Dealing with none technical IT Managers

A saying I more-or-less live by....

Never underestimate the stupidity of `clever` people.

:confused:
 
New one for today

Was asked to make a change to our phone system, the support for this is contracted out (not a contract I setup)

I emailed and raised a support ticket for the change, I then called and asked for an ETA was told that it would be the same day. By the next day nothing had happened so I emailed again and then called again and requested an update as I needed the work done. By this afternoon the work was still not done.

I then got an email requesting an update from my manager, I sent a copy of the emails and also a summery of the phone calls and also explained that I would continue to try and get the contractor to make the changes.

I was then told by my manager I needed to "manage the contractors better" and also to "Stop hiding behind them"

Not sure what I am supposed to do really. It's quite hard to manage call centre staff that work for another company and as for the hiding behind them, I can't really work out what that means.

Its a bit mental working here at times.

You should tell him that you don't manage people, that's why you're not in management. :p
 
I've read through most of the posts here - and I'll just say that I'll have a rum and coke for you all. :(

Pretty much the same situation here. Except I'm the lone 'technical' guy (also the lone 'marketing' guy, lone 'infrastructure' guy, lone 'telecom' guy.

I don't have a portfolio actually, which is rookie mistake number one. Always, ALWAYS get a job description folks. ;)

As bad as it sounds, after nearly two years of the same nonsense - I've taken a 'let the chips fall where they may' approach to IT in my environment. I've fought tediously to get a budget, do cost analysis, SWOTs, et cetera. And yet, every time, I've had to put up with less and less.

So, I continue to fight and when it hits the fan and I'm about to get pulled into a meeting - I get my emails and other reports I would have submitted weeks before as proof.



I'll share two of my 'favourite moments' so far:

1. "My internet is down"

Company was using a crappy ISP residential router as a WAP. Mind you, there's about 5 users connected, syncing files across to the server, downloading, et cetera.
Needless to say, the "internet" died every hour like clockwork.

After 6 months convincing my superior to purchase a device that we needed, not wanted. I gave two options - one I think was a much more expensive AP and the other, was really a general use e1200. I got the e1200 alone. :eek:



2. "Our client is having software problems"

Now I hate shady vendors. I also don't support crappy software.
Why? Because anytime your software interface says 'Version 5' but the software itself is on 'Version 7' - you know something is up. Also any glued together program that runs on an "Access DB" is not worth the trouble.

Our organization pimped software like this for about 4+ years before my arrival. After I started, I had to support it. I tried to make sense of the documentation and configuration. After a few weeks I started avoiding it completely and I still do.

After I was told to "get in the car" - we arrived at a client site to get notes on the software issues they were having - which was apparently an issue with the software itself (MS Access :rolleyes: ).
I submitted the screen shots, event logs to the vendor to see them reply:

"We don't have a solution for this. They need to pay for a support contract."



Drink coffee, duct tape and document.

And submit resumes where applicable.
 
My manager emailed

"have you done blah blah blah yet"

I replied

"Yes, that has been done"

my manager replied

"your emails are too blunt and don't give me the information I require"

:confused:
 
I didn't realize that having non tech IT managers was such a large issue.

While I don't have a degree in IT, I am very tech... I even started out pursuing an IT degree. (The thought of working at a help desk made me change my mind...)

But now I have a degree in business management; In everyone's experience, would that be a possibility for me?
 
I didn't realize that having non tech IT managers was such a large issue.

While I don't have a degree in IT, I am very tech... I even started out pursuing an IT degree. (The thought of working at a help desk made me change my mind...)

But now I have a degree in business management; In everyone's experience, would that be a possibility for me?

I think for me looking up my best bit of advice is you can be a leader without needing to be a tyrant.

I think if you have a management degree and you enjoy IT I don't see why its not a good field for you to go into. Just make sure you have people around you you can trust to do the high level tech stuff.
 
My manager emailed

"have you done blah blah blah yet"

I replied

"Yes, that has been done"

my manager replied

"your emails are too blunt and don't give me the information I require"

:confused:

My response to this would have been,

" What mean ? "
 
Wow, yea...those so-called I.T Managers are Tyrant(s).

Insecurity, mentally unstable - is the focus, among I.T Managers mentioned. I kinda, feel sorry for those 'Managers,' reminds me of the tour I participated, of a Psych-ward during my senior year in H.S.
 
