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How Do I Deal With This Person?

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Old 26th February 2011, 3:31 PM   #1
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How Do I Deal With This Person?


I work in a small team of engineers and designers and I started on the low end of the scale working my way up a few years ago. The role was an educational role and I am learning all the systems and building my skills at the same time in IT development stuff. Now I have been in this role about 2 years and this new guy started just under a year ago and he's the new team leader but he seems to have a sort of bad attitude towards me because I am still a junior techie and need help with things, instead of being helpful he comes across as vague and I hate to keep asking him as his attitude stinks a lot of the time, he replies quite aggressively and always says kind of passively patronising things. He is also very picky and seems to pick apart everything I do and if just one single thing is wrong it is like the biggest problem and he tries to spin it like I done it on purpose or was just plain stupid.

I do like the job but feel like he is going to try and put the boot in when my review is up and get me paid off or something although I feel like I have busted by balls to get things done on time and learn so much and work till 11 at night just to learn and get things done.

He gave me a huge workload to do a couple of weeks ago, never gave me much spec on the design and I had to have it done within a certain period but felt it was difficult to do in that time period. He kept putting me on the spot saying is this going to be done and I said I could not say but am trying my best, he said it needs to be done by x time and that is it.

Of course because this work was not properly specified it got changed by the business and it had to be reworked and I was up till 11 at night just to change it and I had had crappy training on the application I was using so had to learn this while I was building the project.

Sometimes I think they are just pushing me to see how much work I can do and see my limits and I do not mind pushing myself and going the extra mile but I do not know if his attitude is just a front to keep me working hard or he doesn't like me because some times he seems fine and talks away but always keeps his cards close to his chest.

Any thoughts on this and what things I should do to neutralise this hostile attitude he has to me?

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Old 26th February 2011, 3:49 PM   #2
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1) A decent spec or set of business requirements is a prerequisite to starting your job. You will have to review the specs line by line, point out where they aren't specific enough and provide a list of all the questions that aren't answered. Send the specs back to the business or the PM, whoever wrote them. Then set up a meeting with that person to go over every question that you need answered. Be very specific so that you have a clear target to shoot for. Otherwise you will not be able to deliver the product they want and you are just wasting your time.

2) Picture a triangle when it comes to determining how long a project will take: the three points on the triangle are Manpower, Timeframe, Product. At least one of these three points must be flexible -- all three cannot be fixed. So, if the timeframe is fixed, as in your situation since your TL is giving you a hard deadline, then you come back to him and say, "I can't deliver the product you are asking for in the time provided. I can either deliver a lesser product, or I can deliver the same product if you have Joe put some hours in to help me." If he can't agree to flex on the product or the manpower, then you tell him the deadline must be pushed back.

Of course, when saying all this, be polite and respectful, but you have the right to set some of the parameters of your job based on the realities of project development. Quite honestly, the PM should be doing this for you, but if not, you will have to act as your own PM.
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Old 9th March 2011, 2:21 PM   #3
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Is he a supervisor, or at least the highest person in the department? if not, then go to his senior and report the problem. If so, then request a meeting in which you can clarify goals and objectives, as well as mutual expectations.
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