Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Craftymom on June 23, 2013, 05:25:10 PM

Title: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Craftymom on June 23, 2013, 05:25:10 PM
BG:AT my place of work we have Boss and that is it for leadership. There is his best pal who is a regular worker like the rest of us who unoffically takes on "boss" role if Boss is not there, but since people know what we are doing and what needs done, it is not anything real as far as leadership goes. (We have a really laid-back workplace)
A couple of months ago, Boss left work early while we had a task to do and the entire afternoon PF (power Freak) kept sniping at me. That he "hated it when boss left, as people think they could do whatever they want". Riding my butt about speed (which was at least double his doing the same task) and productivity. Kept telling me I wasn't doing things up to par etc. ALL.AFTERNOON.LONG. I know I ended up talking to Boss the next day about this as I really felt he was one) singling me out and two) was questioning my integrity. Boss listened patiently, agreed with me and told me he would take care of it. Things settled down, and I thought he had put a choke-chain on PF. Until Friday....

 On Friday, I was at work doing specifically-assigned task by Boss. Boss then left work early to go do fun family activity between 1st break and lunch. I had been starting to feel crappy and knew that things were a bit on the slow side, so I told the fellow that was working with me that I wanted to get task done and delivered and then see about going home. I knew that taking a real lunch would be counter-productive, as I was trying to get out of there earlier, but I really needed a breather. I decided to take my 2nd short break (Which I was entitled to) instead of a full-fledged lunch. When I finished specific persnickity part of task, (there was a potential for messed up labels on some of the product, due to another cw's mistake, so I opened the entire order of 5 cases and rechecked to make sure) I told nice cw I was going for that 15. I looked at my phone on my way out, and checked the time 12:27 .  I went to my car texted hubby, and general break stuff. At 12:42 I walked back in the door and went to resume task.

PF then says, "Did you clock out for lunch?" I told him no I had not, as I only took other 15. He was like Oh.. I thought that was the end of it. Then a few minutes later, he starts questioning me about the time I left and "to his calculations I had been gone like 25 mins". I explained what time I had left and returned. He then tossed out his "I hate when boss leaves as people do what they want" lament. He then dropped it again. A few more minutes later, he called me into the office to speak to me yet again. "The numbers just didn't add up". I told him I was sorry, that he was mistaken and I don't play around like that at work. He then told me that I left before he went to lunch (not true), and then in the same breath, he says, "When I went to lunch, you were sitting right there." (Which was it PF? First you insist I left before you, then you assert I was right there working when you left. ) He said it's over, no worries, but "it just didn't add up". There was nothing else I could say, so I went back to try and finish task again.

I was working along on the last case of items and just trying to finish so I could get out the door at this point. I was feeling worse, and the energy wasted on trying to convince this jerk that I didn't wait for the second the boss bailed to go and goof off, take long breaks etc had worn me out more. I was on the verge of tears, I was SO frustrated. This guy has no real power, and yet he had ridden my back at least 3 times so far since noon. He then came over again and questioned me as to "why was I so angry and throwing things?" I looked up and said what on earth are you talking about, I am not throwing anything. He then started bugging me as to why was I angry. "I said it was all over, why are you angry?"  I told him I was angry because he was questioning my work ethic and integrity and I take that seriously. I finally got rid of him, finished up the task, delivered it and texted boss that I was not feeling great and needed to go home.

I strongly suspect that PF has or will contact Boss with his unfounded crap.
Do I wait for Boss to speak to me, or do I go and speak to him? I really think Boss needs to know that there has been a resurgence of this PF behavior.
This could have just been a way to amuse himself all afternoon by PF, and he may not say a word to Boss, or he just as easily could have filled Boss in on my "misdeeds" and I could be facing an unpleasant chat tomorrow. Which I have no problem setting boss straight on the facts. I am just very frustrated that I was questioned so much over something so trivial. PF sees me go out to 15's twice a day and come back and I am never late. In fact, I am back and working sometimes up to 5 full mins faster than other people (including PF) that left the same time as I did.

