in the workforce very long yourself. Horrible bosses, or those who love to be brown-nosed are everywhere.

          Leadership OFTEN comes from within a strong team. The problems are many – these true leaders are not being recognized (and often, slimy bosses go out of their way to make sure it does not happen), and they are not being paid the leadership salaries. To assume that leadership will always be seen, noted and promoted is truly naive.
          Each company has their own way of dealing with people. If the OP’s boss was somehow wedged himself into a position of favor, you can’t do a thing about it. What you CAN do, is what someone else suggested – DOCUMENT out the wazoo. Every no, every scoff, every equipment purchase turndown, document it. Back up your documentation. When someone calls about a problem, indeed, quote the big cheese. It will get back to him soon enough. The responsibility for the bad decisions and lack of true leadership needs to fall back on the poor management where it belongs.
          Meanwhile, I’d be looking for another position. Do you REALLY want to work for a company who thinks your current boss is top notch material? Dust off your resume, upgrade your skills and start looking for yourself. At the end of the day, the only one who will care about your job (or lack of it, or any contentment whatsoever with your job) is YOU. Not your current boss, not your boss’ boss, not even the CEO. No one but you. So, what do YOU want to do? network and find a company whose style fits more closely with your own. Good luck to you –

    • #3069485

      Get your resume together

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Why are you putting up with the situation? Is the job market that bad in Toronto? Leave.

      • #3069645

        Revise your resume

        by it security guy ·

        In reply to Get your resume together

        You should update your resume (which you should be doing every 2-4 months anyway) and then start taking copious notes. Every time he says no, write down exactly what happened, who was involved, where you were, etc. Then try to get his no in an email so there can be a paper trail as much as possible. Ask for reasons why he said no and try to fingure out a good plan and reason for doing whatever needs to be done, so when his bosses ask why something has not been done, you can give them your plan for implementing your idea. The biggest thing to remember is not to make it seem personal. Keep everything professional and act in the best intrests of the company and users so no one can say you are jealous or anything else. I did the same thing for a bad manager I had and in the end, he was dropped from the company after a contract we were workign on had expired and there was no other work for him.

    • #3069448

      Get promoted

      by workin4$$$ ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      It sounds like you’re ready to get promoted. You talk about budgets, long-term planning, etc.

      One of the keys to power is to take the credit for other people’s work. That’s what he’s doing. He’s good at it, or he wouldn’t be getting away with it. If you truly dislike him, and don’t really care what happens to his future, only what happens to yours and your co-workers, you sound ready to lead them.

      You need to devise a plan of attack. It may take you months to acheive this goal, but long-term planning and a little deception will get you everywhere.

      1. The first rule is to never look better than your boss. Never appear (at least to him) to be funnier, smarter or better at anything. If he has any insecurities, they’ll be played on and he’ll suspect you’re either up to something.

      2. Conceal your true intentions – This goes for you co-workers too. If they’re your friends, doubly so. Trust friends outside of work, trust co-workers to do their jobs. This distinction is curcial to your eventual success. If your boss doesn’t know what you’re up to, the easier for you to plan it.

      3. Say less than necessary – The more you say, the more common you appear and the more likely you are to say something stupid. Powerful people tend to impress and intimidate by saying very little. It’s hard to get a reading on someone that doesn’t reveal their hand. I like to occaisionally use vague statements to enhance this reputation. It also builds an air of mystery around you. People are naturally attracted to the mysterious. This will enhance your stature further.

      4. Win through actions not words – You could argue with someone for years, and they’d never see your point, or even if they did, they’d be too pig-headed to let you win. It’s admitting defeat. If you PROVE it though, and publicly, there’ no denouncing it.

      5. Pose as a friend to your boss, but really you’re spying on him (Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer) – Now don’t take this the wrong way. Spying can simply mean that you’re probing him for weakness, not looking for ammunition to lock him up or get him fired. Weakness can be found through casual indirect questions. This is best done at social events, or in some kind of relaxed atmosphere. By Suppressing your own personality, you can make people reveal more about themselves than you can possibly imagine. If suspect he’s lying about something, act as though you believe the lie, and he’ll prove he is for you.

      6. Crush him – Once you do attack, make sure that you don’t go half-way, or he’ll seek revenge. He must be totally crushed. No hope for his reputation or job.

      Make no mistake, you’re going to war. If you like your company and your co-workers, fight for it. Use deception, coupled with selective honesty. I can’t give you specifics on when the right time to go to war is, however, that you’ll have to decide based on particular situations and his own strength within the organization. You’re best not to attack until his defenses are down, and you’re best not to do it while he’s at the height of his power.

      You could try a number of strategies, such as building up his own confidence to an unreasonable level, and watching him explode.

      Whatever the result, go to the mattresses. It’s time to take what’s yours.


      • #3060477

        Art of war

        by gtownhill ·

        In reply to Get promoted

        I’m not part of this kind of world, being a harmless academic, but I found your advice very interesting.

      • #3060429

        Tell me more…

        by stepmonster ·

        In reply to Get promoted

        I work for someone almost exactly like the one described here, except that you can add racism and bigot to his resume as well. I’d sure like some way to beat him at his game, but being a ‘girl’ and not quite ‘mean enough’ I could use some coaching. Where do you blog?

        • #3060242


          by jeffersnet ·

          In reply to Tell me more…

          Women are usually so much better at playing the games and maybe you aren’t mean enough but that certainly doesn’t come from gender.

        • #3069666

          It’s not about mean…

          by workin4$$$ ·

          In reply to Tell me more…

          It’s about resolve. Think of your boss and everyone you work with in these terms. If they had to choose between your job and theirs, which would they choose?

          After years of working and paying attention to what people say, I’ve come to realize that people are continually positioning themselves in positions to try and obtain and hold power. I haven’t yet figured out whether or not this can be a subconscious thing as well or not. I would say it can.

          People are always playing games psychologically. The sooner you come to the realization that it’s more prevalent than you at first thought, the better.

          Take the 80/20 rule that someone posted on here. It is my belief that 80% of people don’t really know that they’re playing mind games, or politics or whatever you call it.

          NEVER make those superior in rank and title feel inferior to you. They will just resent you. The only time this is acceptable is if it’s common knowledge that this person is on their way out the door. If your boss has demonstrated his/her own ineptitude so much that whole office is talking, it’s time to stop letting him/her take credit for your work. It’s time to start prove his ineptitude in a meeting, surrounded by his superiors.

          As long as you’re sure that they think he’s worthless, this tactic will make him look doubly so. Not only that, it will prove your worthiness for the role he’ll be vacating once he’s been chopped.

          I make a strict rule not to mix business with pleasure. My colleagues are never my “actual” friends. I met all my friends in other ways. My colleagues are there to work, and so am I. I am very clear about this distinction.

          I’ve never hired a friend for the same reason. Gratitude is something that can be very dangerous. If you’ve given a friend a job, you’re doing them no favours. In fact, you may be damaging their ego. They will indirectly feel as though they didn’t deserve the job, and will eventually turn on you. History is filled with stories of friends turned enemies, it’s been proven time and time again.

          Practical politics is not an easy thing to learn. It takes patience, resolve and a strong stomach.

          Anyone can learn it, however, I do warn you that not everyone can turn it off. You don’t want to be playing power games at home with your spouse or your children. Your spouse is your partner, not an enemy.

          Over the next several weeks, pay attention to people’s actions. Particularily when they’re upset or angry about something. Try to figure out the TRUE reasons behind their emotions. You will eventually start seeing people in new ways. Learn what everyone’s “button” is. How to make them do things for you. Never appeal to someone’s charity when you want them to do something for you. Make it seem as though whatever you’re asking them is in their own self-interest.

          I could go on for a long time, but I have some people waiting to see me in my office. They were here 10 minutes early, so I made them wait. Never go to other people, always find a way to get them to come to you.

        • #3068894

          Try this book

          by dancer1117 ·

          In reply to It’s not about mean…

          “Work would be Great if it Weren’t for the People: Ronna and her Evil Twin’s Guide to Making Office Politics Work for You”

          It has a lot of practical, realistic advice.

        • #3070741

          Ok, I ordered the book.

          by stepmonster ·

          In reply to Try this book

          I read a few exerps and opinions first, then found it on ebay for 1 cent plus $3.85 shipping. So I’ll read it this weekend and post my thoughts.

          I have been logging my micromanagers’ “acts” for almost 2 years now, have filed a few official complaints, but since I see no action from management, I’m left feeling that “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

          Thanks y’all.

        • #3045895

          Another book

          by workin4$$$ ·

          In reply to Ok, I ordered the book.

          Try this book. “The 48 Laws of Power.”

          It teaches what moves to make and when. Like “The Art of War” for the office, or anywhere.


        • #3115598

          I read it & highly recommend it..

          by stepmonster ·

          In reply to Ok, I ordered the book.

          What a great book, thanks.. I couldn’t put it down until I finished it in 2 sittings. I can identify with almost all of it personally in my workplace, and the evil twin options are priceless. Thanks!

      • #3060414

        If you get really good at being this slimy..

        by givemejava ·

        In reply to Get promoted

        You could be a CEO!

        This is the sort of two faced, back stabbing repugnant behavior that makes the work place so miserable. Remember of course, that after you do in your boss, there will be a large number of people seeking to do the same thing to you. Do you want that?

        If you like your job and want to advocate for your peers organize and form a union. Do not trust HR, as they will ALWAYS side with management unless the behavior is obviously illegal (e.g. sexual favors exchanged for raises).

        There is no reason why you need to be promoted to management toady, with the need to wear chain mail to turn the knives of back stabbers. Deal with it up front in a calm, professional and principled way. ORGANIZE!

        • #3060284

          Unionization is just the same sliminess

          by sjohnson175 ·

          In reply to If you get really good at being this slimy..

          on a collective basis.

          Whatever happened to succeeding on merit?

