The situation I would like to explain happened fairly recently. I have accepted a position with a National Bank as one of their E-mail Server Administrators. An acquaintance of mine (Don) told me about the position and took my resume to his supervisor. He is not someone I call a friend because we do not do any activities together nor do our wives do things together. I used to work at the Bank?s location as a contractor for a different company. I had changed employers and we maintained casual communications for the year I had been gone from the Bank. He had tried to help me obtain a position with the bank a couple of times, but none of the opportunities ever turned into anything until now.
I have now been at the Bank for 5 weeks. The first week was fine, just trying to learn where the bathroom and Cafeteria were. Nothing was obviously strange with Don at first or really had the appearance of being amiss until the second week. Our interactions began to get a little strange. Don began making comments like, ?you would have had to pay an employment agency several thousand dollars for a job like this?. I briefly thought to myself that was weird. I soon forgot about the incident till the next day when he made some other comment ?in a joking manner? ?you can just make monthly payments of, lets say $400.00 a month?. Rite then I started to really pay attention to what he was really trying to say. He acted as if I owed him money for helping me get the job. The next day he was telling me about how he was putting in tile in his kitchen and needed some help moving his refrigerator. He appeared to be disappointed I didn?t jump right in and volunteer.
He began to get very short with me and I had only been working there for two weeks. He was supposed to train me on how to build our E-Mail Servers and instruct me on how to install all the standard monitoring software, to include using SNMP and remote access software. This was not done. Instead he went through the RAID Array configuration faster than even an experienced Administrator could possibly keep up. He would not slow down or wait for me or check with me to see if I was with him or not. We would have an issue with a Server and rather than take this downtime as an opportunity to show and train me. He would just buzz through the resolution and not stop and say anything to the affect of, ?You might want to remember this.? I began to get very frustrated and feel very alienated.
On my third week, we had to go to one of the Banks locations and rebuild a Server. We parked downstairs under the building in the delivery area. He said we are supposed t leave our keys in our car down there. He then said, ?we aren?t going to, just put a note on your windshield?. I did and we went upstairs and started on the rebuild of the E-Mail server. A couple hours past and a man by the name Mark showed up absolutely screaming at Don about ?you better than to NOT leave his car keys and you have been told before?. After Mark left Don minimized the situation by talking down Mark and trying to make him self look like he was in the right. He even went as far as saying he was going to Human Resources to make a complaint that Mark had threatened him.
We have daily meetings in the mornings to get our department going. Don is not in any kind of management position. There have been times in the meetings he would ask a question of one the attendees that make them look less capable and on the surface make him look like he is in a position of power.
After the third week I began to get tired of his condescending and abusive tone. So began to challenge him in a way that was only one on one and so no one else was around. He would respond to a question of mine with a question or just make me repeat it then interrupt me when I would just start to repeat it with ?I understand?. I stopped him one day and he asked me ?What?s the matter?? I told him he was very condescending in his tone and demeanor. When he speaks to me like that it feels very manipulative and that I did not want him to target me with those traits of his personality. I think he was taken back and responded very favorably. He asked me ?What can we do to make this workout?? and ?What can he do so I don?t feel this way in the future?? I simply asked him to treat me with the same respect he would like to be treated with by a peer or by a friend. Ever since we have been getting along better and he has even begun to slow down and take the time to explain some of the policies. I believe there is still room for growth though, as there is with all relationships.