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Dealing With an Authoritarian Management Style In IT? 82

A New Cog asks: "My software development group, including my manager, was moved recently under another bigger group with different style of management. The new objective for the group is to 'speak as one person', meaning that the reasons behind management decisions are well understood and technical information is well communicated. At first, it seemed to be a very good thing to do. In reality, it was just a disguised authoritarian method of imposing information censorship and making sure there is no opposition within. We used to cooperate openly with each other and people from other groups, exchanging opinions and ideas, but after few schooling sessions in front of the bigger group, everyone is now quietly doing what they are told. Now, there is less and less satisfaction from the work I do. Is this just a sign of maturing organization and transitional pain is a necessary side effect in order to have a better future, or is this a sign of things to come. I feel that no true creativity is going to happen in place where motivation and productivity are affected by frustration and threat of loosing one's job? I like my job, but what can I do now in order to keep my satisfaction with it?"
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Dealing With an Authoritarian Management Style In IT?

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  • by paulthomas ( 685756 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:24AM (#14857927) Journal
    Might I suggest the BOFH? [ntk.net]

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... m ['hud' in gap]> on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:24AM (#14857932) Journal

    I like my job, but what can I do now in order to keep my satisfaction with it?

    At least they haven't stopped you posting on slashdot ... yet.

    • What bright side? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BrokenHalo ( 565198 )
      Is this just a sign of maturing organization and transitional pain is a necessary side effect in order to have a better future, or is this a sign of things to come.

      It's a sign of things to come. Start putting feelers out for another job already. Take it from someone who has learned this the hard way...

  • by Dynamoo ( 527749 ) * on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:24AM (#14857934) Homepage
    You're not doomed.. for starters, you can always let off steam in private and off-the-record. Have a few drinks with your coworkers (and NOT the boss) once a week just to get it off your chest.

    As a management style, there will be two likely outcomes. One, it will actually succeed and bring positive things to the business - this will be a Good Thing. Probably more likely, your department will make some enormous mistakes because of the supression of internal debate and be reorganised.. in which case you need to make sure that you're out of the frame, or else this will be a very Bad Thing.

    Don't forget the ultimate sanction - if the place sucks, leave.

    • Have a few drinks with your coworkers (and NOT the boss) once a week just to get it off your chest.

      Nah, you should bring the boss ... this way, they pay for it! After all, they'll just write it off as a business expense anyway, and after a decade of drinking as part of the job, you can claim disability - work turned you into an alcoholic. Its the Amercian Way - sue your way to a happy retirement!

      • by KDan ( 90353 )
        That can also be a good way to test whether the boss is a good one. A good boss knows that he/she should invite his/her team out for drinks, buy a couple of rounds, and then excuse him/herself - so that the team can vent whatever they feel like venting.

        Daniel
    • by lukewarmfusion ( 726141 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:36AM (#14858065) Homepage Journal
      This is also a good way of becoming more unhappy. Blowing off steam once in a while isn't necessarily, bad, but it also doesn't solve problems. It just makes it easier to cope with them.

      I suggest you talk to the boss - make sure he understands the atmosphere this is creating. Voice your concerns, but do it calmly and diplomatically. Also be ready to make constructive suggestions for improving the situation.

      If this fails, then you can suck it up, you can endanger your job by going over his head, or you can look for a new job. You're going to spend a good chunk of your life working - you should try to enjoy it.
      • by C10H14N2 ( 640033 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @11:26AM (#14858559)
        This management style has no "soft skills." Suggestions that it is flawed are invariably met with contempt. It is not the same as someone who has simply become obsessed with micro-managing, who you can take aside and say "hey, let it go." Someone with a KITA attitude is only going to respond to this sort of tactic with, well, a KITA.

        Personally, I'd just leave. I'm getting too old to put up with that crap. However, I've found the best way to ease that pain is just to accept it, deal with it and not take any of it personally--and document the living hell out of everything. If you do your job as you are told and can prove it, these types back down. They're looking for weakness and any excuse to shift blame from themselves to you. ANYTHING in the "soft skills" category with these types will be viewed as a perfect weakness to label you "not a team player" or "does not work well under supervision" or just, "does not work here anymore."

