ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2019 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Mailvox: working for the gamma

A reader asks how to deal with a Gamma male manager:
Longtime reader here-- loved Corporate Cancer.  Got me thinking about my current job hence the question:  How should one deal with working for a gamma male manager?  Seems pretty common to have this in government and utilities but I'm finding this type is more and more common in management in large organizations.
It really depends on the SSH delta between the manager and the employee. A Delta or Omega will probably be all right. Alphas and Bravos probably will not. Fellow Gammas should be fine. Sigmas probably won't be in that position in the first place.

The key is to understanding whether he feels threatened by you or not. As soon as you observe signs that your manager is feeling threatened by you or envious of you, you should focus on getting out of his group or department as soon as possible. Because, just like the former Big Bear fans who have now spent months attempting to attack him and his family, once the gamma male turns on you, he's not going to stop attempting to harm you until either a) you are gone or b) he perceives a new and more pressing threat to his status and self-regard.

Labels: , , ,

58 Comments:

Blogger Palude1986 May 18, 2020 10:05 AM  

I don't think omegas will be alright. Gammas have a nasty tendency to bully omegas.

Blogger Tars Tarkas May 18, 2020 10:09 AM  

Working for a Gamma is hell if they don't like you. I once had this fruity supervisor who was a major gamma. I ended up threatening to throw him off the balcony (we had a 5th floor smoking balcony) if he came near me. But what made that incident so funny is he got in trouble for it and had to apologize to me.

Blogger Jeroth May 18, 2020 10:14 AM  

The gamma doesn't want to lead you. He wants you to be subservient to him. If you need to correct or change his mind, don't be confrontational. Try to find ways to get him to see the error on his own. It's ridiculous to have to do this, but they hate being shown wrong more than anything. And if you absolutely must give him information he might not like, ask for a meeting and do it in private. But it's best to just get away from the situation as fast as you can. It's similar to working for a very insecure woman.

Blogger Uncle Maffoo May 18, 2020 10:18 AM  

The worst person to work for in any organization is the Gamma IT manager.

Blogger Pierre May 18, 2020 10:41 AM  

Some workplaces need more octogons.

Blogger David May 18, 2020 10:56 AM  

If you're willing to give up your pride, there's a clean way out by becoming their "mentee", expressing uncertainty in your current role, and asking for help figuring out what your next step in the organization would be. As long as they feel like they have the power and expertise, you can leverage that into having their assistance moving to another team. Making the move on your own will create a lifelong enemy. Either way your #1 goal is to get out of the situation entirely.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2020 11:02 AM  

I'm not sure of the delta with the gamma manager. The delta's competence can rub the gamma the wrong way, and the delta, while more patient with and respectful of, for example, a manager who does not have the same level of competence in a given task, will eventually try to figure out ways of doing the task the right way, rather than the gamma's way.

If the gamma catches it, he's going to feel defied. The avoidant delta will attempt to argue he wasn't defying him, which will be viewed by the gamma as insubordination.

So, the only deltas who won't get into that mess will be the ones who are more comfortable with figuring out how to do things the gamma's way as much as possible without screwing up the project.

Blogger Kraemer May 18, 2020 11:09 AM  

And omegas have a nasty tendency to eventually explode. Hope the emailer is not an omega

Blogger VD May 18, 2020 11:10 AM  

Based on the considerable amount of bellyaching outside the office that deltas do about how stupid HR, Marketing, Sales, and the executives are, while still going about doing whatever they are told however they are told to do it, I very much doubt any delta is going to have any problem doing things the way a gamma manager tells him to do it.

Deltas are competent, but they will competently go about doing things in an inefficient and nonsensical manner if they are told to do so. They aren't about to fall on their swords in the name of competence.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2020 11:11 AM  

Or, imagine John Scalzi serving as J.R.R. Tolkien's editor:

"Great book, man, but it needs more strong female characters. Maybe make that Wormtongue guy into a secret king who saves the day at the end? Add some humor, like Legolas and Gimli getting into a farting contest."

The delta is pretty flexible under bad management...but eventually the stress of following orders vs. following protocol (which the gamma leader can almost never align, over the long haul) is going to inspire some very crafty workarounds or else something of a mess.

Blogger Kraemer May 18, 2020 11:11 AM  

Amen. Never get between a Delta and his preferred way to get the task done

Blogger d May 18, 2020 11:14 AM  

If you have a bad boss, you have a bad organization. Get out before their stink sticks to you. Prepare your mind to endure the process, and know others of your station are most probably doing the same. If you are valuable and one of the early movers, you will learn of the flood that followed. Good luck.

Blogger Bucephalus May 18, 2020 11:27 AM  

Worked under a gamma male that looked like Janet Reno’s twin brother. New ownership promptly booted him and he threatened legal action. Nobody ever heard from him again after that.

