Micro managers and micro management

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My wife who started working for a localization company since this past April, for the most part she was happy. But recently she started to talk about this exact issue of her leader (more a tech lead or project lead, not necessarily a manager). This reminds me of my own experience of dealing with micro managers and micro management. It seems to me, in her case it was mostly her lead is fairly new to the position, and he listened to the client especially a guy who was on the team and has since moved to the client company as an employee. I can understand to some extent. If I was in his position (being new and would like to please the client), I may do some of what he did. Basically he wanted my wife vetting the “slacks messages” with him before posting them directly, also he made some changes to the messages and it seems to my wife he made it worse (I didn’t see the messages, so this could be a bit subjective to say the least). But I do know my wife is somewhat technical and she used to be testing engineer (quality assurance) and she does find bugs and sometimes would discuss those with me. For example, recently she saw a text in the web page (website) was wrong, and she asked whether that text is pulled from the backend (database etc.)

I don’t have a lot experience like this. But I can certainly empathize. I recall at a small contracting company I had a project lead like she has now. In that case I was let go eventually and I found a new place. Another case, at a coal mining company, my boss was also new, and he would like to make sure that I do the job properly especially in terms of the pace. So he started to do some Xcode (I was doing objective C development work for iPad). But he quickly realized that I was not goof around, and gave me a longer leash.

I have seen two micromanagers in my last job. I didn’t work for them, and I did work with them. One manager, and I think he is probably 20 years senior than me (I am pretty old). And I think he is just old fashioned manager. He would stand there, and use hand gesture to the people who report to him: you, come here. And once he had a fallout with one developer (which looking back, we should not hire, I will write about the interview later). Basically he won’t accept the developer’s code. Essentially he was saying that code is junk (which again may have some truth). But the way he communicated was blunt to say the least, and I had to step in and play a peace maker.

Another case, the new manager in another city called a Zoom meeting, and in the meeting essentially he sided with one developer, and fought against another two. Such a rookie new manager mistake. We had to calm the manager down, and told the manager it’s not the right forum for this. But if the manager can think, that’s not the right attitude to handle any workplace dispute either.

This also reminded me one more thing. That is how we micro manage our kids. We are not helicopter parents, as shown in the new Netflix movie No Hard Feelings. But I think my wife now realized she probably micro managed too much on the girls sometimes 🙂

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