I am asking this question to make myself better in handling managers.

6 months into the new work place I joined as a fresher, this incident happened. I got put into a technology that I didn't understand about 4 months after joining. I did try my level best to find resources and guides about this new technology, but most of the sites where I could find this information was blocked by IT and they cited bandwidth as the reason to block these sites.

So 2 months into this new technology, my manager called me and another colleague of mine for a review of the work that we have done. He went through all the files that I have created in my machine, even inspected each file by checking the date modified. Then he went on to see all the output screens of the sample works that I have done.

After seeing all these things, he said that "Now I understand what you have been doing till now, you are a complete waste!", right in front of my colleague who had also joined the company on the same date with me.

Now I am happy that I did not punch his nose at that very moment, and I kept my face as straight as possible.

I was a fresher who had no idea about this new technology, and I was called a waste by him. How should I have handled such a manager?

PS: I shot a mail to his reporting manager about his behavior after I took a day to think through if I must really work in such a company.

  • 4
    Apparently, your colleague did better than you. Did you at any point during these two months raise with your manager the issue that you were being blocked from accessing these sites? Jun 20, 2015 at 5:13
  • He went through my work first, not my colleague. I did talk to my senior in the same project as well as the manager, and he too talked about it to my manager.
    – SoundStage
    Jun 20, 2015 at 5:51
  • So you never raised the issue with your manager. Jun 20, 2015 at 5:55
  • 5
    After learning the relevant sites were blocked, what did you do for the next two months?
    – jcm
    Jun 20, 2015 at 8:36
  • Was "you're a waste" all your manager said? It's definitely a rude comment, but in any case I would expect that the conversation should then go to what his expectations were and why he was not satisfied. Did you propose anything to remedy the fact that you did not live up to those expectations?
    – Brandin
    Jun 20, 2015 at 11:15

2 Answers 2


I'd say that you are expected to communicate if you can't be productive in your technology. As far as I understand, you have colleagues you can ask for help. But I'd guess that you are - like me - lacking the self-esteem to ask for help from your colleagues. You think you would be bothering them, or losing your face when you ask for help. That's what I had, and I know I will have it again when I start at the next company.

In my current company, I learned during my first two weeks that this behaviour won't do here. I have more in-depth-knowledge than my boss in certain fields, and he has more than me in others. He asks me a lot without losing his face, so I guessed correctly that I can ask him as well.

When I can't work because the network is down once again, I start to order my desk, and when that is finished ten minutes later, and network is still down, I communicate my inability to work. If I have been assigned a certain critical task, I skip the order-my-desk part.

When I am wasting more than one hour trying to find an answer by myself, I post the question on Stack Exchange. If I don't get answers (and don't find an answer elsewhere) during the next hour, I go to my boss as well. (Most of the time, Google has indexed my question by then, and he stumbles upon it while trying to find a solution...)

I did not yet have problems that needed multiple months to solve. My company could not afford me to "work" on the same problem for months. Your company can't afford to have you work so ineffectively either.

So, when you have problems getting started with a new technology, communicate your inability to work to your manager, and ask for a formal training. It's cheaper for them to send you on a basic training for that technology, than to have you idling around for two months - even if the training can't be done in-house. And I guess it's even cheaper for them to open some websites for you on the 'net...

  • +1 Excellent answer as to how not to get into the situation in the first place.
    – Avon
    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:55
  • Your inputs are appreciated. I am not a shy person at all, but I have very big 'teething' problem.
    – SoundStage
    Jun 20, 2015 at 16:21

How should I have handled such a manager?

I am sorry to say that I think you just have to suck it up and either find a new job or try to turn things around and impress him. Although he was insulting/rude (and I think that's not good management), I don't think it is to the point of being a disciplinary matter for him and his manager so I think reporting him to his manager was probably a bad idea.

Fundamentally, we don't know the situation well enough to judge your manager: he may have been correct - that you have been wasting your time. What you say above may have been excuses for something you should have been preparing for for the four months prior to the project. I'm not accusing you of that but I can't accuse your manager of being wrong either.

Some managers are like that all the time and bad people to work for. If you take them on you will probably lose. I think you try to get away from them: stay out of their way while they are your manager and try to find a new job.

However, some are like this sometimes but actually really good managers. They don't mince words, they say what they think and their praise is as forthcoming and as blunt as their criticisms.

How you handle a manager saying something like that to you depends on the manager and whether you deserve it.

If he is really a good manager and yet you aren't just making excuses for not doing something you should have then I suggest: request a moment to discuss it with him (politely and calmly) and explain that you don't understand how you went wrong, what you should have been doing in that time. Please could he explain to you? You want to have a chance to get it right for the next review and will try especially hard to do so.

  • If I had been told about this technology in advance, I sure would have been able to get ready for it. But that was not the case. I studied Java before joining this company with the expectation of getting into Java. But everything went downhill when I was put into Dot Net Nuke, which I personally hate after these events.
    – SoundStage
    Jun 20, 2015 at 16:30
  • @Rai Being set up to fail is a thing and bad managers can do it to their staff for various reasons: usually incompetence but sometimes for political reasons or even just malice. Of course I can't tell from here. I think give the final paragraph a go. If he brushes you off or insults you further then you know you're on to a loser here and time to start applying elsewhere. However, the complaint you made to his boss has probably destroyed any chance of coming to an understanding. If he didn't have an axe to grind with you before he probably does now.
    – Avon
    Jun 20, 2015 at 20:25

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