I know without a doubt, I did not do anything that I should not have. I have gone over this again and again. I was allowed that break, I took only the alotted break time. The only time that got wasted, was in answering PF's repeated questioning. There was nothing wrong with not feeling great and leaving early.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Curious Cat on June 23, 2013, 05:52:51 PM
I think the words you are looking for are "hostile work environment" as in that is what delusional coworker is creating when boss is out of the office. I would bring it up in just those terms.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Craftymom on June 23, 2013, 06:02:41 PM
I was just rethinking this again, and to make one thing more clear for readers is, PF started questioning me at roughly 12:43 and I left the building at roughly 1:30-35 to deliver the finished task. So, the total time span of the 4 times he questioned me occurred over roughly 45 mins.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Shoo on June 23, 2013, 06:04:17 PM
I think the words you are looking for are "hostile work environment" as in that is what delusional coworker is creating when boss is out of the office. I would bring it up in just those terms.

Yes.  Tell your boss this is how it feels, and use those exact words.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: alkira6 on June 23, 2013, 06:05:34 PM
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered. 
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Shoo on June 23, 2013, 06:07:12 PM
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered. 

I agree with this too.  Maybe next time he starts in on you, you should say, "You are not the boss.  Stop harassing me and pay attention to your OWN work."

Justifying what you're doing and explaining yourself to this guy only feeds his belief that he IS your boss.  Stop doing that.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: MorgnsGrl on June 23, 2013, 06:26:47 PM
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered. 

I agree with this too.  Maybe next time he starts in on you, you should say, "You are not the boss.  Stop harassing me and pay attention to your OWN work."

Justifying what you're doing and explaining yourself to this guy only feeds his belief that he IS your boss.  Stop doing that.

I like this. Or, "You're my co-worker, not my supervisor. Is repeatedly harassing me about your misconception of the facts really the best use of your work time?"
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: MrTango on June 23, 2013, 06:52:51 PM
Next time co-worker starts criticizing you, I'd suggest a very direct: "You are not my manager.  Leave me alone."
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: PeterM on June 23, 2013, 07:31:16 PM
Next time co-worker starts criticizing you, I'd suggest a very direct: "You are not my manager.  Leave me alone."

I myself would add, "Either make a formal complaint about me or shut up and let me get back to work."

ETA: I'd also make a note of the exact time whenever he starts harassing you, and another note when he shuts up and leaves. If he asks, tell him you're calculating precisely how much time he's wasting rather than doing his actual job.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on June 23, 2013, 08:29:36 PM
Honestly, at some point I'd start singing the theme song from Malcolm in the Middle: "You're not the boss of me now. You're not the boss of me now."

to hear song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZuvmajj-wU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZuvmajj-wU)
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Oh Joy on June 23, 2013, 08:47:50 PM
Next time, could you try something like 'I'm glad Boss has you to head up any problems that arise when he's out.  Has he asked you to watch our working hours as well?' Tone would be an important element.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: gramma dishes on June 23, 2013, 09:06:45 PM
Personally it sounds to me like the guy is on a power trip.  He calls you into his office?  He harasses you both in his office and at your own workspace?  He keeps records on your time? -- incorrectly?  He accuses you of stuff? 

He upsets you.
He likes upsetting you.
It makes him feel powerful to be able to upset you.
It's a control thing.

Talk to your boss.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Craftymom on June 24, 2013, 06:01:14 AM
One further clarification: It wasn't PF"s office, he doesn't have one. It was Boss' office. Due to the nature of our work, we pretty much go in and out of B's office as we need to, unless the door is shut.

I will be at work in a couple of hours, and will hopefully have some kind of update tonight.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: hjaye on June 24, 2013, 08:00:49 AM
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered.

