How to Manage a Micro-manager that isn’t Your Manager

I’m sure you’re all happy to have an extended weekend/break from work for the holiday, so let’s have an honest-TEA moment and reflect on one of the many reasons why we can’t wait until the weekend. In the corporate world and often times in other workplaces as well, we often come across one or two people who just seem to think that you and what you do is their business. How do you spot them? These are the people who do the bare minimum at work but do the most when it comes to paying attention to what you do. They often look like the little whack-a-mole arcade game when their heads pop-up over your cube or into your office. You can also find them roaming around and through the aisles. I know a few of you are shaking your head and picturing that Messy Mary, Catty Cathy or Petty Patty right now and it just burns your soul up! Well we’re going to have iced-tea today to sooth your soul as we get into how to manage those lack luster lurkers (yes I said it!)

  1. Be aware of your surroundings

Always and I mean ALWAYS be mindful of what you say, who you say it to and/orIMG_7365 around. If you wouldn’t be comfortable with repeating what you said to your manager then chances are you shouldn’t be saying it at all. Many times your words can be purposely misconstrued for reasons unknown, so be careful and be mindful. A great way to be aware of your surroundings is to keep a “rear view mirror” on your desk. It makes great use for seeing who’s lurking around and who’s looking at you. Please note that with this rear view mirror that object may NOT seem closer than they appear. Contrary to what the actual rear view mirror states because that person that is staring back at you is really there, thisclose, to your personal space and business (lol).

 

       2. Say-it with a smile

It’s nothing like killing people with kindness although I’m sure many of you would rather do the latter 🙂 . Being polite and petty when you respond to their often nosey and snarky questions and comments is a way of showing that you are very aware of what they are doing and that you will stand up for yourself. It definitely never hurts to serve up a side of sarcasm with a smile as it shows that you are un-bothered.
This part is definitely easier said than done because me personally, at times, my face needs deliverance because as my “About Me” section states, I serve up a mean side-eye shady face. Like I could literally be a master of disguise with no makeup or props needed. I could be a palm tree for Halloween with no costume. I can practically do sign language with my face, do you guys get where I’m going with this?! Ok great. Moving right along to the next part:

    3. Be on time and on task

There are times when we fall victim to having a case of the Monday’s or too much fun Friday’s. However, when you have someone that is watching your every move, you have to stay on your p’s and q’s and always dot your i’s and cross your t’s. When I say these people are a time clock and a task manager all in one…HON-TEA I mean it. You will have your days where you fall short and they will definitely let you and other know that they are aware, so make sure those days are far and few in-between.

    4.  Build a playlist and a wish list

Having something to listen to and look forward to other than office gossip is a must as it’s never good to get caught up in the hype and get your name mixed up in some mess.giphy Building a playlist of your favorite songs can boost your mood. It’s nothing like hearing Daniel Bedingfield- “Gotta Get Thru This” or oldie but goodie “Gonna Be Right” by Cheryl Lynn on a stressful day when you’re ready to just about lose it. Even a gospel song or two or whatever your religion may be. Pandora also has great stations where you can even add your favorite comedian(s) and listen to their stand-ups for a quick laugh or a podcast/iHeart radio to get you through the day. Another great thing to have is a mini wish list/dream board to look forward to looking at while you’re working. Constantly reminding yourself of the bigger picture (photos of family and friends may help as well) is needed as much as you need your paycheck, so anything that’ll keep you focus and your square do it. Heck, hang up a prayer and wear heart chakra rocks around your id badge. I’m speaking from a personal experience because things have certainly gotten real in my life a few time before. So real that I was going to the Buddhist center at least twice a month and my desk was turning into a “What’s Love got to do With It” num ya ho renge kyo cubicle, ok?! Very Zen though, very Zen.
Now, I personally keep photos to a bare minimum at my desk to avoid unwarranted questions, but to each their own. I used to keep a list of my course curriculum at my desk and cross off each class as I went along as a way of reminding myself that this is just a temporary upset and my next step is right in front of me, so be patient and be still. Also, Jadakiss “Can’t Stop Me” is my alarm clock for everything because I’m about that Thug Life lol.

    5. Document, document, DOCUMENT

You must always CYA even though you want to turn your head around like The Exorcist and say KMA, you can’t do that. Please don’t do that lol. Cover yourself by keeping a journal of the person(s) name, date, time, location, what was done and what was said. Every little detail matters. Even throw in what they were wearing if you want to. This will make you look super productive as well while you’re writing. By doing this you have a record of all the things that have taken place just in case something happens. I know some of you are probably saying or thinking that it isn’t that serious, but trust me, I can get that serious. You may think nothing of it and just brush it off as some sort of weird obsession but that’s what J Lo thought in the movie Enough. And you see what happened to J Lo at the beginning of the movie?! Don’t be J Lo in the beginning! Be J Lo in the end! Just kidding, but seriously tee-pots, you have to be strong and be smart about it too because you never know what may happen and all you will have is your word. And sometimes, sadly enough, it isn’t enough. When you have documentation, people can really see what has been going, how long it’s been going on and know that you and this matter should be taken seriously.

I wasn’t going to add this but you know what, I am because it never hurts to add a little extra lemon to your tea so pucker up and get ready for this sourness. *Disclaimer* There are a few people in the workplace that are genuine co-workers so this excludes them.

Millennials…we are not in the working world to play house so don’t act like it. You already have a real life Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, whatever. Therefore, it is not ok to let people talk to you like they are and Aaawwww you when you’re sick or saying something and try to tell you what you should and should not do. At the end of the day, you’re an adult and you don’t have to take that kind of foolery from nobody!

Now repeat after me: I WILL NOT, CAN NOT, SHALL NOT take any advice from nobody that sits in a cubicle like mines, has darn near the same title/job level as me and has been working at the job since they laid the first brick on the foundation. giphy1

That was a little tried and true tea. Yes, I tried it. However, it’s very true! *Pops tongue and flips hair* I’ve spilled enough tea today, so tell me about some of your micromanagement stories below.

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