There was an impromptu promotion about a month ago and John, who’s been here for about four years, now supervises the rest of us.
No one seems quite happy with his appointment for a number of reasons. He’s a control freak and wants everybody to know he’s in charge, which is annoying, considering that almost everyone here knows what they’re supposed to do, when and how, yet he keeps sending out these reminders about things we’re usually already working on.
Once or twice, I’ve been forced to cut in with a rude “I know” when I sensed he was about to remind me to do something which I didn’t only know about but also knew was not even urgent. But that is not half as bad as making us do his work. He has taken delegation to a whole new level and I’ve heard several complaints so I know it’s not just me he takes advantage of. I’ve written reports for projects I didn’t have a clue about, conducted surveys I shouldn’t be in charge of and even evaluated interns I haven’t had a chance to work closely with.
In all this, John takes all the credit and not once has he acknowledged anyone else who helped. He doesn’t even ask if you’re busy before dumping a file on your desk and running off to bother someone else. So you ask what it’s about and he mumbles something that doesn’t make sense at all and once again, you’re left wondering how he got the supervisory role. If you’re lucky, he’ll give you enough time to do his dirty work but many times, he’ll hang around and breathe down your neck. Every five or so minutes, he’ll ask if you’re done and when you tell him you’re not, he’ll ask what the problem is.
My answer usually is, “Well, you just gave me these documents and I have to go through them before I can write that concrete report you want.”
Sounds insolent I know but it’s just that this guy can try your patience. He’ll hang onto work he knows he can’t do and only after the boss asks about the progress of the said project will he run to you for help, except that he’ll make it look like it’s your fault he’s late. I crack under pressure, especially in cases like this when it’s not even my job to do something. So when John starts his hurry up talk, I ask why he didn’t bring the work earlier and if he keeps pushing, I stall deliberately because I know he has no choice.
It’s not like he’ll go and tell the boss about it because then, he’d lose all credibility and I doubt he wants that, especially now that he has “tasted” power.
Which reminds of one other annoying habit of his. He wants us all to know that him and the boss are such close pals. As such, we know about the 9p.m. phonecalls and emails they share. I’m sure it has happened a couple of times and I’m certain it was work-related but John wants us to believe it’s a regular thing. But even if that were the case, do we really need to know about it?
Reminds me of kids who like to show off their toys. He’ll walk all the way from his booth to tell us about a meeting he’s having with the boss or where he’s having lunch that day as if that information’s enriches our lives somehow.
I once overheard him on the phone telling someone not to bother making an appointment to see the MD. “Just come and I’ll take you to the big man myself ...” You should have seen the grin on his face. Like getting people to see the boss is the biggest achievement of his career.
To be continued...