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Currently, I am working on a new technology (for me) which my manager is aware of and thus assigned said task lead to help and guide me through what I need to do as things/issues come up. However, when I attempt to ask my task lead a question, I am often met by snarky/rude non-answers.

For example, I asked how I should test these new end points stating, "I'm assuming I would want to deploy and then use X tool to send payloads?" The answer I am met with is, "You assume a lot of things." Into no answers down the line when I tried to ask a little further. The information in my question was actually based off of answers I got from a co worker who also did a similar task with a different area of the project, so they were not far-fetched to propose under the guise of assumption. Maybe using the word "assume" was a problem and I could've left it out, but it really irritates me how my co-worker responded.

It should be noted, typically when he says these comments, I typically just reply, "ok" because I really do not know how to respond to such comments. Also, at the beginning of the year, when my manager decided to assign this person as my task lead, he even stated that he can be difficult at times, so it seems that he is aware of this to some extent. I think at this point my work is being hindered because I feel as though I can't ask a coworker a question without receiving snarky comments and non-answers, to the point where it is better for me to just try and figure things out. Should I talk to my manager about this? Or am I over blowing the situation?

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    If you literally asked "I'm assuming I would want to deploy and then use X tool to send payloads?", then you aren't really asking a question, you're stating an assumption (maybe in questioning tone, but still). If your "task lead" is very literal (e.g. on the spectrum), he may very well not interpret it as a question, and wonder why you are stating your assumptions to him, causing him to bounce back "You assume a lot of things.". Have you tried asking a real question? Maybe even only adding a "Is my assumption correct?" could be enough. Mar 7 at 16:46
  • My answer to another question may be relevant here.
    – gidds
    Mar 10 at 10:09

2 Answers 2

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when my manager decided to assign this person as my task lead, he even stated that he can be difficult at times,

Hopefully, you have regular one-on-one meetings with your manager.

During your next meeting, indicate that you aren't making as much progress as you would like. And seek advice on how to be more effective communicating with this person, since you'd like to come up to speed faster.

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Does he seriously block or slowdown your work progress ? If yes, then you may need to diplomatically chat with your manager because this may affect the delivery or quality of the products. However, please note that whenever you chat to your manager about the team lead in this manner, there is a chance that it may backfire unexpectedly.

On the other hand, if he does not seriously block your progress, then you can try to improve his communications by finding out:

  1. What causes him to be in the bad mood ? (Family issues, health issues, bad social skills ?)

  2. Does he treat everyone in the team in the same way ? Or is it only a personal issue that he has with you or some team members ?

  3. Is there any part of the day when he is generally in the good mood to have a professional and helpful conversation related to the project ? If yes, then, maybe, you can try to ask your questions during this time to see if the situation improves.

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