        • #3069756


          by w_cooney ·

          In reply to Unionization is just the same sliminess

          Merit, if it was only that easy.
          Most work places tend to function on the good old 80/20 rule. Some run on a 80% political (crapfest) to 20% real work comparison (e.g. Gov Departments) OR some at 80% real work to 20% political (e.g. small business).
          The more political a work place is the less merit counts, as it becomes a game of cat and mouse.

        • #3070790

          Unions are protection

          by givemejava ·

          In reply to Unionization is just the same sliminess

          success on merit and organization are not mutually exclusive. With a boss this political, you can never succeed on merit, you only set yourself up for abuse.

          Remember that unions are the folks that got you the 5 day work week and the 40 hour work week. Now that people have swallowed the lie that unions are bad, we return to the 60 hour work week with NO job protection.

        • #3070638

          The 40 hour work week is for losers.

          by sjohnson175 ·

          In reply to Unions are protection

          Successful people reach the goal no matter the effort.

        • #3068790


          by workin4$$$ ·

          In reply to Unions are protection

          If you think and act like a manager, people will see you as one.

          If you think and act like an employee who wants to work a 40 hour work week, people will see you as one.

          Form a Union, and your boss will finally realize what he always knew. You’re all lazy and over-paid. Now you want to do less and get paid more.

          Good luck.

          Sometimes, the solution to a morale problem is just to fire all the unhappy people.

        • #3060245

          DO NOT TRUST HR

          by rbosgood ·

          In reply to If you get really good at being this slimy..

          I was in a simmilar situation. I had a boss that had no people skills what so ever. I had tried for 3 years to get a commmunication flow going with him. I never did establish it. One day he called me into his office and told me that he was writing me up for too many errors. He had documented 3 in the last 6 months. I think that if I worked 800-900 tickets in that time frame that 3 errors would not be excessive. I became concerned with my future there and went to get advice from the HR rep. She told me that he was one of the companys BEST employees. he was always there when needed. He routinely works 80 hour work weeks and they think he walks on water. She suggested that I go back and work it out with him. I set up the meeting and talked to him. when I suggested that there is a communication problem. His reply “I have no problem communicating, if there is a problem, its YOUR problem” and then he reminded me for the 5th or 6th time he could fire me at will. He told me he did not want to do that, but when lay off’s come around (we knew it was coming), my name was at the top of the list. You may have noticed that this stuff is in the past tense. He was true to his word, I am now laid off and trying to find work. 52 is not a great age to try to get an IT job. anyway, think long and hard before talking to HR unless you have something pretty substansial to work with on your side.

        • #3069836

          I doubt it…

          by shadowpassword ·

          In reply to If you get really good at being this slimy..

          People like to work for the sort of person that started this discussion. The “Art of War” behavior would last only as long as it took to achieve his/her goal.

          The backstabbing repugnant behavior is what his boss is currently engaging in – something the s/he wants do away with.

          Sounds to me like he and the group have already tried to deal with it up front without any success.

          The “Art of War” advice is sound. Take it.

      • #3060401

        A slippery slope…

        by tlea ·

        In reply to Get promoted

        Just a warning, when you start dispatching your professional “enemies” in this manner, you start to become the very thing that you despise.

        • #3060383

          When you fight with monsters….

          by lsmith1989 ·

          In reply to A slippery slope…

          ” When you fight with monsters, there is a risk that you yourself will become a monster. “

        • #3060243


          by jeffersnet ·

          In reply to When you fight with monsters….

          The monster will totally destroy you and all that you used to be.

      • #3060394

        it’s so funny

        by marathoner ·

        In reply to Get promoted

        people who are perfectly well intentioned and who have the idea to make something technical or to help people get jobs and get totally frustrated with bosses like this and so it drives them to behave like this. They become so focus on the plan to defeat X that they completely lose focus on the job they were doing, and so they become another grist in the corporate mill. Then they get promoted and they spend all their time defending their little corporate selves … who has time to do any actual work. Sheesh!

      • #3069095

        Easier said than done

        by polinastya-techrepublic ·

        In reply to Get promoted

        This advice presupposes that there is someone higher up the chain to whom one can appeal on a rational basis. This is not always the case. In fact, it sounds as though this is definitely not the case for the originator of this thread.

        My advice is to learn to take pleasure in things other than work and/or look for a better job. Life is too short to be made miserable by a bad boss.

    • #3069371

      Adapt to the Situation

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      There are really two primary approaches in this situation, either adjust how one deals with the boss or leave and hope the new boss is more to one’s liking. I usually recommend the former.

      A boss’s job is not to automatically say yes to all of the requests from his staff; the boss needs to have some level of justification to approve a request and the amount of justification will vary from boss to boss. Will the boss request the same level of justification when his superiors make a request? No. This may not be fair, but it is reality.

      For the next spedning request, do a little bit of research ahead of time. Determine the costs, include initial costs, hardware needed, and ongoing license or maintenance agreement costs. Devise a list of benefits that will accrue. It is probably best to write all of this up in a one page memo or short e-mail (verbal communication may not give your boss sufficient time to reflect upon the request). If the boss still says no, ask him if you can gather some statistics on what the status quo is costing the company. If he still says no, drop the issue.

      As an aside, resist the urge to be vindictive, as at least one comment above suggests. That is a no-win situation. Make your boss look good. If he is viewed as a good boss, this will reflect well on you. If the boss is viewed as a poor boss, your efforts will only make you look that much better. If you cannot do this, then find a new position.

      When making a request, one needs to speak the boss’s language and provide the information he needs to make the decision. Treat the issue of getting requests approved like any other problem, and apply one’s problem solving skills to determine what the boss needs to say yes. As long as one presents an adequate case why the request makes things better, then any boss will be compelled to say yes, just for his own self-interest.

    • #3070174

      Appreciate the feedback

      by lodai ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Thanks for all the good replies. Definately some food for thought and options that I had not considered.

      • #3060492

        Fingers Crossed that Workin4$$$…

        by shaggysheld ·

        In reply to Appreciate the feedback

        aint your boss….

        Cause if he is, you’re screwed.


        • #3068784

          Life isn’t fair

          by workin4$$$ ·

          In reply to Fingers Crossed that Workin4$$$…

          If you realize that before your 60th birthday, you’ll live a happier life, with less delusion.

          If you don’t play the game to get to the top, someone else will crush you on the way up. That’s life.

          When I leave work, I’m different. The reason is simple…I’ve got to be tough and resolute all day. When I go home, I want to be myself again. Then I’m happy.

    • #3060486

      How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      by mukesh_onnet ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Hi buddy,
      [option 1] Talk to seniors –> But they will look it as a part of some politics.
      [option 2] Live with things as it is –> If you can adjust then be there and forget about what’s all happening.
      [option 3] Quit from there –> You cannot change a company, Your complaint will not change the manager, Just quit and find a new suitable place.

      If I’ll be in your position then I prefer to choose third option.

      • #3060483

        It will go away

        by sudhindrashamanna ·

        In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

        Wait and watch. Don’t think your boss’s bossses are dumb. Most probably they know what’s happening or else you are employed in one hell of a place.
        Be diplomatic and wait. Time takes care of everything.
        Don’t leave unless you want to do something drastic. Who knows, you may land in a worse place.

        • #3060405

          God’s Timing & Sense of Humor

          by sawyerch ·

          In reply to It will go away

          God has a great sense of humor but his timing sometimes sucks. Management will take a few hits for the “Yes” man, but eventually he’ll get his just desserts. Do your job, smile, and wait. I had a boss once who was hired to fire all managers including myself. When he was done they fired him on Xmas Eve. Years later he walked into my office seeking a job. He didn’t recognize me. It was wonderful, God got even and we both smiled. I didn’t hire him and enjoyed watching him walk out of my office. When your boss gets him, and he will, help him pack and walk him out to his car and hold the door open. You’re seen as a nice person, and you’ll enjoy it so very much.

        • #3166125

          oh, if only….

          by secretgeekygirl ·

          In reply to God’s Timing & Sense of Humor

          if only that was always the case!

          My last job, I’d been there for three yrs, and had stellar reviews. My boss loved me, my bosses’ boss liked me, and I liked the company. Then my boss left for another position! Oh no! The new guy was nothing like the old boss. The new one did not believe in communication with any of his department. The day I was laid off, my own direct boss did not even know about it! I was packing my desk, and he had no clue as to why – he thought I had quit and wanted to stop me. No, sorry, the nerd above you decided that you no longer needed my services! Truth? I was in my 40’s, and the new boss brought in a much younger staff of his choosing. Nope, couldn’t prove it, but it happens all the time.

          Some bosses just suck, and you can only hope that it will come back to bite them in the end…

        • #3060232


          by jeffersnet ·

          In reply to It will go away

          Time does not take care of situations in certain places. Unless I didn’t wait long enough, 15 years……. very long years…

      • #3070634

        Stop covering their ass

        by jerry_dawson ·

        In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

        It’s a bad position to be in, but the one thing I’ve found with bad managers like this, is that you spend a lot of time doing their work for them and covering their mistakes. The most effective thing I found was simply to stop doing it. So when the bosses say “Why wasn’t this done?”, the answer is “We didn’t have the tools/time/training/whatever to do it” That’s your manager’s fault – so let him carry the can.

    • #3060484

      Paln for success

      by gmetcalf ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      One possible approach might be the ‘planning for success’ tack. You say that he won’t invest in the support envirnoment, and that you are struggling to keep your heads above water?
      How about doing a bit of forward planning, and putting together a forecast of how the support load is increasing (using real and verifiable figures), and how your department will be able to respond with the kit and resources that you have now. Take into account any increase in headcount, workload or new applications in your supported population. I’ll bet that you can put together a good case for complete collapse in the (not too distant) future unless some investment is made! Send this to your boss, and don’t forget to cc: *his* boss. With any luck someone might see that something will have to be done.

      Sure, he might take the credit for it – but you’ll get the new kit!

