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I'm having a problem with my new manager

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Not really sure who to ask, so I figure I'll give it a shot here since you're all the most level-headed people

Background, I was recently hired by a company that does websites and they never had a server administrator to, well, administer the servers and manage them. So I was brought in about 3 months ago and things have been going pretty well.

Recently, my manager, who oversees the entire IT operation (we have offices all over the country) hired a new Infrastructure manager to sit between me and the IT director. Now, normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this as I know there are still things for me to learn technically and from a management standpoint, but my new manager "John" is not very intelligent. Without trying to get too technical, he doesn't come from a webhosting background nor has he done anything significant from a Windows server side. He's got a bunch of certifications, but that doesn't mean jack when you can't apply it to your tasks.

I find myself teaching him more about the technology (I don't mind helping him with the company or company-related applications that we use and what not, that's fine) than he will ever teach me. My question is, do I go to my IT director (who I was basically reporting to before) to express my feelings on him? I don't plan on going in there and saying "it's either he goes or I", but rather say that I just don't think he's (in a very nice way) not an intelligent person. 95% of his suggestions are based on "best practices" but none of it is actually hands on. He knows a decent amount of virtualization technology, but again, it's something that I already know or can easily teach myself along with another engineer that works in a different office.

He's a nice guy, but I just don't think i'd ever grab a beer with him. Am I overreacting?
post #2 of 26
What is your ideal outcome of going to your old boss and telling him you're new superior is an idiot?
post #3 of 26
No point taking a problem to your old boss without a solution too.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imschatz View Post
What is your ideal outcome of going to your old boss and telling him you're new superior is an idiot?

Well, in a perfect world, he would fire him, but I don't mean the guy any harm (especially since he's expecting his first child in August). I would either hope that my boss already realizes that or that he would take my feelings into thought and assess himself. I guess ideally, I would like to see him move him to a different role.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alliswell View Post
No point taking a problem to your old boss without a solution too.

Noted
post #6 of 26
Tread lightly. The big boss might be offended that you are questioning his judgement if he hired the guy. In time, your new manager will more than likely show his ignorance or lack of knowledge. If it ends up becoming more of a problem, you might have to look for a new job. I have worked with a lot of ignorant people and wondered how they got to the position they did and have yet to figure a way to out them. Good luck.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesuquegolfer View Post
Tread lightly. The big boss might be offended that you are questioning his judgement if he hired the guy. In time, your new manager will more than likely show his ignorance or lack of knowledge. If it ends up becoming more of a problem, you might have to look for a new job. I have worked with a lot of ignorant people and wondered how they got to the position they did and have yet to figure a way to out them. Good luck.

Thanks - unfortunately, this company has a tendency to do that particularly on the development side. I was at a company for about 4 years and left ultimately because the company status was shaky. I took a job for 2 months before leaving because my manager was a blowhard. He was a very smart guy, but too much nagging. I had my doubts about how I'd work with him, but the recruiter I spoke with said he was a cool guy. Overall the recruiter was very honest about everything, but that last part.

Fortunately, my friend hooked me up with this job and I would feel terrible about leaving here in a couple months. Not the brightest people, but it's pretty laid back. I never put the 2 month job on my resume, but I'd hate to have this job on there for less than a year.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
I should note at my 2 month stint, when I quit, they were "disappointed" that I didn't go to them to explain my qualms about the job and they would've helped me to do something of at that sort. Now at the time, I figured he was bullshitting, but with this situation, I don't want to just hold it in.
post #9 of 26
If it's important to you that your manager be more intelligent than you are, you're probably setting yourself up for a career of dissappointment. My ten second reaction to the situation is that it's not your manager's job to know the intricacies of your technology/job - that's your job. It's his job to make sure that you get done what you need to get done. It's great to have a mentor that you can learn from, etc., but by going into a situation where you were inventing a new role in the company, odds are that you're going to be an independent contributor.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tj100 View Post
If it's important to you that your manager be more intelligent than you are, you're probably setting yourself up for a career of dissappointment.

My ten second reaction to the situation is that it's not your manager's job to know the intricacies of your technology/job - that's your job. It's his job to make sure that you get done what you need to get done.

It's great to have a mentor that you can learn from, etc., but by going into a situation where you were inventing a new role in the company, odds are that you're going to be an independent contributor.

+1. This is common across all industries.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebmk3891 View Post
Now, normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this as I know there are still things for me to learn technically and from a management standpoint, but my new manager "John" is not very intelligent. Without trying to get too technical, he doesn't come from a webhosting background nor has he done anything significant from a Windows server side. He's got a bunch of certifications, but that doesn't mean jack when you can't apply it to your tasks.


This is the main point of your post, IMO. You feel that he is not intelligent and offer up as proof the fact that he doesn't come from a webhosting background nor Windows server side. Intelligence is measured in more ways that one's knowledge in this area.
post #12 of 26
his job isn't knowing more about your job than you, his job is managing. for whatever reason, management feels that he is suited to being your manager. he really doesn't have to know your job, or be very smart. if he can't manage you, that might be something else.

you might have a very casual talk with your previous boss and say something like that - I am not sure what I should expect from the new boss, he doesn't really know my job very well.

I was in a similar discussion recently, with one of my distributors. a sales guy was wondering why a manager was put over him, and the answer simply was that he boss felt that he had too many direct reports and needed to put in another level of mid management to control the whole structure.
post #13 of 26
By the way, I was very disappointed that this thread was not started by Jon.

post #14 of 26
Whatever you choose to do, don't mention his "intelligence" or even use this word in your discussions.

Make tangible claims about the company's needs and his ability/inability to meet them. And be prepared, like others said, to have solutions and evidence.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebmk3891 View Post
Am I overreacting?

Yes. However, find an opportune moment to discuss how getting the Infrastructure Mgr up to speed is going with your old boss. During this casual discussion (most likely it'll segway from something else), you can mention how time consuming it is walking the new guy through basic technical (not organizational) matters, you thought he should already know (the last part you toss in very delicately or don't mention and hope your old boss catches your drift). See how he reacts. Otherwise if the guy is nice and isn't a pain in the ass apart from you babysitting him?
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