Office Politics question

Unanswered Question
Jun 7th, 2008

I know this may not be the correct forum for this type of question, but thought I would ask and maybe get some input from some of yout that may have been in the same situation in the past.

I am the Network Engineer for my company and was hired for this position a year ago.

Four months ago a Security Specialist was hired to take care of monitoring the security logs and make security suggestions (and whatever else his duties are).

He has a background in Networking and has been the Network person prior to his current position with my company.

He has taken a lot of my time asking questions about the network, IP Addresses, subnets. How certain things are working and what is what.

I have been free and open with this knowledge and answered any question he has asked.

It seems that he wants to be more and more involved with what I am doing, since his Security duties do not fill his day.

He has mentioned to me that he would like to do what I am doing.

I am finding that the lines between his job and mine are getting blurred as he does not ask and is not shy about injecting himself into my position.

This may seem kind of small, but he will answer questions that people are directly asking me, and seems to have a "take over" mentality.

He is being very forceful in his efferts to be involved with what I am doing.

It is not the other way around, I am respectful to stay out of his job and not cross the line, since we are supposed to be observing seperation of duties.

I don't want it to gradually become more and more of a power struggle with this guy for me to do what is considered my job, but it seems to be heading down that road.

He seems to be nice enough, but I am not sure of his sincerity.

I am quite swamped at the moment, but feel uncomfortable with getting him to help me.

Does anyone have advice on how to handle a situation like this?

I have this problem too.
0 votes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 5 (5 ratings)
Loading.
lamav Sat, 06/07/2008 - 12:25

Wilson, I can sympathize. I had an idiot like that working with me once, too. he eventually got busy and left me alone.

But you violated the first rule of corporate longevity: Job security through obscurity. LOLOL

Never answer anyone's questions with long, full answers. Just give them enough information to get more confused. LOLOL

Really, though, you should have a talk with your manager. Not to get you paranoid, but your manager may be looking to have him replace you and that's why the new guy is asking all those questions. Maybe he and your manager know something that you dont...you know what I mean?

You may have to get this new guy alone in the bathroom and shove his head in the toilet until he talks...LOLOLOL

I'm sorry, dude. I'm just in a retarded mood and I'm having some fun.

All kidding aside, you should have a talk with the manager and ask him to define what this guy's job is. Let him know how you feel. From his answer, you will probably get an idea of what's in store for you in the future...

HTH

Victor

wilson_1234_2 Sat, 06/07/2008 - 12:51

Thanks for the reply Victor.

I planted the seed in my manager's head about this a while back.

I know my manager has his own concerns about him also.

He has assured me that he will not merge into my area.

He is security I am the network.

But, no one is really paying that much attention.

I have always tried to be as helpful as I can with anyone that I can. I do not want to be the type of person that keeps information to himself.

I am aleways disappointed by people it seems. Other people always seem to do things I would not even consider in the workplace.

I would not violate the boundries of trying to do something in his area, but it is never reciprocated.

The thing that concerns me, is that if nothing is done, then the green light is there for him to continue.

The thing about it is that it seems that the merging will continue unless some guidelines are verbalizized by someone.

I can do it, but then I come off as the jerk, an I don't think it will have any impact on him.

I think the reason for the questions is that he wants to learn the network, and does not want to do the groundwork himself, it is easier to ask me.

I had no one when I started there, he can learn much quicker by just asking me what I spent a lot of time discovering on my own.

Jon Marshall Sun, 06/08/2008 - 01:11

Richard

The problem is that Security and Networks are really not separate jobs anymore at least security of the network. To do his job efficiently he will need a good understanding of the network, how it is setup and how it works. And you are the person with that information.

I had a similiar situation in a previous job where i was in charge of Network security and another guy was in charge of Networks. What we found was that we were forever stepping on each others toes, making decisions that had a direct impact on each others area of work. It wasn't working and it caused friction. So we just had it out one day, sat down and banged our heads together. We ended up merging our 2 roles to all intents and purposes and i now count him as one of my very good friends even though we have both since moved on from the company.

I'm not saying this is the answer to your problem but the key thing is to work out why he is getting involved in your area. Is he just very keen to learn more in which case you may well be able to come to an arrangement and division of responsibilities or is he actually trying to replace you.

