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How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/13/2017 6:32 PM

Hypothetical

Say you get a job and your entry level right out of school with no experience

A company hires you and tells you the following.

The person you are working under is a senior engineer with no management experience. He has been working on his own projects for 15 years and never had a JR under him. He is generally over worked and has extremely limited time for training and answering questions.

Thoughts on how to survive this scenario please?

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#1

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/13/2017 6:42 PM

The same way everyone else though out history did and too many of us still do every day.

Show up for work every day until one of you either gets fired or leaves.

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#17
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 7:05 AM

"Show up for work every day until one of you either gets fired or leaves." Its so sad that that is such a good answer.

A former coworker had a former boss who drilled into him "Never let a good crisis go to waste". In a big, well run company you probably will have to spend a lot of time doing a small number of things. Use this opportunity to get a lot of experience in a lot of different areas. There will come a time, probably sooner than you expect, where something will change or one of you will be gone. Take advantage of these opportunities so you will be better prepared for the opportunities after the "big change".

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#2

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/13/2017 6:55 PM

Ask him what he needs you to do, to take some of the load off of him.

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 4:57 AM

...or her.

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#26
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/15/2017 3:12 AM

Tut Tut! Been to Spec Savers lately. 'He has been working on his own projects....' No SHE involved, clearly stated in the original text, 'He'.

Are you reading between the lines?

≡≈⇔≡≅? Is that better for you?

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/15/2017 9:39 AM

LOL

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#3

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/13/2017 7:06 PM

Learn whatever he is willing to teach you.

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#13
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 4:58 AM

...or she.

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#4

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/13/2017 7:12 PM

It really depends on what exactly this new persons role is in the company and with the existing manager and what is expected of the manager towards the new person.

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#14
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 4:59 AM

...which needs to be to hand in a document called the "Job Description".

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#5

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/13/2017 8:05 PM

Where's the problem? You're out of school now. This sounds like the ideal opportunity to learn by doing without being overmanaged. Pick his brain and learn as much as possible.

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#15
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 5:00 AM

...or her brain.

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#19
In reply to #15

Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 10:35 AM

good points about her brain.

One never knows who the boss will be upon arrival.

Whichever sex this boss is, it is totally irrelevant to your progress in your profession.

You have been trained to be professional. Be that, and ask on a daily basis (if you don't already know) what you can do make things go more smoothly at work, get more done, help your boss with whatever they need so the organization moves forward at the pace needed.

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#20
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 11:21 AM

You'd make a great manager; anyone that can train a dog to read a newspaper can teach anyone!

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#21
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 12:24 PM

They tried using me as a supervisor before, and all I did was cuss at the one fellow I was supervising, because he knew how to depress the activate button on my anger management.

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#23
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/14/2017 8:33 PM

I've been put in temporary charge of people a few times.

It never ended well. Too much got done way too fast and everyone was happy at the end of the day plus thought I should have a more permanent management/team lead position than who was there.

Screwed up low company morale for weeks. I had to go.

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#27
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/15/2017 9:38 AM

Sounds like our new POTUS, but in your case, management could not tolerate winning!

Putting pressure on incompetent management is always a guarantee for finding the door, in all but a few cases, unfortunately.

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#51
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Re: How to survive a manager that doesn't know how to manage

03/18/2017 4:44 PM

...or her.

Actually, the OP used the masculine pronoun (multiple times)...

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#6

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/13/2017 8:26 PM

If his only problem is that he is new to management and your are new to the work force, work together. Give him the same encouragement and respect as you would like him to give to you. Possibly the 2 of you can grow together.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/13/2017 9:25 PM

I agree, and do not oppose or object or ask too many questions. What ever he tolds you to do, do it. If ever you have a question, ask in kindness and be calm. Be sensitive enough and find ways on how you can help or assist the guy.

If I were that guy your superior I would be happy to unload things which does not need so much decision making and other stuff doable for new a comer.

What you hear and see, leave it in the office.

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#7

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/13/2017 8:44 PM

I think your training is already in motion, the real world isn't pretty or easy

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#9

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/13/2017 10:13 PM

This is an excellent position for you to start in, I might even say perfect....He will devote time and effort to showing you how to do the easiest things first, so you can take some of the load....then as you get better and faster, which hopefully you will, you can learn and take on more complex duties....One on one mentoring is the fastest way to get up to speed...providing of course you get along well, and this is mainly up to you...

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#10

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/13/2017 10:31 PM

Two words sum it up; "Be Humble".

But at the same time, don't be his/her fall guy/gal either!

There's a fine line to walk on both sides. I've been on both sides, some easy, other more difficult.

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#11
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/14/2017 3:20 AM

I hope his boss is not a bad mouth type of guy.

