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How should I handle this situation with line manager?

(3 Posts)
JemimaMuddleDuck Fri 16-Oct-15 23:45:03

I recently interviewed for a job and was unsuccessful (Job A). A short while later, the organisation contacted me and said that another job was available (slightly lower grade) and invited me for interview. I was really keen to get into the organisation so went along for interview and got offered the job (Job B).

I started a few weeks ago, and although I work for a couple of managers, my line manager is the woman got job A. Now, I really didn't have a problem with this as it turned out that she was already employed the organisation so I assumed that she had got the job on the fact they she had a track record/was experienced/knew the organisation. The trouble is, it has since transpired that she was previously doing my job, joined the organisation six months ago and has six months experience of doing this type of work (was previously a SAHM for a few years - nothing in wrong in that obvious! - and did something completely different before that). I, on the other hand, have around 15 years experience and, without wanting to sound like a princess, I do know my stuff.

There have been quite a few times this week where she has got herself in a knot over fairly basic things. Setting things up in ways that are illogical and confusing. I've been trying to be helpful and suggest ways that I would approach the tasks when she's got stuck but I'm starting to feel like I am teaching her how to do her job and it's starting to grate a bit. She is an intelligent woman and is clearly capable of doing the job but she hasn't risen through the ranks so seems to lack the basic skills of the job. She also has a bit of an 'attitude' that she knows best and her approach is dictatorial rather than collaborative. A couple of staff who have failed to follow instructions correctly have been given fairly short shrift over the phone followed by lots of huffing and puffing after the call and criticizing people who cannot follow her simple confusing instructions. She's on a bit of a power trip basically.

I'm really happy with the new job. I've realised it's actually a better fit for me than her job would be as there are lots of opportunities for me to learn new things / move in a slightly different direction going forward so I'm not jealous that she got the job over me. It has taken me a long time and a lot of knocks to win my stripes so I'm a little bit reluctant to mentor someone who is supposedly in a more senior role than me.

Just wondered if anyone has been in a similar situation/have any advice on how to handle it?

daisychain01 Sun 18-Oct-15 05:10:46

Unfortunately a lot of times in organisations it is easy to see people who are less qualified and capable of doing the job than "we" are. and worse still they get paid more!

It seems from your OP the you have only just started your role.

If I were you I'd keep your head down at such an early stage. Show her full respect and cooperation however hard it is, give her no reason to have any issues with you. Too early to rock any boats. If she is still like it in 6 months time, then is the time to address the situation.

Can you keep notes of the things you are not happy about so it builds up a picture over time, if she's that bad? Then plan to have a proper formal meeting with her a d address each problem with facts and data. Otherwise it just becomes she said I said...

And maybe some honest introspection... are you sure your opinion of her isn't skewed by the fact she is managing you when you wanted her job? No need to answer but think about whether any negativity is because of that.

maggiethemagpie Mon 19-Oct-15 20:29:40

This sounds like my strategy is to be as pleasant as I can when she is around but have as little to do with her as possible, which is made easier by the fact that I work from home and my workload comes from my clients rather than my boss.

Can you use a similar tactic of just giving her a bit of a wide berth, whilst being pleasant and professional? Why do you have to get involved with her work?

It sucks when bosses get on power trip, I always think the worse the boss the more the need for a power trip as its the only way to cover up incompetence and feel important!

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