My thoughts exactly!!  If this person is just a PF, and is not really in a position of authority over you, then your justifying yourself to him just confirms in his mind that he has the right to exert authority over you.  If he does not have the authority, when he starts questioning you, tell him it's none of his business, then make sure you tell your boss about the situation.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Pen^2 on June 24, 2013, 08:16:12 AM
As others have said, this guy is not your superior. After he questions you once and you point out his error the first time, there's no need for you to engage him if he tries to continue. "It just doesn't add up." "What an interesting assumption. I'm going back to my task now."

I would speak to Boss proactively if possible, in case there's any chance of preventing this guy from poisoning the well against you. You need to explain to him that a) this guy is continuing to create a hostile work environment (great words! another great: bully), b) he is preventing you from doing your job as a result, and c) he waits until Boss is away before doing this (i.e. PF cannot consistently work well without supervision). Be concerned, not angry (if you can). Ask Boss how you can both find a way to prevent this from happening again, as Boss talking with PF clearly didn't work last time. And find out what Boss recommends you should do if when it happens again, "just in case." Getting Boss to help you brainstorm will help establish in his mind that he's on your 'team' in this, if it comes down to that. Let's hope not!

Personally, I like carrying a small notebook with me ala Shaun of the Dead. When PF starts, I would jot down while writing aloud: "sorry, I just have to make a quick note: twelve fifty two... called away from task by PF, questioned again about misconception..." which will put anyone's hair on end. People generally behave better when they're being monitored, even if only by a piece of paper.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Tabby Uprising on June 24, 2013, 08:40:06 AM
I think other posters have given some good advice, but please do not use the phrase "hostile working environment".  We can all say this guy is being hostile and it is taking place in your work environment, but the term "hostile working environment" has a specific legal definition.  The biggest key factor is it has to be discriminatory based upon a protected class in order to qualify.  That doesn't appear to be the case here.


If you use that phrase with your boss you will risk looking uninformed and as though you are going to take legal action against him which is probably not how you want to start off the conversation. 
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: gramma dishes on June 24, 2013, 09:00:21 AM

Personally, I like carrying a small notebook with me ala Shaun of the Dead. When PF starts, I would jot down while writing aloud: "sorry, I just have to make a quick note: twelve fifty two... called away from task by PF, questioned again about misconception..." which will put anyone's hair on end. People generally behave better when they're being monitored, even if only by a piece of paper.

Ooooo ... I really REALLY like this idea!  Brilliant!

I liked the rest of Pen^2's post too.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on June 24, 2013, 09:36:05 AM
I also have to agree that the moment you answer his questions you are validating his behavior.  If he asks you, glance at him, and then say, "I'm sorry, but I am busy working."

If he persists, inform him that he is interfering with you performing your job.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: EllenS on June 24, 2013, 09:52:50 AM
Agree with PP, but I would be very careful not to use any rude language like "shut up"
He also has no authority to summon you into Boss's office for a private conversation.  If he starts in on you, leave.  Just walk away.

Some possible phrases:
"If you want to say something to me, you can say it out here. I want as many witnesses as possible."
"I do not report to you, I report to Boss."
"You should know I have talked to Boss about you interrupting my work.  I am logging how many times you interrupt me and I will be reporting to Boss about it."
"If Boss is not happy with my work product, he can talk to me directly.  Whether you are happy with my work product is irrelevant."
"No. I will not interrupt my work to have an irrelevant conversation with you."

Do not JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain).  You don't owe him an answer to any question or a response to anything.  Frankly, if you can bring yourself to ignore him completely, or dismiss him with a noncommittal noise and turn away, that is the strongest position you can take.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: *inviteseller on June 24, 2013, 09:59:48 AM
I think we have all worked with that person one time or another.  They think just because they are chummy with the boss, they can tell everyone what to do.  And, if it is anything like my power freak co worker, while they are busy nit picking everyone else, they aren't doing any work.  Just keep saying "I am doing my job as boss instructed me."  Do NOT let yourself get called into his office (he has no power to question anything) and tell boss calmly but to the point that you do not appreciate co worker questioning you and your job and it must stop. 

