Busy Manager

Yesterday I saw a great post in Penelope Trunk’s blog10 ways to make people hate you at work. She presents a very colorful list of ways to be nasty. You should read it. My favorite one is “Being obsessed with your workload” and I an going to share some thoughts about it.

I don’t know if this is a matter of culture or education but when I first faced with such behavior I was shocked. I’ve been working in some small companies before and it was my first collision with the corporate culture. It was the first and the biggest software corporation in Bulgaria. It was held by U.S. owners and it was announced as the first software company organized in “the American way”. My case was pretty simple: I was a developer at that time and I had some technical problems, which I couldn’t resolve myself. I needed help and I asked one of the senior guys, known as a “big expert” for a help. Then he answered: “I am a very important person and my work is very important. Your work is not, so I can’t waste my time solving your problems.”

I had never seen such attitude in my career before that and I was astounded. Later on, in the same company I saw many more examples of such behavior and I understood that this is a part of the corporate culture. Before that I hadn’t seen people working with headphones on, now I see them everywhere. I understood that people involved in intellectual work (such as software developers) need privacy and should not be interrupted frequently because their thought process cannot be restored easily and every distraction causes them a lot of time to get back on track but still don’t understand what kind of person should you be not wanting to help your mates?

Now I am a manager and I have a superior manager. He is a direct manager of four people like me and not only doesn’t he respond to my e-mails but sometimes he doesn’t read them at all explaining that he is so overloaded with work that he doesn’t have time to read or answer my e-mails. I am still wondering: if you are a manager and you don’t have the time to manage your subordinates because of too much work, what kind of work would it be?

I will highly appreciate your comments on this topic.

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