I have been working in my office for a few years. Around one year ago the only two people in the office were my boss and I. We honestly didn't like each other too much but we had always been polite to each other and we had always worked together decently.

One year ago we hired a new junior member of the team to work with me. We decided together that this new person should have been (informally) supervised by me and that's exactly how things went for the first months this person was here.

In the last months my boss and the new person have become much more closer. This fact by itself is not a problem, except for the fact that my boss started to give directions to this person. I'm fine with him been asked to do other things but I have now difficulties planning his time, and been sure about he can meet the deadline I set for him. Sometimes I may plan the work to do for the following week and by Wednesday he may be asked by my boss to work on something completely different. Sometimes I'm asked about long term estimates, and after I set a deadline he may be assigned to a different project for a few weeks.

Now in the last weeks a new thing is happening. The two have started to spend more time together alone during the working hours (sometimes by been plain rude to me saying things like "we need to stop working for a second and have a small chat, but we prefer to be alone"). The main problem here for me is not missing the invite to drink a coffee with them, but mainly that they often end up discussing things about our projects that may not remember to tell me when we are together again.

So in essence, I feel that my authority in the office is undermined. I cannot effectively lead the projects I should because I cannot trust my team member collaboration and I occasionally miss crucial information.

This situation is also causing me some personal stress for obvious reasons.

EDIT: I'll add more details and a final question:

First of all, looking for help by the boss of my boss would be a bad move. They are very close, and even if I were right, the suggestion would be to leave the company anyway (happened years ago to a coworker).

Second, as the saying goes, if you run into a jerk, you run into a jerk, if you find jerks wherever you go you may be the jerk. I really tried to understand if something in this situation may be my fault but I really don't see anything. I think it's important to add that I'm generally quite appreciated by my coworkers outside of my office. Just to give you a simple example, I'm frequently asked to collaborate on projects from other offices and invited to all kind of events, so I don't really think that I'm the werido in this situation.

I'll add that if it was possible to switch office inside the same company, I would do that immediately.

So let's get to the final question. Leaving the company may be an option, although not a pleasant one. I may be do that in a few months if the situation keeps on getting worse. But do you have any suggestion to fix the situation or at least trying to make more bearable?

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    Does your boss have a boss that can affect change in this situation? – user60813 Feb 27 '17 at 18:05
  • Also to partially answer, I think you're letting their childish game of exclusion get at your personally, and you shouldn't let it. The simplest solution to any situation you don't want to be involved in is to stop participating. – user60813 Feb 27 '17 at 18:10
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    Time to look for a new job. – TheMathemagician Feb 27 '17 at 18:13
  • Interesting story. – Z. Cochrane Feb 28 '17 at 3:31
  • @JoeStrazzere I've added some details and a question. To be honest no, I have not talked with my boss about this possible change. I would appreciate some suggestions on how to do it. – heapOverflow Feb 28 '17 at 10:20

But do you have any suggestion to fix the situation or at least trying to make more bearable?

It sounds like the situation has changed on the informal supervisory relationship. You never really had any formal authority, so it's hard to say that it has been undermined.

A year ago there were only two of you in the office. Then your company hired a third person, but you weren't actually put in charge. The new person needed help coming up to speed, and you were tasked with helping. Now (a year later) you are seeing that person is no longer new, and your informal supervision is no longer needed.

You seem to be feeling hurt that your boss appears closer to the new employee than to you, even though you admit that you and your boss didn't like each other too much.

There's nothing to fix here other than your feelings about work. You need to come to grips with the fact that office dynamics change over time. You could talk with your boss, explain how you are feeling, and clarify your relationship with your boss and with the third employee.

And if you still feel that your role isn't what you would like it to be and that it won't improve - then you can decide to leave.


Unless your manager has a boss you are confident can and may be willing to assist you to positively change the situation, I would urge you to move on.

The risk of course, is if you talk to your managers superior, the situation most likely will get worse. Based on you description of the situation, your manager it not going to be happy with you spelling out the situation to his superiors. I have rarely, as in never, seen a scenario such as yours turn out for the better.

Sadly you are best served by moving on.

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    +1, As much as these answers suck to give, they're sometimes the only correct answer. – user60813 Feb 27 '17 at 18:23
  • What you suggest, happened some times ago with another employee. He was asked to leave the company almost immediately. So, I guess it's not really an option any more than just leaving. – heapOverflow Feb 28 '17 at 10:23
  • Since it was your boss that gave you the authority to supervise the person, it is them you - probably - should talk to. Perhaps also there are other things going on which you do not know about. All you need to know is whether this person ("resource") is available to you or not. Do not get personal. Professional people keep such things far from themselves - it's good for their reputation, their nerves, their inner balance and their work. – Captain Emacs Feb 28 '17 at 10:35

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