    • #3060482

      Put in for a transfer

      by ann_thracks ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      All of you need to request a transfer, then something may be done about “retraining” your boss

    • #3060481

      Something I did to the same sort of manager

      by mdmenterprises ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Hi all,

      Just a quick reply to this one. Over the years I have worked for quite a few bad managers (Brown Nose’s). All they want to do is to look after themselves and nobody else.

      The best way I have found to deal with these people is to either leave the job for something better OR GET EVEN WITH THEM BY SETTING THEM UP FOR A VERY BIG FALL. Now to set them up will take time but it works every time and finally their manager/senior management will finally realise what they have done by not listening to you that the problem is with your boss and not you and your team. Everybody in your team must be committed to do this or it will not work.

      • #3060449

        Similar problem here

        by nct_buyer ·

        In reply to Something I did to the same sort of manager

        Our group started out with five techs and our IT director, who has been here for going on 36 years. Two of the techs transferred to a new group focused on database management, leaving me here with two 20- somethings, with college degrees and our manager. The two younger guys, can get him to believe anything they tell him is gospel, while I have to fight to document all of my facts to try to get any progress made. At the same time these two guys can get away with sitting around twiddling their thumbs and put off anything they’re assigned to do until it becomes a major issue with someone higher up screaming at the manager.

        I’m at a major university and can’t afford to go looking for a new job elsewhere, because I’d lose the educational “discount” for my kids.

      • #3060378

        Something my group did to one of these managers

        by jphoeke ·

        In reply to Something I did to the same sort of manager

        At one of my previous places of employment, the good ole boys network was alive and well. We had one of these managers foisted upon us and the desktop team of over a dozen people was able to see this within the first week. It turns out that the 4 top people were looking for transfers to different departments at the same time.

        We all just happened to find transfers at the same time and the company had a policy that if you were in a department for more than 1 year, you only had to give 2 weeks notice of the transfer and there was nothing the boss could do.

        All 4 of us transferred out on the same day. At this point, upper management realized that they screwed up. But rather than fire the guy, they just stripped him of even more responsibility.

        Rather fun watching from another department.

      • #3060366

        Please read this

        by mross01 ·

        In reply to Something I did to the same sort of manager

        I can tell you that this manager is in bed with other managers. I have seen this situation over and over again. You are in a no win situation. The best bet is to put your best foot forward, don’t rock the boat and make your boss look good (after all that is what your job is).

        The thing is this is everywhere. And the complaining is everywhere. Employees will always complain this way, because they don’t understand what is going on at a higher level, but this is for your manager too. He probably is not happy with the situation, because he knows his team is not happy.

        The best thing to do is keep your mouth shut. If you don’t you will be looking for a new job.

        I repeat this is a no win situation unless you get in bed with him and get a good reputation above him. This doesn’t mean you won’t fall to, if management above him turn on him, but it’s less likely. Right now you have given management a person to point a finger at and believe me you will be the first fall guy if you act disgruntal at all.

        All managers deal with things that cause employees to think they are enept. Maybe he is but most people are promoted to their level of incompentance anyway, so you will find this is everywhere, there is no getting away from it.

        His biggest mistake it sounds like is that he is not communicating why he is making decisions to you. This is normal for most managers, something I have avoided in my career, but when it came down to is telling to much usually get a manager in trouble.

        Have sympathy on him, because he is probably dealing with the same issues you are.

        If he is there then the upper managers probably like him and that should tell you where you stand and what you should do.

    • #3060479

      How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      by lehongsm ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      We are fortunate enough to be working in environments where e-mails has become an acceptable method of communication. I for one have found myself in a similar situation and the only way I ultimately overcame this was to send e-mails to him and copy his boss. This way the boss always knows what issues have been raised, I insisted on every communication to be confirmed through e-mail.

      If he omits to put his boss in e-mails, I reply and ensure that his boss is copied. Even if its a “Thanks for the info” type of e-mail.

      In this way whenever he runs away from issues, I escalate to his boss. I do not resolve issues that I will never receive recognition for.

      Hope this helps.

      • #3060425

        Deal with a Problem Manager…Cont…

        by rkalk ·

        In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

        I found this e-mail the boss, and CC his boss method to be the best. This not only covers your tracks while building a case against the inept manager, but will build a favorable reputation for yourself as someone who…..

        1. Gets the job done
        2. Refuses to be the fall guy
        3. When Fit hits the Shan your boss is stuck holding his own pink slip.

    • #3060476

      How to deal with difficult people

      by christineeve ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Hi there!
      I suspect you’re a very nice person to work with. And, you’ve put up with this situation for a long time and just can’t take it anymore.

      Unlike another poster, who’s eloquence is only outdone by his “Dangerous Liaisons–kill or be killed” suggestions, I’d like to suggest a couple of easy-to-do suggestions that don?t include game-playing and charades.

      If you haven’t, pick up an older book called, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” You can check it out at the library, too.

      Also, consider taking a class on dealing with difficult people. There is an online class with a company called, for about $119.00 US dollars that offers a class on this subject. Or you can look into books or articles on the subject might help.

      Keep in mind, this guy or gal maybe your manager, but he or she is still a person, so using these techniques might help.

      Why quit? You’ve spent years developing your own unique set of skills and knowledgebase at your firm. See if you can stay and learn to how to deal with this person better by changing how you react to him or her.

      I wish you good fortune and much success.

      • #3060426

        5 dysfunctions of a team

        by jaredh ·

        In reply to How to deal with difficult people

        I am glad to know that I am not the only one out there who has to deal with poor management. I am in a very similar situation. My bosses boss has no interest in fixing the problem. HR has acknowledged the problem, but claim that they can’t do anything to fix it.

        I read a really cool book called The 5 dysfunctions of a team. I wanted to find out the why’s of our departments situation.
        Here are the dysfunctions:
        1) Lack of trust. Because my boss is a liar, no one trusts him.
        2) Fear of conflict. My boss is scared to death of anyone giving him some constructive conflict. It has to be his way, no matter how dumb it is. So, he motivates by fear, so no one will present any other info.
        3) Lack of committment. Because of the first 2 issues, employess don’t want to go the extra mile, have no loyalty and do the bare minimum just to get by.
        4) Avoid accountablity. This is how the boss pulls the wool over HR eyes. He always puts the blame on someone else & can never take responsibility for his own actions.
        5) Ego. Put yourself before the team.

        Our IT department is crumbling quickly. Because of these dysfunctions. Getting angry is not the answer. I know because I have already tried it. I really try to point out these dysfuctions to all who suffer through them. My boss gives me less grief than others because he knows that recognize these dysfunctions and that he is the cause of most of them, if not all. I also try to hold him accountable in my own way. He has a policy of emailing. Well, I follow that and I have proven to him on more than one occasion that he is in fact the screw up and I had it on paper to prove it.
        If he makes a bad budget decision, then I come back and say, you are the one who rejected neccessary upgrades, this issue is your problem.

        • #3069805

          Simple Rule

          by steve-nyeoka ·

          In reply to 5 dysfunctions of a team

          Document everything. Peroid.

          Make honest and open use of e-mail to document helpful recommendations and suggestions.

          Then save them (print if necessary).

          Otherwise focus on the job. Do your best. If you can take it anymore, jump ship. Just go on your own terms, when you are good and ready. I spent 11 months and one job and 7 years at another…. in both cases it was time to go, but I waited until I found something better.

      • #3060400


        by shaun.richards ·

        In reply to How to deal with difficult people

        FINALLY!… some mature and responsible advice. No cloak-and-dagger stuff and backstabbing required – thanks for the refreshing viewpoint.

    • #3060474


      by wayfarer ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Scenario, manager was promoted from within and 2 people in the department are long time friends. They get first choice on vacation days and as it has been publicly stated by this manager, if he gives one person a 3% raise he must take it away from another. So guess who gets the better raises, typically comes in late and leaves on time or early and rarely makes quota? BTW, a recent audit by QA did not award those workers high scores but with my 2% I was, and am the top performer. What to do?

      • #3060367

        Cronyism indeed!

        by bluebayou ·

        In reply to Cronyism

        Wayfarer, I have no advice but do commiserate. Here, the IT group has been mostly taken over by a group of cronies who all went to the same college and all belong to the same religion. Try competing with a peer who is high in the local church hierarchy! When your tech lead belongs to the “in” group, you have a long row to plow to get recognition. The only way to get ahead here is to transfer to a group led by a “gentile,” …or convert!!!

    • #3060473

      Fight to live but prepare to die

      by user@# ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Been there, done that– an been stupid about it once or twice, too.

      This is not a tenable position. Some of the advice above is good– at least for the short term, but you will not get any credit for it where it will do you much good. I would prepare to leave but preferably do so once you have a new postion to go to. Then address your resignation to his boss– that takes the matter up an extra level (by not doing this I lost an opportunity for support in an earlier life).

      You don’t need to address any specifics in your resignation except to say you have another position. If your company has an exit interview policy or his boss comes to you directly then you can address your reasons more cogently– but be diplomatic enough then so that your next job is not sabotaged before you get there.

    • #3060467

      Expose him rationally

      by shyamiyer_123 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      U need to make him take an escalation of a typical priority 1 call which he has probably ignored and is effecting the buisness or the management eg,storage,vulnerability etc.