Mine was a kiss you know what and would run to boss lady ALL.THE.TIME about perceived infractions (she was sick of it) and she told me to tell him to knock it off.  Unfortunately the day I did, I did not do it in quite the professional way I should have  ::) but it only slowed him down for a few weeks (If it matters, not only did I have more seniority, but more responsibility and power!)
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: siamesecat2965 on June 24, 2013, 11:19:20 AM

Mine was a kiss you know what and would run to boss lady ALL.THE.TIME about perceived infractions (she was sick of it) and she told me to tell him to knock it off.  Unfortunately the day I did, I did not do it in quite the professional way I should have  ::) but it only slowed him down for a few weeks (If it matters, not only did I have more seniority, but more responsibility and power!)

Why didn't boss lady tell him to knock it off? I would have been kind of irked if my boss pushed that responsiblity off onto me (as he does with other things)
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: *inviteseller on June 24, 2013, 12:05:40 PM
Because Boss lady was not good with being the boss, hence why I ran the show ::).  I really wish I could have been  bit more nice about it, but I admit to snapping.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Virg on June 24, 2013, 12:06:23 PM
CraftyMom wrote:

"PF then says, "Did you clock out for lunch?" I told him no I had not, as I only took other 15. He was like Oh.. I thought that was the end of it. Then a few minutes later, he starts questioning me about the time I left and "to his calculations I had been gone like 25 mins". I explained what time I had left and returned."

As others pointed out, this is where the conversation jumped the rails.  You have to explain your timeline to your boss.  He's not your boss.  When he says anything about your time line or work or whatever, that's when you point out that he's not your boss, and so it's not his business to calculate your breaks.  Shut him down every time he does this, and he'll either stop doing it or you'll have a good list to take to your real boss to get it fixed.

Virg
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on June 24, 2013, 12:52:54 PM
I would definitely go to Boss before him.

and both complain (about him confusing the chain of command, AND about how his interruptions broke your train of thought and interfered with your ability to get your work done)

AND ask him what you should say to coworker if he does this again, because he's done it twice, even after apparently Boss spoke to him (though he probably didn't), and so it's logical to thing he should.

And then, if it does happen again, attack back. He's questioning whether you are doing your work--but when he is bugging you, he isn't doing HIS.

So do not answer any of his questions. Just immediately question him back: "Coworker, supervising me isn't in your job description--how is your project? have you interrupted it? are you going to be able to get it finished?" Every time.

Do not ever answer the substance of his question. Answer every one of his questions or comments with a question of your own. "Is your work done?" "Is this the best use of your time?"
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: NyaChan on June 24, 2013, 01:42:01 PM
I would also make sure to use the phrase, "he called me into your office to question me"  - that in and of itself shows me the attitude this guy is taking.  What right does he have to call any of his coworkers into the office, especially the boss' office to be questioned or reprimanded?
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: artk2002 on June 24, 2013, 03:44:17 PM
CraftyMom wrote:

"PF then says, "Did you clock out for lunch?" I told him no I had not, as I only took other 15. He was like Oh.. I thought that was the end of it. Then a few minutes later, he starts questioning me about the time I left and "to his calculations I had been gone like 25 mins". I explained what time I had left and returned."

As others pointed out, this is where the conversation jumped the rails.  You have to explain your timeline to your boss.  He's not your boss.  When he says anything about your time line or work or whatever, that's when you point out that he's not your boss, and so it's not his business to calculate your breaks.  Shut him down every time he does this, and he'll either stop doing it or you'll have a good list to take to your real boss to get it fixed.

