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A different team is hiring a role very similar to mine, to take over part of the scope of my work. The manager of my manager is working to align interests, but I suspect I am pretty expendable in the grand scheme of things.

I openly told my manager that another team hiring a person claiming to do what I do makes me feel undermined and unstable in my role. (note that the other team is effectively undermining my manager's role as well)

My manager angrily replied "your word, "undermined" is poison". He complained about my complaint.

We had other similar discussions, beyond this topic, but basically every time I report an issue to my manager, I get either coached or treated like a child, and nothing is ever done to fix the issues.

How can I get my line manager to help or solve problems, instead or complaining about me?

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    For me, such intense reaction suggests that you might be right or close.
    – Martijn
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 11:27
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    It's very clear that you can not speak the meta-language to your manager. The word "undermined" operates on the level of personal attack (in this case on yourself). Either the manager really had this in mind, or they didn't. In the first case, you exposed them, in the second, you accused them of something they didn't intend; people accused of something they didn't do also get upset. Avoid going meta; clever politicians never do that, it's only political commentators who do it. Become a politician, not a commentator. You say you are expendable. Is there a way to change that? Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 11:51
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    Are you expandable as you say or expendable? Crucial difference.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 12:47

3 Answers 3

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My manager angrily replied "your word, "undermined" is poison".

At that point, you should try to rephrase what you were trying to say without using that word. Whether your manager has a rational reason for feeling that way about that word or not, putting it into different words can help you get to the substance of your grievance.

The fact that another team is hiring someone who does what you do and who will be taking over some of your work is not in itself a reason to fear that you will be shown the door. It's entirely possible the company is growing, and expects there to be more work in your area than one person can be expected to handle.

We had other similar discussions, beyond this topic, but basically every time I report an issue to my manager, I get either coached or treated like a child, and nothing is ever done to fix the issues.

You haven't said what these discussions have been about. So, we can't really help you with that.

If I'm allowed to generalize based on the one discussion you have described, I think there is a good chance that you are not complaining constructively. It might even be perceived as whining, and this would explain why you are treated like a child.

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  • thanks, I will review my communication style and focus on "could this sound like whining?"
    – user38290
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 17:58
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Can your manager do anything here?

It is another team hiring this person. The approval to hire has probably gone through at least one level above. Realistically, what are you hoping to acquire here?

The angry reaction is not helpful or kind, but if the part about you being expendable is not correct, he is likely powerless to do anything all that helpful.

Perhaps figure out specifically what you would like him to do and ask again.

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I openly told my manager that another team hiring a person claiming to do what I do makes me feel undermined and unstable in my role

Sounds like you shouldn't be talking to your manager, and need to be talking to a friend or therapist.

If this is an example of a typical complaint that you raise to your manager, I'm sorry, I can understand why they may be getting frustrated (though they should still act professionally at all times).

As Matthew Gaiser said, you need to have a clearer idea about what you actually want for your manager. Do you want your manager to organise for the other person to get fired because of your insecurities?

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    Why do you dismiss OPs sense of feeling undermined and unstable in their role? Their situation (as they understand it) is essentially "company is hiring for my role but I wasn't aware I was leaving?! and manager won't discuss it". It sounds to me that the other team is taking over this job function which understandably leaves OP wondering what they will be doing then? It's certainly a valid thing to raise (with the manager), not necessarily as a complaint but does need discussing. Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 20:58
  • I don't dismiss it. But it's irrelevant to the manager. Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 4:20
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    I think "what's the status of my job" is a relevant thing to bring up to the manager... Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 6:54
  • @seventyeightist That's a really vague and dumb question. "You are still employed" is the obvious answer. Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 13:33

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