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  • Old dogs (and new) - advice needed/toxic boss question

    No this wasn't me, but a buddy of a buddy.

    Officer Jones is in a specialized unit, lets say Gang unit and a recent operation required that another unit, lets say Narcotics, participate in the operation due to the various talents Narcotics brings to the table. All members of both units are equal in rank, however with different bosses. Jones is "case agent" on the Gang Unit side of the operation, or "primary" as he has all the info, knows the players, etc, from the gang aspect.

    At the end of the operation, Jones sends an email to all of them saying "hey great job thanks, here are my thoughts if we have another one of these operations, again great work guys" and hits "Send"

    Unknown recipients then get their tampons wadded up and said "Who is Jones to express his thoughts about how we do another operation together". "He is a line trooper/officer." Etc etc. Why is he sending a thank you, who put him in charge ? This should come from a SGT. Etc etc.

    Jones is then called into his SGT and LT's office and lectured that Jones should stay in his lane and "not wander into policy" (the thinking-out-loud about another joint operation) and etc etc. Jones is told "you would be a great boss, we see that in you, but you are not one now" etc etc

    Jones plays the game and says yes sir gee sorry sir and meeting is over.

    Jones goes home and almost strokes out because he is so p1ssed off.

    Advice on how to handle ? "Let it go" etc ? Request followup with SGT and LT to address "not for nothing boss, but" issues ? Etc

    SGT is cool but will NOT disagree with LT for anything, and LT is a-hole and "well known" in the department.

    Jones is well liked by upper MGT (Captain-Chief levels) and peers alike and is "penciled in" for the next promotional vacancy by upper management...but things like this are not good for Jone's blood pressure or his image of the department. Jones can punch out and fully retire in 5 years from today.

    Thanks

    PS: is this "the way" LE is going ? I signed on 17 years ago, I don't remember this kinda crap and people's feelings being so sensitive. More and more it is about "don't p1ss people off" and less about "the mission". Naive I-should-know-better-rant finished
    satpak77
    Forum Member
    Last edited by satpak77; 11-18-2013, 12:38 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by satpak77 View Post

    Jones is then called into his SGT and LT's office and lectured that Jones should stay in his lane and "not wander into policy" (the thinking-out-loud about another joint operation) and etc etc. Jones is told "you would be a great boss, we see that in you, but you are not one now" etc etc

    Jones plays the game and says yes sir gee sorry sir and meeting is over.
    That's how......................
    Administration has told him how they want this handled in the future........and he has been told he has potential for advancement-----------plus everything else you told us points to that fact

    This is something that isn't worth the hassle of trying to walk up the ladder only to have it fall off the ladder ------he has been told to let supervisors do the atta-boys/crituquites ---so let them

    He can be pizzed all he wants but the command doesn't want him to go above his paygrade-----and doing so MIGHT paint him in the wrong light------and that can scar should he later want to promote

    Let it go and be around to fight a winning battle

    Originally posted by satpak77 View Post
    PS: is this "the way" LE is going ? I signed on 17 years ago, I don't remember this kinda crap and people's feelings being so sensitive. More and more it is about "don't p1ss people off" and less about "the mission". Naive I-should-know-better-rant finished
    Unfortunately yes-----------------many agencies are going down this road



    By the way-------------not really a "toxic boss" situation.

    It sounds like the rank and file are the ones with sand in their vagina's and the boss is just placating them.
    Iowa #1603
    Senior Veteran
    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 11-18-2013, 01:09 PM.
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      I see the "other team's" point of view. The attaboy should have come from a supervisor or the officer in charge of the event and, coming from a peer, I can see how the other troops feel they are being treated in a condescending manner or like children being patted on the head by their brother. Live and learn and let it go. As an aside, an after action review is a good place to discuss how things can be done better.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks everyone

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by satpak77 View Post
          …..PS: is this "the way" LE is going ? I signed on 17 years ago, I don't remember this kinda crap and people's feelings being so sensitive. More and more it is about "don't p1ss people off" and less about "the mission". Naive I-should-know-better-rant finished
          My take is that the officer needs to better appreciate the department’s landscape. Being able to and actually doing things are completely different animals. And from my take his email was not policy centric but more operational after action.

          Actually my experience has been the opposite. Line officers/agents in my view have greater latitude to work operations and cases these days when just a decade ago the very same ops/cases would have gone to detectives/seniors. While we have seen more risk management injected into the mix; I don’t see this as a bad thing.
          Originally posted by SSD
          It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
          Originally posted by Iowa #1603
          And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

          Comment


          • #6
            If Jones gets his knickers in a twist over something like that, he's going to stroke out before he can draw his pension anyway.

            I'm also guessing there's more to this story. No one seemed upset about the thank you, it was those handy little suggestions about what to do next time. If you want to "correct" folks, do it through the proper channels.

            Maybe your buddy should evaluate what he said, how it could be perceived, and then think maybe he had a little input on how things went down. Maybe the LT really is an a-hole, there's no shortage, but is it really something to get that worked up about? If it truly is, transfer.
            I miss you, Dave.
            http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

            Comment


            • #7
              All good posts, thank you

              Comment


              • #8
                I have been in those shoes, so my take is a little different. If he was the case agent for the operation and it was a success, imo it showed he was appreciative of both units coming together and achieving the results. All of us, even some that don't want to admit it, appreciate it when someone says great job. It's a team effort and if the team leader wants to say thank you, then good for him and the team.

                A real Sgt or Lt who is a leader would not have bothered bringing him in for something like that. Just sounds like someone got their panties in a bunch. Rank does not equal leadership.
                "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God - Matthew 5:9

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rgv_cop View Post
                  I have been in those shoes, so my take is a little different. If he was the case agent for the operation and it was a success, imo it showed he was appreciative of both units coming together and achieving the results. All of us, even some that don't want to admit it, appreciate it when someone says great job. It's a team effort and if the team leader wants to say thank you, then good for him and the team.