Blogger brbrophy May 18, 2020 11:28 AM  

You can always seek help from higher ups if the Gamma manager is causing problems. It's pretty likely that the higher ups would prefer to keep the manager depending on the extent of the problems and the conditions under which the Gamma manager obtained his job. It's a good idea to request a transfer or find a new job depending on how the higher ups react to you.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2020 11:31 AM  

No, I get that...generally speaking, the delta will find a middle way, but I also know plenty of deltas who have been let go by gamma managers because they did something well that rubbed the gamma the wrong way, or because they did something the gamma's way, which failed, and then they took the blame for it. So, I think most deltas are fine with a gamma manager, as long as they understand the nuance of following wrong orders with discernment.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2020 11:36 AM  

Now, I'm also ignoring the subset of gamma managers whose special boy skill is actually managing people. Deltas can work with those guys for years pretty happily, the problem is that most of those kind of managers move up the management ladder fairly quickly to the point of comic disaster.

Blogger Xylo May 18, 2020 11:43 AM  

a baseball bat might help you

Blogger urthshu May 18, 2020 11:52 AM  

>>Deltas are competent, but they will competently go about doing things in an inefficient and nonsensical manner if they are told to do so.

That's interesting. If on the other hand the individual sees a more efficient way and implements that despite undercutting their own job, is that omega? I did that once, not for glory or anything it just struck me the situation was dumb.

Blogger xavier May 18, 2020 12:12 PM  

Gamma male manager remind me of female bosses.
Both are prissy and easily threatened and do everything they can to humiliate you.i've come to the concluding men shouldn't have female bosses. Too much conflict to get things done.

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 18, 2020 12:15 PM  

When all an omega has are his job skills, and his only representation that he is comfortable with is being represented by his performance at best, or lack of reprimand for failure at least, then a gamma manager who always treats him like he's wrong, constantly moving goalposts and objectives, then throwing backbiting and "reputation management fuckery" into the mix, is apt to become a target of workplace violence.
And everybody will secretly feel that the gamma had it coming.

Blogger Seth S May 18, 2020 12:17 PM  

Did anyone else watch the netflix documentary on Ted Bundy? What would you say he was in SSH? He lies a lot but is also attractive to women and did not seem conflict averse. Does being antisocial change your ssh or make it apply less?

Blogger VD May 18, 2020 12:42 PM  

What would you say he was in SSH?

Ted Bundy was a Sigma. Serial killers tend to be Sigmas or Omegas.

Blogger thalios May 18, 2020 12:47 PM  

A gamma male being put into a management position can simply be a mistake, but if it's not seen as a mistaken and fixed or multiple gammas/deltas are put in management positions, it's a bad org. It's also highly likely the org is already or is quickly moving towards a mediocracy.

Once an org has too many low quality pieces (this can include low IQ, gammas, women, immigrants, etc.), there is no saving it outside of a very strong leader who is willing to blow things up.

Blogger Geoff May 18, 2020 1:11 PM  

Is Gamma innate personality or the result of a million choices that lead somebody into that state?
I ask because I've work with guys of every rank, but Gammas are the only ones who, regardless of stated beliefs, seem inherently immoral.

Blogger Jose Miguel May 18, 2020 1:13 PM  

@19 Xavier

Gamma male manager remind me of female bosses.
This is true, but the one gamma boss I had didn't try to sleep with me so I'll give him that much credit. Crucifixion is insufficient punishment for the men that started giving women corporate management roles.

For my marriage's sake 1099 or bust.

Blogger Jean Durtal May 18, 2020 1:14 PM  

VD wrote:What would you say he was in SSH?

Ted Bundy was a Sigma. Serial killers tend to be Sigmas or Omegas.


That makes sense for Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer definitely fits the profile of an Omega, but he, and I thought a disproportionate number of serial killers, also engage in homosexual behavior. So is he a Lambda as well? Or will Omega's engage in homosexual behavior on occasion because they feel they have no other choice?

Blogger Vaughan Williams May 18, 2020 1:14 PM  

Are gammas people who never heard the old saying, "The best revenge is to turn an enemy into a friend"?

Blogger Ora Tevzre May 18, 2020 1:19 PM  

Vox, You mentioned that Gammas are subject matter experts. What would be a good role for a subject matter expert? Are Delta's subject matter experts also?

Blogger Akulkis May 18, 2020 1:22 PM  

"When all an omega has are his job skills, and his only representation that he is comfortable with is being represented by his performance at best, or lack of reprimand for failure at least, then a gamma manager who always treats him like he's wrong, constantly moving goalposts and objectives, then throwing backbiting and "reputation management fuckery" into the mix, is apt to become a target of workplace violence.
And everybody will secretly feel that the gamma had it coming."

That's pretty close to the shooting at the Royal Oak, MI Post Office back in the 1980's -- you know, the one that is the source event for the term "going postal."