        So, either leave or find a way to play by the rules... and if that means throwing back a scotch after work, so be it.

      • by fdisk3hs ( 513270 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @01:23PM (#14859790) Homepage
        `We used to cooperate openly with each other and people from other groups, exchanging opinions and ideas, but after few schooling sessions in front of the bigger group, everyone is now quietly doing what they are told.`
         
        If you are unsatisfied, you should continue the discussions that you are used to that were so satisfying. If you get "schooled" in front of the group, you will survive. They will probably get tired of "schooling" you quickly, as in not more than twice. If you don't give in, what can they do? You're not "causing problems", just doing your job in an open way.
         
        This does show signs of serious communication problems, which in relationships or business usually end up with a parting of ways, in my experience. So what? I left a job where I was written up for doing work that had been PRE-APPROVED by management. I took my lumps and had no trouble defending myself, since I had taken care to document everything. But working for folks that do such things is like slamming your hand in the door on purpose. I resigned and went back to school at age 32, and now after two years I have landed a job that I would rather have had all along. You don't HAVE to live the way they want you to, there are choices.
        Peace dude.
    • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @11:26AM (#14858551)
      I'd add the recomendation that you let it be known in circles outside your own group that:
      • Decisions are wholy taken by one person without participation of the other members of the group. This also means that responsability for screwups due to those decisions fully rests with that one person
      • Several members of the group (give no names) are (becoming) unsatisfied - ie moral is (becoming) low due to them not being in any way part of the decision process


      The point of "spreading the word" is to prepare for the future:
      • If the system being imposed in your group does not negativelly impact your group's productivity and some of the people you talked to still remember your words, then you can admit that your fears where unfounded after all. No harm done, nobody will care.
      • If the system does NOT work and the productivity of your group is lower because of it (especially in comparisson with other groups), then your message will be remembered by others outside your group and quite possibly everybody in that group except the decisionmaker will be in the clear.


      In this world a lot boils down to information control. Countless situations of bad leadership keep going on in perpetuity because the only source of information which those that have the power to stop those situations (higher level managers) have is the person responsible for the problem in the first place (for example, the group's manager/lead).
      When confronted with the problem by someone higher in the hierarchy, the causer of the problem will commonly blame something/somebody else for it if he/she believes they can get away with it.

      Thus the point of this technique is to make sure that, when the shit hits the fan, higher level decision makers get to know exactly how and why the shit got there in the first place.

      When this is done really well, if indeed the decisionmaker is unqualified and/or a serial offender, it often results in said person being at the very least striped of said responsibilities, sometimes shelved and in some cases (i'm talking really incompetent here) even fired.

      I've used this twice in the past to get rid of really bad managers, so i know for sure it works.

      Also:

      If in the meanwhile you get really frustrated with the way things are going i sugest you start looking internaly (within the company) for another group. If that doesn't work start looking outside the company.
    • You're not doomed.. for starters, you can always let off steam in private and off-the-record. Have a few drinks with your coworkers (and NOT the boss) once a week just to get it off your chest.

      Actually, I'd recommend against this. If your position carries any kind of senority, complaining in front of your coworkers is pretty unprofessional, and will only serve to tear your group apart and make your new boss' job more difficult.

      If you have real concerns about your group and want to do the professional

      • Of course, if you don't go out with your cow-workers and complain about the boss, they'll complain that you're "not part of the team" and you'll end up getting the ass.
    • Bad advice. Letting off steam "in private and off-the-record" just gives your co-workers something to stab you in the back with. I speak from experience. Keep your mouth shut around ANYONE who might be able to use your words against you later.

      Better advice: Be glad you have a high paying, physically easy job. Remember that since you have no power over the Big Choices, you are not responsible for them. As long as you do not alienate any managers, you have no need to fear reorg. It's a fact of life in m
  • Pick up a cheap used copy of The Cluetrain Manifesto and leave it on the manager's desk.

