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AIBU being micromanaged

(43 Posts)
MotherOfDragons90 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:23:15

Just wondering what others thoughts are on this. I work as part of a team of 8. There are two ‘strands’ of the team. My strand has me and two colleagues at the same level & our manager. The other strand has two people and their manager. We are all overseen by a higher manager. For the last 2 years I’ve been responsible for organising a particular event that happens once a month, in a kind of coordination role. I do it well, and have never really had any complaints. Everything is done on time and I’ve never needed any prompting to do any of the tasks involved with getting it done. However since the new manager of the other strand of my team has come in, (so my managers equivalent) I feel like she is trying to coordinate over the top of me and I can’t stand it!

For example - Ahead of the event I send out an agenda 1 week before and ask the attendees for any comments. I’ve always sent it a week before, and now she will always email me 8 days before asking me to send out the agenda. I do anyway!

If there are any changes made by senior management to the structure of the event she always sends a follow up email asking me to action them even though I would have anyway.

And to make it worse she attends the event with me and if there is a slide pack or something we are looking at, she takes the mouse and clicks through it which makes me feel like it’s fucking pointless me being there.

And then if there are any actions for afterwards she will immediately send me an email or text message asking me to complete them when I’ve already made a note.

And the worst one, which doesn’t sound like the worst, is that every time I do something she thanks me, as if I’m doing it because she’s asked me. I can’t work out how she’s managed to insert herself into this position as my manager for this when I’ve been managing it just fine for years. My own manager doesn’t have any issue with it and has never tried to micromanage me in this way. Our higher up manager never has either.

It’s just really frustrating and I don’t know what to do without being rude or causing friction.

Please help AIBU community as I am rapidly losing patience!!

MotherOfDragons90 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:24:07

She is also a really nice lady if that matters!

Boyskeepswinging Fri 22-Feb-19 11:27:40

Speak to your manager about this. Surely they are pissed off that someone else is micromanaging their staff? I know I would be!

PooleySpooley Fri 22-Feb-19 11:29:09

I don’t know what to say but O feel your pain - my manager also micromanages within an inch of her life and then constantly complains she cannot get her own work done.

Stop doing my fucking job then angry

Finfintytint Fri 22-Feb-19 11:30:21

Anticipate her actions and say “ no need to email, I’ve got it covered” or words to that effect before she has a chance to say anything.
Hide the mouse too.

Boyskeepswinging Fri 22-Feb-19 11:31:41

But it's not the OP's manager who's micromanaging her! That's what I don't get - why is OP's manager not telling the other one to sod off? I know I would be in that situation.

MyKingdomForACaramel Fri 22-Feb-19 11:32:21

I’d be so tempted to buy a dancer “clicker” and use that before she get the chance to click the mouse

MyKingdomForACaramel Fri 22-Feb-19 11:32:32

*fancy not dancer

MyKingdomForACaramel Fri 22-Feb-19 11:33:35

In fact I would buy the clicker and hide it- so just as she hovers near the mouse, surreptitiously click it to confuse her! wink

PooleySpooley Fri 22-Feb-19 11:33:37

Can you email out the agenda or actions before she gets the opportunity to remind you to or is that not possible?

PooleySpooley Fri 22-Feb-19 11:34:14

Or reply to her email ccing in your boss?

Thingsdogetbetter Fri 22-Feb-19 11:35:38

She's angling at taking all the glory. She's not nice, she's manipulative.

Does she cc in her manager into all the requests to you by any chance? You need to play her at her own game. Preempt her emails with your own, cc everyone.

When she thanks you reply (sweetly) that it's not a problem as you've been doing the same thing for years with the same success. If she wants the clicker make sure the slides aren't in order (not really lol. But it would f##k up her up). Make sure you have clicker in hand seated well away from her before she gets to the room. She'll have to make a big deal of asking for it. You then (sweetly) say that's fine, you have it all in hand.

At the end of the meeting say loudly and clear to your higher manager you have noted all actions to be taken and will get to them immediately. If she emails you asking you to action, reply with ccs that as you said in meeting you are aware of what needs to be done and are acting accordingly.

MotherOfDragons90 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:36:55

My own manager is ridiculously busy so has always just let me get on with this - which is fine by me because it’s hardly that complex. Which brings me round to the fact that it’s so weird that she’s so desperate to do it when it’s clearly more suited to my level, or even probably the level below if we had anyone at that level!

Redwinestillfine Fri 22-Feb-19 11:38:10

Call her bluff. It's that time of year when you decide what you're doing I. The next financial year and set up objectives etc. Tell your manager that as she's started doing this for you she may as well have it and you'll take on something else, but if your manager really wants you to do it you will so long as it's your lead, which would mean she needs to step back. Be honest about her interference is making you feel, frame it as 'feed back' To be passed on.

