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Hi Guys,

What do I do when the HR director wants me to act as if I was the manager?

I am a new assistant manger in a company who was told at the interview stage that the manager I would be working for isn’t well liked within the company. They were looking for me to come in and take over this position from her without them getting their hands dirty, so to speak. I wanted the job as it’s a good company (although not with this matter) so I took the position.

There have been some issues since I have been working there (too many to list here) the main issue is that after 90 days there was an issue with one of my directs taking a lot of time off. Neither the manager nor I were told what the issue was as the direct dealt with the HR director personally with this.

This became sure an issue with my manager that I stepped in spoke to the Hr Director mentioning the difficulty in running a department but not knowing what the issues are. I was told the issue but told not to tell my manager and to start acting as if I was “the manager”.

Was I foolish to take the position in the first place, I knew it would be a little uncomfortable but I hadn’t expected a dressing down because I hadn’t stepped into her shoes while she was still in them?

Any suggestions??

HMac's picture

[quote="Carlin"]Was I foolish to take the position in the first place, I knew it would be a little uncomfortable but I hadn’t expected a dressing down because I hadn’t stepped into her shoes while she was still in them?
[/quote]
Hi Carlin. Welcome to the posting boards.

Whether or not you were foolish to take the position doesn't matter. You're there now.

One of my concerns in reading your post is there might be a pattern of disrespecting and undermining by HR:

[list]1) they hired you with a "hidden agenda" that undermines your manager's authority and credibility

2) it appears from your post that they dealt with an absenteeism issue involving one of your directs without consulting you[/list:u]
My question: do you see evidence of many managers being undermined, or has your manager been singled out?

The answer to that may have a big bearing on whether you should stay or move on...

-Hugh

TomW's picture

My question is this: Which one is your boss? Your manager or the HR director? Does HR really have any authority over you and your group? Or should your loyalties lie with your manager?

When your first dealing with HR was them interviewing you and telling you that you were going to be stepping into already-occupied shoes, that tells you that the HR director is already a coward, unwilling to do his own job. Big red flag: he could do the same to you.

Personally, I'd be back working on my resume and looking to get out. Even if the current manager is let go, your stuck with that HR weasel, who could decide that you're the next one to undermine, under-inform, or otherwise work over.