Monday, January 21, 2008

Culture Clash

Holy shit - I have hit a major culture clash with nib (new italian boss). Very long story short - my company is getting rid of our department and we are combining with a department of an Italian company to form a new company. Purely defined - it's a merger.

Anyway, in nib's culture (corporate and country), things are very hierarchical, tops down direction. In my culture (mostly corporate) things are not hierarchical and decisions can be made at all levels. I've been a manager for almost 9 years now. Starting with a small group, going all the way up to successfully managing 50 employees. In my last few positions, I have enjoyed being the decision maker. I tell my bosses what I'm doing, what I need and how things will go. They listen, give me what I need and get out of my way. This is NOT how nib operates.

He is not my manager yet. He will be at some time in the future. I still have a local boss who keeps up to date on our work - he pretty much gives me free reign and understands that is how I operate best. Nib has gotten upset with me in the past for not getting his approval before making a presentation to my current boss and peers. I haven't had to get approval on my presentations for almost 10 years. Especially presentations I'm giving to my own team. Today, he told me that I needed to copy him on all email that I send.

Ok, really that is too much... There is such a thing as being informed and then there is such thing as being a fucking stalker. I know he doesn't know me and I need to build my credibility with him - but copying him on the ~300 mails I send a day is out of the question. The closest I have ever come to this level of micro-management is when I was a new-hire right out of school with a very very green boss. He wanted to know where we spent all of our time. We had to account for our time in 5 minute increments. But, I was brand new, he was a brand new manager and it is more understandable than this (although - honestly, he was a terrible manager. I've always thought he was the worst boss I could ever have, but I'm thinking I may just be getting the Worst.Manager.Ever.) I actually feel a little more violated by nib wanting to read every mail I send.

It's hard for me to get him to understand that I'm a senior member and manager of this organization. While I'm young, I worked my way to this position - and it fucking pisses me off that he needs to know every single thing I write. Shit, I should copy him on EVERYTHING - even my emails to my friends where I am bitching about him. I should completely overwhelm him with email. He has no clue the amount of email traffic I normally generate. Oh, maybe I'm liking this idea.

I have been so proud of my organization. I work with the most awesome, smart, funny, most diverse individuals in the world. I have helped to develop quite a few of them right out of school. I'm now developing some of my first line managers so they can develop their individuals. But, I was so fucking frustrated with this new REGIME that I was looking for other jobs today. It makes me sad - I'm not the type of person to give up (crap, I stayed with my last horrible manager for 4 years). But, I'm not sure I can take not being able to develop my team in the way I think is appropriate and to make decisions on what is best for my organization. I'm feeling useless. *BUAWAHWAHWAHWAH!!*

Wow, I must be PMSing. This was a crazy ass rant post.


Rachael said...

HAHAHA. I bet he will be totally overwhelmed with your 300+ emails, and decide it isn't worth it. :)

P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I always love them. :D

Suzanne said...

Oy. I hope this works out better than it sounds. Not that I want you to have bad situations at work, but I did enjoy reading your "crazy ass rant." I bet we'd have a lot of fun if we worked together.