Disclaimer: All names used here are fictional, including mine.

Yesterday, my manager told me and another employee to work together in solving several bugs of a project named "B" on an emergency basis because we have an implementation of "B" at client side on next Sunday. "B" is developed using VB.NET and I have no prior experience or knowledge in VB.NET. Plus, I don't know the detail business of "B". Hence, my manager told me to just identify the source/reason of the bug, then co-ordinate with the other employee and let her fix the bugs. After the fixes, he told me to perform one final testing of the system and make sure whether it has really been fixed or not before going for implementation.

The problem is, the other employee whom my manager asked to fix this bugs is already engaged in another high priority project named "A". So her manager responded negatively to let her work in "B". Here's the email between my manager and hers:

Dear Katy,

With consult with Matthew, plz manage time to resolve the discussed issues asap.

Noted here that we have to go to "T Inc." on Sunday to implement "B" with 2000 employee's license key.

Plz compatible and let me know for any kinds of information.



Note that he kept Matthew in CC.

Now Matthew's reply:

Dear Caleb

Since we have started implementing at "G Ltd.", "A" project at critical stage. I can't allow Katy for "B". I recommend that you should engage Sparrow to implement "B" on Sunday. You should hire a junior support resource who can test,implement & fix bug. You may train the Banking Implementation team for this purpose also.

If you need any resource of "A" team for support & implementation; you may request them to work on Friday/Saturday .

With best regards

Matthew Morstan

Then my manager's reply:

Dear Matthew,

I'm not asking Katy to go to "T Inc." and implement "B" rather said to solve the issues (very small issues and may take max 2 hours) only so that Sparrow can do it on Sunday.

None else can solve issues of "B".

Thanks and best regards,


After that, Matthew reluctantly let Katy to work on "B" on Saturday.

I'm concerned about this particular line in Matthew's mail:

You should hire a junior support resource who can test,implement & fix bug. You may train the Banking Implementation team for this purpose also.

Does that mean he's not happy I'm not yet "trained enough" or "not taking enough responsibilities" to be able to "fix bugs" and as a result, forcing him to let his resource work in other projects? Does he want to fire me and look for junior resources? What is my fault? I'm already working in bug fixes and development in 2 other projects, both of them in PHP and my current manager is not too unhappy regarding my development skills. How can Matthew expect me to all on a sudden just jump into a VB.NET project, learn the business quickly and start solving issues in the shortest of time? What am I supposed to do now?

  • 5
    It sounds like two managers conducting an email battle over employee resources. Anyway it sounds like you have Katy for support so make use of the support to finish the required project. Don't worry if you think you're not trained enough, you already mentioned that you weren't up on VB.NET, maybe that's why you're getting more support. – Brandin May 22 '15 at 8:57
  • 8
    For me that line sounds simply like Use some other resources, not mine. – Steven Pessall May 22 '15 at 8:59
  • 2
    The main point that I'd like to stress is that currently my growth is happening through working in PHP, not any other technologies. I can't just dance from PHP to .NET every other day. And especially, I have no intention to work in VB.NET because it's going to be obsolete once ASP.NET 6 is out. – Choudhury Saadmaan Mahmid May 22 '15 at 9:07
  • 3
    Does your manager know that you have never done anything in VB.NET? If so, the onus is on him to give you the support to do the job i.e. a junior you can work with to get the job done. You don't get a choice as to whether you want to work in VB.NET - If you are to complete the assignment, you are going to have to go through that VB.NET code. Long ago, I was able to help a colleague code in VB despite the fact that I had never seen VB. Bite the bullet, cut out the anxiety and take your best shot at the problem. With the support of a competent junior, of course. – Vietnhi Phuvan May 22 '15 at 9:55
  • 7
    Obviously we can't tell you whether Matthew is mad at you or not. Question is why it matters to you so much whether the manager of another team might be mad at you. I would let it rest until there is clear evidence that Matthew has a problem with you. – Steven Pessall May 22 '15 at 10:17

My impression is that the emails aren't meant to address your skill level. As @Brandin says in the comments, this looks like a fairly routine tug-of-war between two departments for resources due to competing projects. I wouldn't read too much into your manager's assessment; you're not the target audience and he wasn't speaking to you. He's trying to justify his decision to the other group and is probably using phrasing that matches what he thinks they need to hear.

There's no need to take this personally, especially since you self-identify as unfamiliar with the technology involved.


from those emails it sounds like Matthew is not even aware you exist - at least as far as project B is concerned.

It actually does look like your boss is asking for Katy to implement at the client on Sunday, and you are overreact to Matthew's admittedly curt reply

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.