First a few well established facts about my manager based on team's feedback about him:

  1. Very professional upright attitude.
  2. Great communication skills but tend to be over-argumentative bordering to arrogance.
  3. Quite effective when comes to his personal assignments.
  4. Done most of his work as individual contributor (with minor collaborations here and there)
  5. Understands company policies and well connected professionally with key people (in other teams but not the higher management).
  6. Opinionated and holds rigid impressions (extreme + and -) about people, many times based on assumptions and hearsay too.
  7. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Until last year he was a regular colleague. He got promoted because the previous manager had to leave and someone was required to fill in the place. Being senior most and a consistent performer he was selected and now managing team of 8 people.

Initially, he struggled to adapt to managerial role from the colleague's role. He tried many ways but was not turning effective. A few months later he started using his authority to punish late-comers (and meeting absentees) by sending personalized emails. By the financial year end, he went anal and started putting negative comments on every small or big events in few of the team members' annual reports in a direct and accusative language that has never been experienced before from any manager. Example: "Chronic absentism in monday meetings", "No adherence to visual management board rules" etc.

I suggested him not to put these kind of minor remarks in annual reports and deal with these issues by dialogues. He did not care to listen to any suggestions. I approached HR with these issues, all they could do was lend me an ear and share their empathy but no real action.

Meanwhile, there were two people who were trying for new role out of out team but within the organization, which they could not find any suitable position. Based on my experience with the new manager I also started looking for new role inside and outside the organization. I was already not very excited about my project (which I had communicated to my manager many times). Manager's behavior simple gave me trigger to move out. Eventually, I found one position and resigned few weeks back. After resigning, I came to know about two more people; one involved actively in interview process with external organizations and another planning to apply outside. Out of 7 (excluding me), 2-3 team members are waiting for interview calls from outside or start job-hunt process soon. I am not indicating that they have similar motivation as me to leave this team or not. I don't know. The manager does not have the faintest idea about this.

Turning Point

Last week HR conducted a regular process to provide anonymized feedback from the team to manager. The team came up with the 7 points mention on the top along with some issues highlighting his biases for and against certain things/habits and his lack of listening capabilities. As a part of process he shared this review with his senior-manager (over phone) and started with a defense that "some people agree with the feedback some does not, the feedback has inherited contradictions, should I modulate my behavior according to each person or leave it like that (as I can't keep everyone happy)".

I was quite sure that the feedback will give him a chance to adapt to the team. I am thoroughly confused now about this guy's behavior.


I really wanted to share my views with the manager's manager to let him know the differences I have with my manager. I am sure I have enough proofs(voice recordings) of his false accusations and verbal bullying episodes; and hopefully I would end up initiating some action on my manager. But I am in big dilemma whether to initiate the complaint or not. Sometimes I feel pity on his arrogance and stubborn attitude which is in a way self-destructible. Sometimes I feel he is what he is and there is no point in making him learn any lesson. Sometimes I feel there is no point of spreading bitterness during my notice period.

closed as off-topic by gnat, Roger, Kate Gregory, mcknz, Jane S Jun 24 '15 at 20:52

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here." – gnat, Roger, Kate Gregory, Jane S
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm somewhat confused, too. You changed teams away from said manager, didn't you? So why bother? Let his team do the work, you are no longer on his team. – nvoigt Jun 24 '15 at 10:04
  • Joe, can you please elaborate your stand – Mohitt Jun 24 '15 at 11:00
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    I'm pretty sure this question has a duplicate but I can't find it. The answer was a big NO from everybody. Any positive impact on the organization will provide NO gain to you, but in exchange you will burn a bridge with this person. If there's only loss and no gain, there's no point. – Formagella Jun 24 '15 at 13:32
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    Voting to close because this reads more like an extended rant than a question. – Roger Jun 24 '15 at 13:37
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    If people are repeatedly late (assuming a well understood start time) or absent from regular scheduled meetings, it isn't anal to right them up in their annual review if they were told about the issue and did not improve. It is not "punishing" to send people personal emails when they are late or miss meetings. – cdkMoose Jun 24 '15 at 15:55

I think you already answered your own question:

Sometimes I feel there is no point of spreading bitterness during my notice period.

That's right, there isn't. You're leaving for a new job, so this is no longer your problem.

From what you describe, your (soon-to-be-ex-)manager's manager is already aware of the issues, and will soon become well aware of their impact when half your current team quits. Your manager is already in hot water, and you complaining to the manager's manager is thus not going to have any additional impact.

However, if your manager hears that you've gone squealing up the chain, with surreptitious voice recordings to boot (!), he is most certainly going to be unhappy with you and may cause you trouble now or in the future. It's a small world and you never know when you'll run into him again, why burn bridges unnecessarily?

  • Why do people not understand that it is NEVER ok to record people without their consent without a court order? – HLGEM Jun 24 '15 at 14:40
  • HLGEM Law enforcement does not act the bad guys for consent before recording them. Law enforcement gets a court order because that's the law. I'd have no compunction about sharing tapes complete with time stamps of Mr. Manager's behavior. The only thing that might/would stop me is the employee handbook, if it explicitly forbids recordings without the OK of management or HR. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 24 '15 at 20:03
  • @VietnhiPhuvan You are not law enforcement. In 11 US states, recording a conversation without the permission of all parties is illegal: dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations – jpatokal Jun 24 '15 at 22:11
  • @jpatokal From your own reference: " Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. See 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d). This is called a "one-party consent" law. Under a one-party consent law, you can record a phone call or conversation so long as you are a party to the conversation." Federal law probably trumps state law in any case, but it's best to check with a lawyer or the ACLU. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 25 '15 at 2:09

It's never too late to raise a stink over the manager's behavior - You are an employee of the firm until your last day on the job. It is especially appropriate that you raise that stink since he is the core reason why you and possibly others are leaving. Right now, it seems that the most effective thing the team is doing is bleeding staff rather than getting anything done. Once you raise that stink, the last thing he can argue is that your departure had nothing to do with him. At this point, you have nothing to lose and no ulterior motive by telling the unvarnished truth.

If you get your manager fired, anyone who asks why you didn't ask for references from him should get a smile from you and the answer "that's because I got him fired for incompetence. I tried to tell him he should let bygones be bygones and I insisted that he give me a sparkling good reference but he was taking it way too personally" :)

Other answers mention that it's a small world and that it's not good for you to burn bridges. The advice goes both ways and right now, the manager is making himself more enemies than he can kill. If I were him, I'd be the one looking over my shoulder.

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    "that's because I got him fired for incompetence. I tried to tell him he should let bygones be bygones and I insisted that he give me a sparkling good reference but he was taking it way too personally" If I was the hiring manager and heard this from a candidate, I would put down the CV and back away as fast as I could. – jpatokal Jun 24 '15 at 22:13

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