    If that fails, leave. Information hoarding doesn't work.
  • Boss Style (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormcrow309 ( 590240 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:28AM (#14857973) Journal

    Usually it is just the sign of the management style of your manager. The recommendations I could make is to first have an upto date resume. Second, every time you send recommendations and analysis to your manager, do it via email. Third, every time your manager talks to you, send him or her an email with a synopsis of what was discussed and thanking them for their time. Fourth, ask yourself if it is worth it. Finally, read Winning [amazon.com], every person who works in a corporate enterprize needs to read this.

  • by Vengeance ( 46019 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:29AM (#14857989)
    Working for the Bush administration, are we?

  • Personally, whenever I've been in your situation, I self destruct.
    Adios, goodbye, see ya later, so long and thanks for all the fish.

    Life is too short to work in a job where you have to compromise whatever gives you joy.

    Creativity is your most valuable asset and some company out there is not only going to recognize and encourage it, but reward it.

    I'd have to say it's time for you to look for more fertile ground.
    • We all have to do things at work that seem stupid to us. There are an infinite number of reasons for them. If they are temporary and not unethical, OK.

      I've worked for both good and bad organizations that used the information control approach. The difference is the target.

      If it's to improve something, you can usually see the point and can get around it in particular circumstances, like talking to the group next door or your direct users. You can also have discussions among youselves aimed at getting the
      • Well said.

        "In IT, we are in a far better place than auto workers and airplane mechanics."

        The only caveat to that is we don't have a union; which is of course a double edged sword anyway.

        Being an independent, I long for the backing of numbers and the promise of pension.
        On the other hand, I'm glad I don't have to pay for the privilege; especially in the case where unions are parasitic.
  • I'd note.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:37AM (#14858079) Journal
    I don't want to give advice about your particular situation without knowing more about it, but -- presenting a single position to the outside and allowing internal debate aren't contradictory. When a decision is made to not do things your way, not publically undercutting the plan is professionalism, not censorship. It's when you can't question things internally that there's something badly broken.
    • Having everybody in a group speaking to the public from the same script is the way any good organization is run. I've frequently lost internal debates about one thing or another, and even when the boss has been flat-out brain-dead what-was-he-on wrong (IMHO) I've always been careful to keep that opinion "within the family". I may not personally endorse the decision, but I'll defend it if I have to. e.g. "The department has decided to do [whatever the boss chose] because [whatever his rationale was]."

      Bu

  • Difficult choices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hrbrmstr ( 324215 ) * on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:38AM (#14858087) Homepage Journal
    I really do not know how large organizations in the United States survive in the new global economy where emerging markets have businesses that aren't making themselves in the traditional molds (one might argue they aren't surviving, but I digress).

    Your situation is indicative of most departments in large US organizations. "Don't rock the boat."; "Just do your work."; "We can't give *them* that info, they might look better than *us*." Those are all sentiments that are most likely not spoken, but implied in daily interactions with management. I don't believe it's due to malice. I truly belive it's managers being afraid to look "stupid" in front of others.

    If you try to stand out in the crowd and continue open dialogues, collaboration and information dissemination you'll garner the support and respect of your peers, but you will not advance much beyond your current position. You stand more to lose by not speaking up (the whole department will be outsourced due to lack of productivity) than you do by being a leader (you are unlikely to get axed for attempting to make things better...lawyers would have a field day with your case).

    Sadly, there is little satisfaction in IT jobs in large organizations these days. You'll need to go find a small company or derive work enjoyment from non-employment activities.

    That's probably not what you wanted to hear, but unless there's a "miracle post" in this topic with a real, attainable solution, I suspect you'll get many similar replies.

    • I'd like to second this advice.

      I've put up with a lot in large corporations with their moving cheese and other management fads. Try despair.com for some demotivational support - it helps to laugh about it.

      I'm finally happy at a small plant where I am the IT department. Lower pay, but life is too short to be miserable most of your day. Oddly I have more free cash now than I did making 2x and hating my life.

      • What's "moving cheese"? If it's a management fad, no doubt I'm going to hear about it and live it sometime in the next few years. A heads-up would be truly helpful.

        Hey, real value from Slashdot. Or at least anti-anti-value.
        • What's "moving cheese"?

          It's derived from a book titled "Who moved my cheese?", apparently about management of change in your life. I understand that it's becoming a buzz-book (to coin a neologism). Whether it's anything revolutionary or just more re-packaged obviousness, I have no idea. Amazon and Google are your friends.

