replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your input. It is appreciated. I am going to accept your advice so you can be rightly compensated. But I wanted to add some closing thoughts.
I guess I have to remember my advantages in this situation. I have full authority over all the work that this person will do in connecton with my area of responsibility. I have been there much longer than this person has. I have the confidence of numerous people in the company in various departments due to my work in my previous positions. Because of my work I am to a degree a popular person in the company, although I don't relish that, but I am happy I have been able to be helpful and productive. I actually was awarded the position due to my work ethic and future potential. And to a degree I do have my manager's confidence although as mentioned previously, my manager's approach to this co-worker seems out of character for some reason. One person has speculated, that because this manager pushed for the person's hire they are saving face and while they are aware of this person's tendencies, they are gambling on the fact that this person will make a big splash on the job and that this will overshadow their well known undesirable qualities. I cannot confirm or deny that subjective speculation, although it does have some ring of truth to it. If that is the case it is out of my control.
Interestingly, my hire itself was a risk, in that I did not have all the paper credentials that my first job called for, but I had just enough real world experience and did many good things with a previous employer which influenced my hire. I suceeded to the point that this manager (not my current one) recieved much praise for making such a wise choice in hiring me. I have recieved multiple promotions in a relatively short period of time. Some have intimated that this current manager was trying to repeat that success with this current coworker. Whether that is true or not who knows but it is an interesting development. But enough with the subjective approach.
So I basically need to remember who I am and what I have and not let this situation turn me into something I don't want to be.
One thing is this: I am a natural helper and sharer. I want people to succeed. I have always had the tendency to yield for the sake of peace and "take it on the chin" because I could handle it, but have never allowed something that is wrong or inappropriate. I don't have a problem with things being done not quite the way I would like it or do it. I am a sensitive person, although my emotional outbursts are rare and I am known as one who is cool under pressure, and I do have a "hero complex" myself that I have worked hard to keep under control. Interestingly, I do see some similarities in this person that I did have in myself, but the difference is that I have never tried to force myself into a situation, or try to get someone to do things my way, even when I may have thought that my approach might be better. I have tried to do the best I could once I was put into a situation because I truly love and care for people and want to make their life easier. I also am a team player, and have no problem working quietly in the background, in fact I enjoy it that way. That approach, trying to be the hero did cause me problems in the past in a different workplace especially dealing with members of the opposite sex, some of whom, misinterpreted my helpfulness as personal affection. While I still have some of these tendencies, as I have gotten older and a little more tired, I am less inclined to jump up and charge to the rescue and let someone else do it because others can and it gives me more peace of mind.
This is why I now have a problem with this person. At the beginning, when the positions changed, I allowed this person to "run wild" to a degree. For one, I did not know they had these controlling ways. Another reason was that the job shift was sudden and unexpected and we were adjusting to that. Additionally, I did not know what I could do and could not do in dealing with the person at that time, I was hoping that this person would approach me the same way I approached my predecessor, with honor and respect. I was still in the "submissive mindset" so I answered each question when presented, and tried to address each recommendation for changes when presented as well because I though I had to. It was not until I could not take it anymore and they were directly trying to take over my job that several discussions took place and boundaries were explained.
In the meantime, I did have the discussions mentioned earlier in this thread with my manager. The typical responses were of the "I know how he is" nature. "But we need to have both of you ready for what lies ahead" type of responses. No indication that there has ever been any attempt to tell this person to keep their place.
Therein lies the problem in this situation , the more helpful I try to be, because I want to be, the more emboldened and aggressive the person becomes. Even when I try to give them legitimate but time consuming projects to keep them occupied, they still keep coming. I try to convince myself that they simply have a thirst for knowledge, but if that was truly the case, they could spend their free time studying the vast array of study material we have for these jobs gain all of that knowledge legitimately come at me with facts and leave me alone for the time being. This is in fact what I did when I occupied that position, keep my mouth shut and learn. When I was inthe position, not once did I do anything without being asked to do it and it worked fine. But the indication is different with this person, they are not content to sit back and learn, it appears that are deliberately trying to find out what I know and don't know and use that to their advantage somehow. So I feel that I am becoming a person that I don't want to be, less helpful and stingy, but never rude. I don't like being that way.
I have actually dismissed (more like acknowledged and shelved for now) most this person's ideas and suggestions since putting my foot down, some of which are good mind you, because of this person's over zealousness, and because they have not established their true motives yet, I have chosen not to implement them because that is my right and my boss does back me on that. I can do so for now on the basis of this person's lack of experience but I cannot do it forever. But the give an inch theory is in full affect with this person. The one task that I have given them full control over, a simple repetitive task, has become unrecognizable. This was a task I performed for years, and this person has made it overly complicated, to the point that the new process had to be documented at my request. A task that was documented on one page when it was handed to me has become an 8 page manual after this person got a hold of it. But to avoid appearing envious and unreasonalbe, and also due to the fact that the underlying purpose of the task still remaines intact, I allowed it, but still I had to change some of the process to keep it simple enough for other persons who may have to do it. This was very early in the process before I decided to put my foot down, so to go back and change it know would cause more problems.
I need somebody whose truly understands the critical nature of this job and who will not treat the job as their personal laboratory and playground. I am not seeing this. What I am constantly seeing is attempts at self glorification and perhaps even, the quest to gain a certain degree of knowledge and experience so they can move on the next job. Which would not be a problem if it did not involve my area of responsiblity. That is probably expecting the impossible because as you said we can change people. But as part of the job that I have, I must be extremely cautious, and not taking risks are important parts of this position, so I have to try to inculcate this mindset into this person as part of the training process, so I can tell my boss that I do trust them to do the right thing when I am not here, and they have not done so yet, not even once. Another complicating factor is that it is hard to get rid of a person once they are employed at this job, which is good on the one hand and bad on the other. The chances of this situation changing that way are remote. And if they actually do something that could result in dismisal I could be affected in some way as well, not being terminated, but allowing that person to do something that could affect hundreds of thousands of people on my watch would not be good.
A good fried made two statements, "You cannot save people from themselves" and "you cannot reason with foolishness." I understand that now and have made that adjustment, but my goal now is to save the company and my job from this person if possible, while still trying to legitimately appear that I am trying to help them and train them, because if I had my way, they would never get any control or responsibilities and would in fact be gone. So I am trying to avoid giving any impression that I am jealous of anything they have to offer, or that I feel personally threatened by them, or that I am deliberately holding them back from learning the job. So I am walking this fine line between doing right by this coworker and doing right by "me."
Again thanks for your input, I look forward to your final response.