My team are my 2 peers and our boss. The projects of my two peers have been experiencing some extreme issues in the last months.

Colleague 1's project - a priority project - is delayed by (at least) 8 months. Her another project by 4 months already. We also receive negative feedback from external partners that they don't feel informed, etc. Our "big boss" actually put an additional PM above her to help her with the projects.

Colleague 2's projects are always done by someone else. The guy is not very communicative - many people simply don't understand him, as he mixes up words - and will do as little as possible. This isn't just my opinion. I've seen large escalations with project team's members picking up tasks without even consulting my colleague and sarcastically commenting on his skills.

My projects are currently the only ones which are ok. I have just as much work as the two coworkers mentioned above. I've received positive feedback from external people.

My boss just decided that everything I do on my project needs to be consulted with my colleague. Colleague 1, who dislikes me and has been bulling me from day 1 at the company, proposed that. It's one-way, she will take a stance on my projects, I won't on hers.

Is there a way to solve that? (Or a way to swallow your pride and sense of fairness in order not to quit until finding a new job?)

I know that in the long term I need to search for another job.

EDIT: I have talked to my boss several times. I reminded him that when I asked to participate in some of my colleague's meetings at the beginning of my employment at the company he turned it down and told me I definitely won't participate because my colleague 1 is the PM there (we have different areas we are responsible for in the team and the meetings I mean here referred to the area which I, allegedly, control and for which I am, according to my job description, the process owner). I also told him that it's additional work for me to prepare presentations and have discussions on my projects. And that of course I always ask questions when I feel I don't know something. I reminded him that I currently don't have any time to spare - I've been telling him that for weeks and asking him to prioritise my tasks, since it's not possible to coordinate 12 projects at the same time).

The problem is the communication with my boss is difficult. He says he didn't say what he said (like that I can't participate in the meetings). He now asked me to meet him to go through my tasks again and prioritise them together. It's the 5. meeting on the topic. I've written down my projects together with the estimated effort (e.g. 10 h) and asked him to prioritise them weeks ago. He never ends up prioritising my tasks, instead, when I insist, he arranges meetings and tells me e.g. "I don't think you need 20 h to develop x, I'm sure it can be done in 2 h" - without having himself expertise in the area and knowing what the normal effort is. So we end up having hours of meetings with him questioning everything I say and no decisions taken.

I don't think raising the topic with my boss makes sense anymore. These are wanted hours.

Also, it's clear that my boss and colleague 1 are very good friends - they are the only two people from the same region in our (very international) team, they seem to be connected by the same culture and they do treat others as outsiders.

  • Do you and your colleagues do the same job? You say "colleague 1 is the PM". Are you also a PM? Does colleague 1 do work like yours and also a PM role? Apr 26, 2018 at 19:28
  • We are all PMs in related fields. Colleague 1 now doesn't act as a PM, as her PM role was taken over by someone sent from the high management as her projects weren't going well. We all have the same "work grade" - the same place in the hierarchy.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 26, 2018 at 19:30
  • So what does Colleague 1 actually do? Apr 26, 2018 at 19:34
  • Coordinating projects. But under the new PM's control.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 26, 2018 at 19:36
  • 1
    @Toss If it does not put you are risk of exposure here, what country are you in? Where are your boss and Colleague 1 from? Culture matters, in terms of formulating an answer. Apr 26, 2018 at 20:41

3 Answers 3


First thing you should do is schedule time with your boss and find the reason for this change. A change like this, you having to go through another party for decisions and approval will at the very least slow down your development and affect productivity.

Perhaps your boss is actually unhappy with your work? Perhaps external customers have been complaining on the side about your work? Or Colleague 1 is out to get you fired? All this is speculative. Talk to your boss. Prepare for the meeting, if you feel this consultation is harmful to your process, be prepared to describe why.

After finding out the reason(s), you can then make the decision if this job is still right for you.