PooleySpooley Fri 22-Feb-19 11:39:04

Ahhh she is out of her depth in her own role then?!

SweetMarmalade Fri 22-Feb-19 11:39:11

You say she’s new.

Is she aware that you’ve been organising this event for the past two years?

Think you need to speak to your manager about this.

WhoGivesADamnForAFlakeyBandit Fri 22-Feb-19 11:42:41

This is one for your manager - 'can you help me to understand why X is doing this' - for all you know it's in her job description and that's why.

mummmy2017 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:44:21

Message her with, include your own manager in the who thing
Tell her this is what I do and the dates.
This has been the system for X years.
I feel this works, as I have never had any complaints.
Is there anything anyone needs me to add to this, or are you all satisfied.
Emails will be sent out 7 days before as per normal.

Fatasfook Fri 22-Feb-19 11:49:53

Tell her straight, look dear, stop micro managing me, I like you now but that could change. Do your own job and leave me to do mine and we can co exist in harmony.
Ok, maybe a bit harsh but something like that but nice.

Tixywixy Fri 22-Feb-19 11:50:10

People who do this aren't usual very confident in doing their own jobs. It's easier to micromanage someone who's clearly competent, than do the more high level stuff. Can you not speak to your own manager about it. It's annoying and disruptive for you.

AryaStarkWolf Fri 22-Feb-19 11:55:47

Ohh that sounds so annoying. You said she's a nice lady other than that so maybe just say it to her, in a nice way. Say "Look Ann, I appreciate you trying to help with this event but I've been doing it for years, i really don't need email prompts and mouse clickers, but thank you"

shinyNewPound Fri 22-Feb-19 12:01:32

Can you have a chat with her and show her your timeline for these events so she knows you are all over it?

She might just be trying to show leadership in a new role but is going about it in a way that annoys you and might be mortified to know that.

spanishwife Fri 22-Feb-19 12:06:19

1) speak to your higher up and raise concerns. Saying is stifling your ability to do your best job, use initiative and brainstorm new ideas.

2) everytime she emails you telling to do something you already planned to do email "Thanks, already noted down!" or "Thanks, yep this is part of my usual process, I'm already on it!" - be relentless and she might tire of it.

3) On the events thing where she is taking over, pick her up after as a 1-2-1, explain how she undermined you and why you would prefer her not to do that. Then follow up with your manager explaining what happened, what you said.. just as an FYI.

SaturdayNext Fri 22-Feb-19 12:09:26

Send the agenda first thing 8 days before the meeting.

If senior management make changes to the structure of the event. email everyone immediately to confirm you are actioning them.

If she starts checking through slides etc, smile sweetly and either say you've done it already or that it's your job.

If there are actions for afterwards say in front of everyone "Oh, by the way, OtherManager, no need to email or text me about that afterwards as you did last time, I have of course made a note."

When she thanks you, tell her there is no need to thank you for the job you have been doing for X years as part of your normal role within your department. If she copies other people in, make sure the reply also copies them in.

Juells Fri 22-Feb-19 12:16:38

Aaaarggghhhhhh that would drive me crazy. She's trying to make it look like she's in charge of you, I'd have to say something, return her emails, ask her to please not remind you of things you have under control.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 22-Feb-19 12:27:04

Fuck me, that would annoy the tits off me!

Sounds like she's trying to show someone (next line manager?) that she's such a good manager and effectively you're only doing all of this as well as you do because she's managing you properly. I mean, all those emails - that's a paper trail for her to show how she's telling you what you need to do.

I don't know if she's actively trying to take the credit for it as well, have you had any inkling of that? But I suspect that she may be feeling like you need to be "kept in your place" or something, and is trying to ensure that you are.

As I said, it would bug the shit out of me and I would have to say something to my own manager about it - even just a "have I ever slipped up on this? have I ever shown that I need to be reminded about any of it? If not, then why does X feel the need to tell me what to do, when I've been doing it perfectly well for howeverlong without her input?"

Good luck dealing with it, and don't go along with the idea that she's a really nice person, she might be a smiling assassin!

PuppyMonkey Fri 22-Feb-19 12:27:38

Time for a passive aggressive email maybe? Copy in everyone who attends the event. Something along the lines of:

“Hi all, thought it might be worthwhile explaining how we organise the xx event, deadlines, action points etc, as I realise we’ve had some staff changes recently and not everyone is up to speed.

“I send agendas on the xxx date each month.

“Comments need to be back by xxx date.

“Actions will be completed by xxx”


“Hope this helps, but if anyone is still confused do let me know.”

Juells Fri 22-Feb-19 12:31:40

Time for a passive aggressive email maybe?

