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Sys Admin not helping new hire...

By redsgirl ·
i am a new hire at my current job with about 1.5yrs experience. all of my experience (including current job) has been in desktop support. my job is to assist the Sys Admin (basically do all the work he doesn't want to do) ...which i don't mind)and to eventually ACT in his place when he's not here. there is alot of information to soak up here and i'm eager to learn, but it seems that he (Sys Admin) doesn't want to teach me. he gives me jobs to do and when they aren't done in 5 mins. he completes them. i don't expect him to tell me EVERYTHING but i do expect him to tell me and show me what i need to know in order for me to do my job. my question(s) is/are 1)how can i learn and grow when he wants to do everything and not leave anyhting for me to do? 2) how do i confront him in a PROFESSIONAL, way? AND 3)if this continues what steps should i take to get around this situation?

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Tough situation

by cmiller5400 In reply to Sys Admin not helping new ...

because he/she may feel that they are going to be replaced or let go once you learn their jobs. Did he hire you or did his boss? This is a sticky situation and will need to be treaded on softly. I once worked with a guy that kept all knowledge to himself because he thought that it would make him irreplaceable. It was not fun, but once you got through to him, he was the nicest guy around. It just took time for him to realize that you are not there to replace him, but to help him in his work.

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he was the one who hired me

by redsgirl In reply to Tough situation

he knew upfront my experience level, and everything else. he is a nice guy but, it seems as though he gives me 'pieces' of information instead of the whole amount.

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Just Maybe.....

by The Davemeister In reply to he was the one who hired ...

Does the guy know what he's doing in his job. I've had plenty of sys admins who are, to be frank, incompetent.
They usually cover it by keeping everything to themselves so that everyone thinks that they are doing the best job possible.
Not an easy situation to deal with.
You may find to be fair that he just thinks that too much information may overload you and is doling it out piecemeal in an attempt to keep your learning curve at a reasonable level.

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by shardeth-15902278 In reply to Just Maybe.....

Maybe he just has a hard time 'letting go'. If he has become attached to these systems, or feels a strong personal reponsibility for them, he may just be finding it difficult to let go and move on.

Or maybe he is worried about dumping 'busy-work' on you, or giving you more than you are comfortable with.

I just throw those out as other possibilities, which would fit with your observation that he is nice. It could be he is a geek become manager, and is very much out of his element in trying to handle delegation and such.

As to what works in this situation... Patience. Look for opportunities to help, and keep soaking up the bits as he divulges them.

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Sad but SIMPLE Truth

by allreal2g In reply to Just Maybe.....

allot of us if in a situation where we have subordinates really should take some management courses...... a huge part of the issues are just that an inability to properly manage, add a little fear of relinquishing some of our responsibilities and top that with a scoop of insecurity of being outshined and your stuck with a torn in your side. abilty to manage is unrated really

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To be honest

by pamelaknight In reply to Just Maybe.....

This is more common than not that IT support personnel don't like to give away their secrets. Not all of us are like that but they seem to get comfortable with the way things run on the network so to speak and if you were to suggest a better implementation it would have them feeling less in control. This is what it sounds like to me.

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You're not alone, this is what I've done

by sully In reply to he was the one who hired ...

First of all, understand that you are faced with two separate issues here. 1. a business/administration thing and 2. an emotional/trust based thing. Nothing else is really happening and if you're clear about what you are dealing with, realizing your strategies becomes less daunting. When I run into this with projects I constantly remind myself that everything is about the project not about me. What ever information I'm given I make sure I request what else I need and do everything that I can to do what tasks have been given to me. When I run into a road block due to "lack of information" I simply follow up and present the case from a business point of view; in other words, "These are your requests and here is the status report." I also make sure the status report has the following ABC's (Alacrity, Brevity, and Clarity) and no emotion. I then follow that up with a phone call with the sole purpose of following up in the interests of keeping the connection moving forward. When I've asked my CTO if she just doesn't trust me, even if I mask it in a joke; I've created the possiblity for her to consider the idea of Trust when I'm sure that that is not a result I've wanted. Documentation is everything, follow up is everything else and what happens along the way is the experience of building a relationship upon accountability and trust without having to talk about accountability and trust. Make sure that before you start out on a project (even when it seems half baked), that has been given to you by your engineer, make sure you're clear about what the "things" are that you are supposed to do. Often times, thinking that we need to know the full story is a waste of good emotional energy when just getting it done will allow you the opportunity to learn the story a chapter at a time as the project progresses. He will depend upon you more naturally and respond better to your needs when you communicate effectively from a business/get it done kind of attitude than from an attitude that seems to be about lacking something. Try it on, ask him for a time once a week/month to meet regarding a re-cap (1/2 hr to an hour) and bring your emotion and passion to that meeting with a clear vision for what you want to bring and what you are struggling with yet are learning greatly from. My sense is that no "good guy" IT boss is going to shun this kind of assistance and communication, be prepared though, that this meeting may take a month to develop, don't miss that opportunity to follow up effectively (prob twice/week) until your response is met. After 3 times it would be ok to ask the boss "by when" will we have this follow up? Hope this helps!

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similar situation

by checkdatlevel In reply to Sys Admin not helping new ...

If you just started then you need to gain his trust first. If you are now settled at your new job then tell your boss that you would like more responsibility and that u would like to handle the problems on your own.

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Got to win him over

by jdclyde In reply to Sys Admin not helping new ...

He is feeling threatened by you, and there are many ignorant people in this field that will try to hord knowledge to either make themselves harder to replace or to make everyone see how grand they are because they can do what no one else can do.

"Wow, you did that good. Think you could show me that sometime?"

"Was wondering what I would have to do on the days that you are on vacation, could you give me a hand please?"

also, you can talk to him in neutral terms that change it from a blame game to a request that it is intended for.

"When you don't allow me to finish a project, it makes me feel like you don't trust me. Is there something I have done that would make you feel this way?"

I went through something like this, but it wasn't technical knowledge being with held because I knew more than the admin at the time. She still thought I was trying to take her job, not realizing that there was so much work to do that she was not able to do what she was doing well because she didn't have time. Everything was done poorly because of having too much on her plate. She eventually was able to hand off half of her responsbilities (she picked what she wanted and I got the rest) without a pay cut of any kind.

It did take a long time though.

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Or, from the other side

by jdmercha In reply to Got to win him over

I just recently hired a new and capable person. He may look at me as hording information too.

From my perspective there is just too much information to give to him all at once. So I dole it out as it comes up. But then it is difficult to keep track of what I have told him and what I haven't. So basically, if he doesn't ask me for the information then he doesn't get it. Although he hesitates to ask questions sometime, because he'd like to figurte it out himself, he does ask questions when he feels he needs to.

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