I don't care what your opinion is...just shut the f*ck up and do what I say!

No, not you Dopers. Every word you utter is a precious gem to be examined and treasured. Unless I disagree with you or something. :wink:

This is a long, long, long, work rant. Be warned.

The thing is, I’m sick of this one employee giving me a goddamned debate every time I make a decision.

I’ve been promoted to management in the Tech-support department where I work. I am very low-level management however, and do not have the power to change policy for the multi-national parent company who dictates larger policy. I can’t even give people raises (although I can recommend them or not). I am also the first tech in the history of the company to get to be supervisor of the tech department by being promoted from the ranks of the tech-department, rather than being hired because I had managment experience at, say…Jiffy-Lube. Overall I consider this a good thing and so do the people in my department (based on the supervisor review I just had).

In my first few months, I was able to streamline a bunch of things that everyone, myself included had been griping about for years (redundant paperwork, etc). I can and have looked the other way in the face of a stupid company policy (if you’re 1 minute late from lunch, you’re to be sent home without pay for the rest of the day.) I’m getting to sit in on and contribute to meetings of several high-placed people to change more policies and clarify issues that the previous supervisors, who wouldn’t know a burned out CPU fan from a defective external zip drive, couldn’t cope with.

All well and good.


One guy, who I specifically asked to have included in the restructured department has turned into a jerk. Every time I tell him a company policy or change of company policy I get a 20 minute debate. “But Fenris, if you’d see my position…”.


I don’t give a fuck what your position is. I’ve told you repeatedly that I’m not in a position to change policy on certain issues, and on about half of the ones you’re griping about, we SHOULDN’T change policy. Your fucking ‘point of view’ is irrelevant: do your job or get the hell out. And, let’s be clear. I’ve got friends in the department. You’re not one of them. If I won’t give my friends special treatment, I’m certainly not going to give it to you.

Please understand, fellow Dopers: I understand griping. I gripe. Everyone gripes. Tech-Support people consider griping a basic job perk. That’s fine. I understand people wanting reasons for policy. That’s fine. I even understand debating on an occasional issue that really, REALLY bugs you. That’s fine. What’s not fine is debating on EVERY. SINGLE. GODDAMN. POINT!

A ‘ferinstance’: We don’t speak to customer’s who don’t have tech-support contracts with us. Period. We are to very nicely give them a number to call to purchase a contract, or if they claim they have one, give them a diferent number to call to clarify the issue. What we are not to do is give them free tech support. Even if it’s only “Eject the non-formatted floppy out of the disk-drive and reboot your machine.” There are legal issues as to why we must not give ANY tech support to non-members, no matter how harmless or innocuous the advice seems to be. I’ve explained the issues. Everyone else in the group understands and accepts. Except him. If he tells me that “I’m too rigid” or that “I need to listen to his explanation one more time”, I’ll snap. (Well, probably not snap, but…)

Another ‘ferinstance’: The previous supervisor promoted his best friend to be his assistant. The best friend was able to get away with murder. Two or three hour lunches, coming in drunk (yes. Drunk. Not tipsy or buzzed. Falling down, throwing up drunk) on a regular basis. One of the “perks” the best friend got was an ok to play his radio. Loudly. In an inbound call-center. With crappy headsets. Building management had to come in several times to tell him to turn it off.

Now my problem employee wants to (and has) brought a radio in and has tried to play it. When I told him “no”, I got a song-and-dance debate. I also got the “But the old supervisor let someone play a radio…” whine. 1)It’s an inbound call-center. We don’t need additional noise. 2)It’s against company policy and I’m not willing to look the other way on this one (I have on some policies). 3)I don’t want the ENDLESS debates about whether the windowshades should be up or down (people have nearly come to blows over this) or what the thermostat should be set to (four days of the temperature jumping from 55 to 85 before I locked the damn thing at 68[sup]o[/sup]. To allow this to spread to the radio “It’s too loud”/“Turn it up”. “Change the station”/“I like this song” would be insane.

I’m gonna kill him.

(Actually, what I’m going to do is follow company policy by writing down my concerns, writing down the specific company policies he’s breaking, having a meeting with him where we discuss them and make him sign off that he understands that continued violations of these policies will result in a formal warning or worse).

But it’s more fun to think of killing him. Dude: Why have you suddenly become an asshole?


Because he thinks he can push you around? That’s the only thing I can see.

Otherwise, you’ve got the right plan there. Just remind yourself that murder is illegal, probably with good reason. :slight_smile:

I think you should kill him.
Fenris, you’re my hero of the day.