      U cld arrange ur team to do a penetration test and even expose him with regards to security threats .Also make the management understand how it would effect the productivity by blindly following him

    • #3060462

      Problem Manager

      by scotty059 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I read the replies and many were excellent. I worked in Toronto for many years and found most if not all of my managers were not team players. Your boss is not one either.
      I moved from Toronto because the boss always seemed to get the credit for my ideas and suggestions, soon I stopped putting in my ideas.
      I was tired of being stepped on, and I was also tired of constantly doing little odd jobs(asked to do them) and never even getting a thank you.
      Your boss is an eighties style boss and needs to be kicked, woken up to the fact that companies now need to work together and use teamwork to get ahead and get things done. If your manager doesn’t want to do that, he should be fired.
      I hope you can resolve this situation, because if something or someone doesn’t, he will drag the rest of you down with him, and you don’t deserve that.
      Good Luck

    • #3060461

      Just get your resume together and look elsewhere

      by raycaldwell73 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I understand exactly what you are going thru, I’ve worked with an incompetent manager (a non-technical one for that matter) and she is just tottally clueless with any decision making. One big mistake is that she didn’t or doesn’t want to take the time to want to learn or at least comprehend the daily activities that I do and I couldn’t deal with the talking “apples and oranges” discussion with her, but besides me, he own team (which are technical writers) don’t even feel that she has leadership qualities, so that right there is a warning flag in itself and she has an inept VP she reports to that protects her at any cost (so that’s a double-whammy). And no matter what, you are always to blame for any mishaps. In situations like that, it pays to documents things (which is something I failed to do). But either way, in cases like that, it’s a no win situation, HR usually always sides with the boss/manager.
      Just leave and find a manager that will appriciate your talents. Even though all bosses/manager have their issues, some are more tolerable than others, that’s all…..Good luck!

    • #3060444

      Did I used to work with you?

      by tantor ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I had a boss that was exactly the same way. Dumb as a doornail, had HR in the pocket, treated us like red-headed stepchildren.

      I tried for about two years to improve the situation and to make some common ground. But the more we got accomplished, the more credit he took.

      At some point, the lightning bolt hit me that the worst thing I can do to him is let him stand on his own. So I fenagled some training out of him and left.

      The biggest problem you face is not the Manager. It’s his association with HR. Even if he was gone, if HR considers you a “problem”, then you will be a “problem” forever. Idiot managers can be avoided, but the people who finalize and approve raises will not go anywhere. They will always be in your way.

      Time to cut your losses and move on. It sucks, because with the exception of that manager and the fire breathing HR chick, I loved that job. I got lucky and found a much better situation to be in.

      And justice will come. After I left, he decided he would “show me” and went in and erased my digital existence, including any service accounts I had created. They apparently didn’t have a successful backup for 8 months after I left.

      • #3060434

        Justice, yes!, Indeed…..:)

        by spinner of websites ·

        In reply to Did I used to work with you?

        “After I left, he decided he would “show me” and went in and erased my digital existence, including any service accounts I had created. They apparently didn’t have a successful backup for 8 months after I left.”

        how sweet justice is indeed!!!!

      • #3069646

        I Love it!!

        by froggy2005 ·

        In reply to Did I used to work with you?

        Hearing stories like that make my day a little brighter…

      • #3069547

        Adapt, Move, or Leave

        by rcsteinbach ·

        In reply to Did I used to work with you?

        Yes, I agree that it is the Management, not the manager, that is the problem. Those that are fooled for very long WANT to be fooled for a reason. They see your group as the “problem child” and as long as he management, not the manager, stays the same, nothing will change.

        You can either try to “regain” their trust of your group. Unfortunately, I suspect you have been trying to all along and you are getting nowhere. Now you are at the end of your rope and need help.

        Then you have two options. Since you will never get respect where you are, you could transfer to another group. Big companies have many positions to transfer to if you make true friends somewhere else. Just think for a moment: Remember that cool project you did for (such-and-such other department)? Couldn’t they use a technical consultant as you learn something new? Wouldn’t that be an awesome job? A new part of management that would trust you for a change and give you respect!

        The last and final option is to move out. If you stay there, it will happen sooner or later so make your move before you alienate everyone. First, try to find a job with the same pay. If you haven’t found one within, say, two months, start knocking down your expectations.

      • #3060081

        I had a similar experience

        by jbartlett ·

        In reply to Did I used to work with you?

        I worked for a “self made man” type who was a real hardass and could only see things his way. He gave me every crappy little job to do primarily to humiliate me and justify my paycheck. Even though I was the Customer Service Manager I was given the job of managing the various office security systems, which was a loathsome task.

        When I quit I changed all of the passwords so there was no possibliity that the system could be compromised and put them in a letter on his desk. This is the kind of guy who have sued me if he thought the system was compromised, so this was a CYA with a twist. His work habits were quite disorganized so I decided to exploit that weakness by placing the envelope right in the middle of his desk where we would never pay any attention to it. I figured it would cause some anxiety when they needed to access the system and had to get him to look on his desk for it. Turns out he threw the letter away without opening it and then hired some idiot to take over that part of my job. Of course they had to reprogram the entire system because the passwords were thrown in the garbage.

        The only way I could ever get peace of mind in this job was to quit. The bonus was when they called looking for the information I left with the owner and had to hire two people to do my job. It didn’t get me anything more than the personal satisfaction of knowing I did my job well.

    • #3060442


      by rocjoe71 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      For goodness sake, just get another job somewhere else. Every extra day you stay at that company is making your “inept” boss’ position in the company that much stronger.

      Besides, you’re supposed to be working on building your carreer, how are you supposed to do that in a position where you’re struggling to get the work done?

      Go find a better job and MOVE ON.

    • #3060440

      Get Out

      by dunn37214 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I was in the EXACT same situation that you were in. In the space of around a year he took one of the best positions I’ve ever been in and destroyed the morale of the entire department. You can’t win that fight. It sounds like he’s got H/R and upper management blinded by his “nose skills” so it’s time to more on. He has his eyes on your group to weed out the people he doesn’t like…and no matter how good you are he’ll find something…or just make something up to get rid of you. Find another job away from him. Your health is more important. I’ve been out of that situation almost a year now and while it’s been a struggle sometimes with cash flow…my health and general attitude is 1000% better.

      • #3060345

        Get out for longterm security

        by ·

        In reply to Get Out

        I worked for a major southern-based consumer electronics retailer, who at the time was just beginning to go head-to-head in markets against a major way-northern-based consumer electronics retailer.

        My manager liked surrounding herself with sycophants; and was apparently threatened by anyone with brains and experience (almost all of whom transferred, quit, or were fired). Her style was sanctioned by management above her. (With all due respect to my southern friends, perhaps this reflected a more authoritarian view of business organization held in the South, rather than the more “cooperative” view elsewhere. Maybe I’m aksing for it with such a statement 😉 … but this is my theory!)

        This was ten years ago, and since then the northern company has been kicking the butt of the southern company. Based on my experience, this did not come as a surprise. Autocracy doesn’t work well!

        So inasmuch as you find corporate support for a bad boss, market forces might one day put you out of a job anyway.

        • #3060271

          I’m Southern and love the South but

          by sjohnson175 ·

          In reply to Get out for longterm security

          we do have more IT pretenders per capita and company structure lags behind the rest of the country by quite a bit.

    • #3060436

      Bad mgmt is a fact of life

      by nonsequitr ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I have been in business almost 30 years; before that I was a school teacher. In every aspect of working life there are bad managers. Usually they survive because the people who hired them don’t want to admit they made a mistake (more bad mgmt) or they don’t have time to review what’s really happening (more bad mgmt). Sometimes you can survive until the idiot is found out and fired. Sometimes you can’t. When the situation looks as bleak as is sounds here, I’d update my resume and look elsewhere knowing I run the risk of finding another idiot manager (this from someone who was management for 20 years). If you find new employment, make sure that on your way out the door you tell HR what’s going on.
      The other option is to head to HR en masse and tell them what’s happening — one person may be a whiner, but 6 people is a groundswell…

    • #3060430

      Respond honorably

      by joelsauthor ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      In IT, your most important asset, after your technical competence, is your reputation. Always be honorable. Find a place where you can work with honor.

      • #3060418

        It’s just a job

        by ibm5081 ·

        In reply to Respond honorably

        Regardless of the politics, you put in your time and you get paid. For every incompetent manager there are employees and co-workers who whine (whether justified or not). It’s the company culture in this situation. These folks don’t continue to stay around without the dysfunction at higher levels, so it reduces to personalities.
        Ignoring the insanity and mediocrity for a moment, each employee works for the entity that provides the pay and benefits, regardless of who “gets the credit”. If the pay and benefits are good for the effort that one contributes, then typically you stay. OTOH, if the workplace is truly toxic, the compensation crummy and it’s not going to change, then you move on.
        Work to your own expectations and let the pay be your reward. Waiting for the applause and recognition to come may cause you to think that you have gone deaf…it’s NOT COMING.

        • #3060288

          You are not your work…

          by just watching now ·

          In reply to It’s just a job

          Don’t Panic. Think about your life, and what you want out of it.

          I’ve been through this several times. Bad managers, overworked staff, irrational customers. Don’t let your expectations of others determine your self image. If their expectations are irrational, and they are defining you…well, you understand.

          If you define yourself by your job, you allow yourself to be destroyed. But destroyed slowly, being pecked to death by ducks. If you are working 80 hours a week and don’t have time for other activities, review your life expectations, too.

          If you do have time, join a few clubs. Call an associate to go to a museum, go to a comedy club, heaven forbid – even a date. Call your mother. Send flowers to an ex-spouse’s new love interest. Take a peer to coffee. But look into your life and see what else you have going for you.

          Keep your sense of humor. These situations give rise to some dynamite humor. I well remember the “spit on a vice president” concession at the top of the stairs above mahogany row. As far as I know, no one really took him up on it. The “black feather” award was given weekly by the troops to one vp’s latest victim. At least it was, until the vp asked what that traveling crow feather drilled into a wood block was all about, and some fool told him.

          I have seen groups fight the good fight. A group of our engineers went to management and threatened to quit en masse (about 20 souls). Management made the bad boss sit in front of the group and take arrows. Enjoyed by all but the manager.

          I have seen bosses removed from their reports but left as managers. The next time a big job came up, guess who got the prize. Because they weren’t busy, they were available. Understand the problem?

          As far as fighting these guys. There is good advice out there about wrestling with pigs. If you enjoy Machievellian politics, go for it. But he who lives by the sword, at least gets wounded badly.

