Wednesday, December 9, 2015

if wishes were stampeding horses

There is a manager on another team that is, in my professional opinion, unhinged. The team that I am contracted to behaves well, even if they are not always well coordinated. A little bit of respect goes a long way, and I am often willing to go the extra mile for them. Every day we negotiate land mines, and I appreciate that we can work together to disarm the mines rather than pushing each other into them and running for cover. The manager on the other team has sacrificed so many of his team members that there is no one left to help him solve his problems, or at least take the hit for delays. Last week, one of his two remaining underlings submitted his notice. 

On Monday my manager informed me that the unhinged manager complained about me at the project meeting with the senior administration. Despite the fact that my team is on schedule, the other manager made the rather ridiculous claim that since he hadn't viewed any correspondence from me, I therefore must not be doing any work. Um, I don't work for him so why should I copy him on my work? 

The other manager calls his consultant into hours long meetings where he rants and raves. I have heard him making personal threats to the consultant, who is the third consultant hired this year. The consultant isn't concerned because the manager can't fire him without drawing attention to himself and his team's turnover rate. So now unhinged manager wants to target me, a consultant on a different team and overseen by another manager.

My manager is non-confrontational, to my dismay. He never takes on the other manager but maybe he has the right approach because the other manager can't engage him and is left to froth and foam by himself. Except now he is frothing and foaming too close to me. 

My manager just told me to give the other manager what he wants. Since he is complaining that I am not reporting to him (because I don't work for him!) then I should go ahead and copy the other guy on my tasks to show that I am working. At first I was upset that my manager was capitulating and throwing me into the line of fire but then I realized the brilliance of his capitulation. What unhinged manager wants, he gets. Every day I receive a dozen submissions, queries and proposals. My own manager isn't copied on my replies because it's my job to take care of these issues, but now I am copying everything to unhinged manager. Today he was copied on several discussions debating a dry battery sensor versus DC powered for the urinals. He also received a couple emails discussing why I think that the Highways Department's specifications for friction resistance on tiling is superior to the Housing Department's. By the end of today, he will know everything that I am doing. Everything. I am going to bury him in trivial data until his inbox explodes. And it will be no less than what he demanded.

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