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My team seem to think I'm their manager. I'm cool with that.. the experience is good for me. In the last two weeks I've had:
1 part timer who has worked in this role for 5 years and still needs to be told what to do.
1 temp who is fantastic, proactive and thoughtful, but goes through work faster than I can produce it.
1 new starter who has done two weeks, and is learning at a rate I would expect.

The last 2 weeks have been exhausting. I feel like a mother with 3 3 year olds. Our office sounds like this:

Anon, I can't log on,
Anon, are you in my spreadsheet
Anon, I need some work to do
Anon, who do I ask about x
Anon, what's the number for y
Anon, when you were covering for me on my days off what did x say about y?
Anon......

And all the other teams we interact with are just the same.. like they only have my phone number.

It drives me NUTS. And being unfailingly positive all the time is soooooo wearing..

I'm not sure if I'm expecting someone to solve this, or just needing an excuse to rant..... am I the only one who feels like this?

Anon

tlhausmann's picture

What is your *formal* relationship to the rest of the team? Are you a peer or are you indeed a team lead / manager?

Anonymous's picture

Hi T

Formally, I was their boss for 4 months, then I went back to being part of the team, now my manager calls me the 'senior team member'.

Informally, the team told me yesterday that they consider me to be their manager. We only see our manager about once a week, and she's not the most available person even when she's around.

Does that help?

Anon

maura's picture

Sounds to me like the go-getter temp could be given a "spare time" task: whenever they don't have a specific task from you or the real manager, they can be gathering info and writing up a detailed playbook, which the part timer and the newbie can consult, rather than asking you all the time.

HMac's picture

...to build on maura's lead:

...Or the go-getter temp could be proactively finding ways to assist the other two.

anon - this feels like a bit of a bear trap to me, so watch your ankle:

"Manager" is generally not the product of a democratic vote by the people, but something that's [i]handed down [/i]from senior levels above. And in your case, The Powers That Be have not made you a "manager" - you're a senior team member.

So I'd recommend you help the 3 face that fact - you're not their manager. You're the helpful senior team member with a fulltime workload that doesn't include management...

-Hugh

JorrianGelink's picture

The three team members are confusing "manager" with "information resource"

They are using you as an information resource too often and it is making you ineffective because you end up doing the work they SHOULD be doing.

Stop them and ask "What steps have you taken first off? Have you tried to solve the problem by yourself first"

Some people new in role use experienced people as a resource TOO much sometimes without trying to dive into the problem themselves. That's the attitude that needs to change.

It seems aggressive but it's the only way anyone learns, tackle the problem first without trying to jump straight to the answers, because then they will ALWAYS come to you for answers.

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="JorrianGelink"]The three team members are confusing "manager" with "information resource"[/quote]

Bingo. You got it Jorrian. anon1 has emerged as a leader through superior knowledge and experience.

Anon1, if you desire to be a full time manager in the future then through *peer* feedback and coaching develop the people around you. Give it time and your manager will notice.