                  A real Sgt or Lt who is a leader would not have bothered bringing him in for something like that. Just sounds like someone got their panties in a bunch. Rank does not equal leadership.
                  most likely THIS is what got someones panties in a bunch
                  Originally posted by satpak77 View Post
                  here are my thoughts if we have another one of these operations, again
                  even a "Leader" needs to pass on negative stuff from time to time


                  my thoughts are still that the problem was petty
                  someone got ticked and complained
                  the command told the guy not to do that again
                  END of story----------forget it and move on
                  Iowa #1603
                  Senior Veteran
                  Last edited by Iowa #1603; 11-18-2013, 09:07 PM.
                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A real Sgt or Lt who is a leader would not have bothered bringing him in for something like that. Just sounds like someone got their panties in a bunch. Rank does not equal leadership.
                    Yup. I wish we could change this, but most government agencies - especially law enforcement - seem to have far more "managers" than actual leaders.

                    The fact that the LT is the way he is would have made me forget the whole thing (if I were Jones). 10 years ago I probably would have opened my yap, but having only 3 years left to my KMA date, it would be "an expenditure of negative energy" (as my new-age-y wife would say) to try and change an ********* into a normal human being.
                    "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If they all sat down afterwards and critiqued the operation and he said "Great job, maybe next time we will do this differentxxxxxxxxx" Would any one be upset?

                      Bottom during a critique ( at least here) any one can say anything and suggest anything.That's how the best ideas get born.

                      Some people do not like that cause THEY did not think of the idea and they think it makes them look bad.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to wonder if any supervisors actually would send out a thank you email or one looking for suggestions for the next operation.
                        John from Maryland

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Beard and shorts on duty?

                          Yes please!!
                          The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                          I Am the Sheepdog.


                          "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                          that we are all that stands between
                          the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by satpak77 View Post
                            "you would be a great boss, ... but you are not one now"
                            That's the money quote. Passing out praise and critiquing performance is a supervisory function. Officer Jones meant well but it just wasn't his place to do this. When he gets his stripes, he'll understand.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by satpak77 View Post
                              No this wasn't me, but a buddy of a buddy.

                              Officer Jones is in a specialized unit, lets say Gang unit and a recent operation required that another unit, lets say Narcotics, participate in the operation due to the various talents Narcotics brings to the table. All members of both units are equal in rank, however with different bosses. Jones is "case agent" on the Gang Unit side of the operation, or "primary" as he has all the info, knows the players, etc, from the gang aspect.

                              At the end of the operation, Jones sends an email to all of them saying "hey great job thanks, here are my thoughts if we have another one of these operations, again great work guys" and hits "Send"

                              Unknown recipients then get their tampons wadded up and said "Who is Jones to express his thoughts about how we do another operation together". "He is a line trooper/officer." Etc etc. Why is he sending a thank you, who put him in charge ? This should come from a SGT. Etc etc.

                              Jones is then called into his SGT and LT's office and lectured that Jones should stay in his lane and "not wander into policy" (the thinking-out-loud about another joint operation) and etc etc. Jones is told "you would be a great boss, we see that in you, but you are not one now" etc etc

                              Jones plays the game and says yes sir gee sorry sir and meeting is over.

                              Jones goes home and almost strokes out because he is so p1ssed off.

                              Advice on how to handle ? "Let it go" etc ? Request followup with SGT and LT to address "not for nothing boss, but" issues ? Etc

                              SGT is cool but will NOT disagree with LT for anything, and LT is a-hole and "well known" in the department.

                              Jones is well liked by upper MGT (Captain-Chief levels) and peers alike and is "penciled in" for the next promotional vacancy by upper management...but things like this are not good for Jone's blood pressure or his image of the department. Jones can punch out and fully retire in 5 years from today.

                              Thanks

                              PS: is this "the way" LE is going ? I signed on 17 years ago, I don't remember this kinda crap and people's feelings being so sensitive. More and more it is about "don't p1ss people off" and less about "the mission". Naive I-should-know-better-rant finished
                              Within every law enforcement organization there are a few folks at the bottom of the food chain who strive for rank, power and authority they have yet to earn. They do so in small increments by offering authoritative advice, giving direction, critiquing others and trying to take charge within their peer group when it is not the time or place for them to do so. Sometimes passive officers accept this and after it has been done long enough, the individual manages to place himself in a position of artificial authority over his peers to which he is not entitled and he becomes a de facto supervisor within the peer group who can never be held accountable for his decisions or direction.

                              Officers who are not passive may spot this for what it is and call the officer out for what they consider to be the start of a bu** sh** power play.

                              Based on your description of the situation that’s what it sounds like happened here. You make it sound like Jones was a prima donna who had a tantrum when someone called him on trying to build his empire and play supervisor without earning it.

                              Thoughts on how the event was handled should have come out in an after action report prepared by a supervisor that reflected input from all participants. Jones could have prepared it for the supervisor’s signature, but it should have reflected everyone’s combined thoughts and not that of just one individual.

                              Similarly if there were atta-boys, they should have come from a supervisor. Again, Jones could have written them for the supervisor’s signature or email, but doing all this as a bottom of the food chain person screams “ME, ME, ME, LOOK AT ME, I am acting like a supervisor even though I am not one.”

                              This is the kind of guy you don’t want to work with because you get the feeling he will sell you out in a heartbeat if it will further his career.

                              Now, I may be wrong and if I am I apologize. However, in my career I saw a lot of guys like you described and each one was like that.
                              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                              Comment

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