I have a job (which I love), but there is a co-worker, who happens to know some details of the work to be done on the project that I am in. The problem is, because of that he thinks himself to be my boss, and instructs me to do as a boss. Sometimes, he sets up some tasks which cannot happen overnight, but he wants exactly that.

My Manager appreciates my work. But, I am terrified of my co-worker. Just thinking of him makes my heart pump harder. How can I work on that?

Update- This guy is 2 and half years more experienced than me

  • 3
    Have you asked your boss about this? – DJClayworth Mar 3 at 17:09
  • @DJClayworth I might. I already told my Project Lead that I dont want to work with him for other projects. But because my manager had appreciated my work (even though I was new), I am afraid to ruin that reputation. – Asish Mar 3 at 17:29
  • So this coworker has things they want done, but do they have any authority over you to make it so? What happens if you direct them to submit their request as a work ticket and you will get to it when it has been prioritized? – Seth R Mar 3 at 19:37
  • @Asish - disillusionment with this coworker may have an adverse effect on your work performance and may ultimately ruin your reputation with your manager too. Reputations wax and wane - even if your rep does take a hit there's every possibility it'll have an upward swing again at some point – neubert Mar 3 at 21:16
  • Is this question related to the same co-worker described here? workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/169653/… Now that you know that many coworkers, including your manager, do not take this person seriously, what have you done to say 'no' to him? Please tell us what you've actually tried thus far, or what you're planning to try. – Stephan Branczyk Mar 3 at 23:09

Definitely(!) talk to your manager.

And in the meantime ... try to "spend a few minutes in this other guy's moccasins!" He's got a lot of experience – maybe he's genuinely just trying to share it with you. Maybe he's giving you very specific direction because he knows that without it you might not have a clue what to do. Maybe he's doing his best to try to help you.

However ... as you say, what's happening is: "You are terrified." "Your heart pumps harder." Okay, "that's a situation which calls for managerial intervention. This is a fundamental part of any "manager's" job description. (Trust me on this ...)

Without delay, ask to speak to your manager privately. Describe your situation to him or her exactly as you have done here. Don't apologize for how you feel right now ... just describe it. And then, let the manager deal with it: that's a fundamental part of the job. He or she will take your colleague aside and – also privately – discuss it. (So that your colleague is aware, quite possibly for the very first time.) And then, your manager might choose to have a three-way meeting to set a new path forward.

But: do not delay. Reveal, in private, that the situation exists.


I'd talk to your manager. One possibility is that this co-worker has been instructed, by your manager, to be your mentor (the fact that you used the tag "new-job" makes me think this).

In this scenario one of two possibilities exist:

  • You're misperceiving his attempts to mentor you as him trying to boss you around
  • He's just a terrible mentor

In both cases I'd talk to your manager. He should be able to tell you if your perceptions are out of whack or he could follow up with this co-worker of yours and try to curb those behaviors of his that are causing you conflict.

  • 1
    Yes. I am a newbie there with like 7 months of experience. But I have had two to three mentors there in that same office (as of now, and not including him), and no one is so horrible. – Asish Mar 3 at 17:25
  • @Asish - sorry you're in that situation. I'd talk to your manager. Good luck! – neubert Mar 3 at 17:33

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