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Jay, Seriously, Talk to HR or Quit - Your "manager" is going to drive you nuts!!

My suggestion is that you talk with HR only after your resume is up to date, and you have already talked with a few friends in the field or recruiters. HR in most companies is on management's side, not yours, no matter what BS they throw at you. HR WILL call your boss after you talk with them and likely as not, the discussion will be about you as the "problem employee," not him as a bad manager. Guys like your manager are often very practiced at lying to the clueless types in HR. Next thing you know, you will be put on a "performance plan" designed to get you fired in a way that protects the company from a wrongful discharge lawsuit.

You can always talk with a labor lawyer if you want to spend an arm and a leg, or you can just "shut up," do your job, and put all your energies into transferring inside the company, or leaving completely.
 
My suggestion is that you talk with HR only after your resume is up to date, and you have already talked with a few friends in the field or recruiters. HR in most companies is on management's side, not yours, no matter what BS they throw at you. HR WILL call your boss after you talk with them and likely as not, the discussion will be about you as the "problem employee," not him as a bad manager. Guys like your manager are often very practiced at lying to the clueless types in HR. Next thing you know, you will be put on a "performance plan" designed to get you fired in a way that protects the company from a wrongful discharge lawsuit.
Just to kind of drive this point home, the purpose of HR ( in almost all companies ) is to protect the company from liability, regardless of their "mission statement".
 
You can always talk with a labor lawyer if you want to spend an arm and a leg, or you can just "shut up," do your job, and put all your energies into transferring inside the company, or leaving completely.

This.
Just remember, if you quit, you can't file for unemployment. ;)
 
I will not be talking to HR at the moment as I am aware they are there to protect the company and not me.

I'll just keep looking and venting in this thread (it helps!)

thanks.
 
My manager emailed

"have you done blah blah blah yet"

I replied

"Yes, that has been done"

my manager replied

"your emails are too blunt and don't give me the information I require"

:confused:
I had a project manager do this to me a couple weeks ago. My next email was 4 paragraphs about the most mundane task.
 
I will not be talking to HR at the moment as I am aware they are there to protect the company and not me.

I'll just keep looking and venting in this thread (it helps!)

thanks.

Yeah, I hate to admit it, but if I were in your shoes, after trying to work with that type of "manager" for that long without success, I would just start doing whatever I wanted around him.

Blunt e-mails, no documentation, no confirmation, whatever.
Because I know, that worst-case scenario, I would be fired, but could then get unemployment.

I would, of course, still continue to work as I have always done with everyone else, just not the "manager".

Seriously, you need to stop feeling intimidated by this excuse-for-a-supervisor and do what needs to be done.
If he doesn't like it, stay professional about it, never get emotional or angry, and simply walk away.

Jay, do you have a lot of benefits that go with this job that wouldn't be affordable if you had to go with unemployment?
If not, don't worry about it and move on with your life and your job.

If you get unemployment, then you get paid to look for a new job, full-time until you get hired.
No matter how bad it gets though, don't quit, because then your manager gets what he wants, and you don't get unemployment. ;)
 
There may be one other option if you like where you are working, but can't work for your supervisor. Gather evidence and keep it. When you think you have enough ammo, go above him with the evidence but be prepared to be fired. I did just that to a manager I flat out could not work for. Went to the CEO who was the boss of my boss back then. I told him I'd have to resign if I couldn't report to someone else.

The rsult was that my boss was demoted. The position they were demoted to had no supervisor responsibilities. They've since been let go, and I'm still chugging away. :)
 
Yeah, I hate to admit it, but if I were in your shoes, after trying to work with that type of "manager" for that long without success, I would just start doing whatever I wanted around him.

This is a very good point. I once had a real idiot for a boss. Not in IT, but in product management, which is what I do. Long story short, when I transferred in, I got very frustrated, very fast. But the other guys in the group had the same problem, and they told me how they worked about the boss, with great results. He was clueless, of course.

Do you have peers that you can talk with about this situation?

Whatever you do, just don't go around complaining about the boss to anyone who will listen. THAT will hurt you.
 
This is a very good point. I once had a real idiot for a boss. Not in IT, but in product management, which is what I do. Long story short, when I transferred in, I got very frustrated, very fast. But the other guys in the group had the same problem, and they told me how they worked about the boss, with great results. He was clueless, of course.

Do you have peers that you can talk with about this situation?

