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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Managing sucks

Being a manager sucks overall. Some people get off on it, but not me. I just want to do my thing and not worry about being responsible for the work of others.

I just had to give one of my staff members the warning letter. I.e., the letter which states you've been screwing up, and you have thirty days to stop it, work effectively, and communicate appropriately, or you're gone. One aspect of "communicating appropriately" means being non-adversarial with your supervisor(s) when being criticized about your work. So upon being given the warning letter, he promptly accused my boss of being incompetent to judge whether he has been taking too long on his issues, and accused me of being a liar for saying his documentation was not up to the level of others on the team. And then he asks my boss if he can have a private conversation with him, without me. My boss said yes and later asked me if I was ok with that. I said yes, because I knew that even though this guy would try his best to trash me, there's very little that he would be able to criticize. The worst that he could get me for is that I'm somewhat disconnected from what he's doing -- I'm not intimately aware of every technical aspect of every issue on his plate. And I shouldn't have to be. They're his issues to complete.


Is he gonna try accusing me of crap like having seen me browsing or IM'ing when I could have been working instead? Please. He takes a half-hour break every morning for breakfast and every afternoon. A bunch of people do. Officially, people are supposed to be allowed to take 15 minute breaks in the AM and PM, but a number of people have let it get stretched out to half an hour each time. Plus lunch is routinely an hour and a quarter, an hour and a half. Do I take AM and PM breaks? No. Guess where I take my lunch 4 days out of 5. That's right, at my desk. And besides, I can't count the number of times I've walked past his desk and saw him running something in his browser down towards the bottom of his screen where most people couldn't see it...

And now I'm here blogging this, because all of this is preventing me from being able to sleep.


  • blogs are great for venting! Hope it is sorted out qiuckly. I hate when htings drag on.

    By Blogger suze, at 8:02 AM  

  • However it gets sorted out, it is unlikely that it will be with the guy saying "Sorry, I'll do better" and my saying after 30 days "Wow you're doing so much better now."

    In my mind, the only question is how nasty it will end.

    By Blogger David, at 10:04 AM  

  • Sorry you're in that position at work. It's sounds like that guy is a jerk and is dead weight. I'm glad I'm not in a managerial position, although most everyone I work with are good people. Hope it turns out ok

    By Anonymous Phil, at 8:42 AM  

  • It does suck being a manager and you do lose sleep no to mention that lingering sense of joy that others seem to take so lightly.

    I hate it.

    The thing is you can never be yourself, express yourself...you have to practice composure and only occassionaly laugh with the crowd - to show you are human. The rest of the time you have to be both mommy and daddy and it SUCKS.

    If you climb a bit higher to upper management I think it gets better but I could be wrong.

    Life is too short to be a manager.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 PM  

  • Being a manager is all about FEAR.

    It sucks the banana.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:28 PM  

  • I hate being a manager, and I share my office space with my employees, which sucks. Plus I now manage my prior manager who was supposed to retire in December but my bigger boss told him he could stay..it's a constant battle with this guy about who's in charge and he doesn't do anything except sudoku at his desk. I feel like I am losing it more daily. It's so true that I can't be myself and I have to present this front of confidence. I remember working in a team and we all we ok with asking each other for assistance, but my people see it as weakness on my part if I don't know something. ahh. Sleep, what's that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:58 AM  

  • Ya I took the manager position at my company and have regretted it ever since. It's not what I went to school for and definitely is not my best role in life. Be a babysitter for adults is crap. I can honestly say the only time I would manage again is if I own the damn company. Babysitting for a big faceless corporation is shit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 AM  

  • As a "mid-level" manager at a ginormous corporation...I hear all of you guys. I used to enjoy it when I felt I was actually making a difference in the lives of my employees. Now it feels a lot like adult babysitting and that's not what I'm up to. I have just learned that I don't enjoy managing. I enjoy collaborating for sure, but not managing. I feel repressed and that I get to take the shit from above and below simultaneously with no one really appreciating what I do. I'm done being the voice of the man. I'm going out there on my own to make my own way. I'll manage myself and no one else. Thanks but no thanks.

    By Anonymous unhappy manager, at 6:52 PM  

  • Yes, managing sucks!!! Big time. I am in exactly the same place at work. I have to give the same letter to someone on Monday and I don't feel there will be improvement. Losing this person would be a major blow to the workflow not because he's an exemplary employee, but because it's such a specialized job, it would be hard to replace him and what am I supposed to do in the meantime..while the search is on. The work still has to get done.

    By Blogger DweamGoiL, at 10:38 PM  

  • I have been managing a retail outlet for almost two years now.  I enjoyed it for the first few months, but then began the process of hiring and firing, dealing with chronic sickies...  Not to mention losing sleep at night or omg!  Being human and making a mistake once in a while. I try to be fair with all of my employees, letting them know when they are doing a good job and when they need to kick their productiveness up a knotch.  I tried using incentives, but they are already being paid to come to work.  I shouldn't have to bribe them into actually doing their work....  
    Managing is not for me anymore, I'm afraid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:15 AM  

  • I'm here because I'm currently going through the same question, "Why did I do this to myself??" Managing - when offered to you in the beginning - seems like a "step up," a compliment, a reward, even....and then you find out - managing is the worst job in the world. And the thing is, I ask myself all the time if it's me.....but out of my five staff, I have no problems with four of them. But that one - you all know who your "one" is (you probably just pictured them in your mind and your blood pressure likely went up), makes your life miserable - robs you of sleep - makes you feel like complete crap - makes you question everything you do - and makes you want to go work as a Walmart Greeter rather than ever have to deal with this feeling again. Does it ever get any better?

    You are right, though.....the "letter" - by the time it comes, you are so past your breaking point with that person, because, if you're like me, you don't WANT to write people up and you don't do it until it's way past necessary - after several warnings to cut it out and please, for the love of God, shape up. You know that this is the case, but they see it as "All they want to do is write me up for nothing." Meanwhile, you're going crazy because it's the very last thing you want to do. Ugh - does it ever get better???? It's been a year for me now, and I feel like it just gets worse.

    By Anonymous Regina, at 5:49 PM  

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