I knew he liked me!! :slight_smile:

Seriously though, I think that you are on the right track with handling it. It can be frustrating dealing with people like that.

No, getting caught at it is-hehe!! sorry, couldn’t resist. And I’m not serious, my morals are firmly in place, but since you’re not at the level of the food chain to do anything productive, you may as well learn to live with it. You have arrived at the level of power/responsibility where it is your gig to deal with dimwits like this. Yeah, you get a few perks etc. but you also insulate the higher-ups from the morons. You now have two choices: relinquish your post, go back to being an employee, or work your way higher up the ladder.

OBTW, it’s perfectly legal to spend the last fifteen minutes of each day writing a brief essay on exactly how you’d torture this lowlife slowly to death. I do that regularly. I have a LOT of those to deal with. It helps.


I haven’t read the thread, but it caught my eye because the title is more or less what God says to me every ten seconds to get me through my life. Without the potty-talk, of course.

Thanks for the epiphany. I feel strangely cleansed.

Fenris, you are a posting machine.

You know, sometimes “He needed killing” works as a justification for homicide. Well, I’m from Texas. And this guy sounds like he needs killing. Not that I’m advocating that, of course, but it sure does seem like everyone ELSE’S life would be improved if he took a long walk off a short pier.

If you’re not in Texas, how about you just take a cattle prod to work, and warn him, ONCE, that if he doesn’t shut up when you tell him to, you’ll apply the prod? Is he union?


I would be more than happy to “Have A Talk” with him, all for the price of a beer.

I feel for you, Fenris. I’ve had this chucklehead once or twice. You’re doing the right thing… reasonable, but firm. The firm part being more important than the reasonable, I’ve found, since you’re in charge and you need to let everyone know it (there may be people watching (including the chucklehead himself) to see how you’ll handle this).

Of course it’s a bit different in the military, but you get the idea. Now, if you tell me where this guy lives, I can arrange for some bombs to be “accidentally” dropped… well, just tell me where he lives, ok? :slight_smile:

Fenris, if I was an attractive female, I would shag you :slight_smile:
I think your planned course of action to be consummately professional.
BTW If you decide to kill him, can I suggest you borrow a technique that I spotted in the film “Hawk the Slayer”?
a) Stake him out on the ground.
b) Suspend a large, heavy, spikey thing above his head, by a rope that passes over a branch or whatever, and then clamp the trailing end in his teeth.
c) Point out the consequences of opening his mouth, and then give him a calm, rational talking to.

Dude, you care about doing a good management job. I love you.

Better idea.

Print out the “Webster’s Dictionary” thread.

Tell him to prepare a detailed technical analysis of the issues involved and who he feels the guilty party or parties must be.

When he’s completed this, then you will listen to his concerns.

(Then recruit for a replacement.) :slight_smile:

I’m allowed to carry a sidearm for instances like this.

Lay the law down, and be a pr*ck. You are the boss. If you have to, you can always fire him. . . In the end, you will get more done, efficiently, easily, and happily.


Why couldn’t you have been my manager when I worked at a Microsoft call center, Fenris? The job wouldn’t have sucked so bad had we had management that a) was technical, b) gave a rat’s ass about “fairness” c) consistently applied company policy.

Good luck with the jackass. Sounds like you’ve got a good plan in place. (The documentation and talking-to, not the killing.)

What you really should do is speak to him like he is an idiot using 8 letter words:D I’ve always used that combined with insane rationalizations to get people to stop pestering me.

Make sure he understands what is expected of him in “your” department.

After you have collected enough documentation to show the guy is not going along with the program either fire him or have him fired.

Some people are like poison and will effect your entire department if you let them.

If he straightens up great but if not get rid of him.
Actually if you’re a new manager it would be good for you to fire him ASAP your department will feel better knowing they don’t have a weak boss.

BTW did I mention you should fire him?

Here is some advice I have for anyone getting into management with regards to problem employees.

Fire them and replace them with good employees.
You will have a more productive department and sleep better at night. Your boss will be happy that the department runs smoothly and everything will be peachy. If you try and work with them you will not sleep well and your job will become a nightmare.

If you’ve never fired someone get prepared because it sucks. The only thing about being a boss that sucks worse is working with lousy employees.

Thanks, everyone for the comments:

A couple of responses:

Get thee behind me Spooge and lead me not into temptation. :wink:

Lynn: I thought about the cattle-prod thing, but, y’know…he’s the type of whiner who’d take it to HR. And they just might blame ME! Where’s the justice, I asks ya?

