460 votes

Engineer refusing to file/disclose patents

I find it interesting that your company has devalued patents significantly, and then seemed surprised when some of your engineers have decided it's not worth their time. You talk about trust, but it'...
388 votes

How can I deal with troublesome Professional Engineer?

Key points: He has always been a dependable employee So, you started with a good man, now what happened. but since being overlooked for a promotion to principal engineer. Your company screwed ...
374 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a coworker who blamed me for the bug that was his fault

Just send an email to everybody involved saying that, after hours, you found (and fixed) the bug. "It is so and so in AB." Maybe with a link to something. Don't mention any person. That should be ...
  • 4,267
360 votes

Engineer refusing to file/disclose patents

30 patents in two years is roughly $75k a year that's been changed to $15k. So he's been given a $60k a year in pay reduction. So, yeah, he's probably going to quit and go work for someone else. ...
334 votes

How can I deal with troublesome Professional Engineer?

I think you made your own bed, here. You passed up the ONLY qualified candidate (so far as you have said) for a "Boss's Nephew." You (collective, as in the whole company) need to either go to him, ...
  • 61.4k
316 votes

Manager wants to hire me; HR does not. How to proceed?

Continue to work for this company as a consultant. Conspire with that friendly manager to enlarge your contribution until it is essentially full time or even more. Charge three times what you ...
314 votes

Employer doesn't want to pay me because I took longer than estimated to finish the work

Slovakia is an EU member since 2004. What your boss wants to do is illegal anywhere in the EU. We can ignore all your arguments why it took longer, fact is you were employed for three weeks, therefore ...
  • 158k
269 votes
Accepted

Given an ultimatum, threatened with dismissal

When threatened with dismissal, the first step is to consult a lawyer. After you did this, follow the advice given. Most likely it will include talking to your seniors about the fact that they gave ...
  • 118k
252 votes

How do I get a coworker to do something that they don’t want to do, as they disrespect me?

You cc'd the wrong person. It's your manager's job role to make sure his/her teams work gets done efficiently. Your manager is the one who should have been cc'd. This ensures that your manager knows ...
  • 204k
250 votes
Accepted

How to respond to your boss's email about a coworker's accusation?

Respond with an email laying out all the things you tried, up unto calling the supervisor and leaving the problem with them. If there's some kind of "how-to-fix" checklist, read over it and check if ...
  • 35.4k
249 votes
Accepted

Coworker throwing cigarettes out of a car, I criticized it and now HR is involved

While I congratulate you for standing up for your beliefs, but it seems that you've entered a rather sticky situation. Clearly, this person is a bully, and I'm sorry to say that these sort of ...
  • 49.2k
236 votes

Retaining ambitious employee with rare skill set

the only real option might be to write her a good letter of reference and let her go. This. Then six months after Alice has left, get back in touch with her and see if she'll put in a good word for ...
229 votes
Accepted

How to handle manager when handing in my notice after lying about not looking for a new job

How do I handle this? Professionally and while doing your utmost to remain calm and dispassionate. How do I stop her from exploding? You can't. She probably will based on the past interactions ...
  • 59.9k
215 votes

Mass resignation (including boss), boss's boss asks for handover of work, boss asks not to. What to do?

You have not been paid for services provided. You are under no obligation to continue to provide services with no expectation of payment. You can still do as you wish, but if I'm not getting paid, I'm ...
  • 1,061
205 votes
Accepted

How can I reply to coworkers who accuse me of automating people out of work?

I faced this same problem for many years. You have to constantly reinforce that you're "Increasing our capacity." Then if pressed, explain that the human component is the most valuable part, and ...
  • 61.4k
200 votes
Accepted

Accused by the team of "stealing" my role from a colleague: all team members are against me

Whatever you do, keep the evidence of decisions made, changed and overturned, by who and when. Sure as eggs are eggs, they will try to blame you ehen there is an error. – Solar Mike 2 hours ago ......
  • 11k
194 votes
Accepted

Colleague blocks change request in peer review because of perceived mistakes in code, but suggested improvements do not work

He might be correct that the code needs fixing, but he's going about it the wrong way for any code review I've ever seen. Code reviews should fail for very specific, addressable points, eg: ...
  • 34.3k
193 votes

Managing difficult employees

View this from your tech lead's side. You've just joined the company, have given him a bunch of tasks that he's clearly unhappy with, complained that he's taken annual leave that he's entitled to(*), ...
  • 34.3k
193 votes
Accepted

What to do when during a meeting client's people start to (physically) fight with each other?

Unless you are a supervisor of someone involved (which you are not), your role is to provide physical security (which it is not), or someone is at risk of severe personal harm (discretionary): DO NOT ...
180 votes

How can I deal with troublesome Professional Engineer?

The other posters have brought up excellent points. I can provide more insight into the P.Eng. related concerns and reporting this engineer to his certification agency. But first things first: Things ...
  • 4,405
177 votes

How can I deal with troublesome Professional Engineer?

He is sending a message. You already know why he's doing it and you seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. Your job is to pass the message where it's addressed: up. Explain to your boss how ...
  • 5,166
167 votes

How to explain business priorities to a programmer?

I wouldn't try to dictate his style of coding, let him do it the way he wants. If performance is an actual documented business requirement and he fails to fulfil it call him out on that. If he ...
  • 5,511
153 votes

Managing difficult employees

Managing IT people is like herding cats. Make them mad enough, and you'll get the claws. Another analogy is that managing IT projects is like holding water, the tighter the grip, the more it escapes ...
151 votes

How do I politely coexist with a help vampire?

So... how can I change this unproductive behavior of mine? +1 for recognizing that your own behavior is part of the problem. I'm genuinely trying to help my coworker help themselves That's the ...
  • 96.9k
148 votes

Dealing with an overseas co-worker who acts like my manager/higher up than me

In contrast to Fattie's answer, I think it may be more appropriate to begin with a less aggressive tone, if this is the first occasion on which the matter is being raised. For example, "I've ...
  • 4,146
147 votes
Accepted

How do I tell my colleagues that the codebase they've built is a total mess and their practices are ancient?

tl;dr This is not a technical problem it's a people problem. Treat it as such. I ain't changin' anything! You are off to a really bad start and it has nothing to do with the code. It sounds like your ...
  • 110k
147 votes
Accepted

Senior engineer suddenly unwilling to do extra work they used to do after being denied promotion

The bridge is burned. He will likely leave the company once he finds another job. Your company can be happy he is not in a financial position to walk out - I WOULD. The moment I am f**** over, I walk ...
  • 7,590
147 votes

How can I tell my boss that my productivity is low due to a conflict with a coworker, without blaming the coworker?

Is it possible that you've been too concerned about not blaming your coworker? Your coworker has been doing things that cause you to feel exhausted and to feel unproductive. That's a big problem. Your ...
145 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with a team member who regularly makes breaking changes?

You must make an ironclad rule that if a person commits code that breaks the build, the commit is instantly reverted and that person's work is not completed. If you don't have the authority to make ...
143 votes

How do I conduct myself when dealing with a coworker who provided me with bad data and yet keeps pushing responsibility for bad results onto me?

While it may be that you have to go to your boss and announce you're not getting anywhere, I wouldn't give up until I managed to try one more thing. About an hour spent together with this other person....

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible