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Thread: Micromanaging Supervisor

  1. #1
    R.I.P. Nov 2015 RaisinCain's Avatar
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    Micromanaging Supervisor

    Any suggestions on how to deal with this issue? I am at my wits end and I am not sure what to do. Should I go to HR (don't really feel comfortable going to my department head)?

    I have been with the institution for 7 years and ever since this individual has become my immediate supervisor I have been experiencing an elevated level of where are you at and what are you doing questioning. Not sure what to do. I have been really depressed in the last few weeks. I can't afford to lose my job but I am not sure what course to take at this point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Always had good luck with communication.

    Perhaps this person has been told to check up on you. Or maybe they feel it's a given, that it's their responsibility, even if not stated.

    Or maybe they're just a douche.

    I've had co-workers hate me for the way I check up on them. But I only take it to that level if it's called for, and hell, it's part of my job.
    I assume competence, and assume a level of trust, but if either of those isn't held up on their part I point out exactly what my problems with their performance are.
    Maybe this person is just covering their own ass until they get to know you and the way you accomplish things.

    Talking the issue over with them in a calm, "this is where I'm coming from" manner will give you some insight.

    If you don't mind my asking, why aren't you comfortable going to the department head? They might be the best suited to deal with this if you can't come out with a situation that will fix things.

  3. #3
    R.I.P. Nov 2015 RaisinCain's Avatar
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    I don't feel comfortable going to my supervisor let alone the dept. head due to their nature and personality. Went to HR and was told in not so certain terms to suck it up.

  4. #4
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    IMO you should always feel comfortable going to a supervisor in a healthy work environment. That said, I hear you and understand completely.

    If you're told to suck it up, that equates to deal with it. My approach to dealing with it would be what I first suggested, to speak with the person giving you grief and figure out where they're coming from.
    Not in a "get off my back" method but more, "Am I not doing a good job? If so, what is it about my approach to my job that makes you feel the need to double check me? Is there something I can change to give me back some breathing room?"

    If there are deadlines or standards to be met, perhaps this person is trying to cover their own butt by keeping a closer eye on what they're ultimately responsible and accountable for.

  5. #5
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humboldt View Post
    IMO you should always feel comfortable going to a supervisor in a healthy work environment. That said, I hear you and understand completely.

  6. #6
    R.I.P. Nov 2015 RaisinCain's Avatar
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    I live in a right to work state (and for the state as well) and the individual in question has already gotten someone to forcibly resign. I don't want to be the next one. Just sucks.

  7. #7
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Throughout my history of employment, I've always looked at difficult bosses and co workers as a challenge. A challenge to win them over. Or clients that other people at your work will no longer deal with, because they can't stand them...I'll take on those clients and win them over . Usually you'll see them exhibit that annoying behavior towards everyone...so you're typically not being singled out, it's just the way they are.

    I love to figure people out, find out what makes them tick. Some people just complain about how someone is, I prefer to find out why they are how they are...and then you understand. Makes it much easier to deal with their behavior, instead of feeling subject to it.

    If I read your lines above correctly, you say you work for the state? May have to be prepared to make a decision as to how to deal with this, because people that have state jobs tend to cherish them due to incredible benefits, so there's less turnover and movement in positions. Compared to typical jobs which have higher turnover in positions. Meaning...you're probably stuck working under this guy for a longer haul. Just guessing...dunno what position you have or how large this department is or other details.

    I'll agree with what Humby says....just communicate with the guy. If there's no communication, nothing changes....the same behavior that drives you nuts will continue to happen, and resentment will build in you. You'll turn into a ticking time bomb...and it has collateral damage in all other aspects of your life. Reassure him you want to do the best you can at that job, find out what he needs ...how he likes you to do things, and that you'll find ways to let him know what you're doing without him needing to keep you under his thumb.
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  8. #8
    R.I.P. Nov 2015 RaisinCain's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Cat. BTW it's a female boss (I have absolutely nothing against that). Just a little overbearing at times.

  9. #9
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Do you feel bullied at all by this person?

  10. #10
    R.I.P. Nov 2015 RaisinCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CableDude View Post
    Do you feel bullied at all by this person?
    Not necessarily "bullied" but just feel like I am being singled out for some reason. Been with the State for 7 years now and have never had a problem until she was made my immediate supervisor.

  11. #11
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Understood. I hope everything does work out for you soon.

  12. #12
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    Obviously the idea of communicating to her about your concerns causes you to experience some fear, else you would have attempted to remedy the situation with her by now. I assure you, there is nothing to fear. Any real or fancied threats will dissolve with good communication. If you feel she is signaling you out then it's quite possible that she's taken the same approach with other co-workers but they have talked to her about it already. In talking with her you may discover that she has mis-read you all along, and you may discover that you have mis-read her.

    All communication begins with confront. Confront means: to face without flinching; to face up to; to be there comfortably. Look at her when you talk.

    A lion tamer confronts lions. I think about taming lions and I see myself being eaten. A fireman confronts fire. To some, fire equates with being burned. A co-worker gets the idea of talking to a boss and sees lions or fire. The first thing to confront is that a boss does not equal lions, fire, death, loss of job, loss of income, etc.

    Man up and spout out your thoughts to her in a way that is honest, sincere, thoughtful, considerate, respectful, etc. No need to kiss ass, just be truthful and at all times maintain the idea that the goal is more understanding > resolution of the problem.

    Been with the State for 7 years now and have never had a problem until she was made my immediate supervisor.
    This indicates that there have been problems you had with her that have never been resolved. You may find that when you talk to her that these older unresolved issues bear their heads. Handle them one at a time. You may also find that they all dissolve at once just by being sincere and honest.
    Last edited by TonyT; 06-27-13 at 06:54 AM.
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    SG Enthusiast Far-N-Wide's Avatar
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    I've had this problem many times and got a few supervisors to quit the job on their own by simply giving them more to manage. Once i figured out the line where they would get involved. They just drive themselves into the ground as I would come with every single problem I knew I would be questioned me on. I had co-workers do the same thing. After a few months of this problem just goes away.

    If a honest sit down chat with these supervisors " Listen I've been doing this job for years, In several different companies and I am 50+ years old... yadda yadda... The above works like a champ.
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  14. #14
    Moderator Roody's Avatar
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    Maybe ask your supervisor if you have done anything to upset them or to think you aren't doing your job properly. That will almost certainly get them to answer that question or to ask why. If they answer you that gives you an idea on what to work on. If they ask why you can tell them you have noticed that they seem to be watching your every move. Both ways make it so you don't come across bad to them.

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