My manager always teach a specific individual within my department?
February 23, 2013 7:46 PM   Subscribe

My manager always teach a specific individual within my department. I find this unfair and annoying at random times. Am I too sensitive/jealous about this situation? What advice do you have for me? Anyone experience the same situation? Anyone here know what my manager is planning to do? Is it time for me to look for a new job?

That individual gets extra assistance and help without asking. The "individual" I refer to is a coworker that started 8 months before I joined the team. He gets to learn twice as fast due to tips given by the manager.

Whereas, another coworker and I who started on the same day need to figure things out on our own. We do request for assistance sometimes however the conversation with the manager is usually very short, brief, and vague. Whereas, that individual gets extra attention and my manager would sometimes ask how is he doing, etc. My manager also assign more interesting tasks/projects to that individual to make him more well-rounded (as if my manager is trying to promote him to the next level).

I don't have a problem self-learning by reading internal documents. This is what I have been doing for a year or so. But, it's not enough to catch up to that individual's knowledge without actually working on a wide range of tasks.
posted by Mountain28 to Work & Money (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not much you can do about this - I'd suggest trying to tag along and be a friendly and eager addition to the manager's audience.

For example, if you overhear the manager "teaching" the other employee about something you're interested in, walk over (if this is appropriate in your workplace, your syntax suggests you're not located in North America) and hover in the background, listening actively but not interrupting. When the explanation/teaching is over, say "I'm sorry to eavesdrop! That is something I've been very interested in, thanks for explaining it that way Manager!"

If your coworker gets assigned a really interesting task, ask Manager if you can help - say you've been very interested in broadening your experience and you know Coworker has a lot to teach you (which, if he's been working 8 mo longer than you and is getting Manager's undivided attention at coaching, he probably does). See if you can enlist Coworker as an ally and minor mentor. Don't complain about Manager to Coworker.

I would continue to unobtrusively listen in, but always be there on the periphery showing your appreciation for the input. If Manager isn't asking you how you're doing, reach out to him. Act as if this is something he cares about, keep it short, and ask for his input.

Long story short - you're much more likely to catch flies with honey than vinegar in this situation. I wouldn't complain, to Manager or anyone else. Be relentlessly positive and enlist Manager as an ally (along with Coworker). Hopefully if you do this well enough, Manager will add your name to the list of people who might be on the list for opportunities and teaching.
posted by arnicae at 9:01 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's entirely possible that your manager is, in fact, grooming your co-worker for promotion. Developing specific individuals is part of a manager's job, so while it's not great that you're being left behind, it's not necessarily unfair. If he's identified the co-worker as being more talented, skilled or having the right personality for promotion and is focusing on him that's really okay. That he's apparently the most senior of the 3 of you makes it exceedingly likely that this is the case. Of course, it's also possible that they're friends outside work or having a secret affair or something, in which case, yeah, that kind of favoratism sucks, but unless you have pretty rock solid proof of that and the kind of corporate HR department that really, really cares about those things, there's not much you're going to be able to do about it.

Have you tried approaching your manager about something non-specific and telling him you're interested in taking on extra responsibilities and would like the opportunity to learn/do more things? Do it without referencing your co-worker, because this isn't about even treatment, it's about you learning the most you can in order to be the most helpful you can be.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:03 AM on February 24, 2013 [5 favorites]

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