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wannabe
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2,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where do you draw the line? We're dealing with 2 foreman...1 @ 18 years, and the other 25 years with the company....2 leads @ 11 & 12 years.

We're being told where, when and how to do our jobs on a daily basis....

Our PM just built a house for his daughter....being his 1st 'in the field' experience in 15 years (while bragging about only being in the field for 6)....now he's the End All authority on residential construction. He needs to STFU and let us do our job! He needs to let us do the job we're being paid to do, instead of treating us like we're idiots who don't care!!!

Arrogance!
 

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Project Manager
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2,642 Posts
WNY - is this part of the change in ownership that you posted about a while back that happened to your company?

Care to elaborate on exactly how they are micro-managing?

Some of us might have some tips to offer up as I am sure a good amount of us have started out working for a micro-manager.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,936 Posts
For sure! I have been micromanaged by the best of them.
One in particular did so from his office, so I could just ignore him. He never, ever came out to the jobsites.
 

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Project Manager
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2,642 Posts
For sure! I have been micromanaged by the best of them.
One in particular did so from his office, so I could just ignore him. He never, ever came out to the jobsites.
Easy to deal with a micromanager who never shows to the jobsite. All you have to do is yes him to death, and then do it your way - he is none the wiser. :laughing:
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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1,232 Posts
There are a lot of reasons why someone micro-manages others; here are a few I can think of:

1) The micro-manager was taught to breathe down the necks of others; "crap-the-whip" so to speak. I agree with this ONLY if there is cause; i.e., past poor performance, before I fire your a**!- reasons.

2) Was beat-up and picked on alot growing up; now, with a position of power in their adult lives, feels empowered when yelling and micro-managing others.

3) Is OCD. Over compensates for everything.

4) Is just generally an un-socialized meanie. Can't handle pressure very well.

5) The boss of the micro-manager expects this of his "second-in-command. "Either micro-manage the flock, or your job is in jeopardy!"

6) Feels this is the only way to get the best performance out of you. This is incorrect. Kinda like whipping the kids with belts and they still turn out bad.

Hope this sheds a little light on the subject. Good Luck.
 

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wannabe
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2,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You may be on to something, though it's not real apparent, there is a power struggle going on...Our co-owner/vice preisident stayed on board for 5 years to oversee the transition, and he's surprisingly taken a back seat to everyday operations.

There's really no one to keep this PM in check....he's irreplaceable, everyone aknowledges that, but it's over the top....

Gosh, it's hard to give specific examples....I'll try, ok....You have guy x 'till noon to do this, then send him over to project X, but when you put down the plastic you need to think about protecting the floor, then use guy Y to unload the truck at 1 pm, at 2 you should be ready to hang drywall, but do it horizontally 'cause I figured it would be easier that way...

TELL us what you need done and we'll Fing do it! It's patronizing, like a lack of trust. The way we handle things in the field and our communication is more efficient than the lame brain overthinking....I'm a responsible adult....tell me what is important and it'll get done, maybe not in the same order as you figured, but my job is to be efficient (I CARE) I can do it better than your BS on paper just trust me....you do your job and I'll do mine....that's what we're getting paid for.
 

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318 Posts
If it's a change in ownership it may have more to do with not having good systems in place or their trying to develop new systems and protocol. They may also be bidding work tighter and feel a need to make sure the project is done the way it was bid for fear of losing money. In general new foremen have a tendency to be harder on guys to establish authority and make the point that they will not be walked all over, most lighten up as they get to know who they need to be on top of and who they can depend on to get the job done right efficiently.

PM's in most cases typically handle scheduling, ordering, putting out fires, change orders, and selling alternatives to the client when necessary. Sounds like their is not a good established and defined chain of command right now. I haven't seen to many PM's get involved directly with the skilled trades so I can only imagine it is a power thing or something to do with what I stated above.

Either way as long as you get your check every payday I would grin and bear it. If it doesn't get better then you can look for another job somewhere else while having the benefit of employment while you are looking.
 

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I know this sucks for you and I feel your frustration. It seems that high school politics should've stopped when you graduated, but they don't.

In my mind, there are two kinds of micro-managers.

1. The kind that knows his stuff. If so, you're lucky because you have a great chance of learning an extraordinary amount.