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#16

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/14/2017 5:03 AM

<Objection> The forum is assuming that the Senior Engineer is male. In this discussion, the male needs to include the female, and vice-versa.

</Objection>

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#18
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/14/2017 8:58 AM

After 4 posts on that very subject, you might want to reread the OP (highlighting by me):

"He has been working on his own projects for 15 years and never had a JR under him. He is generally over worked and has extremely limited time for training and answering questions."

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#22
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/14/2017 2:28 PM

Could be typos?

(sorry couldn't resist)

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#24
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/14/2017 10:48 PM

The OP also did start by saying "Hypothetical"...so it's not really a real case!

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#29
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/15/2017 9:15 PM

That's part of the problem in the world we live in now. You got the he he and the he she and the she he and the she she. It's easy to get sort of mixed up.

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#30
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 9:52 AM

So cut to the chase and call all of them they that shall not be named.

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#31
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 10:29 AM

Not the problem. We read what we want to see, and not what is written. A case of reading with eyes wide shut.

He is a dig bick!

Did 'they' read that correctly! Or did 'they' assume 'they' read it correctly.

Mr. Stewart, sir! Now, now. Set an example my good fellow. There's a good chap! Please utilise the English language correctly and properly. 'They, whom shall not be named'. People cannot be 'that's'. Twats. Yes of course.

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#32
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 10:46 AM

Thank dear sir for most kind chastisement of my butchery of the King's English!

Twat I was attempting to convey. Have not found any bidders.

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#33
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 10:58 AM

OH, No, no, no! You pain my little heart. The English have a Queen sir. What in tarnation is going on in the colonies these days? It is no wonder there is such consternation in the world today. MY, my, my! This is not cricket! Gadzooks foresooth, we shall be confounded by confused subjects.

The H and W are so close together on a keyboard I can fully understand your confusion with that word. Just as in were and where. In England, the H is silent like the F in milk and the Q in billiards.

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#34
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 11:04 AM

True, I am sure Queen Elizabeth speaks the Queen's English, just as I (the unofficial king of Texas) use Tex's Text (pronounced as Texas Tech). One might suppose that after years of listening to Varney (an English import, now a United States citizen) on Fox Business, I would have known better than to tamper with English, much less dabble in it. I hate when folk dabble in my food.

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#35
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 12:58 PM

'I am sure Queen Elizabeth speaks the Queen's English'. She has to, other wise no one in the UK would understand her!

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#36
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 1:41 PM

I feel the same way. (No one understands me either.)

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#37
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 2:10 PM

Oh come on now, don't take it so hard, its not that bad

........I don't understand you either.

You keep typing in American and I have to translate it using Google Translate. Change your keyboard to an English one.

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#38
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 2:26 PM

ROFLMAOWSAS

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#39
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 3:33 PM

Great, I see you have changed your keyboard, now I understand you better. Being foreign myself, I can imagine what it is like. I had to use a QWERTY keyboard to be understood, it is not easy. The QWERTY board is universal so I can chat with some big stars and the moon.

I hope you don't need to convert my text to Texican to read it, as I have auto correct and it can get it wrong.

Enjoy your new day sir, I shall go out now and hunt prey. The wild turnip and potatoes are starting to swarm in the evening glimmer. I may bag a few of each tonight.

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#40
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 4:45 PM

turnip I can almost eat, potatoes are off my menu for as long as I survive on this 50 g carbohydrate limit per day. But I am enjoying the hell out of bacon, cheese, whipping cream, and the like. The only bad fat is really trans fat. I still leave off canola (there is no such plant, it is rapeseed), cottonseed oil (even though my area is a huge producer of it), and corn oil. Olive oil pressed from virgins, and refined or even unrefined coconut oil are my favorites. Peanut oil is also on the menu.

Most of my stir fry attempts these days include a garlicy, oniony, chipoltle, cayenne flavored peanut sauce, that reminds one of Thai cooking. Although the bratwurst in with the veggies in stir fry does not really taste all that Oriental, it is fast and easy.

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#41
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/16/2017 5:53 PM

It was good hunting. Even managed to bag a cabbage. Surely you don't have virgins? They are like ghosts, often hear about and never seen. And you still catch them and squeeze them, Surprised they don't give you the slip. In many countries, the slip has no known cure. Whipping cream here is illegal, classed as a cruel sport.

Coconuts here are milked and the milk sold in supermarkets. Farmers have herds of coconuts here. And in Sweden they run buses on canola oil as the have no virgins.

Sorry I read that as TRY cooking, THAI cooking yes indeed, (I thought your keyboard had a lisp). I think you are inventing a new form of food called Germuntai. Do you fry up the saurkraut.

