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Stuck in a Manager Position Where I Don’t Get Respect and That I Don’t Want Anyway


Posted 30th September 2010 2316

Sigh, I’m feeling the inadequacy blues again… When VPs or Program Directors or Program Managers stop by the web lab to discuss possible new work, they don’t talk to me, they immediately go to “Mr. Awesome”. I know I’m not a very assertive person, and that my managerial skills are definitely lacking, but couldn’t they at least pretend to recognize the fact that I am the web team manager, not “Mr. Awesome”? I certainly don’t mind if they go to “Mr. Awesome” for technical questions, as he is definitely more of a subject matter expert (he is a Senior Developer after all), but for project/resource management, they really should be asking me first.

Next week I’m supposed to start a weekly training course, which I assume is for management skills. (My boss “Mr. Distant” still has not given me exact details on what the training is.) But I find myself wondering if I should talk to “Mr. Distant” about the possibility of stepping down from my manager position. “Mr. Senior”, a senior IT consultant, will be starting at my company next week, technically under my department, but it seems like he would be the ideal person to take over managing the web team, since he already has many years of experience doing just that. I am going to be terribly uncomfortable managing someone with that much senior experience, and would feel much more comfortable being just a web grunt like everyone else on our team. (I’d even be willing to take a pay cut.)

Each time that I have mentioned to “Mr. Distant” that I’m not comfortable managing “Mr. Senior”, or that I feel inadequate as a manager, he dismisses it and tells me that I am a better manager than I think. Although it is nice that he thinks so, he’s not involved in the day-to-day activities in the web lab, so he is not privy to the dynamics of how other VPs/Program Directors/Program Managers interact with the web team. I am often ignored or dismissed or not taken seriously, while “Mr. Awesome” gets all the respect. Once “Mr. Senior” starts, I have a feeling that I will be ignored even more. (Oh and did I mention that I’m female? Females in the IT world generally don’t get much respect either.)

And the weirdest part is that I really don’t care that much… I never wanted to be a manager, but here I am, doing the one thing I have fought against for so long. And yet I’m expected to be assertive and fight for my manager position, because the expected professional development track in corporate America is to work your way up the rungs to a manager position.

Sigh, what to do? :(

manager management work corporate

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