A non-pit-worthy rant about someone at work.

I’m not quite sure how to articulate this. Basically there’s a guy at my work who manages a department alongside mine.

Due to crappy upper-management management this manager is also being trained in my own department as an ‘operator’.

I don’t object to this as we need the cover.

What I do object to is that this guy is slowly but surely revealing himself to be a bit of a megalomaniac. He is sticking his managerial nose in where it is most definitely not wanted. He is behaving as if he is a) my manager and b) in charge of my staff.

The problem is, before his ‘nature’ came to light he got into my ‘friendship’ zone and I think he considers me one of his close work-friends. So being the wimp I am I haven’t the heart or balls to tell him to butt-out of my department’s management process. I want to tell him he’s being trained to provide cover, NOT to manage. I am the manager of this department. Manager your own (fucking) department!

Rant over.

Obligatory kitteh picture…

The only realistic thing I can tell you is try to do it, but be polite. I realize this isn’t much help, so I will provide you with a list of things you probably should not do:

Murder - Pretty much always frowned upon. Please note that this includes you paying someone else to dispose of him.

Battery/Assault (Verbal or Physical)

Tamper with food/beverages

Begin a relationship with him, or anyone else in the office. This is usually frowned upon also, although probably easier to get away with than murder.

Spread gossip about him

Steal from him

Thats about all I can think of, although I’m sure there are others.

Grow a heart, and some balls.

While I wait for that, can I borrow yours?

At some point you really do have to have the courage to say (preferably in private, before it becomes necessary to say it in front of your own staff); “Look, I appreciate your advice and help, but this is my department to manage, not yours.”

Do it before your mutual bosses see this and 1> your promotional prospects dim, and 2> his grow.

Wait, I don’t understand how it’s upper management’s fault that you can’t assert yourself as the manager of your own department. I mean if you can’t even do that, maybe you would be better off as an individual contributor than as a manager.

Well…little private talks are nice and all. But in reality, people will respond more to your actual behaviors than what you agree to behind the scenes or even your formal title.

When you are in a meeting, observe how people behave. Who are the people everyone seems to listen to? How do they act? What behaviors do they exhibit?

For example, does this Other Manager just come over and start giving orders or suggestions to your team? Well, one way you assert yourself as the manager is start to question Other Manager about those orders. Not in a way that is necessarily designed to shoot them down or is otherwise confrontational. More like you think it might be a good idea but you want to be convinced before you are willing to allow the team to move ahead with it.
Another thing to think about is that this person might simply be a much better and more effective manager than you. Remember the higher ups don’t care about your ego, they care about running an effective company. If they see two managers and one is naturally demonstrating superior leadership, they are typically more likely to promote that person (and it may not be you). So instead of looking at it as a personal affront, view it as an opportunity to learn and potentially make an ally.

msmith537 I appreciate your advice and I thank you for taking the time to give it, but it doesn’t quite fit with my situation.

The fault being the upper Management’s is nothing to do with my ability to assert myself. It is to do with the fact that I am denied the hiring and firing power. the size and membership of my team is beyond my control, thus when my team became short the only option I had was to take on this other manager as a trainee. (And at the time I didn’t know what kind of person he’d turn out to be)

And this manager is ‘better’ in the sense that he is good at brown-nosing. Good at taking credit for the talent and hard work of other people, and so on. And upper management are too full of themselves to see people like this for who they are.

I can and do tell this manager not to give orders to my team. I do assert myself when I need to. But the rant is more about the niggling feeling that somehow this manager is worming and weasling his way into areas he shouldn’t. He’s a bit of a control-freak and megalomaniac. and while I believe I can just about contain him and deal with him it doesn’t change the fact that his behaviour and personality give me something to want to vent about here on the SDMB.
Sooner or later it will come to a head and I’ll be confronting this person directly.

I’ve never been able to fire people. Only give them shitty performance reviews and hope it eventually takes care if itself. Mostly I have to lead by pure leadership ability, not the threat of firing.

Part of being a manager is not only managing your team but managing upward. Demonstrating and communicating to the higher ups that you are doing your job effectively. 90% of my job is office politics.