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I started a new job about 5 months ago and the company is a good company.  Everyone seems really nice and it's growing.  There's just one problem:  I don't like my boss.  He's a micromanager.  And on top of that, if I ask him how to do something he won't give me an answer.  Instead he goes, "What do you think you should do?"  Do people consider this a good teaching tool?  Because it's not.  If I don't know how your company does something, and I ask how it's done, just tell me.  Or better yet, hand me some documents that tell me how to do it.  I asked if they had any documents to explain how to do things and he suggested I write them.  :confused:

"Hi, I just purchased your wireless hand grinder and wasn't quite sure how to use it."

"How do you think you should use it?"

"Umm.  What?  Don't you have any instructions on how to use it?"

"Maybe you should write some."

 

I'm guessing I can't stay at this job, right?  He's been here for 20 years.  Even if everything about this job was gumdrops and rainbows, I'll never be able to get past the dark cloud of my boss, correct?  Pretty sure I know the answer, but just needed to vent a little.

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Just now, Jaysus said:

GB a job though. 

This is true.  But I feel like the job is starting to affect my mental health.

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It is often said, people dont quit jobs, they quit bosses. 

If you don't like him and there are no other areas in the company you may fit into, it doesn't hurt to start looking for a new job.

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Sounds like the kind of person you can supplant

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Crazy thing, 2 months in he was having his weekly meeting with me where we go over every little thing I've done over the past week and he made some comment like, "If there's one thing I hate, it's micromanagers.  That's why I make sure I never become one."  

I couldn't let it go.  I said, "I'm not trying to be mean, but you are a micromanager.  I've worked at huge companies where I've managed people and where I've managed people who managed other people.  You don't need to check up on my 9 times a day to see if I'm doing everything."  And the only reason I told him was because he was slowing my work down and actually confusing me with all of his emails.  

Everyone else at this company seems great.  Why did I have to get the one guy who's not great as my boss? 

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1 hour ago, TheIronSheik said:

  Instead he goes, "What do you think you should do?"  Do people consider this a good teaching tool?  Because it's not.  

It can be a good tool when employees are asking questions they should be able to think through themselves.  Sometimes it’s better to just answer the question and then explain why but I don’t agree with your rigid position here.

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Yeah, I don't do that to new employees.  In fact, I tell them if they're not asking questions (and getting answers) they're doing it wrong.  How afraid are you of getting let go?  If not I'd sit down and have a heart to heart with him.  Lay out what you see as your needs and see if you can train him a bit.  

My old boss would just assume I knew how to do everything - he was a bit of the distracted professor type.  I forgave him this as he made up for it in other areas.  I understand the frustration here, though.

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2 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

It can be a good tool when employees are asking questions they should be able to think through themselves.  Sometimes it’s better to just answer the question and then explain why but I don’t agree with your rigid position here.

I agree, but these should be laid out in advance as thought exercises.  I'll give coop students some of these problems and tell them in advance that it may take them a bit to think through it, but that I want to give them experience in what kind of thinking goes into this type problem, etc.  And then when they get stuck lead them through the wickets on how to solve it.  

I don't ask a guy who's clueless to begin with to write the manual.  Even if they were both an oil baron and a cupcake baron in previous lives.

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Wait, there are companies with managers that don't micromanage and can actually answer questions?  I thought they were all just sociopathic corporate ladder climbers with no actual skills beyond self-aggrandizement.

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1 hour ago, Bob Sacamano said:

Sounds like the kind of person you can supplant

Good call but doubtful, boss has been there 20 years.  Exit strategy seems best.  And one which could entertain us, even better.

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16 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

It can be a good tool when employees are asking questions they should be able to think through themselves.  Sometimes it’s better to just answer the question and then explain why but I don’t agree with your rigid position here.

I'm talking more about things that no one who hasn't worked at this company would have any idea how it's done.  Instead of taking 15 minutes of making me guess and on top of that, making me feel stupid for not knowing, just tell me how to do it.  Then I can do it that way every time forward.  In fact, I could even write instructions on how it's done so no one else ever has to wonder how something is done.

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1 minute ago, Sand said:

I agree, but these should be laid out in advance as thought exercises.  I'll give coop students some of these problems and tell them in advance that it may take them a bit to think through it, but that I want to give them experience in what kind of thinking goes into this type problem, etc.  And then when they get stuck lead them through the wickets on how to solve it.  

I don't ask a guy who's clueless to begin with to write the manual.  Even if they were both an oil baron and a cupcake baron in previous lives.

There are such differences in jobs, employee expectations, and personalities,  it’s probably impossible to have rules on how things should always work. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, TheIronSheik said:

I'm talking more about things that no one who hasn't worked at this company would have any idea how it's done.  Instead of taking 15 minutes of making me guess and on top of that, making me feel stupid for not knowing, just tell me how to do it.  Then I can do it that way every time forward.  In fact, I could even write instructions on how it's done so no one else ever has to wonder how something is done.

