I'm a lead engineer for a highly technical product, aspects of which cross multiple technical disciplines. From working with him, the PM doesn't know even the very basics about computers but he's constantly trying to "help" with my work. For example, trying to reimage PCs or repair a motherboard. Why would he even try to help with something like this? He's tried (unsolicited), he can't. Not only is he just in my way (sometimes literally breaking things), he is also wasting his own time.

How do I know this? Because part of his job is showing the product to customers and I am constantly getting feedback from him that "he didn't know" that these key features existed, despite being part of the product for a year now. He is in the meetings with software devs and the rest of the product team. He has access to our product to try it himself, not to mention all the documentation being emailed to him as it is made. But it doesn't seem like he ever does anything with it. So he's constantly calling me for help on things that he should know by now. And frankly, it is taking up too much of my time.

Who should I talk to about this? Technically, he has more seniority over me in the product, obviously. But he is interfering not only with my work, but in a way that distracts from his own. Should I talk to my manager? Report it to his manager? Try to talk to him about it? I've tried to give him hints and tell him no (I manage to evade things I know he can permanently break), but he's persistent. Actionable advice would be helpful.

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? What to do when my boss is very disorganized?
    – Fattie
    Oct 16, 2020 at 17:21
  • @Fattie not really relevant as that question is more along the lines of a direct high level manager where I am dealing with a PM who is not my direct manager.
    – q-compute
    Oct 16, 2020 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


Who should I talk to about this?

If you have already spoken to the PM and have asked them to stop "helping" (clearly explaining the negative consequences of his meddling) without any change in behavior then you should speak to your manager.

Approach the discussion from the angle that the PM is disrupting your work by either wasting your time or breaking things that he should not be touching. Do not mention anything about the PM wasting their own time or not doing their job because that is not your responsibility. Let your manager then sort things out with either the PM or the PM's manager.

  • 1
    Well, the part of him not doing his own job to keep up the product actually does waste my time, because I have to repeat myself and take "service calls" which are not things that I am supposed to be spending my time doing. But I'll phrase it in a better way. Thanks
    – q-compute
    Oct 16, 2020 at 19:11

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