Thursday, February 18, 2010

Micro-Managers: Bane of the Workplace.

My wife introduced me to the term “Micro-Managers.” They are the folks who who always know the right way to do things, and jump at the opportunity to share this wisdom with you. They are often seeking these opportunities while their own duties are neglected.

A prime example came when one such pain-in-the-posterior got a reprimand from a manager. What she caught shit for could have been considered a joke if she wasn't so full of self-loathing and bitterness. It came off as “herding the customers.” She spent about about half an hour telling every staff member she came across to not “raise your voice to customers.”

The disease these people suffer from (are they suffering, or just insufferable?) is closely related to the one some charity workers get: “Do as I say because The Cause is bigger than any of us.”
Therefore, it's difficult to call these people on their bullshit, their main defense being “I was just trying to be helpful.” So what's the difference between a Micro-Manager and someone who's trying to be helpful? (I'm saying this rhetorically, but any insights would be welcome) I think that truly helpful people wait to see if you need help, as opposed to jumping to coach people 3-7 times a day. Helpful people also speak more quietly, and don't broadcast their wisdom.

Does anyone else have defenses for these pompous asses? I think the main issue is their unassailable arrogance. That's why they hide behind Causes (charitable or corporate), to dodge arguments. Can't wait to hear what you have to say!


  1. Ha. I wish I didn't know what you were talking about. I bet the girl who sits across from me, who stops everything she's doing to listen when I talk to the manager, who jumps over to my desk any time someone else is there for something work related and listens and offers "advice".. yeah, I bet she qualifies. As much as I want to tell her to F off, this is a professional environment, so I usually just ignore her. Its not working though :(
    I am so happy that since I have been at my company, neither of my managers have been micro managers. I'm lucky that I have actually really liked both of them.

  2. You nailed it -- Micro-Managers rarely have an official title, they just act like they do.

  3. I wrote about that one that one time. And then I got a hateful comment from someone who knew her which is why we have comment moderation at CTM now.

    Those people make me want to kick them in the teeth, so I do little passive aggressive things back at them just to make them totally insane and tattle on me. It's mean, but oh-so-entertaining.