Whatever you do, just don't go around complaining about the boss to anyone who will listen. THAT will hurt you.

Just have to be careful about talking to peer's tho, You just never know who is buddy buddy with the boss, that you are trying to corner to get into trouble :)
 
Office politics, good fun. :)

Yes, "good fun." Fact is, the office politics started here when this bozo was promoted to be boss, and it's entirely possible that HIS boss is also a bozo.

That's why the best advice is to proceed very carefully. And to update your resume.

And whatever you do, don't say anything on your Facebook page about being unhappy or looking for another job.
 
And whatever you do, don't say anything on your Facebook page about being unhappy or looking for another job.
I'm amazed people actually do this.
Can't they realize that perhaps one of their friends might know one's boss and then tell them and/or show them the post?

Just, wow.
 
I'm amazed people actually do this.
Can't they realize that perhaps one of their friends might know one's boss and then tell them and/or show them the post?

Just, wow.

How about that some people friend their boss on Facebook, then forget that, and then make some snarky comments about the boss on their page.
 
or most people don't bother setting any security settings on facebook so everything is wide open.
 
How about that some people friend their boss on Facebook, then forget that, and then make some snarky comments about the boss on their page.

First, why would they friend their boss?

Second,
or most people don't bother setting any security settings on facebook so everything is wide open.

I have no idea, not very smart decision making, imo.
 
First, why would they friend their boss?

Second,


I have no idea, not very smart decision making, imo.
A spy is only a liability until you know about them. Then, they are an asset.

If you *know* future employers are going to be digging up social media stuff, then you use that to your advantage.
 
A spy is only a liability until you know about them. Then, they are an asset.

If you *know* future employers are going to be digging up social media stuff, then you use that to your advantage.

The scary thing now is that some companies are asking prospective employees to give up the password to their Facebook account. That should be illegal, if it isn't already.
 
The scary thing now is that some companies are asking prospective employees to give up the password to their Facebook account. That should be illegal, if it isn't already.

Lol that's funny, I'd simply say no I don't have to. That's like saying give us the pin formyourndebit cards so we can monitor your spending habits.. Lol
 
The scary thing now is that some companies are asking prospective employees to give up the password to their Facebook account. That should be illegal, if it isn't already.
Oh, that's easy to deal with. "No". I will not work for a company that thinks that's ok.

If that's ok, then what else do they consider to be acceptable? So no. They ask for that, I thank them for their time and show myself to the door.
 
Oh, that's easy to deal with. "No". I will not work for a company that thinks that's ok.

If that's ok, then what else do they consider to be acceptable? So no. They ask for that, I thank them for their time and show myself to the door.

Or laugh at them like its a joke !
 
Or laugh at them like its a joke !

Dashpuppy (and everyone else). Sure if you have good skills and you're highly competitive even in this crummy job market, you can "Just say NO." And I would have said no, because the contents of my Facebook account is none of their d--- business.

But what if you're like this friend of my son, college kid, needs a summer job badly. Kid really wanted this job, and when the company asked him, he did hand over his Facebook password.
 
Dashpuppy (and everyone else). Sure if you have good skills and you're highly competitive even in this crummy job market, you can "Just say NO." And I would have said no, because the contents of my Facebook account is none of their d--- business.

But what if you're like this friend of my son, college kid, needs a summer job badly. Kid really wanted this job, and when the company asked him, he did hand over his Facebook password.
And he'll come to regret it because a company asking for a facebook password has a toxic culture.

I understand "I need a paycheck", however. I'd probably set up a fake facebook account, where I in his shoes. Nothing on it. Let them prove I have two.
 
I don't mind the managers who don't know anything and KNOW that they don't know much, so they delegate tasks or ASK the people under them for a solution/suggestion.

It's the managers who don't know, but thin they know, that cause the most problems.

I can live with either (I prefer the former) but one thing I absolutely CANNOT stand is a micro-manager. Let me do my job, if you don't trust me to do it why am I even here?

This is one of the most dangerous situations.

Everything will be fine as long as the people the manager depends on are straight with him/her, provide good advise to benefit the company, and do their jobs.

But...

Sometimes a manager like this will get taken advantage of. The people they depend on start taking advantage and make recommendations that benefit them, and not the company.

Then the manager finds out about it. This is where the shit hits the fan.

That manager then turns into a Tyrant, micro-managing everything, not trusting anyone, and it becomes a miserable place to work.