          Good luck, my friend. Don’t feel alone. The Universe doesn’t have it in for you alone. It’s stomping everybody.

      • #3069151

        Leaving with Honor

        by nsim3008 ·

        In reply to Respond honorably

        Being in an injust situation such as this is draining and stressful. Go where you can really put your talent to use.

    • #3060424

      Count your blessings

      by jedimstr ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      You could have a manager like mine that believes diversity is only hiring and promoting people from his country and to top it off, HR looks the other way. Hell, he isn’t even a US citizen!

      • #3060227

        did we work together ???

        by rbosgood ·

        In reply to Count your blessings

        for most of the time I worked there. with 12 of us, I was one of 2 native born americans. The other american was the network engineer. Fortunately for him, my manager had no networking skills at all and could not off load him without cutting his own throat.

    • #3060413

      Get out!

      by kboeker ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I’m in the same situation. Cut your losses and wasting your time. It’s not worth the stress. Get out now!

    • #3060412

      Mange your career

      by albanypmp ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      You need to stop allowing your boss to affect your work life this way. Life is too short. Make an honest assessment of your job. What is keeping you there? Is it worth it to put up with this type of treatment? If it is, shut up and make the best of it. If the plusses of the job do not outweigh the minuses, then put your resume together and look elswhere. But don’t burn your bridges.

    • #3060410


      by w2ktechman ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Keep this in mind, I often need to document things when dealing with people. When you have documentation of his ineptness, his credibility will be lost.
      When you ask a question, or need help when a problem arises, there are a few things to do. Document it in email instead of confronting him. If he gives a verbal answer, ask for him to send an email response. But do not worry too much if he will not. Failure of a response in many occasions can easily be seen as neglect of duty.

    • #3060399

      Why r u sticking there?

      by dilipj ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Hey Buddy
      U r in IT man! move out.
      1. Is the company so good that u want to remain there?
      2. Or ur some weaknesses u r hiding?
      3. U r not ready for competition in open market?
      4. Why unnecessary u r increasing ur Sugar or BP for such a crook?
      5. U r not there to educate Managers or to change people’s attitude.
      6. Start looking & move out. Leave
      7. While leaving have a meeting with superiors and expose with warning..

    • #3060398

      some ideas

      by aikimark ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      1. document EVERYTHING, even conversations. As has already been posted, copy his boss. If really important, bcc HR. So you have a conversation in the break room about some business topic. You go back to your desk and send him an email that restates what he said to make sure that you understand what he said (and why he takes that position).
      Note: if setting up an ambush or proving your point to his boss, send the first emails with a bcc to his boss. When you send later emails (post rejection) then cc his boss. If your boss changes his position, you have proven that your boss is a syncophantic toady.

      2. Justify your requests in terms that management understands. You need to use their metrics — time and money and risk. If this is a matter of percentages, then translate it into increased time. Express concern for others only. What impact does your request and concerns have on other departments, divisions, and the entire company. Make sure that your request is seen by ALL (potentially) affected parties. If your department needs a larger slice of the budget pie, other departments may have to accept a smaller slice.

      3. Speak with one voice. If you have 100% staff dissatisfaction, then ask for help as a group. Don’t just send a representative. Ask for help in the best interest of the company, not just your departmental image.

      4. Enlist outside help, if necessary. You might just have a communcations problem with your manager. There might be a conflict of goals between your manager and the IT staff, where his goal is to minimize budget (get by with what he’s got) and your goal is to maximize service/productivity. You might need a third-party to help mediate this conflict. Accept the possibility that the company is willing to accept less than optimal performance from the IT staff. You shouldn’t have to accept lower performance reviews and lower pay raises as a result of their acceptance because the performance isn’t related to your efforts.

      5. Exhaust constructive and legal actions before sabotage and intimidation.

      6. I’ve used reverse psychology successfully. I went to my manager’s boss and said “I’m not doing a very good job around here.” He started backing up in his seat. My statement put him in a supporting role. He had been getting by “on the cheap” for so long that he never spent money that he didn’t absolutely have to. That included suggesting I use performance monitoring software that we’d obtained for evaluation over four years earlier. I’d noted that it was illegal to use that sofware and that I couldn’t tell how our systems were performing without some (legal) utilities. He relented and we got some software that benefitted more than just me.

    • #3060395

      I’ve been there with this one

      by maldain ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      There’s two solid ways of dealing with this issue, in my experience. The first is put together your resume as good IT support people are always in demand. However, if you like the company or have some other reason for staying in your job. What we did is we followed the bad manager’s every instruction and the resulting chaos got the guy shipped to our company’s “special projects” division. Special Projects was an empty desk with no reports, no duties and an office until the person got bored enough to quit.

    • #3060392

      What if manager is founder?

      by gerbe ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      What if your company is suffering from ‘founderitis’, where the company is growing past the ability of the founder to effectively manage, yet the founder refuses to relinquish, delegate or learn?

      If you believe in the company, what are some effective ways to support/modify behavior of/bring in supplemental help?

      • #3060259

        Founderitis. Good one.

        by sjohnson175 ·

        In reply to What if manager is founder?

        That drove me out of a position of 3.5 years with a company I belived in.

        The founder had surrounded himself with fiefdom building sychophants so my attempt to start change from within was a failure.

    • #3060388

      Just keep quiet!

      by deebrown1 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Fortunately, I have not had to deal very much with bad I.T. managers. There was one in particular that took over the department which previously had a very competent and results oriented manager. The result was, after my refusal to kiss up to him, is that I was fired. I have since surmised that it was the best thing. But to address your specific issue, I am currently dealing with one such manager now, although I am now working in my original field of accounting. But a bad manager is a bad manager, regardless of the position held. This person lies to the boss about me to make himself look good, and whenever a situation or problem arises, he finds a way to blame me or some other subordinate. The boss says that I must be a team player, but even she seems to be somewhat inept and doesn’t seem to understand simple logic.

      I have decided to look for a job with a company that recognizes and rewards talent, enthusiasism and dedication. In the interim, what I have decided to do is continue to perform my responsibilities in the best way I can and to just keep quiet regarding any other issue. If my opinion is not asked for, then I won’t offer it. And when it is asked for, provide as few details as possible and then follow up with a written memo. Then, with respect to any and everything else, document everything! Dates, times and details. Keep records of conversations, especially with the bad manager and the boss. You can bet that the bad manager is doing the same, that’s how he can pull the wool over everyone else’s eyes.

    • #3060370

      Document Everything you do

      by rush2112 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Paper, email, trouble tickets, hours worked, requests for additional resources(approved or denied)

      A manager is SUPPOSED to be somewhat credible for the group he/she manages. They are also responsible for keeping the team together, maintaining adequate resources so that they can perform their functions(jobs) well enough to meet company standards.

      You may also want to consider that “SUN TZU” philosophy is already being put to USE, on you and your team. If I read your original post correctly, you have been denied needed resources and have been asked to work overtime long enough to eat up all the budget for OT for the entire year in the first 12th of the year and have been having your “Buttons Pushed” regularly as well as your co-workers “Buttons”

      If you lash out(explode emotionally), you look like whiners/complainers/non-conformists. This is viewed badly from outside such as HR and Upper Mgt.

      I recommend that you take the other person’s advice but add documentation and set this person up to fail. But give him the opportunity to succeed and watch him fail. Once failure occurs, refer to the documentation gathered. Offer it as a WIN/WIN solution for Upper Management to take to get the entire group back on track.

      If you truly do have a good team, and this person truly is unbearable due to lack of experience you have limited options.

      1. Go get employed elsewhere. (list management style as one reason for leaving, include all reasons for staying, compliment company on things they deserve complimenting upon.
      2. Stay and wait for him/her to leave(could take years)
      3. Gather Documentation on bad decisions and why they were “bad” and what could have been done better, even how “YOU” might have handled it. Then wait……when you have enough and when the world seems to be crashing down, offer up the documents/explanations as ways of improvement.
      no need to attack, give them enough rope, allow them to climb onto the gallows themselves.
      Make it clear who is responsible for “handling” tasks/projects/duties, etc. The ones where your manager goes out of his way to make an “executive decision” which is silly, document, keep, do your job and go home while you wait for failure.

      4. Take this person out to lunch, express your concerns privately (away from other co-workers)
      Invite the rest of them to do the same individually. If this person is a manager, they will responsd accordingly, if they are attempting to RUN YA”LL OFF, they will also respond accordingly because the new concerns will then be available for them to use against you whenever possible.

    • #3060368

      Play the game

      by jack tenerelli ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager


      I am currently in the same situation as you. It’s not a good one. Unfortuantley you have already been labeled. The right thing to do would have been to make your own friends at the top, and do exactly what he is doing. Also find some ways to make yourself stand out, like saving the company money, or developing a new product line, and let people know that it was you who thought of this. Before you propose anything research the hell out of it first, because if you fail this guy will be over you. You also have to find a way to point the finger at him whne something does go wrong.

      Unfortunately, when you play this game you have to be ready for the possibility of losing your job. Get your resume updated and start looking. I know from experience that this is eating you up inside. Take your health into consideration. Is it worth it. Remember this, management is a strange animal, and they will stick together. I am fortunate in that some of our management team already has a sympatheitic ear to me. Alot of that is because my director is such an idiot that you have to notice.

      I wish I had some better advice for you. Good luck with your situation.

    • #3060363

      And the otherside of the coin…

      by johanv ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      …would be? What does your Manager actually say no to? Are you not perhaps envious over his position that you lash out like this and even resort to “involving” the whole team? Have you considered the strategic reasons for him following a course of action for saying no? That he left the office when something happened that he perhaps had a crisis or important meeting of his own to attend? I am sorry to say this but my only advice to you is to either become a manager yourself and experience the other side of the coin or try and function as a part of the team. No manager is employed to do be friends, he/she is employed to do a job. So if he gets the team to do the job through planning, etc. then he is a good manager and an asset to the company, whereas the people who complain actually undermine management and are infact troublemakers. Have you actually tried calling a meeting with him and you “group” or are you simply the self appointed “mouthpiece” of your own personal 1 man group? I think you would find your manager more approachable than coming onto a professional forum and critising him behind his back when he can’t defend himself. I find it reprehensable and if I was your manager I would certainly make a point of it to get rid of you PDQ to save the team.