Virg

Virg and others are right. By giving him an answer other than "that's between boss and me," you told him that he had the right to demand an answer. Set your boundaries -- boss things are for boss only, PF things are for PF. Then follow Toot's great advice and live those boundaries. Give PF the brush-off for anything that isn't really, truly, absolutely his business.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on June 24, 2013, 08:31:44 PM
Or, if you don't want to answer his question with a question, then still never actually *answer* it, but say, "Coworker, leave me alone, I'm focusing on my work."

He tells you to come into Boss's office to talk to you, say, "No, I'm focusing on my work. Please don't talk to me."

"I don't have time for this--Boss gave me my marching orders for the day, so I'm focusing on my work."
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: artk2002 on June 25, 2013, 08:20:19 AM
Situations like this remind me of a Kipling poem:
Quote
“Pleasant it is for the Little Tin Gods
When great Jove nods;
But Little Tin Gods make their little mistakes
In missing the hour when great Jove wakes.”
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: veronaz on June 25, 2013, 08:44:25 AM
I would also make sure to use the phrase, "he called me into your office to question me"  - that in and of itself shows me the attitude this guy is taking.  What right does he have to call any of his coworkers into the office, especially the boss' office to be questioned or reprimanded?

This.

Just because he calls you into an office doesn't mean you have to go.

Just because he asks you questions doesn't mean you have to answer.

I think you need to stop feeding into his little power game.  Try just staring at him for an extended moment, then go back to what you're doing or walk away.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: MrTango on June 25, 2013, 09:15:56 AM
I would also make sure to use the phrase, "he called me into your office to question me"  - that in and of itself shows me the attitude this guy is taking.  What right does he have to call any of his coworkers into the office, especially the boss' office to be questioned or reprimanded?

This.

Just because he calls you into an office doesn't mean you have to go.

Just because he asks you questions doesn't mean you have to answer.

I think you need to stop feeding into his little power game. Try just staring at him for an extended moment, then go back to what you're doing or walk away.

Another option is to not even look away from your task, just say "I'm busy here.  If you need something, send me an email and I'll get to it when I have time."

This has two advantages:
1) You can respond when it is convenient for you, and
2) There's a paper trail, which in itself creates two advantages:
    a) He's smart enough to not leave a paper trail, so he never actually bothers emailing you, or
    b) He's delusional enough to think what he's doing is okay, which means you can forward the paper trail to Boss.

ETA: Even better would be to be very blunt with him.  "You are not my boss.  You are not my manager.  I do not report to you.  I am too busy to deal with your ridiculous attempts to micromanage me."

After saying that to him once, respond to any unreasonable requests or demands with a very short "No." (nothing more than that one syllable, ever.)
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Softly Spoken on June 25, 2013, 09:33:16 AM
PODding everyone else and wondering how it went with Mr. Wannabe...
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: veronaz on June 25, 2013, 09:46:11 AM
I would also make sure to use the phrase, "he called me into your office to question me"  - that in and of itself shows me the attitude this guy is taking.  What right does he have to call any of his coworkers into the office, especially the boss' office to be questioned or reprimanded?

This.

Just because he calls you into an office doesn't mean you have to go.

Just because he asks you questions doesn't mean you have to answer.

I think you need to stop feeding into his little power game. Try just staring at him for an extended moment, then go back to what you're doing or walk away.

Another option is to not even look away from your task, just say "I'm busy here.  If you need something, send me an email and I'll get to it when I have time."

This has two advantages:
1) You can respond when it is convenient for you, and
2) There's a paper trail, which in itself creates two advantages:
    a) He's smart enough to not leave a paper trail, so he never actually bothers emailing you, or
    b) He's delusional enough to think what he's doing is okay, which means you can forward the paper trail to Boss.

ETA: Even better would be to be very blunt with him.  "You are not my boss.  You are not my manager.  I do not report to you.  I am too busy to deal with your ridiculous attempts to micromanage me."

After saying that to him once, respond to any unreasonable requests or demands with a very short "No." (nothing more than that one syllable, ever.)