Unfortunately there are people who will take credit for others work, who need to be seen as the person making all the decisions. If this is the case all you can do is sit down with your manager and tell him that your'e not happy with it. But you also have to accept that you may need to leave the job if things don't work out the way you want.

Perhaps not nice to hear but sometimes it is the only option.

Jon

wilson_1234_2 Thu, 10/30/2008 - 16:46

Just wanted to update you on the unbeleivable events that have unfolded with this guy, just in case you are interested. I know this is not the place, but have to share.

This guy and four others had calluded to find dirt on several people in the department, resulting in one guy getting fired.

Once it was discovered from the e-mails that these guys (my friend from this original post was heavily involved) had all worked together, more people were fired. All of these guys had been having conference calls after hours to plan their strategy. I knew nothing of what was going on.

By the way, he has lied to everyone of his involvement, even though the e-mail proved he was in up to his neck.

It was determined that my buddy above was just "led astray" as the General Manager said.

Well, recently he and I were talking and got into a heated discussion, he out of the blue called me a racist and filed a complaint in HR.

His complaint was filled with comments he claimed I said that were out and out lies. Cartoonish racial comments that I would never dream of saying.

This is now in my personal record and I have been reprimanded. I am getting the feeling there is no justice in the world today.

cisco_lad2004 Sun, 06/08/2008 - 04:33

It's a tough one!

1st advice is that you have to relax and keep a cool head. worries will only make you more paranoid and sensitive to every word or reaction. you want to avoid over reacting.

If the guy is testing the water he will grow overconfident and eventually slip up and realize he needs you backup as a team player.

on the other hand, No matter how good we are in our jobs, there will always come someone who might come across as being better..and I say might.

New starters are often aggressive and try to prove a point. I usually stand my ground, remain calm and professional. if a new colleague comes up with changes, and these are good ones and beneficial for the company ...then so be it and I usually give credit when its due. however if u have valid arguments against a new change then you fight your corner with both technical, financial / commercial or even political arguments.

Your employers have hired you and kept u cos they seen you are capable. don't let a new challenge destabilize you or your peace. stay focused on the job and relax.

hopefully he will get tired of it and leave you alone. if he does not , he will only come across as an unprofessional, insecure bully....and you will be a better man.

HTH

Sam

wilson_1234_2 Sun, 06/08/2008 - 05:08

Thank you all for the valuable advice.

I agree that I need to just stay my course and let the chips fall where they may.

I will continue to be myself and help when I can.

If it gets to the point where I feel I need to say something, I will be professional and tell him that I will ask if I need his help.

While I am not at the level technically that you guys are, I do know that he cannot do what I am doing technically.

I do think he is generally just wanting to learn, and maybe he is trying to prove himself.

I will try to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

Thanks guys for the input.

JORGE RODRIGUEZ Sun, 06/08/2008 - 09:32

Hello Richard,

I completely agree with Jon and Sam, and Victor point of view, and I completely understand your possition for I have experienced similar scenarios. What it realy boils down to puting asside job responsabilities and puting asside the technical aspect of security and networking is personalities.

My personal experience I have encounter all kind of networking professional different personas and have come to the conclusion that the less someone knows about networking that at first seems to be very knowledgeable it turns out to be a control person and not be open to share but usually in these scenarios time itself will unfold the complete picture of the person.

On the same token I have worked with very knowladgeable networking professionals that usually figure things out without even asking and at the same time be great team players and love to share their knowledge and work together as a team.

Not everyone out there knows everything in the networking and telecommunications world, so my advice to you is to always keep yourself up to the beat with networking tehnology to cover yourself if possibly on every angle of networking or at least know where to find the information, this will prove to anyone else that you are not a simple networking generalist, as for the other person in security my advice would be to be patient and understand how his persona is, perhaps he is not that bad but rather want to demostrate to you that he is also capable and stablish a true team play environment. One thing I tell you, it is nice to go on vacation for a week and know that someone can back you up and not get a phone call while you are in the caribean with a margarita under a coconut tree and asked to resolve a problem at work.

mohAmed khAdr Sun, 06/08/2008 - 08:31

Keep it cool, never, ever show he's getting under ur skin.& hit back, professionally, like start asking him about his work, etc & see if he backs off!!!! Also, since ur manager is not drawing a line, go to HR & let them know ur concerns<< after all, you have more seniority than him>>

HTH

Mo

Actions

This Discussion