      • #3060321

        You obviously have no people management skills!!

        by moonwalker_21 ·

        In reply to And the otherside of the coin…

        You are obviously a manager that believes in the “them and us” approach (and someone with serious insecurity issues), I have been on the “other side of the coin” and I the way to deal with people who you label as troublesome is not to get rid of them “PDQ” as that is the attitude of someone with no “people management” skills whatsoever and that lack of skills generally lead to the team falling apart as the problems are ignored instead of being dealt with. Now to the original post….The best way with dealing with a problem or unrest in a team is to get to the botton of the problem and solve the underlying issues, not just get rid of that person/people! How you do this is up to you, I would suggest you buy the guy a coffee and have a chat on an informal basis, or request a meeting and make sure you have independant witnesses present if you want to go the formal route. Whatever you decide to do, do it calmly and make sure everything is documented so you both have something to go back to. The main thing is not to ignore problems as they will not go away.

        • #3069730


          by johanv ·

          In reply to You obviously have no people management skills!!

          back to my original post and perhaps you would interpret what I communicated in a different context.

          You might, just might notice that I did indicate to the OP that he with his team should have a meeting with the manager. So please do not launch a character attack – I would dare say I’ve got more experience in successful management than you could possibly hope to achieve with your shortsighted Utopian view of the business world.

          Quote “The tallest trees catch the most wind”
          Translated for you “People higher up in the corporate world get more critism than people lower down”

      • #3060309

        A Special Manager

        by sql_joe ·

        In reply to And the otherside of the coin…

        You are clearly one of those “special” managers, who instead of trying to salvage the team, prefers to dismember it. Instead of admitting there may be a problem, everyone else is just “jealous”. Anyone who brings up an issue (when there are obviously none as far as you are concerned) is trouble and needs fired.

        If my entire group went to HR with problems, I would consider there is a problem, or in the least a misunderstanding – at any rate action does need to be taken – and that is to try and find a resolution. Sometimes the problem CAN ACTUALLY BE WITH ME, and by correcting it I can only be the better for it. Or, one can take the low road, chalk it up to envy and fire the b**t**d. Problem solved?

        There are two kinds of managers. The A managers are those that have A people working for them, and support them to the fullest knowing the A level work makes them look good. Then there are the C managers, who having A people working for them, must crush them, and force them to do C work so that they will appear better than them, because after all, you wouldn’t be a manager unless you were better at the job, now would you? The C manager must ensure that no one appears better than him. With your first thoughts being of envy and dismissal I can only wonder where you lie….

        • #3060280

          Maybe he’ll read this and learn? Doubt it.

          by stepmonster ·

          In reply to A Special Manager

          This is what I just read here:
          “There are two kinds of managers. The A managers are those that have A people working for them, and support them to the fullest knowing the A level work makes them look good. Then there are the C managers, who having A people working for them, must crush them, and force them to do C work so that they will appear better than them, because after all, you wouldn’t be a manager unless you were better at the job, now would you? The C manager must ensure that no one appears better than him.”
          ============ Now tell me.. I have a C manager without a doubt in my mind. He squeeks by though – never getting fired, somehow. My coworkers agree with me 100%, but are afraid to speak up about our problems with our manager, except complaining and agreeing with each other. I don’t know why they choose to live this way without talking to the food chain about it. So when I speak up – I’m the problem, the complainer.
          – I feel like all I can do is wait for him to screw up enough, and cross that line. It could take years apparently. Any suggestions?

        • #3068910


          by jackuvalltrades ·

          In reply to Maybe he’ll read this and learn? Doubt it.

          Yes, I do have a suggestion: Learn to live with it or leave. I myself have worked for the “C managers” (still do) and believe me, friends and neighbors, weasels are like a beaucracy: once entrenched, nearly impossible to get rid of. Read some of my other posts in this thread for full details on how to deal.
          Just remember to put yourself in your manager’s shoes whenever you feel put upon and think about how you would make those decisions, and here is the really important part, IN CONTEXT. You may find it is not the manager who is causing you pain, but only your perception of the moment and a lack of larger perspective. This won’t always be the case; you may be working for a truly evil weasel. If so, run fast and far.

        • #3069720

          Did you

          by johanv ·

          In reply to A Special Manager

          actually understood my original thread or do you jump on the bandwagon? Please reread it and perhaps you would make sense of what I tried to communicate.

          Seemingly it is always a management fault, and when a manager post on here, a bandwagon is wheeled out and people like yourself jump on it because you only react after reading a snippet of information and lack the “Big Picture” view.

          I do hope that you too someday reach a management position where you have to make difficult strategic decisions and lets see if you are going to make popular decisions (not always the right decision) or making the right decision (not always popular).

        • #3070788

          I like your categories

          by jbartlett ·

          In reply to A Special Manager

          Under your rating system I’m an “A” manager working for a “C” manager.

          I work every day at not taking the easy “C” solutions to the difficult problems. I wish more of the managers I have worked would do the same.

          I believe much of the survivablity of the political manager is due to the low value the majority of companies place on soft skills and the lack of measurement systems for anything other than hard quantitative number-based measures. Given that most companies are goaled on short-term financial results its far too easy for upper management to focus on profit, cost, production quotas etc as the barometer than it is to gauge the social health of an organization.

          If the manager you are working for is a problem and most of the others are “OK” then it may be worth tyhe effort and risk to try and chnage behaviour or get that person reprimanded or fired. If the majority of the other managers are similar then it is a lost cause to even attempt to change the whole organization or divisiaon or department. Your only choice to either come to terms with it or leave. If you try to outwit the political manager you will most likely loose. You’re fighting the battle on their level and their turf and that is two strikes against you before you even start.

      • #3069843

        The edge of the coin

        by jackuvalltrades ·

        In reply to And the otherside of the coin…

        You actually sound like a pretty fair minded manager. It is true that most employees lack the “big picture” view, but I have found that it is usually derived from one of the following:

        A) a major lack of communication. Sorry to say it, but this is a management failing. If you don’t give people information, then they will use their imagination to fill the gap.

        B) an improperly motivated and balanced team. Once again, a management problem. If your team members are incompetent, adversarial, or generally disgruntled, you have either hired the wrong people or you are just not managing them.

        Now, before you go ballistic on me, I know full well that not all problems belong to management and that no matter how good the manager is, you will always have a “problem” employee. I just think the finger points both directions.

        Just my opinion, I could be wrong….

        • #3069732


          by johanv ·

          In reply to The edge of the coin

          I agree. And more importantly, it is not the reponsibility of the team to manage problems, that is the reponsibility of the manager of that team. The team is there to do the job.

          Again, I agree with communication and that is why I have an open plan office and sit with the team. All projects are completed in time in full within budget and the whole team gets the praise not just me.

        • #3069599

          I knew I was right

          by jackuvalltrades ·

          In reply to Actually

          You are a fair-minded, team focused manager. I wish that more of you existed. I know that “ownership” has become an overused buzzword, but it is the foundation of a good team. Personal responsibility to oneself and others, and a commonly held achievable goal are the building blocks. In the case of the person who began this discussion, I really think his sense of ownership is either overdeveloped (like mine was for a long time) or entirely misplaced. It sounds very much to me as if he is a far larger part of the problem than he cares to admit, regardless of his managers’ failings.
          I would posit one other opinion to you for your response:
          I believe that praise, shared or not, is only the icing on the cake. I think that team members really respond in a positive way if they feel that they are involved and their thoughts and ideas are worthwhile. In short, that they are valued.

          Your opinion?

      • #3069520

        An “open-eye” view is best….

        by i_am_hellion ·

        In reply to And the otherside of the coin…

        There are often are extraneous circumstances that affect a manager’s decisions for sure.
        However I must agree with previous posters, that the written skills you have demonstrated here, if representative of your “managerial” skills, really do not represent “modern conflict resolution” methods.
        I personally am appalled that you take this attitude with an unknown, and wonder what you would be like to talk to in person.

        Perhaps you should refrain from drinking more “Powerade”, as your well appears to be full …. of yourself. Many “non-managerial” types that have replied have demonstrated better managerial skills than you currently employ.

        If you were my manager and resorted to derogatory language / mannerisms as displayed here you would find yourself a) in front of a formal revue, b) sitting in your office with ringing ears from my verbal discourse or c) (worse case scenario) waking up on the floor with a sore jaw.

        I don’t see you as “saving the team” as much as hiding valid concerns, a glossing over issues.

        Perhaps you should seriously think before you speak/write both here and in real life.

        Just my opinion.

        • #3069005


          by johanv ·

          In reply to An “open-eye” view is best….

          I do not have to qualify, quantify or justify my managerial capabilities to you as I have a team & board of directors who support and have faith in the decisions I make.
          I will leave you with this question though. Do you feel you accomplish much with the arrogance & posturing behaviour? I certainly doubt you will ever attain a management position (or hold it for very long) with views as expressed by yourself. Sir / Madam, please learn respect as you are demonstrating very little with musings of violance & verbal abuse towards people in authority.

        • #3068913

          Think again, friend

          by jackuvalltrades ·

          In reply to An “open-eye” view is best….

          I read your post several times as well as all of the messages in the subthread. Personally, I am very puzzled at your reference to “derogatory language/mannerisms” and your overblown umbrage at the post from the manager. While I am not a manager, I do try to work from the big picture view and, quite frankly, if you worked for me, I would fire you in a heartbeat. You have forgotten that the manager’s job is to focus on the task at hand and the overall benefit/health of the team and company (not necessarily in that order). It is very obvious to me that you lack any conflict resolution methods, modern or otherwise, and your anger is misplaced.
          Now before you start thinking that I am the archetypal “Yes” man, read some of my other posts in this thread. While I have worked for some very evil weasels who would give Machiavelli a run for his rubles, most managers are people just like you and I, with their own faults and foibles. You would do well to use empathy and try to project your reaction if you were in their place. Don’t spend 30 seconds on it as most do; you are far too intelligent to give this excerise short shrift.

