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I'm the only electrical engineer in a company where I take care of all the electronics part of other projects. Among my colleagues there is one who is a civil engineer and getting on my nerves. Let me explain with some examples. Normally I deal with part of project where the electrical electronics is involved. When he has a project and if the project has electrical and electronics part he tries to do it himself and then ask me questions instead of letting me doing stuff. The reason behind seems some people feel like they are in control in everything and feel smart I guess.

Of course he can only do very simple things like connecting a battery to a ready system ect. Another thing is that whenever I try to build more complicated thing that he doesn't understand he doesn't want me to build it and blocks me. For a process monitoring project last time when he was in vacation I built a temperature controller unit and when he is back he even had to use it. But before his vacation when I had suggested him he had blocked me to do it. So basically if the things are complicated it takes ages to convince him because he feels he loses control of all. But I don't have time to explain the whole theory whenever I do something to a civil engineer who doesn't even know basic electronics. He thinks it is easy I guess. I once made for him a speed control and a time relay using transistors ect. when he first started to work with us and noticed he just knows how to solder stuff and what is plus and minus side of a power supply that is it. The rest he thinks he knows is nonsense. Today he was trying tell me how a car electrical ignition works and I left him without listening. Because at the beginning he was just asking and all of a sudden he started to tell like teaching me.

He is stubborn and curious type. So sometimes he reads something about car automotive system electrical system ask deep questions about its battery or ignition system. When I explain him always he first start saying "are you sure?. nooo". Then I spend an hour to convince him. I'm tired of his behaviour but I don't want to be impolite and tell him "man why the hell you studied civil engineering if you have different interest?". I mean if someone else has really depth or education on the topic okay but when someone reading a paragraph and interpreting as he knows whole thing make me angry. I never put my nose in others profession where I'm not educated on the topic.

I'm fed up with such colleagues who doesn't have enough education and tries to comment on things with confidence. Especially I see this interest to my field from other type of engineers.

What makes me so angry is that imagine at your work someone with no education in your field but has a hobby interest tries to challenge you or involve in things where you need to work on. I actually don't care as long as he does not interact with me because we have dozens of projects. But many times he comes and talks to me about these even at lunch. I feel like he is jealous of me and trying show he is good in my field topics but he is not. This guys doesn't even know how a transistor works but only a few formula for power and batteries ratings and acts like he knows a lot.

My worry is I'm afraid of myself if one day I say him something rude or even shout at him. Does anyone experience with such situations and managed to cope with it? Do you think does this guy have issues?

  • I'd recommend against making the civil engineering comment, he'll probably perceive it as a compliment on his electrical abilities – dustytrash Dec 3 at 4:04
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    Not sure if this should be listed as a solution, but if it were me, I'd take this chance as an opportunity to become a hobbyist civil engineer. After a couple of days of my questions, he'd be avoiding me like the plague. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 3 at 7:58
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    Your last paragraph makes you sound like the one with issues. – AakashM Dec 3 at 10:38
  • "man why the hell you studied civil engineering if you have different interest?" I don't think you want to tell anyone about their life decisions being incompatible with your knowledge. Everything you just described just sounds like you're trying to force yourself into responsibilities that aren't yours. Further evidence is when you said, When he has a project and if the project has electrical and electronics part he tries to do it himself and then ask me questions instead of letting me doing stuff. Who cares if he asks questions? You weren't assigned to do what he's doing. – KingDuken Dec 3 at 17:49
  • @KingDuken The thing is if I let go like this I would be doing nothing at work. Just to learn more themselves by not giving me the whole electrical part to be built they are ruining my work and experience. This anger kills me. Today I talked to him and I tried to show how much Im complaining. Long story anyway, Im still very angry. He was saying about involving me. Ohh mann you should give the whole part to me and before even ordering components. If it goes like this they will be doing all intellectual part and I might end up as watching them in pain. – Genzo Dec 3 at 18:19
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People who share their knowledge freely are valued more than people who keep it to themselves and resent questions from others. This fellow clearly values your expertise and opinions, and is interested in learning from you — not having you do things for him, but learning for himself. You should be flattered and help him.

  • Thanks I also tried to see this maybe he doesn't have bad intention and Im a bit paranoid. What annoys me is that I don't like to challenge people who are not in a certain discipline and try to wrestle you with their opinion about something they are not into at all. – Genzo Dec 3 at 3:19
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Impoliteness/rudeness rarely solves anything.

You need to talk to your manager/s and determine how work should be organized. If the go forward direction is all electronics work should go to you, then you will have to lead project parts that involves that area. If it’s everyone will have a hand in all aspects of the project, then you’d have to get over it and learn to work with him.

At the end of the day, your responsibilities will be determined by your organization, so get that clarified first. You can act accordingly once that’s cleared up.

Side note:

If you’re really the designated domain expert, why are you letting someone with less knowledge than you to drive efforts on that domain? You’re basically allowing the project to take on unnecessary risks by letting a hobbyist do the work of a professional.

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