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getting even

i just started a new job at a company that's schizophrenic about software and basically has (as i've come to discover) a somewhat adversarial and malignant culture and work environment.  this is basically a result of haughty management and a complete disregard for the engineers.

basically, i'm new here, and management is a pain in the ass.  on the one hand, they say they want us to take more time "designing", while meanwhile, we get tons of pressure to get tech docs done fast.  (ultimately, we need to push them out the door fast to make it look like we're "doing something")...

i'm having beef in particular with one of these managers.  he's creating conflict with me, where none is necessary.  i'm not trying to be difficult with him, but he's finding my questions "academic" and he told me in private that i am creating problems rather than solving them.  i've never had problems with a manager to this extent... 

his attitude to me has me absolutely livid and i was wondering if anyone has stories on how to manage a situation like this (a micro-managing manager who swoops in to make assertions when he's not really tuned into the small issues)...

also, anyone have anecdotes about destroying people like this :)

and yes, i am looking for a new job.

Mr. Smith
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Sometimes,  things can't easily be explained:

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=20366&ixReplies=7

Sincerely, good luck.

Jack
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Try reading 'how to work for a Jerk' - I can't remember the author but you should be able to find it on Amazon.

Remember, the key to survival isn't to do your job well - it's about finding out how to help your manager meet his own agenda.  If your manager finds you useful he'll treat you well and protect you.

Then, in the long-term you can search for a more sane job, which will let you actually do good work.

My prayers go with you.
Sherlock_yoda ;0)

sherlock_yoda
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Get out, now! Run for your life!
Oh, I see, you are already looking for a new job.

In my experience this is the worst situation to be in, and the "bully" manager of this type is very unlikely to change.
Focus on job hunting and in the mean time, just say yes to whatever he comes up with and then proceed to ignore it.
Yes, he might get mad. No, you should not care and no, it will not be worse. After a while he will ignore you.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

This might be a good time to start praying :-)

Prakash S
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Next time he's talking to you just stride out of his office and shout "And next time you try and touch my ass, I'll sue you for sexual harassment!"

Make sure plenty of people are around to hear the shout.

DB
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

You could always try writing a job application from the painful one to your company's main competitor, then leave it in the office copier.


Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Perhaps you should document all the times this person places you in an unfair position -
times, dates, witnesses etc, and establish a pattern of harrassment. With that done, speak to that manager's manger and/or Human Resources.

Of course, if the whole corporate culture is this way then you need to bail.

Robert Moir
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Since you've stated you seem to only have a problem with one of the managers, then you may want to try the following:

1) Try talking to him and letting him know exactly how you feel.  (I'm guessing you've already had this conversation when he pulled you into his office.)

2) If the above doesn't work, which I'm sure it won't, then you need to get an independent third party involved.  Since it seems you get a long fine with the other managers, you may want to talk to a few of them and express your sentiments about how he's treating you. 

You also have to be very careful about who you choose to talk to about this, and also be very tactful and sort of indirect about how you speak of his actions.  Also make sure you choose someone who seems to have some sort of authority (not necessarily rank) over the problematic manager.

Say to the other manager, "I'm not sure why [Insert his name] feels like I'm creating a problem.  He says that my questions are 'academic', but I just want to ensure the success of the projects by making sure we do the right thing from the beginning.  Do you have any advice on what I can do to change his perceptions about my questions during discussions?"

If he agrees with you, then you've won half of the battle.  The other half requires persuading him to talk to the other manager about changing his attitude about you.  The manager may be relectant to confront the other about it, which is why it's imperative you choose some with the authority and audacity to make decisions and act upon it.

If he doesn't agree with you, then just let it go, and keep on looking for a new job with more enlightened management.

HeyMacarana
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

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