          I

        • It is presumably a reference to the book, "Who Moved My Cheese?" [amazon.com]

          It is a motivational book about dealing with change, and is frequently used by managers. It's been around for a while, so it's not the next big thing.
          • You're correct. I think it is an annoying and obvious book full of puffed-up advice, aimed at people with a 4th-grade education. I'd have no problem with it if it hadn't become so trendy. I had a job I liked that got bought by an evil tulsa-based corporation. The new management kept trying to convince me that my job hadn't become far less enjoyable, they had simply moved my cheese and I had better get used to it.

            I am fine at adjusting to change. I think it is crucial to be honest about change. If chan

    • Sadly, there is little satisfaction in IT jobs in large organizations these days. You'll need to go find a small company or derive work enjoyment from non-employment activities.

      Its not all sunshine and roses in the small shops, though. True you definitely get to make a difference in the way things go, but to do so will require achingly long hours at relatively-low pay. In the end, you'll be just as disillusioned because your employer is getting this Class A service from you at bush-league pricing... It

      • And that isn't always a bad thing. I view my work in this small shop as hard-core education... I've been in this business for eight years now, but I've learned more in two years here than I did in the previous six years elsewhere. In a lot of ways, once you realize that "Mega-Corporate IT" really sucks to work in, and "bush-league" IT is rewarding but pays no money, you'll find yourself motivated to find the crossroads of those two extremes--satisfying work that pays enough that you might one day have a hop

        • The great thing with a smaller IT shop is you get to be more of a jack-of-all-trades type where you dabble (or maybe a little more than dabble) in almost everything becoming fairly well-rounded.

          Well.... It sounds like you have more people than we do. Its true I've been exposed to a lot of things, but what I know inside-out is definitely a TINY subset of those technologies. I would like it much more if I had the time to know them all really well, but I do everything except ERP development and support whic

    • you are unlikely to get axed for attempting to make things better...lawyers would have a field day with your case

      What fantasy world are you living in? The only thing you will get is unemployment. If you continously contest the rules set forth by management you are considered a problem employee. Unless your job description says you are a policy maker, how is a lawyer going to get you money or your job back for doing something your not supposed to.
      • It would be trivial to show that you were deliberately hampered from doing your job, especially since there are likely no documented, official statements making these negative practices part of the standard business operations. It would, however, also help if you actually do exceedingly well in your job (as much as the environment allows), since there could be no claim of poor job performance. Large organizations will not take the chance of a public lawsuit, at least not yet. If the economy gets any worse,
  • Buy a few copies of "Peoplware" and leave them on strategic desks.
  • by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @10:42AM (#14858130)
    Some people have claimed that is my style when I'm just trying to avoid whole projects springing up that are taking the wrong direction and doing the wrong thing. "Speaking as one person" helps make sure projects actaully meet the needs of the user community.

    The user community is very sensitive to change. If one of the admins sets up something "special" for an end user, what are some of the things that can go wrong?

    If one of my admins sets up a rogue FTP site "to help a user" then when I find out it's not secure and shut it down, I have to deal with dissatified end user. Then, sometimes, the admin (and the user) will turn around and call me the heavy.

    But let's say I leave it up and make sure that admin secures it. Then a whole culture springs up around this FTP site when the server isn't really suitable for the purpose (no redundency, etc). These people ignore, or maybe are ignorant of our corporate HTTP file transfer site which is purpose built for five 9s of file transfer uptime. When the FTP site goes down, everybody loses. I do, my admins do, and most of all, the end-users do.

    So basically, I can be a hard ass about admins running around doing their own thing. But have the admins bothered to think about why that is? I know it's a fun part of IT to play and be creative. I highly value very creative people on my staff. But at least come to management and make sure your creativity doesn't conflict with another objective. Try to understand the conflict. Use your creativity a little more to make sure your project can avoid the conflict ("hey boss, why don't we just put FTP services on the HTTP file transfer server?"). Then guess what? We're all "speaking as one voice" but you get your creativity too.
    • Policy is different than the 'speaking with one voice'. If there is a policy about how FTP is setup, that should be sufficient, unless a signifigant number of clients (or signifigant clients) want something else. I would hope that you are in touch with your admins and your userbase, to make sure that the best course is taken.

