Started working in a large, well-respected organisation four months ago. It's not been working out, reasons include:
The work / project is boring and uninspiring and seems to re-invent a lot of wheels for political reasons.
The team uses "hybrid agile" - a scrum team of 15 use Kanban (without WIP limits) on an MVP scheduled to take a year; about six months in, project scope hasn't been agreed yet and things are already going badly.
Managers are hair-trigger stressed over what seem to be arbitrary deadlines and executive meddling. You can taste the cortisol in the air. Even after several management status reports I have little real visibility into the project I'm on.
Could go on about these massive red flags but you get the picture. In 20 years of my IT career, thought this only existed in satire like Dilbert; I was wrong.
But - I'm asking about my line manager, who is also the project's lead.
This seems the textbook case of a highly technically capable developer promoted into a leadership position, so now bottlenecks everything (what's in his head is the source of truth and everything needs his input and approval) across multiple projects and falls into micromanagement.
(I personally think he needs to work on delegation and interpersonal skills - as have been in a similar position myself - but am trying hard to not let my own frustration with the job affect my judgement.)
On top of that, he is very temperamental and shows signs of immaturity and anger issues. Sometimes he is approachable and we have calm, adult conversations. But more often, he gets very angry at people asking for help / guidance, yet also if they try to use their own initiative.
He will often contradict himself (you should have come to me with this... why are you asking me, go figure it out on your own... leave the code alone, don't touch it... you should have done this yourself, don't wait for my approval... this ticket makes no sense, you should have used your common sense for the requirements... don't go guessing, do exactly what it says in the JIRA ticket...)
His main management technique seems to be to scold people; I often feel "told off" and infantilized. Have noticed I have become scared to update JIRA, touch code, or question orders, even if they are vague and confusing. Find myself tongue-tied and stumbling over my words and never know quite what I've said, even when I've just said it.
This is not just me - to a junior developer with about a year's experience: "you've done this all wrong... delete your branch, leave the code alone and I'll do it myself", he huffed and sighed and tutted in earshot of everyone.
There are often arguments where you can hear his voice across the large open plan office about 300 people work in.
I have informally raised this with his peers - they ranged from "he is very very stressed" to "everyone is eavesdropping on this project, be nice to him" to "he is very honest, you have to respect that" to "in a meeting the other day he got so angry he couldn't even speak". Some did this spontaneously, as if they are prepping me for further known problems.
What's triggered this post:
In a prep meeting with six people, he interrupted us in an irritiated and aggressive manner, that we had all misunderstood the issue and no work was needed. I'm pretty sure this is the same thing he had a "team discussion" to us about it blocking a lot of work, but what do I know.
Afterwards, he took me aside and started grilling me about method names and what they did in a codebase I worked on - replied something like "I don't want to go by my fallible human memory, what does the code say" - he looked about to launch like a firework and found myself cowering.
This lead into a two hour session going over the code (which he had already signed off on and merged, as he does all pull requests) as he described what he had expected to see. It also turned out I had made a mistake in part of the code. I apologised and offered to fix my mistakes, but he seemed to want something more - for me to grovel? Not sure. I realised I was being apologetic and staring at my feet and just agreeing with everything he said - even if I didn't understand it - just to avoid him blowing up at me.
After the day's work, realised I am 6'2", 16 stone, and physically scared of him. And realised I was using the same conflict avoidance / appeasement techniques described to me by friends who've been in abusive relationships - including thinking "I made a mistake, but maybe I've been treating him badly, maybe I should be nicer to him", etc. You can imagine my reaction to this.
Due to staff turnover, he doesn't seem to have a line manager. Most people on this project are less than a year in. I've never met anyone from senior management despite the size of the company.
The company has a bullying / harassment procedure, but a) it's described as bureaucratic and ineffective and b) I don't want a bad reputation if I try to transfer.
My specific question: I'd to transfer within this well-respected organisation rather than quit. So, how do I handle my line manager in the interim? Or, given he'd likely have power over any transfer, and I'm unhappy with how the job is going, and don't want some critical event to occur, do I give up on this potential, and leave with some self-respect?
UPDATE: see my own answer -https://workplace.stackexchange.com/a/104011/79481