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To want to punch my maternity cover in his egotistical face?!

(181 Posts)
McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 11:00:37

I come off work in 11 weeks - yipee! However the boss has thrown me a massive project before I go off, so I've had very little time to go through the whole advertising and interview process to find a replacement. We were offered someone from a sister organisation with the same background to me, albeit from a completely different industry (I work in a very specialised part of the healthcare industry) and so we hired him and brought him in early to take over the more routine bits of my job while I concentrate on directing the major project.

So far so sensible, but he is really ambitious, a total climber. When I've asked him to do something over the past 2 weeks (that's how long he's been here) comments I've had back include "I don't understand the context so I can't give you an opinion on whether that's the right thing to do or not" and "I'm not sure that you're coming at this from the right angle, I would suggest..." - I want to scream. I wasn’t asking for opinions, I was asking for it to be done!

He has also: kept ideas to himself until we're in external meetings with clients where he makes the suggestion, putting me in an awkward position; been telling my staff to make changes to things without discussing it with me first; telling me that I should be considering doing x/y/z. This is all driving me mad – partly because I’m a control freak and have built and been successfully running this department for 3 ½ years, and partly because I have a horrible feeling that the minute I leave he is going to dismantle lots of my hard work to show what he’s achieved while he’s been in the post.

He’s on a fixed term contract, I’ll only be off for 9 months, and will be working a couple of days a month from December onwards, so he knows that I’m not walking away entirely (and I don’t think that he’s happy with that, but tough, my CEO is very happy with that plan).

So, what do I do – he has an awful lot to learn about this industry and is going to cause problems if he carries on being so opinionated. Several colleagues have commented that he rubs people up the wrong way/thinks a lot of himself, so should I keep schtum and let him hang himself so to speak, or speak to my boss and raise these concerns? I am so nervous about leaving at a critical time in the growth of the business anyway, and my boss knows this, that I don’t want to come across paranoid, but neither do I want him messing things up!

CailinDana Wed 05-Mar-14 11:08:01

Have you talked to him?

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 11:11:56

Yes, I've told him that he needs to spend time getting his head around what is possible and what's not, and given him specific things to work on in order to mitigate any problems. I don't think he's listening though.

He's even talked to the HR team about bringing extra resource into the team without discussing it with me - he's barely in the door, so if he doesn't understand that this is well out of order then this shows me that he's not particularly concerned with my opinion.

WorraLiberty Wed 05-Mar-14 11:11:57

There's nothing wrong with being ambitious and to be fair, if you're a self confessed control freak, you're never really going to be happy with your cover.

He's new and trying to make his mark. I'd cut him some slack.

expatinscotland Wed 05-Mar-14 11:13:47

Speak to your boss now! Bring up, by name, the colleagues who have concerns.

Gossipyfishwife Wed 05-Mar-14 11:16:21

Could you suggest that as you have long term responsibility for your department that in your absence no major changes can be implemented without approval.

Let him make proposals for change clearly setting out the benefits of this change and any negative impact and how this can be overcome. Then when you return you can review his ideas and implement or bin.

thegreylady Wed 05-Mar-14 11:19:22

I think you have to talk your boss. It sounds as though this chap is hoping to orchestrate a takeover which he is hoping will be permanent.

AddToBasket Wed 05-Mar-14 11:22:35

YANBU but you are going to have to be careful that you don't end up just looking like a control freak with her nose out of joint.

What were the ideas he kept to himself? Were they any good?

From this distance I reckon your best chance of keeping him contained is to give him some credit for X but express concerns about Y. That way you looked reasoned.

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 11:23:56

expatinscotland and Gossipyfishwife, I think that those are good ideas. I can do both at the same time. We've already removed all of the items from my job description that relate to developing new projects, business development etc so to minimise his ability to overhaul things, but he's already making faces about that and asking why he can't do those things.

My boss and I get on really well, and he gave me a substantial payrise only last month, so he doesn't want me going anywhere. I'll just need to think how to work out without sounding like I'm saying "he's ruining all my stuff"!

