Too much workplace drama. Work it out or jump ship?
April 26, 2010 7:04 PM Subscribe
Three managers constantly create a triangle of drama and I'm in the middle. Fight it or move on?
posted by stormpooper to Work & Money (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ever since they moved me to a tag team pair of managers, the drama is a non-stop triangle of stress.
Ex manager, whom I like, is going on temp leave this week .I don't want to stress her out but she also offered an ear if new arrangement gets bad.
Immediate manager--ton-o-drama every day to the point of I hate dealing with her.
Higher manager tells me to call her if immediate manager is getting on me, being weird, whatever. As in if manager is being weird, call her so she can witness it. Like I can reasonably go "Hold on for a sec" dial the phone asking her to come over, and tell this manager "ok continue the weirdness." I mean, it's not feasible.
Everything was great, fine, loved my job with ex manager. Sure there was occasional drama but I got over it in a day or two. I begged them never put me under current manager. Well there goes that request.
Today was the tipping point. Manager is trying to help raise my profile but I just don't trust her. A lot of meetings excludes our higher manager when it comes to things I want to make sure we're on the same page. A lot of excluding me when she does talk to higher manager. I never know what is being said nor do I want to be alone in a room with this manager. In short, I want all three of us in rooms talking about issues, etc. because I just don't trust any of it.
"Drama manager" is very pushy with "what do you have, can I see it" when things don't involve her. Sometimes I'm told confidential stuff or given secret projects that only higher manager and ex manager work on with me. But in a status meeting or she overhears, the drama manager pressures me to show/tell her everything. I can't say no .She's my manager. But the other two managers told me not to tell/show her. I've even told this manager "go ask them" and she won't. She pressures me.
The final straw was manager telling me something drama-filled and plotting with the caveat of "if I find out you told anyone, I won't be your friend anymore."
We're not friends. We're manager/employee with cordial chit chat. If anything, I felt more of an alliance with ex manager. This manager dislikes ex manager and wants me to discuss everything that she tells me and she wants to take it to the VP to get the ex manager in trouble. Of course, I'll be involved because it will be positioned as "well Stormtrooper said..." then ex manager will hate me.
I can't take the drama. I saw a position open that I'm qualified for at a similar company. But honestly, I'm afraid. I'm the primary earner in our house. They pay really well, I have a pretty good gig telecommuting 2 days a week, etc. It wasn't a "god I hate this job, duties, people package" situation until lately it's an overwhelming STOP THE DRAMA AND LEAVE ME ALONE situation. I'm always in the middle of these three. Too much is being discussed behind their backs or mine. It's all high school girl drama that I can't take it anymore.
My life beyond work is so stressful. I feel like I'm going to bust and really, which situation do I try to change when all of them have very high impact, especially if things go wrong. Dysfunctional/abusive/abused parent dying where I"m put in charge of EVERYTHING. Husband so like a little kid that I'm worn out by the fact that I have no adult partner. I have to manage a 40 year old who acts like he's 13. A 1.5 year old child. Now this work b.s. It's not like I can tell any of them to piss off or run away. Each and every one of those items gives off constant stress. So what needs to give? Obviously child isn't at fault but still, first child can be stressful.
Anyway, back to topic...
I don't know what I should do. If I tell ex manager--she'll be bold and pissed enough to call manager out. Meaning my ass is toast.
If I tell our mutual higher manager, I feel that the usual long process of reprimanding will bite me in the ass. I don't want to burn bridges or work with someone pissed at me. I know it will come back eventually to bite me.
I begged higher manager to get her away from me and for me to report directly to her. Can't do. The decision was originally made by a VP.
Do I get HR involved with higher manager? Do I tell them that I was in a round about way threatened and feel like I'm being harassed, pressured, stressed that all I want is a silent reorg again where higher manager is my boss?
Or no matter what I do, I'm screwed. At least apply to similar job, try to negotiate similar benefits, and move on?