Here is a situation I'd like to throw out there since I've been in it a couple of times. How does one manage themself if your Manager assigns them to fill in for a peer, whom they have conflict with, for a short (2 weeks or so) while. Their peer takes this as an insult so the training they receive from them is minimal at best? There is a possibility they won't train them at all and their manager doesn't show any sign of care, they would rather "stay out of it".

tjordan's picture


I'm kind of in that situation at the moment. I'm not in conflict with the peer (yet), but there's a desire on the peer's part to just dump their role on me. I'm by no means suggesting this is the best approach but at the moment I'm:
- copying in my boss on most correspondence to the peer on the matter
- clearly pushing back on items (that based on my discussion with my boss) are not my responsibility
- consistently picking up the phone to ensure that there's no miscommunication with the peer (following up with emails)

Interested in what others have to say.

bflynn's picture

Your peer won't give you adequate training while they are out? Is this a trick question?

1) Talk to your boss. Don't place blame, there might be very good reasons you're not getting a turnover. Just tell your boss you might need their help from time to time.
2) Go forth and do the job to the best of your ability.

The lack of turnover reflects more poorly on your peer than you.

Am I missing something?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

I don't understand. Your boss is asking you to fill in for one of your peers, who also reports to your boss, and this peer doesn't like you? And so he won't talk to you?

Again, my apologies for my delay.


tpedrick's picture


To answer all your questions, yes. My boss wants me to learn his position as a cross-training exercise. My peer has not liked me from day 1 because I threaten his plan to become the distribution center manager when our manager retires in the near future. We also have opposing management styles and ethics.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Ignore your peer and do your best.


cperry2's picture

Interesting! Great input Mark.

I have a little bit different issue. Everytime I'm out of town on business, I have a peer that reaches into the 2 teams I manage and redirects or misdirects their activities.

My manager continues to encourage me to assume positive intent but it has gotten to be so disruptive. In one case, we lost 3 weeks when one of the contract developers was misdirected to recode a program. At the time, I was out of town on business/vacation.

How should I handle this since my manager seems to not want to get involved?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

One of three things.

1. You can stay connected while you're on vacation. I bet there are plenty of folks here who would assume that I wouldn't recommend this approach, with my general belief in family trumping work, particularly on VACATIONS. ;-) But, I do recommend it, as long as you're clear about escalation rules, and what they can probably get away with ignoring.

2. Geez, appoint your number two to be in charge, get it okayed by your boss, and give him or her clear instructions to ignore/override the meddler's input. Works great. [b]This is how your number two grows and develops - when you're out! This is classic professional development.[/b]

3. Ask a different peer to serve as unofficial leader of your team. This works, but I don't like it as much, as it sends the wrong message to your number two.