I’m not sure if I can do this without a book but I’m gonna try. Also, this isn’t technically development, it’s government, we don’t develop, it’s system implementation.
About a year ago I left a government job to go to work for a smaller agency. I figured that there would be more opportunity and the bureaucracy would be less. I even took a pay and benefit cut because they wouldn’t budge and “they” according to my manager wouldn’t start you past the point they did. Actually they do it all the time, especially for senior management, they just caught me at a point where I was willing to take a shot.
The problem is that my manager is a control-freak, the worst I’ve ever seen. He’s created this world where he’s the only one who can get things done. When people make mistakes, even little one’s he gets really sideways, because HE WILL HAVE TO FIX IT (true, because they probably won’t have access to fix it).
He’s constantly working late. In fact, pretty much, you can count on him to do your job for you, which contrary to popular opinion, at least for this .gov worker, is not a good thing. He also has to set everything up and know more than his people. This leaves you pretty close to knowing nothing because everything is in the black hole that is his brain.
All of this control, and zero error tolerance, even in test environments causes me tremendous stress. I’ve for all practical purposes been shut down and given up. When I help, it’s wrong, when I don’t help, I should have helped. If I suggest X, the correct answer is Y, and vice-versa. Literally, everything I do gets picked apart, even work that is plenty adequate to the need. Even our reporting, which is orders of magnitude better than before, gets picked apart, even when it’s fully functional, the users want it a certain way, because he knows better how it should be.
I’ve made stupid mistakes. I don’t trust myself. Pretender disease has come on full-blown. I now understand why the dogs give up when they get randomly shocked. This guy is actually smart. He does know his stuff but working here is awful. I don’t think he can tolerate anything outside of his patterns and control and when he runs into it he wrecks it.
So I gotta survive this insanity, at least until I can get off this ride. I can’t begin to tell you how angry and frustrated I get. And this doesn’t count the sheer psychological beatdowns I’ve gotten on a pretty regular basis. I’m really afraid that I’m going to light him up one of these days, in public. That’ll be the end of me for sure. But also, the anger and frustration manifests outside of the job both in my personal life and interactions with other co-workers.
Any suggestions, tactics, tricks? All ideas are welcome and thank you for any that may come.