I've seen it both in the Navy and in Civilian life.

If you are in this situation, be straight and don't screw it up. It's a great way for things to work as long as everyone is honest.
 
Some funny stories in here. I worked for an MSP doing onsite support - typically half-day, twice a week sort of thing doing everything from basic deskside support to running the entire environment (or at least trying to keep it alive).

One client I basically did deskside support and kept an eye on their network and servers, which were supposed to be managed remotely from overseas. The IT manager was sneaky though - since all equipment was purchased and configured by my company, he would blame any issues on us, even though the hardware was purchased exactly as requested, and configured exactly as requested, several years ago, and they should have checked it remotely at least once.

So one day I get an "updated" network diagram, and something looks funny - I go into the server room and compare the diagram to the physical network, and it just isn't right. I look at the previous diagram which matched the environment perfectly, then checked my email to see if there was a change request I had missed or forgotten about - but nothing.

So I send an email back to the network team saying the diagram doesn't match the environment, attach the old diagram, and ask for confirmation and instructions. The next time I'm in the office the manager comes up to me and shows an email from the regional IT manager calling me an incompetant idiot, having a good rant about all the damage I've done and how terrible my company is - which had been CC'd around internally. I was pretty pissed, and explained the situation, and the manager had an idea - he forwarded my original email to the global IT manager, a few C-levels, and sat back and watched the shit fly.

Was pretty sad when I quit, but all my "clients" had a party, so that made up for it :)
 
Some funny stories in here. I worked for an MSP doing onsite support - typically half-day, twice a week sort of thing doing everything from basic deskside support to running the entire environment (or at least trying to keep it alive).

One client I basically did deskside support and kept an eye on their network and servers, which were supposed to be managed remotely from overseas. The IT manager was sneaky though - since all equipment was purchased and configured by my company, he would blame any issues on us, even though the hardware was purchased exactly as requested, and configured exactly as requested, several years ago, and they should have checked it remotely at least once.

So one day I get an "updated" network diagram, and something looks funny - I go into the server room and compare the diagram to the physical network, and it just isn't right. I look at the previous diagram which matched the environment perfectly, then checked my email to see if there was a change request I had missed or forgotten about - but nothing.

So I send an email back to the network team saying the diagram doesn't match the environment, attach the old diagram, and ask for confirmation and instructions. The next time I'm in the office the manager comes up to me and shows an email from the regional IT manager calling me an incompetant idiot, having a good rant about all the damage I've done and how terrible my company is - which had been CC'd around internally. I was pretty pissed, and explained the situation, and the manager had an idea - he forwarded my original email to the global IT manager, a few C-levels, and sat back and watched the shit fly.

Was pretty sad when I quit, but all my "clients" had a party, so that made up for it :)

Great story, but couple things not clear. The "office" is your client's office? The "regional IT manager" was part of the client?

Then you quit the company that was the contractor for this client?

Great story, really.
 
I was told to do some testing for a Cisco VPN setup (passing different traffic via different VPN locations depending on protacol)

I logged into my home lab and started testing, I was then told "No, you must use our equipment, not your home lab"

Fair enough I though so I put in a project plan to purchase a few 2600 cisco routers, a couple of old switches a firewall and an ADSL line to create a cheap Cisco Lab for change control, testing etc (we should have this anyway) only to have the project denied with the word "no" written on the project documentation. I can only assume I am suppose to do testing on the live equipment, I don't think thats a good idea.

I actually think I am due for the sack here, its making me feel really unwell.
 
All these stories and my own experiences now as an MSP/consultant are making me work even harder to become an instuctor and GTFO of the front lines.
 
I was told to do some testing for a Cisco VPN setup (passing different traffic via different VPN locations depending on protacol)

I logged into my home lab and started testing, I was then told "No, you must use our equipment, not your home lab"

Fair enough I though so I put in a project plan to purchase a few 2600 cisco routers, a couple of old switches a firewall and an ADSL line to create a cheap Cisco Lab for change control, testing etc (we should have this anyway) only to have the project denied with the word "no" written on the project documentation. I can only assume I am suppose to do testing on the live equipment, I don't think thats a good idea.

I actually think I am due for the sack here, its making me feel really unwell.

no tools to do the job ? and can't use your own "free" tools to do testing, WTF are you suppose to do / use then LOL !!

it's like hey build this house for me with out any tools and or plans..
 
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