  • I've talked to my boss and put forward some of the arguments you mentioned (slowed down work, of course I always consult my colleagues when I think this is needed, etc.). This brings absolutely nothing.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 26, 2018 at 17:22
  • Could you edit your question to add in what was the response from that meeting at high level? What was your boss's reasons? Would help the community respond more accurately.
    – JoeCo
    Apr 26, 2018 at 18:09
  • @Toss When you say "brings absolutely nothing" what was the reason your boss gave for why your projects were being reviewed? Apr 26, 2018 at 19:25
  • "Why shouldn't we do that?". And then after my arguments, "I think we should do that". He doesn't list arguments. He just repeats he wants to do that. He tends to use "I want it like that" a lot.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 26, 2018 at 19:29

In the first place, it is your responsibility to get along with all the people you work with whether you like them or not or respect them or not. It is also your responsibility to play office politics so that things like this don't happen to you. I want you to see that you are contributing to the unfairness aspect of this. If you had done your job of promoting yourself properly, then they wouldn't believe you need the extra supervision.Although it may be they just want to give her something productive to do while her projects are on hold.

Next life is unfair and it is unfair for everyone in various ways. Likely she is not happy at having to work with you either. Probably thinks it is unfair that she has to. You should never expect fairness at work. You should do your job anyway.

If you accept a paycheck, it is your responsibility to do what they are paying you to do whether it is what you want to do or with the people you want to work with. You don't need to be happy or motivated to do what you are being paid to do.

So what do you do now? You work with the other developer. You treat her with respect whether you get respect back or not. By doing this, you take the high road and look better to everyone else than she does if she persists in whatever bullying you think she does. (This is part of playing office politics. Also you don't describe the actual bullying, so I have no idea if it is real or a misperception on your part. Plus there is no way to give you advice on what you can do about that without the details.) I have sometimes found that by changing how you relate to someone and start treating them with respect and complimenting them when they are right, you can turn a person's view of you around.

You follow the directions of your supervisor. And sure, you look for another job because you don't like the current situation.

What you don't do is argue incessantly with her. That just makes you look bad and does her no harm. Make your points (calmly and professionally) and accept that she now has the final decision and once the decision is made, stop arguing.

  • You are making plenty of assumptions in your post, many of which are wrong (quarrels were never mentioned in the post, so why are you implying "arguing incessantly"?) and several of which are illogical (lack of mention of sth doesn't normally means lack of it) and make the post not really helpful.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 26, 2018 at 17:35
  • 1
    You need to reread. The whole point is that you can only change your actions. What you do is critical to how successful you are in this situation. This is apolitical situation and you must respond in a way that makes you have the political upper hand. But since you are unwilling to consider that, she is going to eat you for lunch. I talked abut arguing because this is the behavior many people will take when they feel they are feeling put upon. It was a caution for you not a statement that you currently are arguing.
    – HLGEM
    Apr 26, 2018 at 17:40

There are a number of issues here, and they are only loosely related.

The first is your projects being reviewed by Colleague 1. This would be fairly normal, if Colleague 1 is more senior than you, or more experienced than you. But since she isn't you should definitely ask why someone with less experience and less skill is reviewing your work without anyone reviewing theirs. If your boss does not give a satisfactory answer you might consider talking to his boss about it.

The second is where you say "Colleague 1, who dislikes me and has been bullying me from day 1 at the company". This is actually a serious matter. in most Western nations this is a matter for HR and lawyers. However you would have to be clear that this is actual bullying, which involves intimidation, threats, harassment or violence, and not just her criticising your work (for example). If you are really being bullied then make notes on what is said and done, and then take those to your boss or HR. There are other questions on this site about bullying, and I recommend you read them.

Thirdly is the issue of communication with your boss. The way to deal with unclear communication is to do everything in writing. Don't ask him in person about things - ask in email (you can follow up in person, but make sure you put questions in email as well). If he tells you something in person, immediately write an email saying "Thanks for talking to me just now where you told me that you don't want me to participate in meetings with Colleague 1. I understand and i will not do so." If you are not getting prioritization try writing "As I understand that my priorities are: 1. Project A 2. project B 3. Project C. Please let me know if that is not what you want.

If your boss persistently refuses to give you information you need then it may be time to talk to his boss.

  • The 3. point is excellent and I would advise this myself to everybody since I've learnt the value of that. However, my boss hates it when I do that. He gets angry with me when I do that. Also, the colleague is not more experienced than me or senior to me.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 26, 2018 at 19:42
  • @Toss You could try convincing him of the benefit of sending meeting notes in writing by explaining how it helps him - it means that if you accidently misunderstand something he tells you, he can correct you when you send him the notes. Apr 27, 2018 at 20:07

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