Yeah, then that’s pretty stupid.

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2 hours ago, TheIronSheik said:

This is true.  But I feel like the job is starting to affect my mental health.

A) Can you direct me to the procedure document, please and thank you?

B) Show me the business rules.

C) Gfy.

I would go a little bit of A, a little bit of B, and a passive aggressive pinch of C.

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2 hours ago, TheIronSheik said:

Crazy thing, 2 months in he was having his weekly meeting with me where we go over every little thing I've done over the past week and he made some comment like, "If there's one thing I hate, it's micromanagers.  That's why I make sure I never become one."  

I couldn't let it go.  I said, "I'm not trying to be mean, but you are a micromanager.  I've worked at huge companies where I've managed people and where I've managed people who managed other people.  You don't need to check up on my 9 times a day to see if I'm doing everything."  And the only reason I told him was because he was slowing my work down and actually confusing me with all of his emails.  

Everyone else at this company seems great.  Why did I have to get the one guy who's not great as my boss? 

How did he respond?

I would probably have one sit down with him, address it directly, and if it didn't improve, move on.

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In my opinion a new employee should be asking questions.  If not that’s a red flag to me.  When an employee is seasoned though (not sure about 5 months in) it’s nice for them to bring me possible answers to questions or issues.  This is a case by case basis however.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Thorn said:

How did he respond?

I would probably have one sit down with him, address it directly, and if it didn't improve, move on.

He responded good, actually.  I was pretty sure it was going to be bad, but it wasn't.  He kind of threw in some subtle jabs like, "Sorry if I'm nagging you", which is just as annoying.  But I actually felt the problem might have been fixed.  That was a couple weeks ago and for a week, everything was good.  But he's slowly going back to micromanaging.  I don't think he can help himself.  He has to be involved in every aspect of every issue.  If I had another job offer, I'd be gone.  But I haven't even started looking.  I think I'm going to work on my resume tonight and start putting it out there.

On top of this, I'm going through a whole bunch of unrelated family issues and the weight of the world just seems to be crushing me. So the perfect storm of bad timing.  And every email or IM from him that asks a question makes me want to just flip my desk over and walk out.  But that's not an option I have right now.  But God I wish it was.

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13 minutes ago, ragincajun said:

In my opinion a new employee should be asking questions.  If not that’s a red flag to me.  When an employee is seasoned though (not sure about 5 months in) it’s nice for them to bring me possible answers to questions or issues.  This is a case by case basis however.

 

 

He hired a senior manager, me.  I come from a different industry, so while I know how to do things, processes are new to me.  He'll come by my office and be like, "Did you call Jim in New York?"  I'll say, "I did.  No answer.  Left a message and sent him an email."  He'll then go, "Probably should call him back just in case."  Then 15 minutes later I'll get an IM asking if I called Jim back.  It's so annoying.  

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2 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

It can be a good tool when employees are asking questions they should be able to think through themselves. 

I do the same thing....with 13 year olds.

Sheik's boss just sounds like a jerk.

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1 minute ago, Officer Pete Malloy said:

I do the same thing....with 13 year olds.

Sheik's boss just sounds like a jerk.

Exactly how I feel.  Like I'm his 10 year old kid that he wants to trust, but just doesn't quite trust yet.  

And the thing is, I see him do it to the other two team members who have been here for over 2 years.  So it's not just something he's doing to me because I'm new.

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5 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

He hired a senior manager, me.  I come from a different industry, so while I know how to do things, processes are new to me.  He'll come by my office and be like, "Did you call Jim in New York?"  I'll say, "I did.  No answer.  Left a message and sent him an email."  He'll then go, "Probably should call him back just in case."  Then 15 minutes later I'll get an IM asking if I called Jim back.  It's so annoying.  

Yeah, that's "look for a new job" territory.  He's insane and doesn't trust you doing your work.

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5 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

Yeah, that's "look for a new job" territory.  He's insane and doesn't trust you doing your work.

My last job, I loved my boss but hated my work.  This job, I love my work but hate my boss.

I need to find that Goldilocks job.

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3 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

My last job, I loved my boss but hated my work.  This job, I love my work but hate my boss.

I need to find that Goldilocks job.

Does this guy have a boss that you can talk to about the issues with him?  Or HR? 

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3 hours ago, TheIronSheik said:

I couldn't let it go.  I said, "I'm not trying to be mean, but you are a micromanager.  I've worked at huge companies where I've managed people and where I've managed people who managed other people.  You don't need to check up on my 9 times a day to see if I'm doing everything." 

Here's your reason for his dickish behavior. You called him out, and he's pouting

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12 minutes ago, offdee said:

Does this guy have a boss that you can talk to about the issues with him?  Or HR? 

