Reply to post: Old managers and bold managers...

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer

juice Silver badge

Old managers and bold managers...

(Mentioned before, but this seems like a good place for a retelling...)

Way back when, a friend worked for an ex-public company, which was still staffed with large numbers of ex-public employees who were perhaps a bit more obsessed with their employment grade than they should have been.

My friend and another employee had been tasked with doing some work at one of the company's many buildings. Up pops a local manager, who first demanded to know what they were doing and then attempted to boss them around, on the grounds that he was a higher grade.

Along comes my friend's manager, who sees this little spectacle and intervenes. The local manager then tried to pull rank again, only for my friend's manager to reveal that he was actually two levels higher than the local tinpot dictator. Who was then doubly dismayed as they were told to both stop getting in the way *and* to go get my friend and his associate a cup of tea, since they were too busy working to make their own...

OTOH, I have seen protective behaviour taken too far. In another time and place, someone from another team screwed up in a fairly major way, despite the fact that they should have just followed the process documentation. Numerous people reviewed this documentation and came away agreeing that the process documentation was clear, simple and entirely fit for purpose.

Cue a phone call to discuss the debacle, which this person's line manager joined. And I'd never heard such a hairsplitting analysis of the English language - it was a performance that Bill Clinton's defence lawyers would have been in awe of. And so no action was taken, as he was able to successfully defend his belief that the person involved had no responsibility for the failure.

To be fair, it's possible that the manager just wanted to keep things "in the family". But I strongly suspect it was more about the potential splashback on the manager's reputation than anything else...

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