      • #3072243

        Spare your 2 cents. Keep the change.

        by it.consultant ·

        In reply to And the otherside of the coin…

        For someone who claims to be such a good manager, you have an awful lot to learn about courtesy, class, dignity and, in general, how to talk to people, especially those who don’t report to you.

        Are you brave enough to tell us which company allows your mouth to run amok the way it has in this forum? Just for future reference, so that the rest of us decide not to work there.

        Rest assured that I know to deal with your kind.

        I dare to reply to this post because I have more to say to you (that I wish I could tell you in person), if you offer your worthless 2 cents again.

    • #3060343

      Dealing with an unscrupulous boss/workplace

      by jackuvalltrades ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Well, I’ve read several of the replies here and most of them have really good advice. Let me summarize for you:

      1) Polish up your resume. You will probably need it.

      2) Document everything! I really do mean everything. If your superior is really as vile as you say, anything you do or say to anyone will be used against you. Take it from me.

      3) Start looking for another job with the realization that you will most likely jump from the frying pan into the fire. Believe me when I say, most of the middle management I have worked with are weasels who will do whatever it takes to solidify and grow their own esteem/power base/fiefdom. Smaller companies have less of a problem with this, but generally you will take a salary/benefit hit.

      4) If none of the above are viable options, learn to live with it, especially if you like the rest of the company culture and your co-workers. Remember, this is just a job, not your life. I have had to work with a manager who is overly competent technically and lousy with the actual management side. The upshot is that he trusts no one to do any work and we all work in an environment where we are treated like third graders. I struggled with this for a long time but eventually realized that none of this matters as long as I continue to get a paycheck. Bad news, friends, life sucks and it’s unfair and at the end of the day, you are still the same person with the same qualities and flaws you’ve always had.

      No matter where you go or what you do, you will still be you. Find the good stuff and learn to live with the rest the best way that you can.

      May sound pretty fatalistic, but believe me, been there, done that, figured out how to deal…..

      • #3060304

        Good Points

        by sql_joe ·

        In reply to Dealing with an unscrupulous boss/workplace

        Good points all….

        …especially concerning the learn to cope. Look at your life outside of work….is this everything you want….are you happy? If so consider if your present job isn’t enabling all of that…if it is, then evaluate what teh effects of job change will do to all of that….it could make it better….or it could make it worse. Weigh the cost to your life outside of work, then decide if the suffering is worth it or not.

        I am not saying one should not speak up, because I beleive you should when you perceive there is a problem – but also know when to stop. Once you’ve said your piece, then it is known, whether its acknowledged or not, but that’s not your responsability. You fullfilled your obligation when you spoke up at the first sign of trouble. If HR/Boss/whoever-else didn’t listen the first time, then most likely repeating it is just going to annoy them…..and do you really want to feel like you’re beating your head against the wall?

        You warned ’em, now let them crash.

    • #3060337

      Outlast them

      by bstockha ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I worked for a few of these during my 30+ years in a major telecommunications company. I found that by concentrating on doing my job to the best of my ability, that I always outlasted the lousy manager.

    • #3060310


      by johntd ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      In some circles this is called “kiss up, kick down”.

    • #3060299

      You may not like this response…

      by kj7gs ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I remember some time ago a new coworker (higher in the food chain though) came to work with us, and his first comments at his first meeting were his mantra of, “respect and honor the boss”. Your responsibility, if you even decide to continue with that job, is to protect that boss the best way you can, but he needs to know that you’re doing so. Down the food chain, you can direct others to do your bidding. Up the food chain, you need to sell, sell, sell!

      On the other hand, it also may be a good idea to protect yourself by documenting your requests and keeping records of what the boss shoots down. Good luck.

    • #3060292

      Went through the same thing

      by haydt1 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I went through the same situation 3 yrs ago. Maybe worse. I tried all the tricks, documentation, going to higher ups, keeping my mouth shut until it affected my health. My entire group was labeled as the trouble makers. In the end I ended up losing my job because of him and had to settle for a position earning 30,00 less than before.

      Hope your situation works out better than mine did.

    • #3060283

      Anonymous email to the CEO

      by cburgess ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place: Use one of the many anonymous emailer websites to send the head of your company info about your bosses behavior. Don’t do this from work!

      Senior management expects lower managers to actually lead their departments and be active and build team work…your’s is the opposite.

      These sights send email to whatever addy you want and the return addy is blank and cannot be traced back to you. Just be sure to use patterns of speech that is significantly different than your own…have a friend type it up. Don’t use any language that can ID any other member of your IT staff.

      • #3060229

        Reply To: How do you deal with a Problem Manager

        by michael.tindall ·

        In reply to Anonymous email to the CEO

        what DOES your bad boss do with his or her time? Anything he would be in trouble for, if it were known? Surfing the internet?
        If so, let them reap what they have sown….and help speed the harvest.

      • #3069718


        by johanv ·

        In reply to Anonymous email to the CEO

        I can’t believe the amount of underhanded suggestions coming into this thread from people who call themselves Professionals.

        • #3069631

          MIght give you some insight…

          by just watching now ·

          In reply to Laudable

          From your comments in your posts (“…All projects are completed in time in full within budget and the whole team gets the praise not just me…”), you sound like a fully capable, fair manager. Do these responses sound like they come from someone who is being well managed?

          Life never was fair, isn’t now, and never will be. No one is a victim unless they agree to it. These just sound like souls that have not yet decided to quit being victims. Not to worry. They will.

      • #3070777

        yes but,

        by givemejava ·

        In reply to Anonymous email to the CEO

        This will work if

        1. The CEO is the type who will actually read something like this and take it in the spirit in which it is given and
        2. You are very specific and not personal. By that I mean you document that on this date, the manager should have done X, for this very good reason but (s)he did A and it had these bad impacts. You should make sure these are not incidents specific to you, as that singles you out. So you may want to take the form

        “On Monday he did this to Fred. Fred is a great employee becauase he can…

        On Tuesday he did this to Jane. Jane is a great employee because she can…”

        You are NOT Fred or Jane.

    • #3060273

      Document everything.

      by raven2 ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Three suggestions:

      Log it, note it, relate it on every incident. If you have a “paper trail” then you have some control.

      If this guy is “tight” with the people who run the company. Shine up your resume and start looking.

      One tactic that sometimes works is refer his name to a “headhunter”. Then be prepared to make whatever moves that his leaving might opens up for you.

      Find help in getting ready to “transition” to what ever is next, because something will be changing.

    • #3060252

      How to work for a Jerk

      by ron.cornwell ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Find and read the book “How to work for a Jerk”. I worked for your boss once too and a collegue loaned me this book and it change everything. I finally understood our boss and myself. Eventually I learned how to work for this “jerk”, then I realized there were other “jerks” I would rather work for, so I changed jobs. Maybe not an option for you, but you should read the book, it provides great insight into the people we work for, and the fact that they are people so they have buttons, and once you learn how to push the right buttons everything changes.

      Good luck.

    • #3060247

      Problem manager – an approach

      by aa8vs ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Do exactly what you are told to do by the fellow. Do it at the time he tells you and document, document, document.

      This sometimes throws them off stride as inadequacies will surface. It can be harder for them to dodge the bullit

    • #3060246

      working for the state of NE

      by jeffersnet ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      This sounds so much like the Dept of Corrections in the State of NE. I finally had to leave, I couldn”t take it anymore. The IT manager was the worst person I had ever met and he has no clue as to how to run an IT shop yet he was named Manager of the Year by the HR department. I tried many of the things I’ve seen here with no success except I wouldn’t list his resume because he would print out any offers or requests for information to show his HR friends who would in turn get him another raise. While all of this is going on the IT group was thought of as a bunch of trouble makers and forced to go to mediation sessions. I guess one thing was different, he had large IT budgets but he would spend the money on things we didn’t want or need while users suffered because we didn’t get what we needed.

      • #3060234


        by kaptkos ·

        In reply to working for the state of NE

        How many inmates are in the State of Nebraska correctional services,, 50????

        Just kidding you; Howdy from A Cornhusker In
        Chicago,, Wood River Native.

        12 seconds in the game and we LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        The true question might be, how many football
        players this semester will show up in Nebraka’s
        Correctional Facilities.


        • #3069584

          no football players

          by jeffersnet ·

          In reply to Nebraska!!!!

          I worked there for 15 years and never saw a football player but did see one basketball player from Creighton. Phillips from the 90’s should have been locked up and eventually will be locked up somewhere.

          I know you were kidding but it was around 4000 inmates in the 12 prisons there. Not too many but considering the population it’s plenty.

          Go HUSKERS!!!

    • #3069814

      Seek to understand

      by sailer ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Seek first to understand then to be understood.

      This is a new manager and I suspect young. One of the great myths of management is that you can never get into trouble by saying no. Most managers learn the fallacy of this approach early on and move on to become team players.

      Another myth is that the manager takes the credit while the group takes the blame. This is bad policy on many different levels. Just the opposite is true. Giving credit and taking the blame generates loyalty. Loyalty is the glue that keeps a team together. You should exhibit loyalty to your boss whenever possible and especially when his management is present. If you are viewed, by upper management as loyal then it becomes harder for your manager to see the “problem group” line. The problem group line gets legs only if you are constantly trying to undermine your boss.

      Finally, the greatest myth about communications is that it occurred. You’ve played the game where you get a group of people to pass a verbal message around the group. The big laugh is when the resulting message is compared to the original. The tragedy is that we never take that lesson to heart. It is good to confirm conversations via email. Not for the purpose of building a case against someone, rather to confirm that what you each heard is the real message and you are on the same page. I will often follow up an email exchange with a verbal confirmation because there are subtle messages that do not come across in email.