      Sometimes, customers want something configured to be broken, or their misunderstanding of how the tools work make them DEMAND something be setup wrong, insecure, or improper. I would
    • > If one of my admins sets up a rogue FTP site "to help a user" then when I find out it's not secure and shut it down

      Well, why don't you warn them before that they have made something not acceptable and find a replacement solution before 'shutting it down' (or at least warning them before doing so).
      If you loose say a 1Mi$ contract because you stopped the rogue FTP site without warning, I'd find normal that *you'd* be fired (not the other guys).

      And finding a replacement solution is not necessarily having
      • Note that all this doesn't prevent providing a warning to the admin who did it, that he will be fired next time he does this kind of thing

        Or why not just fire him on the spot? I don't know about where you work, but punching a hole through the firewall without proper security measures is a pretty serious thing at my company. Yes, we get a $1M contract, but the next day our employee records and customer list is owned by random hacker #278 who then goes around signing up for VISA cards in everyone's names.

        Yo
        • > Or why not just fire him on the spot?

          Well, I tend to be understand this kind of thing: in my (big) enterprise, it took me 9 month to buy a CD writer (they were still "expensive" at around 300$ at the time), when you have to deal with that kind of stupidity (everything done by our IT department take ages, is expensive, give ridiculous little resources, etc), the temptation to say "f*, I'll do it myself" is high..

          My point was more that as an administrator, your job is to communicate with the user to solv
    • Hi! Good points, but I'm going to argue with you. =)

      You've got a couple of issues here.

      First, you've got a problem because that junior admin wasn't comfortable coming to you to seek approval/advice to set up the FTP server. That's not good. People are not comfortable going to you with issues.

      Suppose the person didn't know that setting up the FTP server was a bad thing, or that they needed approval. Then you made a mistake by failing to document policy about setting up a new "supported" service and adve
      • This is all good and fine, but what kind of an admin thinks it's ok to set up publicly accessable services without approval?

        I mean, seriously, a guy is bright enough to set up the FTP site either on our outside network, on the DMZ or on the inside with a hole punched through the firewall, but he doesn't realize this could be some kind of an issue?

        This is probably not a case for mentoring. It's more like a case for the kind of reality check where you're forced to ask, "is this guy really right for this job?
  • Managers set the tone of an organization. Either you like your job enough to stay, or you don't. One of the benefits of a not-too-sucky-job is that you can look for something better, and be picky about what you choose.
    • Managers do set the tone of a company but good managers listen to their employees and are willing to discuss how things are done. I've been working for a large state agency in the US for the past nine years and for four of those years, we had a CIO who only wanted "Yes" men around him.. I bucked enough from it to not be included in that group and gained the rep of a rebel. Then we got a new CIO in who had a completely different approach and I get along great with him. He sees the value of listening to new i
  • by richg74 ( 650636 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @11:09AM (#14858379) Homepage
    There are a couple of possibilities here, in terms of what the management is trying to achieve:

    • Avoid being blindsided by unofficial or ad hoc projects that, while possibly fine in isolation, conflict with some larger goal. (Security policy, which other posters have mentioned, is an example of this.)
    • Control information for PR or propaganda purposes, to allow only "favourable" information to be given outside the group. (Think political "spin doctors".)

    It's hard to tell, from the limited amount you're able to post here, which case applies. It may be productive to suggest a conversation with the group and management to try to clarify this, if you can figure out a non-confrontational way of suggesting that. (Just the reaction to such a suggestion might tell you quite a bit.)

    The first objective is a reasonable one; perhaps it's just the approach or implementation that's ham-fisted. If you think that's the case, then perhaps you and your co-workers can come up with some ideas that will help toward the objective.

    On the other hand, if this is a classic "information is power" political strategy, then you basically have to evaluate whether the good points of staying with the group you like outweigh the bad points of working for a jerk. (Do keep in mind, though, that jerks sometimes don't last -- keep your head down.)

  • It took me quite some time to realize it, but basically -- you're a worker. You get paid to produce something, and the manager gets paid to control what you do, and very often, how you do it.