Viviennemary Wed 05-Mar-14 11:24:00

He sounds a total pain. I don't think there is any harm in raising the issue with your boss as 11 weeks is quite a long time. He is there to do your job while you are on leave. End of story. I don't think there is a lot of point in talking to people like this. Take it higher. He should be put in his place at least until you leave.

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 11:25:54

AddToBasket, they were ok, but not something that I would have recommended at this stage. He's come from an industry that tends to be a bit gung-ho about new ideas, but you have to be much more measured in this role, and I don't think that he appreciates or wants to accept that.

Allergictoironing Wed 05-Mar-14 11:25:59

If he really is likely to be THAT disruptive you do have one other option - get rid of him. Yes I know that it will be a lot of hassle trying to get a suitable replacement in the small amount of time you have left, but it could be time to weigh up whether the long term pain he would cause you by staying there could make it worth while.

Even permanent staff are expected to pass a probation period in a new job, and if he is already causing problems then better now than further down the line when he's had the chance to destroy big chunks of your department.

Have you considered why the sister organisation was so keen to offer him to you? I've had friends burned like that in the past - finding out afterwards that the "strongly recommended" person from another division was actually crap & their previous boss was pulling as fast one to try to get rid of the person.

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 11:35:52

Allergictoironing, I am starting to wonder about that. He's had 3 months here, 6 months there for a while and passed it off as project based work which seemed reasonable, and came recommended. However I'm now starting to wonder if he has been rubbing people up the wrong way wherever he's been.

foxbasealpha Wed 05-Mar-14 11:41:20

I felt like this when I went in maternity leave the first time. Anxious about what my maternity cover would do in my absence etc. I worked up to 38 weeks and was - even then - reluctant to hand over and took a load of work home with me. Ultimately, once DS1 arrived, I stopped caring about work and when I went back after 6 months, my mat cover had done an adequate job, my boss has ensured she hadn't done anything that I wouldn't be happy with and everyone was very glad to have me back! Maybe it won't be as bad as you think?

Viviennemary Wed 05-Mar-14 11:45:09

I think Allergictoironing has it spot on. Thinking again he probably causes havoc wherever he goes and constantly gets people's backs up. But most people wait a bit longer than two weeks before starting to show their true colours.

Piechomper Wed 05-Mar-14 11:56:10

He sounds like an arrogant twat. And sadly arrogant twats only understand being dealt with in the same way as they behave. As allergic says, he's there to do your job, The End. If the roles were reversed, and you had been brought in to cover for him, how do you think he would manage what's happening? It sounds like subtle isn't in his vocab so you'll have to thump back hard, the way he would do. Document and escalate your concerns, outline clear boundaries ramming home the point that he's a temp cover, and leans no wriggle room.
Or ideally fuck him off now. Yes it's hassle bit nothing like as much hassle as having to fight to get your role back after he's dug a niche, or clean up whatever mess he's made, when you come back to work, knackered, with a baby.

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 11:56:27

To be honest he didn't even wait 2 weeks before getting my back up - he changed his job title on Linkedin to mine almost 3 weeks before he even started!! He has zero awareness.

Piechomper Wed 05-Mar-14 11:57:34

Omg that's awful! He must die.

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 12:08:35

It gets better! One of my staff works part-time for another department and he's told her today that she won't be doing that anymore. That's it, I am putting a stop to this right now. Fuming!!!

oscarwilde Wed 05-Mar-14 12:10:28

Bin him

AddToBasket Wed 05-Mar-14 12:11:30

Whoa, he sounds insane. Please let us know what your boss says!

eurochick Wed 05-Mar-14 12:11:48

Oh that's really overstepping the mark. You need to have words with him and your boss.

Piechomper Wed 05-Mar-14 12:12:24

What? He's redeploying people? Has he got a HR deathwish?
This is the stuff he's doing 3 months in, with you looking over his shoulder. Wtf will he be like if he thinks he's got a free reign?

Jess03 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:12:57

Personally if I really loved my job, in your situation I'd consider getting a nanny/cm and going back 2 days a week from 3 months. The worry about what he's doing is going to be very stressful. But I agree, raise and document your concerns now otherwise.

McFox Wed 05-Mar-14 12:13:54

Can I also do the punching thing?!

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