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I have been frustrated for a long time. We were originally a small company that got bought by a larger company. This colleague of mine, lets call him 'PH', he was the office manager in the original company, now in the larger company, he is just like me but more senior due to years of service, and nothing more. I say this because he doesn't have a lot of technical skill (programming/coding etc) and he usually doesn't go learn things on his own, but instead, every project we take on, I was the one that got things all setup and running, then he would come back and have me teach him how to do everything, what's more, he would constantly stand by my office door and "chat" with me about project ideas, then present them in meetings, this kind dynamics have been going on for years, now we are in the project, again, I got everything working and wrote all of the programming codes and also designed the algorithm with our primary contractor, but our higher up boss wants me to teach everything to PH so he can present everything in a client meeting, this is driving me crazy! Should I contact our regional manager to at least express my concern? or I don't know, leave... Please help.

I am thinking to write an email to my regional manager who is higher up than our current manager (since he is the one that ask me teach everything to PH), to explain the situation and the history of this type dynamics, I am a very good writer, so I am sure I can strike the right tone etc, what do you guys think?

I think here is a bit context, our office has shrunk to just 3 people, and PH's senior position is a legacy from before we were bought by the bigger company, but now we are really the same, just project engineers, but he is somehow still considered as more senior than me simply because of years of service. I have much higher level of technical skills and education level than PH.

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    Either move on or continue to support him... – Solar Mike Feb 16 at 12:20
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    @SolarMike, really? that's it? no other recourse? is this really how dark workplace can get? – For Comment Feb 16 at 12:25
  • Well, how are you going to change? You recognize what happens but still do it... Don't blame it on the workplace... – Solar Mike Feb 16 at 12:26
  • @SolarMike so you are saying I should just refuse to "help" him? actually I've arranged to work from home full time now so as to get away from his constant pestering... – For Comment Feb 16 at 12:28
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    What makes you upset about the situation? Has PH's behaviour negative impact on your work? Are your own contributions not properly recognized by your company? Does it seem unfair that PH is a senior and you are not? – Helena Feb 16 at 14:50
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You say your higher boss wants you to teach PH ... to present everything in a client meeting.

With what you've described, to be honest, that seems like a good call to make from your boss's perspective, if PH isn't great at the technical side, but used to be a manager, he's good at communicating the work to clients.

I think before acting, you should be clear on what exactly your problem is, and what you're trying to achieve.

Do you want to do PH's job and go present to clients? Are you any good at that? Have you gotten buy-in from the business for your projects from higher up? If not, you should see this more as a partnership. Realize that without selling it to the business and its clients, the tech is literally worthless.

So whether you think you're good or not - learn from the guy. He definitely knows how to present the product and himself.

Don't be angry at him for doing what he's good at.

To get more buy-in from PH, and get him to learn the tech side a bit if you need him to, you'll have to have a good relationship with him. Mutual understanding helps. And I'm sure you'll pick up a thing or two.

Or you just let the guy do his thing, make sure you're credited for your work - but it does sound to me like your boss's boss is aware you're doing most of the tech work - and just be happy you don't have to go to the meetings.

Being mad at PH is not serving you well. Move past it.

  • I am NOT trying to do PH's work AT ALL. It is just the dynamic of him needing me to give him both technical know how and project ideas, then seldom give me any credit in public that made the environment toxic, please know that I have no problem with him presenting to the client, just internally within our own group, all I am asking is to be recognized as someone who did critical work within the company, no more no less, but I am not getting recognized at all. Oh, I had my Ph.D. degree in engineering and published in scientific journals, I am a master presenter. – For Comment Feb 16 at 15:11
  • As someone commented on your question, I'm not sure why you're so upset. If you don't want the job PH is doing, what is your objective? – bytepusher Feb 16 at 15:17
  • my objective is to not have him as a useless layer above me on everything I do, because he doesn't really contribute on actual meaningful work, just a mouthpiece transmitting what I said to him and what I taught him on everything, and he doesn't put in the effort to learn things, he would go on vacations at the beginning of difficult project, then come back to pick the fruit of my work. – For Comment Feb 16 at 15:22
  • So he's presenting your work to the business and clients? I'm not trying to wind you up. I am trying to give you a different perspective on how some of what he's doing has a value, which you seem to be dismissive of. – bytepusher Feb 16 at 15:23
  • I've been working with him for quite a while, he is NOT good at explaining things, and the one time couple years ago he tried to "direct" a project on his own (he pushed me out of the project after I did the foundation layer of work), the final product (an analysis tool) was completely wrong and effectively useless. I always has the mentality of live and let live, so I am not dismissive of anything he does, I just don't want to have anything to do with him at all. – For Comment Feb 16 at 15:29
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It's one thing for this "senior" to ask you to help him and teach him. It is a totally different thing when your higher up boss asks you to teach everything to this person. Typically you should do what your boss asks of you unless you want to face disciplinary action at your company.

As for PH, don't speak with him unless necessary. If he approaches you to try and get ideas from you ( to later present as his own ) don't give him any. Play dumb or say something like:

That's a really good question PH, I will think about it and get back to you.

When he asks you to teach him something, rather than actually explaining it just tell him:

I am sorry but I am currently working on X for the boss. The code is well commented, you should have no issue understanding it.

  • I have already done these steps, as I mentioned, I even arranged to work from home most of the time just to get away from his constant pestering, but I think what I felt is this constant under appreciation for my work and contribution, what I really like is to do the job and get recognized for it in the form of 'oh, TT did that part, but I seldom get any mention in meetings and they always gloss over my work. – For Comment Feb 16 at 12:39
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    @ForComment Being asked by your boss to teach someone else the work you have done is a form recognition – sf02 Feb 16 at 13:05
  • ok, this is certainly a new perspective, I have to say. But the truth is that there is really no need for him to take on the things that I have been working on, because he doesn't really do any real meaningful work, just understand enough to present it, which I can do it myself effectively anytime. Please be clear, he is NOT my manager and we are at the same level in the company, he is just older, that's all. – For Comment Feb 16 at 15:18

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