I would like to first inform you that I am being vague with specifics intentionally to protect myself, as I am aware that some of my coworkers browse Workplace Stack.

My superior often goes to one of my coworkers, a man who has been in the field for very many years, for a second opinion on various technical issues. It is almost always the case that his opinion determines my superior's decision, as my superior is not very familiar with this field. Part of my job is to identify errors/inefficiency and flag them accordingly.

I raised a problem to my superior and naturally they approached my coworker, who felt it to be not problematic because X reasons. But I feel I must first provide some context for your understanding.

The field that I work in is constantly changing, and although my coworker has been in the field for several years, I feel that sometimes his opinions are based on experiences from many years ago that may not be so relevant nowadays. I have been in the field for about 5 years and am a lot more 'fresh' than he is, and I keep up to date in the field much more regularly than he does, as another part of my job is to be very up-to-date in this field. His job is slightly different and does not require this.

Because of this, I know irrefutably that the issue I flagged IS a problem, and have hard evidence that the reasons that my coworker provided are no longer valid nowadays, but used to be the case maybe 10-15 years ago.

My superior dismissed my flagging with a 'my decision is final' tone, which I was not too pleased with, considering the fact that I know that he is making the wrong decision.

Whilst this problem is not company-crippling by any means, it would damage the reputation of the company over time if left unchecked, as it'll make us look outdated.

Should I raise this with my superior, providing the evidence that I have of my coworker's input being outdated, despite him giving me a clear 'my decision is final' tone?

I am not too good with dealing with workplace politics because I tend to be blunt in my responses, so please feel free to critique what I am thinking of sending my superior (roughly).

Hi name,

I understand that coworker is highly experienced in the field, and respect that. However, his reasons for this being a non-problem are no longer valid, though they would have been many years ago. I've attached below a document that demonstrates how this is the case.

Your decision is of course final, but as a loyal employee of this company, I would want for company decisions to be as well-informed as possible before coming to a final decision.



  • When you say there is a "problem" with the planned approach .. do you mean: won't work at all? will work but will introduce a security hole? will work but take more time/effort/expense than an alternative approach? will work but isn't deemed to be "best practice" these days? will work but you don't personally like it? Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 5:28
  • 2
    Did you talk to your coworker about the issue ? Convincing him would seem the best way to proceed. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 6:44
  • 1
    Really you are going to write "I would want for company decisions to be as well-informed". You are basically accusing the boss of making poor decisions". Terrible letter. Cool off for a few days.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 8:24
  • 1
    Worth noting that the aftermath is detailed here: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/85560/…
    – jcm
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 3:54

5 Answers 5


Your manager is the one responsible for the project. You completed your task by telling him that there may be a problem. If he has a different opinion, that should be fine with you.

If something crashes in the future because of non-action of your manager, it is not your problem. If you think this can get severe, document everything you told your manager. Write an email to him about your concerns, maybe cc-ing some others (but don't threaten him, this is only for documentation!). If he blames you afterwards about the crash, you have something to prove your innocence.

Bottomline: don't let this get personal. You will do many "useless" or "wrong" tasks during your work life. This is okay as long you don't let this get to you, and you were not the one deciding it.

  • A problem exist with this if the potential hazard is company threatening: at that point you need to convince the manager of his wrong ways, lest you might get unemployed. And being unemployed in the current market is deadly.
    – paul23
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 22:10

You could drop it now; you said your thing and the manager said "no".

However your "problem" is actually your coworkers expert advice. You could go to him and say: "I heard you don't think foo is a problem, I'm still a bit concerned. Could you explain how X, Y and Z are handled?"

Best case scenario, you are convinced that you were wrong and it isn't actually a problem or he is convinced and you can go to the manager together.

If you get any pushback you can easily drop it since the tone is a conciliatory "explain why I am wrong, rather than accusatory "You are wrong!".


I think try not to make it personal. Don't refer to said coworker specifically. Perhaps mention that your recent experience has lead you to believe X Y Z and then perhaps use some form of evidence or relevant example to back it up.

Blaming the other person or mentioning their erroneous ways may just make you appear nasty, even if worded correctly, because these two obviously get along together and trust each other's judgement.


The decision is final. Trying to change a final decision is rarely a smart thing to do. You probably won't succeed, get all worked up about it, and possibly upset some other people. There is a chance that everything will work out perfectly and there will be fairies and butterflies, but that chance is small.

You should have some form of regular feedback meetings, these might be retrospectives, monthly one-on-ones, or something similar*. Bring the real concern up in one of these:

You are hired to do a job, you know your stuff, and you take pride in doing your job well. Not being trusted by management to know your stuff is demotivating.

*I don't mean the annual performance meeting, a year is far too long to have any relevant feedback loop. If you only have these, you need to consider scheduling a meeting specifically for this issue.


The high road in this particular case would be to first convince your coworker that you have a valid argument against what he proposed, and then, together, approach your manager about revising the decision.

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