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Being a programmer, I have had my boss for close to 6 years, and so far I have managed to keep a distance from him during the time we've worked together. I deal with him whenever there is need to like when he requests that I do something, or when something I'm doing involves him, but any other business I try not to interfere with him or intervene in business that does not include me.

We have dealt at loggerheads for a number of projects, but over the years I have learnt that his negative being is not only towards me, but anything in his path, as other employees have been subjected to the same if not worse since he has worked with them more years than me.

  • When he does not get attention from you, he teases you with personal matters.
  • When you quietly approach him with a question that might need his input, he may put it off or find a way to make you the subject of the matter, than work plain leveled with you on fixing the issues.
  • He is able to attach you to a problem to make you the subject, or reference your inefficiency when things go down, instead of admitting the problem and working to solve it.

Lately, because of his over investment into the company, he has been getting a lot of reviews in the negative because of the issues his implementations have caused to the company. A number of issues such as theft, inconsistency, bugs and incompatibility with desirable business processes has made his ideas unwelcome in the company from no technical bosses.

With his autocratic rule, he has been for years been able to manage to keep attention off him, and get relief from staff turnover, as people note the irrationality of his ideas and way of management, and rather seek to find new jobs instead of having to put up with him.

Unfortunately, this time, things are so bad in the economy that people can't cope with excuses, and management is working tirelessly to make processes effective and not just sufficient. He cannot find an answer to a problem, and he is suggesting 6 of us to be responsible, but without providing evidence, and asking us to prove our innocence.

We have heard this through one of us, so far I am now thinking how to deal with him in the event he brings these irrational assertions to me. I will not vent, but I am tired of leaving him not only affecting the employees, but the company as well as it will keep losing valuable staff to irrational behavior.

Of the options I have is:

  • Discussing with him with our other employees how his behavior has been irrational over the years and affected projects and that it is not different in this case.
  • Keeping quiet through the process and see how far he takes this and just be ready for what management bring to us.

Question

how best can one deal with the boss who is now implicitly forcing you to react to his irrational behavior.

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    Finding a new job not an option? Your workplace sounds dysfunctional. – mag Feb 8 '17 at 10:56
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    You have a lot of text here but I'm struggling to figure out what specific situation you're facing and what your goal is. Can I summarise this as: your incompetent boss is finally under review and is now trying to deflect attention by throwing his team (i.e. you) under the bus? – Lilienthal Feb 8 '17 at 11:03
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    But I have to echo @Magisch here. I can't imagine working for this company for six(!) years when the relationship with your direct manager is so hostile and dysfunctional. Why haven't you just moved on? – Lilienthal Feb 8 '17 at 11:04
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    How is he still a manager in that company if one of the issues that came up was theft? Or is this more about "idea theft", something like claiming the reward while others actually came up with it? – skymningen Feb 8 '17 at 11:16
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    @skymningen up to now, his incompetence has not been directly translated to cash, which is what management understands. But his decisions have not been sound technically, and only subordinates have had to feel this directly. – Pilling Fine Feb 8 '17 at 11:19
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As you said in your comments, merely leaving isn't an option for you.

You should still be on the lookout for other opportunities. If one presents itself, don't hesitate to leave this dysfunctional mess.

As for covering yourself, document everything. If you had to make a system more unstable due to inane decisions made by your boss, save the emails or make him give the specs to you in writing. Save every last bit of evidence that shows that your boss made the faulty decisions, not you.

Make sure you have clear and extensive proof of every unsound technical decisions he's made.

Even then it's not guaranteed the higher ups will listen, but it's your only chance if your manager is desperately trying to avoid blame.

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    Thank you, I think this is sane. I also want to use a good history for when I get opportunities in the future. So even when my boss may handle our cases in way undue to us, I can be able to explain the circumstances of my leaving to future prospects, as I am certain that at some point I will leave, at least if he doesn't soon. – Pilling Fine Feb 8 '17 at 12:25
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    +1 for document everything. First hand experience here, it's the only thing that can save you in a situation like this. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Feb 8 '17 at 14:10
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Be aware that saving emails on your work email account does not qualify as "saving emails". Set up a separate account on a commercial email service solely for forwarding your own work emails, both incoming and out going to. That is an archive that only you control.

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    That's valid advice if you're expecting to get fired and sue the company, but I doubt that's the OP's intention. – jpatokal Mar 29 '17 at 6:41

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