That's good wording!

Magenta82 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:35:25

I really like PuppyMonkey's email idea, but I would think about changing "how we organise" to "how I organise" just to make the point a bit clearer.

Babynut1 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:40:29

Lol I had something similar.
I’d been in a supervisor role for a few years and knew my job inside out. I was organised and knew what had to be completed and by when.

I got a newly promoted manager who had been doing a similar role to me previously.

She started checking through everything I was doing and wanted me to email her a list of what I had done that day and what I would do the next etc.

I just told her no. She was a control freak and needed to micromanage every single thing.
I told her I knew what I was doing and there was no need to keep checking up on me. The job role hadn’t changed at all so my tasks and duties were the same with the odd extra added in.

She was a bit taken aback and I told her straight that I will carry on doing what I’ve been doing for years and that maybe she should take a step back and have a little faith in her team.

She chilled a bit after that 😂

JenniferJareau Fri 22-Feb-19 12:43:11

I had someone like this. She moved my desk in front of hers so she could watch me over my shoulder. Bitch.

PerkingFaintly Fri 22-Feb-19 12:45:39

OMG, that's where my former colleague went! She was a nightmare.

Do not, do not, start justifying any of your actions to her, or run round proving to her you've already done stuff – it will just validate her belief that you answer to her.

Go to your own management and ask them nicely but outright if there's been some restructure and she's now your manager. ("I'm a bit puzzled by, can you clarify...")

Also, suggest to them that she must not have enough to do, because she spends a lot of time trying to do your job (that they know you've been doing competently for years).

The latter might actually have an impact if she's simultaneously complaining to them that she doesn't have enough time to do her own job. They might not care about your happiness, but they will care about her work not getting done.

MotherOfDragons90 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:45:58

Wow thanks for all the great suggestions people smile

She is new to my team but not to the organisation.

PuppyMonkey and Magenta, I am actually going to do that email first thing on Monday!!!

It’s great timing as well because there has been a few staff changes so I was thinking it’s time to do a process recap anyway. But I will definitely be saying that I, not WE do X, Y and Z.

Boyskeepswinging Fri 22-Feb-19 12:49:36

If you read the OP you'll see the micromanaging is not being done by the OP's manager. OP needs to speak to their own manager to sort this out. Frankly, I'm amazed that OP's manager has let this happen for so long. I would have nipped it in the bud immediately "My team, my rules, back off new lady!"
She's clearly trying to make a good impression but why is she being allowed to tread on other managers' toes? Other managers should be sorting this out, not OP.

Boyskeepswinging Fri 22-Feb-19 12:51:16

Go to your own management and ask them nicely but outright if there's been some restructure and she's now your manager. ("I'm a bit puzzled by, can you clarify...")
This exactly. This is what OP should have done the first time it happened.

PerkingFaintly Fri 22-Feb-19 12:51:44

Agree that PuppyMonkey's email to all is fine; it's in no way you being accountable to her, but merely informing all your colleagues of all ranks.

PuppyMonkey Fri 22-Feb-19 15:35:44

Yay, sock it to ’em MoD grin

snitzelvoncrumb Fri 22-Feb-19 21:59:56

Can you talk to your manager and ask them to step in and tell her to back off?

HappenstanceMarmite Mon 25-Feb-19 23:52:06

Keen to know what course of action you took OP?!

MotherOfDragons90 Tue 26-Feb-19 21:03:15

Sorry I’ve only just come back to this!

I sent an email out on Monday under the guide of a kind of responsibility matrix to let everyone know who needs to do what post several staff changes.

I also got lucky as one of her staff who normally has a task to do for the event is on leave this month so I (politely) asked her to action his bit in his absence. That felt good grin

I ended the email ‘Please let me or my managers name know if there are any problems’.

Not had anything back from her so we shall see how the next one goes!

HappenstanceMarmite Tue 26-Feb-19 23:00:45

Good work! Swat that irritating mosquito so that she won’t bother with you again 👍

Magenta82 Wed 27-Feb-19 13:41:12

That is fantastic!
Now if she tries it again you can legitimately tell her you are "surprised" she is asking and refer her back to your email. smile

Kedgeree Wed 27-Feb-19 13:51:00

She thinks the event is something high profile/ important (even if it isn't) and is trying to insert herself into it so she can claim credit for it. She's testing the boundaries ahead of starting to make changes which will allow her to promote her involvement in it and that she has added value to it. Ultimately she is trying to take over your strand of the team, starting with you, probably because there are more of you on your side and she feels undermined by that. She senses that your own manager is busy and sees that as an opportunity to slide in. For some people, politicking is the job, and she is doing what she believes will move her ahead. Seen this so many times...

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