(bolded)

I dunno, this gets into confrontation territory, imo.  (Getting a bit riled up, calling him ridiculous……...he'll say something then the exchange escalates, probably in front of others........) It might come to that anyway, but I think just staring or even continuing to do whatever task OP is working on is the route to take.  The message is "You don't merit a reply or one second of my time.  Go away."
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on June 25, 2013, 09:50:47 AM
Situations like this remind me of a Kipling poem:
Quote
“Pleasant it is for the Little Tin Gods
When great Jove nods;
But Little Tin Gods make their little mistakes
In missing the hour when great Jove wakes.”

You know, that's actually a point.

He says, "I hate when Boss is away and people think they can do what they want."

Oh? Like, now Boss is away, and HE can act like he's in charge? You might mention that.

Well, no, because that just creates drama, and you want him to just go away and let you do your job, the way Boss trusts you to. (That, you might say: "Please go away and let me do my job, the way Boss trusts me to. If Boss thought I couldn't be trusted, he wouldn't have gone off and left me in charge of my workload.")
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: veronaz on June 25, 2013, 10:01:27 AM
Question for OP: 
Why are you even answering PF when he questions you about whether you clocked out, etc.?  ???  The discussion about "minutes" appears silly.  Unless I missed something, PF has no authority over you.  It appears PF continues to bug you because you continue to engage him by answering and explaining yourself and going into boss's office when PF summons you.  Maybe he's not delusional - it appears he DOES have power over you.  What's up with that?
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on June 25, 2013, 10:49:16 AM
I think it's a completely human and understandable reaction to answer a question that's put to us. So if he asks, the instinctive reaction would be to answer.

Also, when we feel accused, it's natural to defend ourselves. And his very question is a form of accusation, so it's completely instinctive for the OP to list how many minutes, etc.

That's why she came to discuss this among us. To find counter-intuitive and more powerful ways to deal with it.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: veronaz on June 25, 2013, 12:59:17 PM
CraftyMom,
I'd like to hear it in your own words.........is this person intimidating? chummy with the boss, ......?  Just what is it that makes you explain yourself to him and do as he tells you?  Or have I missed something?

(I understand that you started the thread to get feedback and help.  That's what we're here for.....for you to sort thru and decide what works for you.  But I'm a bit baffled as to how this person is successful at steamrolling over people.)
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on June 25, 2013, 02:03:41 PM
OP--when you talk to Boss, point out this:

Quote
The only time that got wasted, was in answering PF's repeated questioning.

Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: AnnaT on June 25, 2013, 11:49:35 PM
Posting hoping for an update?
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Craftymom on June 27, 2013, 09:15:20 PM
Talked to boss today, finally.
Apparently, our co. policy is such that I was mistaken by taking the 2nd break and leaving early, but boss didn't feel that it was even a big enough issue to bring up to me. Since usually I am there for the full day, this wouldn't be something that would be a recurring thing.
Apparently, PF keeps an eye on things if boss is gone. Would have been nice to let me know.
I then asked then why didn't PF mention my break mistake, instead of hyperfocusing on the exact minutes gone? (It would have been no big deal to clock out for the appropriate minutes while continuing to work, if I had known.)
Boss agreed that PF should not have been crawling all over me like he did. He wanted to bring him in for us all to clear the air-not a chance in ehell. PF IS intimidating, and I was not up to him basically bowling over me with the boss right there.
Boss offered to speak to PF again, but I told him that I did not want him to, I just wanted him to be aware of the situation.
I told him that I am very wary of PF, and have been avoiding speaking to him at all unless absolutely necessary and just guessed that whenever boss has to be gone, the default setting would be PF displaying his assertive side.
I guess things went better than I thought it would.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Pen^2 on June 27, 2013, 09:53:57 PM
Talked to boss today, finally.
Apparently, our co. policy is such that I was mistaken by taking the 2nd break and leaving early, but boss didn't feel that it was even a big enough issue to bring up to me. Since usually I am there for the full day, this wouldn't be something that would be a recurring thing.
Apparently, PF keeps an eye on things if boss is gone. Would have been nice to let me know.
I then asked then why didn't PF mention my break mistake, instead of hyperfocusing on the exact minutes gone? (It would have been no big deal to clock out for the appropriate minutes while continuing to work, if I had known.)
Boss agreed that PF should not have been crawling all over me like he did. He wanted to bring him in for us all to clear the air-not a chance in ehell. PF IS intimidating, and I was not up to him basically bowling over me with the boss right there.
Boss offered to speak to PF again, but I told him that I did not want him to, I just wanted him to be aware of the situation.
I told him that I am very wary of PF, and have been avoiding speaking to him at all unless absolutely necessary and just guessed that whenever boss has to be gone, the default setting would be PF displaying his assertive side.
I guess things went better than I thought it would.

