T Nation

How to Deal with Control Freaks

I work with a guy that I want to set on fire…but I don’t want to go to jail. I’ve only been at this new job for about 7 weeks, but I’m already ready to move on. Other than this jackass, the job is fine.

He’s not my boss, but he is higher up the chain than me (I’m a senior accountant, he’s a principal engineer), yet, today, he sent me a 14 point e-mail on how he wants invoices handled when in reality it’s not his call.

Anyways, this is more of a rant and whine party than I wanted it to be, but so be it.

Here’s the question I have for ya’ll…how do I deal with a motherfucker that got under my skin, without committing career suicide?

Thanks

So tell him it’s not his call, and that his invoices get handled like everybody else’s. The worst thing they can do is fire you, and I seriously doubt they would do that.

[quote]SouthernGypsy wrote:
He’s not my boss, but he is higher up the chain than me (I’m a senior accountant, he’s a principal engineer), yet, today, he sent me a 14 point e-mail on how he wants invoices handled when in reality it’s not his call.
[/quote]

How about asking your boss? Print out the email. Say to your boss: So-and-so feels that invoices should be done according to these bullet points - is this how we ought to handle them? Let your boss make the call, and move on with your life. However you respond to him, be polite. You can get away with a lot of crap as long as you don’t lose your cool and don’t give someone a reason to believe you are intentionally screwing around with them or acting as though you were superior.

[quote]nephorm wrote:
SouthernGypsy wrote:
He’s not my boss, but he is higher up the chain than me (I’m a senior accountant, he’s a principal engineer), yet, today, he sent me a 14 point e-mail on how he wants invoices handled when in reality it’s not his call.

How about asking your boss? Print out the email. Say to your boss: So-and-so feels that invoices should be done according to these bullet points - is this how we ought to handle them? Let your boss make the call, and move on with your life. However you respond to him, be polite. You can get away with a lot of crap as long as you don’t lose your cool and don’t give someone a reason to believe you are intentionally screwing around with them or acting as though you were superior.[/quote]

Well said, there is a chance his boss might not want it that way, he does it, gets in trouble, and has no sold ground to stand on.

My wife has dealt with a similiar situation at work. People want their production schedules all different. She went to the boss and he straightened out the mess out. having to do invoices, schedules etc. all different slows down the goal of getting stuff down.

[quote]nephorm wrote:
SouthernGypsy wrote:
He’s not my boss, but he is higher up the chain than me (I’m a senior accountant, he’s a principal engineer), yet, today, he sent me a 14 point e-mail on how he wants invoices handled when in reality it’s not his call.

How about asking your boss? Print out the email. Say to your boss: So-and-so feels that invoices should be done according to these bullet points - is this how we ought to handle them? Let your boss make the call, and move on with your life. However you respond to him, be polite. You can get away with a lot of crap as long as you don’t lose your cool and don’t give someone a reason to believe you are intentionally screwing around with them or acting as though you were superior.[/quote]

This is good advice. I am dealing with something similar at work. We recently hired a former military guy (he is completely nuts). He is having trouble with the fact that our company doesn’t have a clear hierarchy past the owner and probably three other people. We have no titles, and everyone is considered equal (I know that isn’t the reality, but it is important to the owner that this is how we act).

So, Mr. I Signed Saddam’s Death Warrant (he is only thirty and has some pretty outrageous claims, but this is a favorite that he likes to brag about, he is also a skinny fuck) asks me to do something. I ask questions, and he in turn goes to my boss to complain that, “Christine and I are having communication issues.” I ask questions to get all the information I need in order do my job. Anyway, he was told I’m just doing my job.

But, I have found the best way to deal with The Ass, as I so affectionately call him, is for us to communicate through my boss.

I actually had to raise my voice to him a couple of weeks ago when he was asking me to do something that I just could not do. His boss heard and liked that I was sticking up for myself.

I had the same issue as Christine a couple of years ago regarding a complaint that I asked too many questions. The whiner pretty much got the same response that I was doing my job. Then I got promoted :slight_smile:

I grew up with a control freak father and my way of dealing was not to confront or rationalise. I would just nod, smile and then just carry on the way I typically do. This strategy works quite well at work also. I find most people are so anxious to get everyone to agree with them or see their point of view, that nothing is getting done. I really don’t give a shit if anyone sees it my way. I just do it my way. It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. It’s backfired a few times but for the most part the nod, smile and fly under the radar works well.

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
I had the same issue as Christine a couple of years ago regarding a complaint that I asked too many questions. The whiner pretty much got the same response that I was doing my job. Then I got promoted :slight_smile:

I grew up with a control freak father and my way of dealing was not to confront or rationalise. I would just nod, smile and then just carry on the way I typically do. This strategy works quite well at work also. I find most people are so anxious to get everyone to agree with them or see their point of view, that nothing is getting done. I really don’t give a shit if anyone sees it my way. I just do it my way. It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. It’s backfired a few times but for the most part the nod, smile and fly under the radar works well.[/quote]

How dare we ask questions in order to perform our jobs?

That is another strategy that I have with The Ass. I just nod and say okay.

Finding the right work environment is hard. If your company hires jackasses, that may imply something about the company and its time to move on.

I treat the teachers in my dept with the utmost respect and try to make everyone happy, partly because of the true jackasses I’ve had for bosses and co-workers ---- amazing how someone with a little power thinks they’re God.

Going to the boss is a good idea also, but a lot can depend on the jackass in question. He might be treating Southern Gypsy like this because he can see that he’s getting under SG’s skin and finds this amusing. If SG goes the boss, jackass will probably just go looking for some other way to harass him.

If SG can go talk to jackass in a professional, indifferent manner, and explain that he does the invoices the way he is directed by his boss, and cannot do customized invoices for everyone in the company, jackass will see that he will have to find someone else to toy with.

If jackass gets upset and makes a scene, that’s fantastic. SG can go talk to the boss, jackass looks like the fool and SG looks like the professional who was just doing his job.

As someone in management, whenever co-workers come to me with their personal disputes, I usually just get annoyed with both of them, because 99% of the time they were both acting like children to begin with.

I would avoid going to your boss at the moment, unless it escalates. A polite response like some have suggested here is a good idea.

Involving your boss in little disputes such as this is not a good way to get on his or her good side, especially after only 7 weeks on the job.

[quote]Applesauce wrote:
I would avoid going to your boss at the moment, unless it escalates. A polite response like some have suggested here is a good idea. Involving your boss in little disputes such as this is not a good way to get on his or her good side, especially after only 7 weeks on the job.[/quote]

If he goes to his boss, it is important that it not be framed as a dispute. Especially since he is new at the company, he would be asking “just to make sure” that what he is doing is correct.

If you aren’t in management then your job is your job. That means if your customer service you deal with customers or you do your accounting or whatever.

It is the company’s/management’s responsibility to provide a clean, safe and effective work environment. If you can’t work something out with somebody your only responsibility is to bring it to management. They aren’t paid to do accounting/whatever they are paid to manage employee performance.

So what you do is say, “hey Bob wants me to do this but I thought company policy is this…I’m still new at everything and trying to fit in so if you could refresh me I’d appreciate it”. No big deal.

If you like your job but one person makes you want to leave then you need to bring it to the attention of some one. Cause, chances are that person makes quite a few other people miserable and the company just might not know about it.

[quote]GhorigTheBeefy wrote:
So what you do is say, “hey Bob wants me to do this but I thought company policy is this…I’m still new at everything and trying to fit in so if you could refresh me I’d appreciate it”. No big deal.
[/quote]

Exactly.

I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS!!!