Rasa and TPWombat: Thanks for the compliment. In one sense I have no choice. After all the bitching I did about how “If I was supervisor, things 'd be different.” I don’t have much of a choice :D. Besides, it’s fun to actually see people come into work more-or-less enthused.

Waxteeth: I’ve never fired anyone yet, but I’m getting close. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’ll be that bad to fire him. The Security Guy’s my pal, so I’m OK there, and at least two people have told my Problem Employee loudly and publicly: “Geez! Will you shut the fuck up and just do what Fenris says?”.

A third employee complained because Problem Employee gave tech-support to a customer who’s contract had expired months ago. When the “fix” that Prob.Emp. gave didn’t work and left the customer with no Operating System, Employee Three got the call and was screamed at for 15 minutes because he (correctly) wouldn’t help her. (“WHY won’t you help me? Problem Employee would! He got me started on this and now I’m worse off than before! I don’t see why some of you are nice enough to help me and the rest of you are such jerks…etc”). It became a Supervisor call and I ended up agreeing that since Prob. Employee made matters worse, I had to solve the problem. Do you know how much I enjoy helping a screaming bitch do a full system format and restore on an old machine that doesn’t have a “restore cd”, but has a Win95 disk and a bunch of seperate driver disks? And doesn’t have bios capable of booting to the restore CD so we have to find the DOS drivers for the CD? Especially if she’s not a paying customer? When I have payroll to do? And’ll have to stay late to make sure that it gets done? On a Friday night?


I can’t fire him until I’ve gone through the proper proceedures… starting with what I wrote in my OP.


Now here’s a chance to repay your good deed, Fenris. You helped talk me through my bizarro managment crisis recently. (Which turned out fine, btw. The Bitch is gone, toast, and all by the book. Your post prodded me into finally bringing HR onboard; they worked miracles.)

Sounds like your problem child is both testing your limits and giving you hell for being promoted to the Other Side. C’mon, the idiot knows damn well what’s within a supervisor’s range of authority. Since you can’t recreate the corporation in his image so he’s agitating for the “loud, obnoxious favorite” slot your predecessor created.

Have you tried deadpan mockery? “Yes, I understand your opinion but a mugger swiped my magic wand.” “I was JUST saying that yesterday to X (CEO of the company) yesterday!” “Excellent idea but first I have to cure cancer, end world hunger and cleanse the environment.” Of course the ultimate is Rimmer’s Red Dwarf zinger: “We all bring something to a discussion; what you may bring is silence”. (I’ve never quite mustered the nerve to use that one but the words have BURNED behind my clenched teeth.)

Is a union involved? Same goes, really: document, warn, set guidelines, then keep documenting. The putz isn’t “participating, giving feedback, thinking outside the box, blah blah blah.” He’s acting like a cranky 2-yr. old (no offense to toddlers): whine, pout, nitpick, jab, play with forbidden toys, tantrum, Grandpa/Mom/whomever woulda let me!

Whoever said “Daddy/Mommy doesn’t work here” was deluded. Scary, isn’t it, when supposed adults impose childish patterns onto work? Betcha his weary co-workers are just as sick of it. They’re watching to see how you handle his tantrums, i.e. what your limits are, how fair you are, etc.

Good luck, dear. You’ll do fine. I’m beaming good wishes your way.


It sounds kinda like you work where I worked, but back then they tended to promote from within (I almost made supervisor myself). Hell, my year of non-disclosure is long over - I worked for Stream, which is an outsourced tech support provider that had contracts with Compaq, HP, Gateway, Dell, MSN, and a bunch of other companies. They lost the contract with Compaq, and I was moved to HP, which was pretty much the same except they didn’t require us to lie if we were asked if we were HP employees.

I’ve moved on to a better company, but that same type of employee is everywhere. I particularly hate ones that provide support outside their support boundaries. As an example, at this ISP I work for there is a particular service that we do not provide support for late at night, there is nobody in that department up there. We had an employee who used to be in that department and still had access to the servers and routers you need to troubleshoot and fix some issues with that service, and when they came in instead of giving them a case number and telling them to call back in the morning, he would fix them himself. Soon we were all getting calls several times a night from people asking for their circuit to be bounced and wanting to talk to a supervisor when we told them we couldn’t, because they knew we could do it because that guy did it before.

I know what you’re going through, came up through the ranks as well. (God, sounds like I’m a General or something.S)
Anyway, the company you’re working for sounds very “by-the-book” and if you fire the guy he’s sure as hell going to mention any of those things you’ve been looking the other way on.

Anyway, you maybe ought to CYA a bit before you do the guy.

All the best.