2. The kind that doesn't know chit. Oh I can feel your pain if this is the case. Like Ari said, try to grin and bear it for as long as you can. Mean while, keep your eye out for new openings. If things don't improve after a while, then for your own sanity and happiness, a new position elsewhere could be just the breath of fresh air you need.
Maybe you'll be the breath of fresh air another company is seeking. Just try your best to give 2 weeks notice and leave on friendly terms. Be a steadfast professional in the mean time and make em' miss you when you're gone.

These are some of the reason's I went into business for myself more than 4 years ago. That's not to say that 4 yrs ago, I put an ad in the yellowbook and walah! I'm in business:no:.

I worked twice as hard for half the pay. Mostly sub work with out steady eddie. My wife supported my decision as she still does today. She was able to take on more hours with her jobs (2). When I didn't have a job lined up I was putting 10-16 hr days into building equity for our home. This is still the case and probably will be for at least another 4 years.

Don't give up. Work harder than ever. Help others with your talents. Let God handle the rest.
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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1,232 Posts
TELL us what you need done and we'll Fing do it! It's patronizing, like a lack of trust. The way we handle things in the field and our communication is more efficient than the lame brain overthinking....I'm a responsible adult....tell me what is important and it'll get done, maybe not in the same order as you figured, but my job is to be efficient (I CARE) I can do it better than your BS on paper just trust me....you do your job and I'll do mine....that's what we're getting paid for.
I completely agree. It's like, the folks who hired you guys to do the job feel you can only do it with their supervision and micro-management (in their mind:rolleyes:). We know this to be untrue.

When I hire a sub, I make sure they are capable before they step on a jobsite. Then, I let them do their job. Sure, I'm on site, and I know a little about this and that; so when I notice something not right, I make a judgement call based on it.

I pay fairly --I will not micro-manage anyone! well, except my wife!

I believe you need to let them know in a non-assuming way how you feel. This is tricky; if you are a good communicator, you will let them know in a way, where, this guy gets the message without embarassment to him or yourself.

Good Luck.
 

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Shiloe
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27 Posts
This situation sounds awful! How big is the project to have so many layers of management?

As a project manager, I hate when I feel like I have to micro-manage someone. We're all too busy to deal with that. It comes down to trust. The more I trust a person, the less I check in on them, because I know they know how to do their job way better than I do.

When a member of our crew is new, or when I don't have a good sense of what they're doing, I'll check in. So, if you're new, give them time to trust in your work. If you're not new, try to communicate more to everyone about what you're working on. Managers love updates ;) Over-communicate if necessary for a while to get them off your back. If that doesn't work, I'd look for another job. The level of oversight you describe is just too intense and unproductive to be sustainable.
 

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I believe you need to let them know in a non-assuming way how you feel. This is tricky; if you are a good communicator, you will let them know in a way, where, this guy gets the message without embarassment to him or yourself.
I agree with this idea. It's better to at least make an attempt to resolve the issue, then decide whether or not it's worth the paycheck to stick around. I understand your frustration has built up to a point where anger is taking it's place, but try to take a deep breath, focus, and rid yourself of the STFU! frame of mind.

Try to put yourself in his shoes.

He's probably walking around patting himself on the back for the great job he did building his daughter's house. He may even think you guys (meaning those of you on the crew who are fed up with him) are blown away by all of his knowledge and are hanging on his every word as if it were the gospel.

Maybe the next time he says something like "Hang the dry wall horizontally instead of vertical, because I think it will be easier.", try to keep in mind that he may just be trying to make things easier on you. Then you might ask "With all do respect, can you tell us why you think it would be easier?"

Listen to what he says, it may or may not make sense, but don't get angry. (in actuallity, hanging drywall sideways instead of up/down creates a bit more strength to the walls and structure, but it's probably minimal) Then you might respectfully pose another question that he might answer himself, such as, "By hanging drywall vertically on an 8 ft wall, wouldn't there be less butt joints to mud, thereby making it easier on the finisher?"

If he knows his stuff then he'll immediately understand this would be a less costly way to go, as finishers charge more than hangers do. If he agrees, then I think you will both gain a little more respect for one another.

If you were planning on hanging it sideways to begin with, then just smile and nod your head.