I... suppose it could have gone worse?

The boss sounds partially to blame here. Having someone "keep an eye on things" outside PF's contract is just asking for trouble and misinterpretation. You know, like changing "keep an eye on things" to "interrogate workers at will". I always thought eyes and mouths were separate organs, but that's just me. If possible, can/did you find out what exactly PF is entitled to do? If it's just watching and reporting to boss, then PF can't use the boss's instructions to him as an excuse for his confrontations.

And good for you for not "clearing the air" when there wasn't anything to clear. Having everyone have a big lovely chat with a bully is not going to fix everything, and is silly to suggest.

Next time this happens (since it probably will--boss doesn't seem too eager to bother fixing the problem s/he created), I would explain to boss that the whole "PF keeps an eye on things" system is not working and needs to change stat. Boss seems quite lukewarm about the whole thing, which is troubling. Make sure you have something ready to use for the next time PF tries to pull this on you. The suggestions made in this thread are great if you don't have any ideas of your own.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: *inviteseller on June 27, 2013, 10:13:52 PM
He knows you are intimidated by him, so he will keep it up.  He is like a dog and can smell fear.  Keeping an eye on things is not the same as unnecessarily bother a co worker.  He has no authority and boss is making a mistake in allowing this to go on.  I would take the chance to confront him in front of boss and tell him you do not appreciate his tactics and his interruptions.  If it doesn't stop, go up the chain of command. 
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: veronaz on June 27, 2013, 10:24:23 PM
Quote
Keeping an eye on things

In this case that means strutting around watching everyone and reporting back to boss.  PF is most likely getting perks and will continue to be rewarded.  As I said before, PF is not delusional at all.  He is the boss's spy and boss wants to keep it that way - cloak and dagger.  What a toxic atmosphere.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Shoo on June 27, 2013, 10:43:03 PM
Sounds like a horrible place to work.  Blame goes squarely on the boss here.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: NyaChan on June 27, 2013, 11:31:03 PM
Yeah, giving a chum a generalized power with no guidelines over coworkers is just bad form - especially bad because the relationship between them will embolden the guy, but would've been risky anyways.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: KB on June 28, 2013, 06:31:32 AM
Time to polish up that CV!
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on June 28, 2013, 11:09:44 AM
Bad on boss for not telling all the rest of you!

Now that you know, you can tell him what your plans are (I'm not feeling well and want to wrap this up and go home, but I need a break. Instead of lunch, I just want to take my afternoon break, and then I'll finish), and he can't accuse you of "doing whatever you want."

And it explains why he asked you to talk to him in Boss's office.

But he's still really annoying.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: bloo on June 28, 2013, 11:32:08 AM
Sounds like a horrible place to work.  Blame goes squarely on the boss here.

This...

Time to polish up that CV!

...and this!

You have a somewhat delusional Power Freak because your boss created a situation for this to flourish. Your boss seems like the nice guy and the employees get irritated at Power Freak. Win/win for the boss and the power freak. Lousy circumstances to work in for the employees.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Raintree on July 02, 2013, 03:35:37 AM
In my experience, people who behave like this tend to work as Assistant Manager.  (Not all assistant managers are like this, but I've had more than a few who are). Kind of power hungry, but they don't actually have the power that they want, so they nitpick on  lower-ranking employees just to find a way to show everyone how important they are (because they aren't).