      It sounds like you have a rookie and the opportunity to mold him into an effective manager if you choose to participate in the exercise. I have always viewed my number one task as that of making my manager look good.

      <>< dt "It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth." -- John Locke, 1632-1704

    • #3069565


      by philipvon ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I work in a local government agency. The politics overshadows the work. It is the driving force of daily activity. There are “yes-man” managers throughout this organization. My department head is one of them. In fact, this organization isn’t organized. It doesn’t employ the 4 functions of management. It refuses to do so. As a result, ALL things are crisis managed. ALL things are not communicated. ALL things are more expensive to complete because of ALL of the above. I came here to make a difference. The only thing I have changed is that our department’s image. We help those who serve the public without making them feel small because of mistakes they make with their computers. I like my job, but I despise the politics. I told my department head that before I was employed. I just want to do my job. I don’t care about the politics. A County Manager isn’t more important that an employee in the Recorder’s Office who is trying to help a citizen who wants to record or retrieve a document or map. They are more important. But, politics says they are.
      Frustrated…YES. Disappointed…YES. Quiting…YES. I want to go where I am really needed. YES-MEN and POLITICS go together and THREE’s a crowd.

    • #3069558

      Vote With Your Feet

      by trambo ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I had a manager, actually his title was CIO, which was laughable because his previous job was manager of a bar, who was very similar to your description. He got his job because the owner of this privately owned business liked him. It was classic “good old boy” stuff. Whenever he was asked if he/we could do anything, of course his answer was “yes” because he was an absolute clueless brown noser.He would make off color comments and jokes about other employees in the presence of others and bragged about how he was going to “bag” a VP of Sales at the time. He was the absolute worst. I, personally, can not work for someone once I have lost respect for that person or establishment. After my main helper, an extremely talented and industrious young lad who reported to me left, because of him, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would follow. I listened to his BS and nodded my head at the appropriate times and he actually thought I was his “Golden Boy” because I never lost my work ethic or sand bagged. I was one of the few that was kind of helping him look good. Boy, was he surprised when I came to him and announced I was leaving and told him straight up why: because of him. I also outlined every single one of his faults to both him and HR in my exit interview. He was completely blind sided. Even though I made a lateral move to a job I really didn’t like as well, it was one of the most satisfying and stand up things I think I have ever done. Everybody else in the department was stonewalling and goldbricking, after I left, and he was fired shortly thereafter. The cause for his termination was that he spent his whole day on matchmaking sites and nude pictures of him were found on his PC. Gee, I wonder if my colleagues and the Web Control software package I installed had anything to do with that?

      Bottom line is keep your head down and continue to work as hard as ever (maintain YOUR integrity,) then get the hell out of Dodge!

      • #3068914


        by dashx ·

        In reply to Vote With Your Feet

        From what I’ve read in this thread, everyone (6?) is unhappy and the situation has already been escalated to both HR and people higher up the food chain with no descernable effot to either properly investigate or resolve the problem (perceived or otherwise). Best bet would be for all of you to bug out and when handing in notice, state that you are all considering legal action for constructive dismissal. The fact that this “individual” may have exposed the company to some legal problems may encourage senior management to intervene.

    • #3069540


      by redskin ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      One thing I learned young in life C. Y. A. COVER YOUR ASS
      get everything in writing from him, keep emails, keep anything.
      I have been accused by many co workers who are computer
      inept about computer and tryu and tell me the Administrator
      how to do things. I have been in the booses office more times
      than you can count because I will not change or modify policy
      for someone so then they accuse me of thigns that are untrue.
      Keeping a copy of policies, Keeping paperwork, and reminding
      boss that I do not tell them how to do thier job gets me through.

      After a time of him showing his ineptitude goto his supervisor
      with examples and all the paperwork you have kept and write
      out what you want to discuss with him before you talk with him/

    • #3069131


      by chandlermiller ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      if you are really good at what you do–leave.

    • #3069114

      Problem Manager

      by zminns ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I had the same problem. If he is making it look like you are the problem, his boss isn’t going to take any action. His boss, as you said, thinks of you as the problem group. So you have one of 2 choice. First choice, all of yo in that department have a sick out and let him take care of what it is to do for that day. Second choice, this is a harsh one but you may have to do it, QUIT. I chose the second one and after they notice what that manager was all about they gave it counseling. I don’t know if it is better, but I was rehired as a manager with a much higher pay than when I left but not in the same department.

    • #3069110

      I think I know this guy

      by kandra.young ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      This so sounds like an IT Manager I knew, who used to work at Celestica in Little Rock. His name is Jason S. He was transferred to Toronto, and flies back to Arkansas on the weekends. Wondering if this is the same guy, sounds just like his work habits.

    • #3069109

      Update and Thanks!

      by lodai ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Wow, I did not expect to get the amount of responses that I did. Lots of thought provoking advice. There is a update to this situation which I view as a good thing… Some responsibilities have been taken away from him.

      I thank everyone for their comments, advice and recommendations. I have spent some of my hard-earned cash and am getting some extra training under my belt to aid my career in the IT industry. I like what I do. (just don’t like the freaking politics).

      Two things I have realized are that TRUST and COMMUNICATION are key in any relationship (professional, personal..ect). If you don’t have one you don’t have the other and you need help! (which is why I posted)

      Thanks again

    • #3069073

      It’s time to leave!

      by real aus tech ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I’ve seen this sort of situation before, and I can tell you what is going to happen with a reasonable assurance that it is now time for you and possibly some of your fellow workers to leave this business behind. If your Boss has any where near reasonably competent Bosses, they will find out that (s)he is incompetent, and when they do, they will notify HR to terminate his/her employment. What will then happen is that his/her sycophant friend in HR will tell him what is going down so that he will be able to get people like yourself who know that (s)he is incompetent, out of the business on some trumped up issue. Regardless of the truth of it, you will be terminated and your termination papers will state that you are a trouble maker and that your co-workers were a “problem group”, and there goes your reputation and any possibility of a decent position in the future. Don’t think that it cannot happen, because it has happened many times in the past, and it will continue to happen time and time again. On the other hand, if your Boss’s Bosses are of the same stripe as your Boss, the business is going to go down big time, and everyone there is going to be out of work, and once again you and your fellow workers are going to have a hard time gaining a good job, because you should have seen the crash coming in time to get out. This particularly applies to IT employment. So get out now, and when you leave, don’t tell them why, because they can still tar you with the “trouble maker” and/or “problem group” tags.


    • #3059948

      get out *now*!

      by hmx ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      as much as HR would like you to believe this, they’re not on *your* side on this–their job is to prevent the firm from getting into trouble … and it sounds like the environment is already poisoned for you.

      the last time i was in a situation like this 5/7ths of us got new jobs … we did the escalation thing with no joy and it was easier and smarter to just leave. we all ended up resigning on the same day, which made *some* impression …

      they’ll keep badmouthing you after you leave anyway–i was accused of being the ‘ring leader’ in this particular case …

    • #3070809

      I feel your pain…..

      by angry admin ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      Dont worry, you are not alone. I too work with a manager/director that is, to be blunt, USELESS! I’m sure that people will talk of over time, whats that? I have seen about 5 hours of overtime in the last 4 years. The only overtime that was approved was when we were nailed with a virus because the higher up would not spring for proper ant-virus software. When it comes to making decisions I am lucky if i get anything more than a blank stare. When it comes to making very important decisions he is either sleeping or enjoying a 2 hour lunch or ordering parts for his mid-life crisis mobile (2005 Harley Davidson). He is such a drain on the department that he is starting to wear down a some what compitent manager who now just gives up any time he is faced with a challenge or makes a joke out of it. The person in mention (director of doom) is so bad he is said to have a death touch when it comes to pc’s. It has been known that when he walks into a room, things stop working, then when he leaves (which is much welcome) they start back up as if nothing happened. When it comes to a much needed raise, we are cut off at the knees with a whopping 3% with no bonus’s. I guess the old saying is right, if you think you have it bad, there is always some one else whos got it worse. The only advice….find a new job.

    • #3070536

      Just a thought…

      by mrsgarbers ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      There has to be one of your team members who can play into him. Tell him the things he wants to hear and pretty much become a “mole” in a sense.
      Your going to have a long road ahead of you because he knows how all of you feel about him but if there is someone who his boss will listen to, then that is the way you will need to go.
      Politics in the office is a tricky game…one that most IT people (in my experience)HATE playing. It is, however, a necessary evil.
      We have one of those here as well. He whines, back stabs and takes credit for solutions we provide. I just compliment him, smile a lot and pretend to need him and poof….I get what I need to make my job easier. Then I go home and kick him out of my head…lol.

    • #3068742

      Wow such venom

      by vicdelta ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I’m a manager. What I see here is a lot of disfunctional organizations, and I have to say from what I have read, the problem doesn’t appear to be all at the top. When I want to bring forth a problem or complaint about a coworker or manager, the first thing I asked is whether my complaint is biased. If the honest answer is no, then I press on with all the data available to me. Someone will listen. The only qualification I would have is that if your organization is rotten from top to bottom, go somewhere else. Life is too short to be frustrated and miserable all the time.

      And for some of you who appear to be mean, nasty and backstabbing, you would not work in my organization, not only because I wouldn’t want you here, but the rest of our group would see your attitude coming from a mile away.

    • #3044394

      Biblical solution

      by dkmunyere ·

      In reply to How do you deal with a Problem Manager

      I empathize with what you are going through. If at all you are a Christian, I would advice you to keep on obeying him,give him the respect he deserves and pray for him. Prayer changes things.When we pray, God intervenes on our behalf. Consider the children of Israel when they were under the oppression of Pharaoh. They cried to God and finally God delivered them. He can do the same to you!
      David Munyere
      Kijabe, Kenya, E.Africa

    • #3137628
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