I am having quite a bit of trouble here, especially with my morale. My colleague and I had joined the organization at a similar time, on the same designation. The colleague got promoted to the next level in the very next year. It is now year 4 in the job, and this year the colleague became my boss. I remain at the same level for now as "the number of promotions to be given out were only limited". It is now just the two of us as the team.

On the bright side, I have also been given a different portfolio, which is exclusive to me (without the promotion), but on the flip side of the same, I now have to report to two different people.

The issues are: (a) although my colleague and I are work friends, and no direct disagreement, the colleague has started giving one instruction too many to me. Some of the instructions are things which have been in place for long enough, and some of the things are new innovations that the colleague is bringing in in terms of work style. The instructions for the things already in place bother me. It is as if the colleague is just trying to show authority at the workplace. (b) Some of these instructions are unclear and some of them are plain wrong.

I don't know how to handle the situation here. Neither do I want to be the trouble-making or insubordinate junior here, nor do I want to do anything that may show me as someone who is plain jealous of my colleague/boss. I do understand that this colleague is also playing the role of an in-charge for the first time, and may be overdoing some things just to prove themselves. But I am getting the feeling of being treated more like an intern than part of the team.

Edit: I am happy to hear the blunt responses, I really am. It is one thing to try convincing yourself, and it is other to hear it directly from another person. For that, I thank you all. I know I really need to get myself out of the funk at the earliest.

Now, I realize that I haven't really asked anything substantial besides posting a rant. My two questions are: 1. Is there a polite way I can let my new boss know that there are certain things that can be left out as instructions? For example, it you are asking someone to make coffee, instructing them to plug in the machine is redundant, especially if it is the same machine that everyone has been using for ages. (I know this sounds whiny, but it is honestly troubling for me.) 2. There are times when the new boss has great innovative ideas, but how do I point out when I see that there is a visible flaw in the approach/instruction (the plainly wrong one), which will likely have a future negative impact on the team's performance on the whole. How do I indicate this without appearing to be throwing a spanner in the work, or creating trouble?

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    It's is unclear exactly what you're asking. Is there a specific outcome you're hoping to achieve? – Kent A. May 21 '17 at 13:13
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    If he is your boss, he is entitled to telling you what to do. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen May 21 '17 at 16:46
  • @KentA. I guess what I am attempting at understanding is a way to mould the situation so that it is not suffocating for me and, at the same time, I am not consciously or otherwise making things harder for the other person. I really don't want that. The problem is that I am not sure if having one to one with my new boss would be helpful or not, or would it be taken in the sense that I am undermining the authority of the boss in any way. – a_agarwal May 21 '17 at 16:48

I am going to be blunt here because it is important you learn this lesson well. Stop whining. Your colleague is now the boss. Of course, he will demonstrate his authority, as is his right (and to an extent, obligation) as the boss.

Of course, he will try to change the old way of doing things. Maybe he did not like the way things were done before, but did not have the authority to change it then. Now he has the authority.

If the boss' instructions are unclear, just ask for clarification. It is also not a great idea to call the boss as "plainly wrong". If the boss has made a mistake, explain your reasoning to him politely and help him fix it. It is also possible that ... surprise ... the boss was right and you were wrong.

The fact that you both joined the company together, but he advanced to be the boss hurts you, I understand that. But that is of no relevance here. He is the boss now and you should treat him like one. The fact that you do not understand so many things as noted above and he does is probably a good indication of why he got promoted and you didn't.

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