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I am a software developer, and my new co-worker is privately asking me questions and then sending them in private group chats to our client. This is my first job and I wasn't sure whether this is acceptable or if I should do something about it.

My co-worker used to be part-time, he is an expert in the industry and someone we used to ask general questions to. He has now become our full-time project manager (he has never been a manager before). As he was new to the role I expected lots of questions and was happy to help. But, our client recently added me into a group chat, to get my opinion. In the chat I saw that he was asking me the questions that where being asked in this channel, and copy and pasting my answers as his own.

On one hand, I don't mind this as I prefer not to talk to clients and like to go through my PM, if possible. But I also want credit for my answers and opinions. I'm not sure whether to leave it and see if it stops as he gets more used to the role? Should I talk to him about it (although I'm scared of running a relationship)? Or mention it to my old PM who was promoted?

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  • You should talk to your PM or manager about your coworker taking credit for something that isn’t theirs..credit should be where credit is due... good coworker would not just copy paste the answers and claim them as their own, but as an answer from the team, or from an internal team expert. If your relationship hangs on your coworker taking your hard earned knowledge as their own, then it isn’t much of a relationship. – morbo Dec 7 '20 at 21:05
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    Many companies have a "one face to the customer" policy. Which means that every customer is supposed to interact with only one person from the company. But because a single person can't know everything, they of course rely on their colleagues for information. Which they then pass on to the customer as if it was their own information – Philipp Dec 8 '20 at 12:00
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    So your concerned about the fact your project manager is asking you questions then submitting your answers to the client. Isn’t it the job of the manager to interact with the client? Why are you upset about that fact? Your client doesn’t give you a bonus that would be your manager so the only person that matters is your manager’s opinion. – Donald Dec 8 '20 at 13:15
  • It’s too bad everyone with the correct answer is only leaving comments and not writing an answer. – mxyzplk Dec 8 '20 at 14:22
  • It just that this is very different from how it used to be with my old PM. All general questions where answered by them, but the technical stuff was passed on to the developers. If he didn't know the answers why wouldn't he just add me to the chat to answer them? It just makes it look like he is the one coming up with the solutions, when all he is doing is copying my solution is stead of says @Georgia thinks this would work. I may be wrong, which is why I'm asking. – Georgia Dec 8 '20 at 15:11
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I would give it a bit of time and see what happens.

Sounds like your co-worker was just passing on your messages to a client you didn't have direct contact with before, not necessarily doing it to take credit for your work.

You could mention to him that you would prefer to message the client yourself from now on, so nothing gets lost in translation. It is however quite common for a project manager to act as a go-between.

It depends on specifics and your company structure. In general I wouldn't be concerned I would lose credit for my work because the PM is acting as a point of contact.

Usually you report to the PM, and the PM reports to your boss. The PM should be saying how well you're performing. If you report directly to your boss and feel the PM is stealing credit you deserve, you can always mention to your boss that you'd rather contact clients directly than always go though your PM.

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