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Author Topic: A really tight group  (Read 6361 times)

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A really tight group
« on: January 28, 2013, 10:30:40 PM »
One of my colleagues was recently approached to act as a second manager for a very well known department in our company. I was really surprised when she turned it down.  Then she told me why. After getting approached, she did some digging and found out some things. All bad.

The problem with the department is although they got things done, stuff fell through the cracks. Awhile ago, there was a big screw up and the manager was forced to take on another manager as a second in command. Someone to oversee everything and make sure things ran smoothly.

She told me there were a lot of stories of the second managers being screwed over by the first manager or being forced out by the first manager or the rest of the department. So a second manager never stayed that long. Whenever they left, they would badmouth the second manager and tell everyone any problems the department was having was because of the second manager.

The biggest scandal was the holiday party. Two years ago to save money, the departments were given their own budget to have their own holiday party. The first manager picked a restaurant for the party and made the second manager to make arrangements with the restaurant. The second manager did as they were told. What ended up happening was the first manager got sick and was unable to attend. But the holiday party happened anyway with the second manager running it.

A couple of weeks later,  the second manager was making arrangements for some documents to be sent to one of the department members at an offsite they were working at. The department told them that sending them would not be needed because they could pick it up at the holiday party.  This confused the second manager and began asking around why they were having another holiday party? Didn't they have it already? The first manger took the second manager aside and explained to them there wasn't another holiday party, it was the rest of the department getting together for drinks.

The second manager let it go, but was very suspicious. A couple of weeks later,  the second manager was having lunch with the department member who slipped about the party. That department member told the second manager everything. Apparently the entire department hated the food and one of the members decided they should have another party. They told the manager what they were going to do and that they were going to pay for it themselves, the manager told them that the company would cover it and they would put in an expense report for something else. The first manager could not attend this part due to a business trip.

The second manager was shocked beyond belief. First of all the restaurant was the choice of the first manager and no one told the second manager that the food was bad. In fact everyone was quite happy after they left. And the fact that they organized the second holiday party without inviting the second manager was really disrespectful. Of course the first manager lied about the second holiday party. Adding to the shenanigans of having the company pay for a second holiday party.
The manager had enough and within a month they found another job.

The second holiday party is the craziest thing I have ever heard of. I've been to holiday parties that were terrible but I have never heard of a company giving another party. But the bigger problem is that the department is how they treat outsiders. My co-worker told me that a rumor going around is that there are plans to break up the department because their rate of success has dropped, also HR has become so frustrated with them. Not only because of them going though managers but also reports of the company expense account being abused.

I think having a tight group is important. You need people who are loyal and that you can rely on. But this is nuts. I was wondering if anyone had experience like this how they dealt with it.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 10:33:06 PM by watson »


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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 11:22:19 PM »
It needs to be dealt with internally by HR, by breaking up the department.


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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 07:08:35 AM »
Is there an etiquette question in this post?


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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 08:34:35 AM »
Is there an etiquette question in this post?

I think it's implied in her last paragraph.


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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 09:21:24 AM »
Teamwork and comraderie are certainly important but it looks like this group has taken it way too far.

Having an alternate holiday party and deliberately not inviting the second manager because her party was up to their "standards" is beyond rude.  Having the information "accedentally" slip out to her is even worse.

Yes, this group needs to get broken up based on their lowered productivity and abuse of company finances.  they are getting too big for their britches.


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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 01:44:50 PM »
Your collegue has every right to turn down the offer of managing this department...and she even has the right to do so after doing some research.

However, I don't think it was professional of her to pass on this negative talk about the department to you or anyone else at work.  It's inappropriate.

Yes, a tight knit group like this can cause problems if the "closeness" is taken too far.  If any of the previous second managers have been pushed out by that culture, then they need to take their first hand experiences to HR. 


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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 01:49:19 PM »
The simple answer as regards etiquette is to deal with people in a tight group like this politely but cautiously if forced into the situation, and document every interaction to CYA.  The second manager in the story would be well advised to go to HR with the information he/she garnered about the second party to make sure that HR doesn't think the second manager was involved in the misappropriation of budget funds.

Beyond avoidance and polite distance in forced interactions, it's best to leave everything to the company's internal handling to deal with this sort of departmental friction.



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Re: A really tight group
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 08:20:28 PM »
It sounds to me like the first manager should have been let go a long time ago.