The structure of this company is so weird.  He's a Director but his boss would essentially be the President.

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6 minutes ago, Mr.Pack said:

Here's your reason for his dickish behavior. You called him out, and he's pouting

I agree.  He's definitely pouting.  But if I didn't call him out, I wouldn't have lasted this long.  And it was a one on one meeting, and I didn't do it in a way that was mean spirited at all.  I told him I liked him (a lie) and that I enjoyed working for him (another lie) but he needed to trust me to do my work and not always be looking over my back.  I was as gentle as possible.

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34 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

He hired a senior manager, me.  I come from a different industry, so while I know how to do things, processes are new to me.  He'll come by my office and be like, "Did you call Jim in New York?"  I'll say, "I did.  No answer.  Left a message and sent him an email."  He'll then go, "Probably should call him back just in case."  Then 15 minutes later I'll get an IM asking if I called Jim back.  It's so annoying.  

Lol I would be annoyed by that too.

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I guess I also have to figure out what I'm going to tell companies I interview with as to why I'm wanting to leave a company I just started with 6 months ago.

I'm thinking about saying they said no travel, but once I started that changed?  Is that acceptable?  I don't want to say my boss was a PITA, even though it's the truth.  

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Make a "to do" list.  Every time he asks you do to something add it to the list.  Every subsequent time he asks simply refer him to the list.

Pretty soon he will be managing your list instead of you.   Basically he will be working for you prioritizing things.

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8 minutes ago, tonydead said:

Make a "to do" list.  Every time he asks you do to something add it to the list.  Every subsequent time he asks simply refer him to the list.

Pretty soon he will be managing your list instead of you.   Basically he will be working for you prioritizing things.

Nope.  Because he has a standard response.  

The other day he asked if I took care of an issue he saw I was working on.  I said I did, it's done.  And that I checked back with them a day later to verify everything was good.  And a week later I emailed them to just check one more time that all was good.  He said, "That's good.  But you might want to call them back one more time and just talk face to face with them.  People like that."

Actually, no.  They hate that.  These are busy people who are trying to do their job.  They don't want to be bothered 20 times a week to "verify" everything is alright.  Trust me: If it ain't working, we'll hear about it.

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11 minutes ago, tonydead said:

Make a "to do" list.  Every time he asks you do to something add it to the list.  Every subsequent time he asks simply refer him to the list.

Pretty soon he will be managing your list instead of you.   Basically he will be working for you prioritizing things.

A shared wall of work with 3 swimlanes: one a funnel of un-prioritized tasks, another with what is currently being worked, and a 3rd with completed tasks.  Keep it updated, give him the link, and shut your door when you see him coming ;)

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He checks in on my at least 3 times a day to get a rundown of everything.  This doesn't include his emails and IM's asking if I've followed up on everything.

Then we have an hour meeting every week, one on one,  to go over what happened that week and to see if I've followed up on everything.

Then we have an hour meeting every week, with the whole team, to go over what happened that week and to see if we've followed up on everything.

 

And for a guy that does all this, if I say, "Hey Boss, I just had a site call me and say their Hoppsidoodle broke and they need to order a new one."  His response will be, "And how do you think we do that?"

:rant:

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One other thing to note is that the company was having a huge issue with something (I won't get into the IT details) when I came.  It had been ongoing for over a year.  I made a suggestion and he shot it down.  So I went ahead and checked it anyway and turned out I was right.  I fixed the problem the first month of being here.  Ever since, he's been acting odd to me.  Like during our weekly meeting with the other team members, he made a point to say I helped fix a major issue, but he included the fact "even though we told him not to".  

And something smaller.  I think he used to be the office funny guy.  And whenever I make jokes and others laugh, you can see in his face he's bothered by it.  

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Something else he does now in IM is he'll ask me a question and I'll answer it.  And he'll write "Correct, unless..."

And I know he wants me to come up with some odd scenario where it doesn't apply.  But I just don't answer.  And when he finally acknowledges that I haven't answered, I reply back, "Oh.  I was waiting on you to continue your train of thought."

 

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You may as well just walk up to the guy and kick him in the balls.

Better yet, just let us know where you work. This dude is making me mad - I'll come down and do it for you.

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1 hour ago, TheIronSheik said:

One other thing to note is that the company was having a huge issue with something (I won't get into the IT details) when I came.  It had been ongoing for over a year.  I made a suggestion and he shot it down.  So I went ahead and checked it anyway and turned out I was right.  I fixed the problem the first month of being here.  Ever since, he's been acting odd to me.  Like during our weekly meeting with the other team members, he made a point to say I helped fix a major issue, but he included the fact "even though we told him not to".  

And something smaller.  I think he used to be the office funny guy.  And whenever I make jokes and others laugh, you can see in his face he's bothered by it.  

Just :bowtie:.

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