    As IT has become more of an integral part of operations for more companies, they've shifted how they handle it. No longer is it a "results-only" department with a wide margin for error, since IT has such an impact on the bottom line. The net effect is that many companies no longer accept the risk of maverick action
    • What do you do when your authoritarian boss actually dictates a lack of order? When the word from on high is "wing it"?

      I'm actually dealing with a boss who doesn't appear to see any value in any sort of up-front design. The guy mocks stuff up in Excel and then says "just look on the internet... I'm sure someone's already written code to do this." NO THEY HAVEN'T!!!
  • What To Do (Score:2, Funny)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 )
    1. Join a trade union.
    2. Wait statutory 24 hours.
    3. Order your "Strike In a Box" pack. This contains everything you need to organise an effective industrial dispute:
      • 200 blank ballot forms seeking approval for industrial action
      • 200 pre-crossed ballot forms approving industrial action
      • 20 assorted placards
      • 2 loud-hailers
      • CD of protest chants, songs and slogans (incl. "Maggie Thatcher Has One, Ian McGregor Is One" and "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way, I'd Sooner Be a Picket Than a Scab on Christmas D
  • It's never good to put bottlenecks in the communications process. If the manager wants everything funnelled through him, then funnel EVERYTHING through him, including service tickets, requirements, information inquiries, etc. He'll eventually get tired of playing traffic cop.

    Also, if it's causing enough grief that you're no longer able to enjoy your job, it would be best for you to find another one. I see no gain in staying in a job you don't like.

  • You're just noticing a trend that's been going on for a little while now. IT has evolved into a service that most companies can't do business without. If you lose e-mail or your website goes down these days, you're pretty much out of business until it gets fixed. Accordingly, IT is being folded into the same kind of authoritarian rule that the rest of the business experiences. It's the same reason all the metrics and outsourcing have become so popular...upper management can't judge progress without measurem
  • by Arandir ( 19206 )
    It's too bad your place is like that. But fret not, while it is somewhat common, it isn't the norm. Out of all my friends working in technology, only one has a job vaguely resembling this.

    I am really starting to loathe my own company, and will be leaving soon. But as much as I don't like them, stifling legitimate expression is not one of their sins. It wasn't for lack of trying. This is a US division of a German company, and I get this attitude from most of the German executives. But we don't stand for it.
  • It is not the sign of a maturing organization. It is the sign of the managers in the larger group consolidating their power. Has this bit of organizational idiocy been committed to paper as being offical policy? It is not in the interest of the larger organization, no matter how it has been spun as being for the greater good.

    That is the nature of the problem that you have. Despite the edicts from the 'larger group' there are things that can do keep your satisfaction. Continue to network with people in othe
  • Google? (Score:2, Informative)

    Sounds like the start of the slippery slope that most small companies transitioning up tend to do.. It's a symptom of insecure (and thus poor) management.

    There _is_ a hard balance between 'too much information' interfering with a group's concentration, vs. the kind of open communication that is constructive and can lead to 'your chocolate is in my peanut butter' serendipity moments.

    Good, confident management will define expectations for work within and outside the group. It has the confidence of the group
  • Have you seen "Office Space"?

    "It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't CARE."

  • I've been fortunate enough to never have had to work in a seriously disfunctional workplace. However, from what I've read, the best way to combat this sort of management style (or at least to avoid getting shafted when they start handing out blame) is to make sure you have everything in writing and then make sure you have a complete set of copies.

    Every time you have some objection to a decision, inform the manager of this in writing as a memo or email. If your company has some kind of system that auto

  • We need to know exactly what they are doing. At least tell us what you mean by "information censorship" as this term is new to me. Do they censor technical information or is the database filtered for dirty words?
  • If in addition to being authoritarian, your higher-ups are stupid as well then do EVERYTHING EXACTLY like they tell you do to it. Document thoroughly and always be sure lines such as "TPS reports filed in quadruplicate as per J. Bossly's policy expressed in policy meeting of 3-2-06". Don't complain or whinge in this documentation. Simply make it clear that you were doing as you were told and who told you do it. It may not help but if a total asshole is making a mess of your department then chances are h

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