Posted on July 30, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Is this happening to you?
Just like the clown post I wrote the other day, it seems like there’s one of these in every crowd too. There are some folks out there who consider themselves a manager though they do not possess the proper title in order to actually manage anyone. Some lines you just don’t cross.
It is one thing when a coworker asks for your help with something, but another if he or she demands it as an order, thus assuming your manager’s role. You should only report to one person, and that’s your immediate manager/supervisor. He or she should know what your work load is and whether or not you can be “lent” out to help someone else.
Some advocates advise assuming a role as a manager in order to actually obtain the position. This hardly means that you start supervising others on your own. You should only assume certain tasks that your current manager approves.
Many a time this has happened to me. An example is when I was 17 and working as a nurses’ aide at a Senior Living Facility called Four Seasons. I was ordered by a nurse, who had no authority over me, to bring a laundry cart to the basement. I refused to oblige her, saying, “That’s not my job. And I won’t do it.” She physically pushed me into the elevator with the laundry cart, and shouted, “You will do it!” Nurse Nitz was her name. There’s another name I shall never forget.
When I told my father what happened, he immediately called the Four Seasons to complain on my behalf. I can just hear him now, talking to the head nurse in his vernacular, “You tell your Nurse Nitz, if she puts her hands on my kid again, I’m coming there in person.”
Many of us tend to take advantage of our coworkers’ good nature and willingness to oblige but we have to remember that we are not their managers. Even in the smallest working environment, be cautious that you do not order someone about if you are not their manager. If you are training someone, that’s a different story.
Why do we have a tendency to boss others around at work in the first place? That’s an easy answer… because many of us are parents bossing kids around all the time… some boss spouses too, so we are conditioned to naturally supervise. To that end, we must remember our place at work. It may be more difficult for someone in the veteran and baby boom generations not to give orders to their younger counterparts. But remember this is work where status, rank and age are on a whole different playing field.