Try bacon, fried egg and banana and pineapple rings for breakfast. (Seriously, it is good). Put the kettle on, (I know, it may not fit now), and I shall pop over for a cup of coffee. Do you have sugar? I might need to borrow some and it is a good excuse for customs & immigration

Thanks for the banter, I need some serious fun in life. And do enjoy your stir fry. Try some ostrich, duck or chicken rather than Bratwurst.

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#43
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 10:03 AM

Ostereich cooking was banned in America for being harmful to snowflakes.

I never fry sauerkraut! Cabbage (especially the red kind), is easily added to stir fry dishes and it livens up things a bit. Tried this with hamburger steaks (larger then burger patties) last night, and it was sooo good. Unfortunately, I overdosed on protein, and that does raise blood glucose, so I was a bit off course this morning. Slept through an entire presentation on LIFTR MSR concepts, materials, etc.

If you spank cream that is a misdemeanor, but if you merely pour it, no problem. How do you get a coconut to stand still for milking? Do you throw a loop of catch rope just in front of the back legs to get her to stop kicking?

You are welcome to any sugar you find in our house, I avoid that like rat poison.

Fresh ducks are hard to find in Lubbock, most of the cowboys have already danced with any available ducks.

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#44
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 10:59 AM

Nothing nicer than a honey flavoured snowflake on a toasted ostrich sandwich, especially if it is fresh. I can assure you, if you were a cabbage and getting fried alive, you too would certainly liven things up, hamburger steak or not.

Which part of a Texan cow does the hamburger steak come from? I also did not know one could overdose on protein. I learned something, thank you.

The coconuts are simply herded to the dairy each morning, as they are nocturnal feeders, so they are quite lethargic and calm in the mornings. If one or two get out of hand, one simply grabs them by the husk. They soon settle. The hassle is when they molt and that husk fibre needs to be collected for mattress's, furniture and hanging basket, the collection method is all manual,..... and manual hates doing this work.

I could use sugar as the rat poison I use leaves a bitter taste in ones mouth. In Africa I used sugar cane, but here it only comes in paper bags that get all soggy when dipped in the coffee. They are just not very reusable. 1lb Of sugar in a paper bag, single use only. Yet the tea comes in tiny bags I can never open. We buy bags of tea and packets of sugar, how silly is that and how silly to have a bag that does not open. They need to install zippers.

Sorry to hear you only have old ducks left there. No chance then of any spring chickens?

The last time I beat some cream I got a police warning. I was lucky to get away so lightly, but, it was out of date.

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#45
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 11:07 AM

cream shaken, not stirred, still does not a martini make.

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#46
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 11:39 AM

Way of track now.

To survive a manager who, (that), doesn't know how to manage: Best advice, keep a big stick handy and a bar of chocolate in your drawer.

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#47
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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 2:01 PM

Why would you want to whip chocolate my dear old chap?

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Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 2:20 PM

No you have it all mixed up like a bag of fruit that has gone loopy. The stick is for persuading the fellow and may be used later as a splint, crutch, walking aid or alternate supporting device.

The chocolate you eat for its calming effect after the event.

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Power-User

Join Date: May 2008
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#25

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/14/2017 10:57 PM

Just stick with it and learn on your own. All your life so far you've been fed what to learn or given a spoon and told what to learn...now you find yourself in an environment that is foreign to you.

I've been in that exact situation...I learned in 3 days what it was all about. I was left alone with some books and that's it. I was freaking out like you. After the 3rd day I got up and asked my boss what I can help with to take the load off their back. That's what you get paid to do. Rest is history. Now in management roles, I am sympathetic to new comers and try to formulate a learning program. But that takes a lot of effort and time...which is not always feasible. So you'll have to understand.

From your previous post, I think what type of work you are looking for is an R&D type of work. Have you asked the university if there are jobs going on there?

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Guru

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#42

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/17/2017 7:10 AM

1. -- st make sure all your legal stuff contract e.c. is correct

1.a -- don't accept any informal "promises" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. -- leave as soon as possible or never sign up

3. -- as by my experience an incompetent management unavoidably leaves to a bankruptcy -- whether it's at your time in a company or other

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Guru
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#49

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/18/2017 8:46 AM

Engineer should have been given some human management training before hiring an assistant for him, Responsibility lies with manager of engineer.

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Guru

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/18/2017 9:28 AM

No amount of training is sufficient to deal with humans.

On the other hand, there are plenty dummies out there one could practice on.

Sit. Roll over. Play dead.

Respect the person for who they are and how they are. But as it is all hypothetical.....!

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Commentator

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Location: Brecksville, OH, USA
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#52

Re: How to Survive a Manager That Doesn't Know How to Manage

03/20/2017 6:02 PM

Why do you define this as occuring with an entry level job. It happens everywhere at all levels, including all managerial levels.

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