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I'm working as an offshore Senior ERP Developer with a BPO Company and have a Onshore Manager ("MM"). I have some issues working with MM, and to name a few examples:

  1. I feel he doesn't want to develop me (Manager does not develop employees).
  2. He didn't give me a proper endorsement to my new Managing Director (My former Manager Isn't giving an Endorsement to my new Manager)
  3. Doesn't respond to emails (How to proceed when remote boss doesn't answer emails?)

And many more other reasons.

Fortunately, as noted in the 2nd link above, I will be transferred to a new Organization, which means I will effectively be under a new Manager ("RV"). I expected that normal protocol would dictate that MM would consult RV first before delegating any task to me, however, MM still directly assigns tasks to me. I talked about this to "RV", and RV recommneded that I oblige MM's requests for the time being since they were still "in transision". RV and I both agreed that I just include in emails and calls so she's aware.

However, One time, MM suddenly called over Skype, asking me to take on an impromptu, urgent project. Before responding, I told MM that I will just pull RV into the call, but he said:

MM: "Why do you need to pull RV in to this call? She's not the one handling you."

Me: "But, RV's officially my Manager."

MM: "RV is your Manager in the System, but I am still the one giving you your walking orders and tasks. Anything related to your work will go through me."

MM: "RV's just there as a figurehead. You're still under my jurisdiction and you're still my personnel."

I feel that this is unfair because MM assigns me tasks but doesn't want to develop me and give me an appraisal (as stated in the 1st and 2nd Link earlier). And its been many months since the "transition", but this is still the case.

How can I assert to both RV and MM that I should only report to one Manager, and that there should be a clear protocol on task assignment?

Just some notes to consider:

  • The two Managers MM and RV aren't communicating effectively for some reason.
  • RV and MM are situated in different regions in the world (RV is in the same country and office as I am).
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    "I will be transferred to a new Organization, which means I will effectively be under a new Manager ("RV")." "And its been many months since the "transition", but this is still the case." Tell us, please, have you been transferred to the new organization, or haven't you? – A. I. Breveleri Mar 8 '18 at 2:54
  • By "Organization" do you mean another company, or another site/department in the same company? – Brandin Mar 8 '18 at 8:11
  • @Brandin, its more of like a new subsidiary of the mother company. – AddictedWithOracle Mar 8 '18 at 13:16
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    MM's assertion that "RV's just there as a figurehead" seems like all the more reason to ask RV to clarify the position. I'm sure RV will have an opinion on that one way or the other. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Mar 12 '18 at 15:10
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    Could this be a gender issue? Is MM throwing his weight around because he's disdainful of RV because she's a woman? – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Mar 12 '18 at 15:12
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I would just stick with what you agreed with RV for the time being. She is your official manager and you have an agreement with her that you'll include her in your communications with your former manager.

It's not your old manager's place to make you break that agreement, whether she gives you your daily orders or not.

You could of course make an appointment with the both of them and rediscuss who gives the working orders and who is involved in what communication. Just keep in mind that only one of the two likely has the ability to decide on your wages and continued employment and you'll want that one to be happiest with the work you do.

(This answer assumes that's RV, if that is not true, it might not be the best choice)

  • Given that RV is in the same office as the OP even just stopping by RV's office for a quick "here's what's going on" once every few days is probably a good idea. – NotMe Mar 9 '18 at 23:27
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This is a serious problem. For few reasons.

  1. MM - in spite of giving all the extra work, might still have no role or negative role to play when you are in the context of your appraisals.

  2. Lingering this situation more - you will be in worse situation than when you were only under MM.

  3. If both MM and RV begins to push work in full force, eventually you may not be either be able to deliver or at least not be able to prioritise.

And definitely, this is not an example for working under a good company or good leader.

So how do you get out of this? Ideally, RV and MM should settle when and how this is going to stop. But it appears that RV is rather not bothered much or has some constraints. To understand this, understand why is this happening. So here is what you should do:

  1. First step is - every communication you do with MM must be mirrored straight to RV weather she is interested to listen. If she doesn't give you time to hear, keep it through email medium.

  2. Speak to RV about your work goals. Instead of just focusing the discussion on what work MM is giving you, ask what plans she (RV) has about next line of work you are going to do. If RV has a clear idea what you are supposed to be doing, and if those projects are really critical, then the phase you are going through is likely to end in future. If RV doesn't have much clue about what will you do, or feeding you with stop-gap work items, you are surely under practical supervision of MM only.

  3. Speak to the higher up (bosses of MM and RV) as to what do they expect from you. The possibilities can be one of the 3.
    a. if they are not aware, and want you to work under RV only, they might help you out by taking some action.
    b. they may the plan of this transition phase only and assure you to have proper path after the handover. If they are specific in what they say, trust them and don't worry.
    c. If they are vague in their answer or just try to pacify you and expect you to help MM whenever required - that only implies you don't have much respite, at least in immediate future.

  4. Talk to HR - independent of seniors. Expect more "politically correct" answers from HR anyway. HR will most likely assure you that things are going to be smooth but in many organisations where HR is not very empowered, this may not be of help. The crux you need to check is if there is slightest contradiction between the senior's view and HR's promise. if version of HR is fully in sync with version of seniors - it is a case where everyone is in the loop and they have a plan for good transit. If HR's view contradicts to that of what senior's told you - both or at least one of them is fooling you. You are in trouble then.

  5. Last but not the least. Speak about your problem to colleagues you trust. How common do you see these type of issue in your organisation - is this common or frequent if not widespread? Is this at least common in your department? Is this common to people who are working or have worked under MM? - if so what happened to them?

Ideally no good organisation would put you in a situation you are in. And hence, if you raise your voice in front of the right people in right manner, you must be able to resolve it. Yet, in many companies, if people like MM are powerful or they run key functions - management might blink the eye for their misdoings. If that is the case, you may never come out of this.

What should you do if you find out that MM is going to be your practical boss. OR worse what if you find out that 'both MM and RV' is going to be your boss? Well, choice goes back to what you want from your career.

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