This guy isn't even Assistant Manager; it's an awkward situation though, because he is the boss' friend, and boss has created that awkward situation by not spelling out his exact role when boss is away.

Quote
He then came over again and questioned me as to "why was I so angry and throwing things?" I looked up and said what on earth are you talking about, I am not throwing anything. He then started bugging me as to why was I angry. "I said it was all over, why are you angry?"

Classic gaslighting tactic.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: TootsNYC on July 02, 2013, 08:51:32 AM
I don't think this guy is Boss's Friend; I got the impression from the OP that he's a third person.
Because the OP knows that Boss's Friend sometimes acts on Boss's behalf, but then said that this person had no authority.


OP, are you still around, and can you clarify?
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Craftymom on July 02, 2013, 09:41:09 PM
PF IS Boss' friend. Bottom line,  he does not have any real authority, he just keeps an eye out, as do at least 2-3 other people.

Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: finecabernet on July 06, 2013, 06:57:39 PM
I once had a coworker just liked this, and she wreaked havoc over the department (and our manager allowed it because he was a weakling and mistakenly thought she was his ally). Since your boss sounds like a weakling as well, you need to think of leaving before coworker is allowed to get worse (because that's what is going to happen).
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: Jocelyn on July 07, 2013, 05:22:42 PM

Boss agreed that PF should not have been crawling all over me like he did. He wanted to bring him in for us all to clear the air-not a chance in ehell. PF IS intimidating, and I was not up to him basically bowling over me with the boss right there.
Boss offered to speak to PF again, but I told him that I did not want him to, I just wanted him to be aware of the situation.
I think you made a mistake there.
This is what we call in my line of work 'collapsing the triangle'. Triangles are very stable- they hold up roofs, they keep going in human relationships. By meeting together, you have a chance to hear what the boss says to PF, and PF cannot later pretend that he was told one thing and you were told another. PF can remain in his belief that he is treating you exactly the way the boss wants him to treat you, because he knows you don't know WHAT the boss tells him.

And if you don't want the boss to talk to PF, and you don't want to talk to PF, what do you want to happen?
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: dragon_heart on August 24, 2013, 05:56:47 AM
This happened to me at my previous work. The only difference is, the PF in my case was formally promoted
to supervisor. Now he had all the right to micromanage and to turn our workplace into his "kingdom".

There was nothing we could do but look for other jobs( almost half of the office quit, we are less than 10 people ).
Last I heard from a coworker who hadn't found a new job yet, PF got worse and he will take the first offer that comes along,
even if it meant a pay cut.
Title: Re: Delusional power freak at work
Post by: tinkytinky on August 27, 2013, 02:59:03 PM
I think I would get boss' definition of "keeping an eye on things". Is it to make sure there isn't an injury/building emergency type of thing, or is it more of the "here is my whip and if somebody stops working you have my permission to use it" type?  I think that everyone is interpereting it differently.

I think you should just go ahead and do your work, leave if need be, whatever. If PF starts to question you, the answer should be (in alightly distracted nature) "I have discussed (situation/illness) before with boss, but if you have concerns about it, I'll get with you and boss tomorrow. oh, by the way, do you have those documents for the beandip project?"

This is helpful twofold. 1: it brings to his attention (hopefully) that his own job is being neglected while he is micromanaging, which is something you can bring up to the two of them the next day; and 2: you don't have to be summoned to another room for him to bawl you out because you aren't trying to hide anything and are willing to go to boss WITH PF to clear up any misconceptions. Chances are, he isn't going to want to go in front of boss with you because of his own actions and the chance he will be found to be at fault. In essence you are calling his bluff, but in a polite non agressive way.