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Micromanagement

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


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I report to the controller, and he gives me extremely detailed projects. If I do exactly what he says, he likes my work. In a recent project, I did some additional research and added an important section. He deleted all of it, and he has done this before. How do you work with someone like this?
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My boss is extremely picky. When I turn my reports over to her, she goes over them inch by inch and comes back to me with complaints about tiny details, while saying practically nothing about the overall work. No matter how carefully I work, she will find some dinky point and give me grief about it. What's the best way to deal with her?
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There is a person who reports to me who needs to be micromanaged. He spends too much time wandering around, and if I don't check up on him regularly, very little gets done. He complains about this, but I see no other way to deal with him. Do you?
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My manager is always nitpicking my work and making critical comments about it. I work very hard, but it never seems to be good enough for her. She is nowhere near this tough on the other employees, and they have even said this to me. I don't want special treatment; I'm just tired of being singled out for criticism. What should I do?
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Our manager micromanages most of the employees and shows favoritism to a select few. Several complained about this, and the manager's immediate supervisor has spoken to him about it more than once. It stops for a week or two, then starts again. It has gotten to the point where several have quit and others are in the process of leaving. How can those left behind deal with this?
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On a recent assignment from my manager, I took a different and creative approach, and I thought the final result was better than anticipated. My manager was upset and said he is paying me to do my job, and not paying me to think. I was shocked and wonder if I should leave.
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As part of managing, I drop by my employees’ workstations and see how they are doing at least once a day. One of my new employees told me that she does not like this micromanaging and she would rather meet formally. How does this strike you?
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I have a situation that I would appreciate your assistance. My current manager is a major micromanager with a well know temper. It is also well know that he has a major chip on his shoulder concerning woman that stems back to his divorce (way before my time) and lucky me, I happen to be the only women in my department. I have worked mainly with men during my career (not at this Company) and have never had any problems. My other male colleagues and I get along well and have never had problems, aside from their occasional “testosterone syndromes”. I am several years older (51) than they are, so I do work with a bunch of immature “boys” (ages 22-36) and do a fairly good job of ignoring their boyish behaviors. My boss was in a foul mood last Tuesday when we return from the Labor Day weekend and we (he and I) were of differing opinions on how to resolve various comments and corrections to a report. We don’t always see eye to eye and out of professional courtesy, I informed him that I bid on a position in another department within our firm. He became a bit miffed and started his “you’re the problem” lecture. Before he became manager, he was our Geo-hydrologist and had the worst attitude of any person I had ever worked with. Once he became boss (about 3.5 – 4 years ago), he became “Mr. Perfect”, but is starting to revert to his former ways. Given his attitude on Tuesday and the fact that I was not feeling well, I chose to take PTO on Wednesday and Thursday. Of course I called in on both days. When I spoke with him on Thursday to tell him I was taking the day off (but would return on Friday), he was very defensive, accusatory and basically hung up on me. Jump forward to 9:00 pm Thursday night and I was on my way to bed when he sent the following text message to my personal phone: “We have POD (plan of the day) covered in A.M. I don’t want you dealing with it given your attitude toward the company and job. We will talk on the morning first thing.” I was stunned by this message and responded “Fine”. I was suppose to read a Conduct of Operations message at the Facility’s morning POD (which I volunteered). The message was written by a fellow colleague (65 year old PhD) who was out on Friday and that was all I was going to do – read the message. Note that my absent colleague is our department’s representative and is the only one to attend this morning meeting – the rest of our staff does not. Everyone at works talks poorly about the Company, including the boss, and the stress level out there is so obvious and is present in every department. The men in our department can make any comment (about the job, Company, Gov’t, etc) they want and it’s okay. But let me say something and the boss is on my case. By the way, our Company is a major contractor to the US Government (DOE). I feel that this late-night text message to my personnel phone outside of working hours was a bit threatening and totally inappropriate conduct on my manager’s part. I went to work Friday expecting a showdown and the man never even said hello; in fact he went out of his way to avoid me (which is fine). I would approach his manager, but I’m afraid that isn’t a good idea as there will be a tremendous amount of retaliation taking that avenue. I would like to speak with our HR Representative, who is located in another town, but who has very little contact with anyone in our department. My thought is to just get this inappropriate text on record and then go about business as usual. I have already blocked my boss from contacting me on personal cell phone and have been looking for another position for quite some time. Any advice or input you could provided me would be greatly appreciated as I have never encountered anything like this in my 25+ year in the working world.
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