I always tell my guys upfront, "What's obvious to me may not always be obvious to others, so try not to get upset if you hear me saying things that are obvious."

The best thing for you is to continue to educate yourself.

You don't need to teach anyone to be a better person/builder, you just need to learn.
 

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About 45 yrs. ago I was taught the basics.

Hire the best.
Pay the best.
Encourage all to be the best.
Reward the best.
The rest will follow.

I have made a few bad choices over the years, few is good. On my projects I walk away with confidence that a job will be done to MY specs.
 

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wannabe
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2,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My PM has been with the company (30 yrs) since the beginning for the most part. He's always been anal. It's his personality....I get that.

Maybe I'm growing out of someone telling me how to do everything step by step because I take my job seriously....The previous owner(president) who's name is on the company kept him in check......

Funny how after a decade a PM still percieves you as the laborer you were 15 years ago....I am just getting frustrated, I know how to do my job. WE know how to do our jobs....foremen and crew alike take it upon ourselves to research and find the easiest/effiecient way to proceed.

The frustration is when this PM has the power and knows he has the final decision and arrogantly/selfishly wants everything done his way. It's not a team...a team listens to all the input and works together.
 

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WNY,
It sounds like you 'cut you teeth" with this company. I have seen this many times, a guy starts out not knowing much, stays and learns the trade. He becomes a very skilled and efficient carpenter, but the guys who taught him, or were at least there since he was a rookie still see him as a rookie.
Many times the only way to break out of this rut is to find a new gig.

It sucks, and i feel for you, it seems to me you are very skilled, and do care about what you do (which is rare).
I tend to micro manage, but my guys will run me into the ground if I don't.
I am not at a point yet to be able to hire someone with your skill or pride, so for now, it is still me and a few glorified laborers.

After writing this, it made me think, maybe I am guilty of pigeon holing one of my guys who started out not knowing much. I am going to give him some free reign tomorrow, and see what happens.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
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24,789 Posts
Funny how after a decade a PM still percieves you as the laborer you were 15 years ago...
That's what my Group Dynamics professor called the "elephant phenomenon". Your kids will always need lecturing from you too, for the same reasons.

It takes a very strong-willed person to be able to drop those memories altogether and deal with you completely as you are now. Unfortunately, quite often the only way to really get out from under that is with a fresh start elsewhere. :sad:
 

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Thom
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4,137 Posts
Oftentimes micromanaging is not what the guys in the field think it is.

1) The boss is telling you to do something that you think is dumb. Maybe the boss already had this conversation with the customer, the boss finally gave in to the customer, knowing it is a dumb thing to do but now must tell you to do it.

2) Sometimes the order things are done in are dictated by things unknown to the guys in the field. Maybe it's about getting a draw, maybe it's to allow for a scheduling conflict with a sub or supplier that the guys in the field don't know about.

3) Sometimes the boss has had specific difficulties in the past with guys who "knew" what they were doing, screwing something up and he does not want that something repeated.

4) Sometimes an inspector, architect, engineer, or designer will insist on something being done that's dumb. The boss does his best to convince them they are wrong but, in the end, accedes to their wishes. He then tells you how to do it, knowing that it's dumb and he really doesn't want to have that discussion again.

5) Sometimes the guy in the field thinks he knows more than he knows.
 

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Oftentimes micromanaging is not what the guys in the field think it is.

1) The boss is telling you to do something that you think is dumb. Maybe the boss already had this conversation with the customer, the boss finally gave in to the customer, knowing it is a dumb thing to do but now must tell you to do it.

2) Sometimes the order things are done in are dictated by things unknown to the guys in the field. Maybe it's about getting a draw, maybe it's to allow for a scheduling conflict with a sub or supplier that the guys in the field don't know about.

3) Sometimes the boss has had specific difficulties in the past with guys who "knew" what they were doing, screwing something up and he does not want that something repeated.

4) Sometimes an inspector, architect, engineer, or designer will insist on something being done that's dumb. The boss does his best to convince them they are wrong but, in the end, accedes to their wishes. He then tells you how to do it, knowing that it's dumb and he really doesn't want to have that discussion again.

5) Sometimes the guy in the field thinks he knows more than he knows.
6) Sometimes the guy in the field has an attitude problem and/or a problem with authority.
 
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