And yes, the survivors of that shooting did indeed blame the manager who was killed for needlessly pushing the guy over the edge.

Blogger MATT May 18, 2020 1:25 PM  

Office space horror stories make me glad I'm in construction. Yes there's drama, etc. , but generally you won't be in charge if you can't back it up with skilled hands and knowledge. Of course, Gammas abound, and youll always come across worthless people who have jobs due to nepotism, but if you cant get it done quickly and cheaply, you're gone. Sooner rather than later.

Blogger Akulkis May 18, 2020 1:27 PM  

Miles W. Mathis makes a good case that Ted Bundy was a psy-op (too many implausibilities in the standard story).

His conjecture is that the motive for the psy-op was part of an overall series of "men are your enemy" messages to American women, so as to, along with feminism, destroy the trust in M/F relationships.

Blogger RedJack May 18, 2020 1:29 PM  

Being a delta in that position, the gamma manager will hate you if you are competent. You can just shelter in place and hope to out last him, but the damage might be to much.

To be honest it was pushed me into management. I was happy engineer till that experience.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2020 1:41 PM  

Gamma brains are wired wrong from some reason. Nature, nurture, does it really matter? They are a class of people that are unfixable in the supermajority. There is far more fluidity between omega and delta on the whole, especially upward (although Matthew Broderick in Election! is a beautiful illustration of going from low delta to omega in a hurry, and I see it happen less dramatically often enough: some married guy gets injured, loses his job and his pride and then gets caught or reported flirting with the sunbathing neighbor kid).

But gamma is a rank AND a personality disorder. Tough to fix.

Blogger Daniel May 18, 2020 1:41 PM  

Oh, and yes, Gammas are innately immoral. Their core ethic is to lie.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 18, 2020 1:48 PM  

Geoff wrote:Is Gamma innate personality or the result of a million choices that lead somebody into that state?

I ask because I've work with guys of every rank, but Gammas are the only ones who, regardless of stated beliefs, seem inherently immoral.


Gammas tend to be above average IQ (but not genius level), highly creative individuals who had weak or non-existent fathers. They also tended to lack physical prowess and may even have a physical disability of some kind.

As a result, they believe themselves to be superior to other people by the nature of their "big brains" and that they deserve admiration from other men and sex from every woman who gives them the time of day.

They hate the male hierarchy because they are not at the top and they have trouble relating with other men because their interests tend to not be with what other normal men are interested in.

Their personalities are narcissist to an extreme (hence the "Secret King" insult when referring to them). And they are constantly paranoid of being found out when most of them don't realize that most women and men pretty much know what they are from the beginning.

Eustace Scrubb, from C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, is a perfect example of a Gamma. Even after his conversion in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", he still falls back on his Gamma ways from time to time.

By the way, I've found another insult on the Internet to describe a Gamma: "Sigma Supreme". I think it perfectly illustrates how a Gamma tends to view himself: that of a Sigma rather than the Gammas they actually are.

Blogger Krymneth May 18, 2020 1:56 PM  

urthshu wrote:If on the other hand the individual sees a more efficient way and implements that despite undercutting their own job, is that omega?

I don't think you can diagnose a position in the SSH based on just that, because it depends on why they did that and what they expect to come of it. It could be a gesture of impotent omega defiance, but it could also be step one in a plan to outmaneuver and replace the boss if someone higher in the SSH who knows how to use politics did it. (e.g., inform your boss's boss about your actions without telling your boss, get them very excited about the new efficiency, then let your boss tell you to stop and get blindsided by the heat from above.)

You could also get a case where your "generic Beta/Delta" wouldn't do it, but a specific such person may have craftsman's pride and do it anyhow, even though their nominal SSH rank alone wouldn't predict such defiance. I've known such people, who are definitely beta/delta but have only limited tolerance for being told to do things the wrong way in their field of specialty no matter who is telling them to do it. SSH is an important lens and trying to understand men's actions without is a hopeless affair, but it doesn't predict everything on its own.

Blogger VD May 18, 2020 2:15 PM  

Akulkis, get your gamma under control. The theories of Miles Mathis are neither a) news nor b) relevant to the topic.

Stop "helping" FFS. The fact that someone has mentioned a tangent is neither an excuse nor an invitation to demonstrate your Smart Boy knowledge of that tangent.

Blogger VD May 18, 2020 2:16 PM  

Gammas are the only ones who, regardless of stated beliefs, seem inherently immoral.

Because dishonesty is seen by most to be immoral and Gammas are relentlessly dishonest with themselves.

Blogger urthshu May 18, 2020 2:33 PM  

>>>because it depends on why they did that and what they expect to come of it

Oh. I thought it would be best for the company. Saved money and time, provided better service to the customer. Eh, whatever it was a long time ago

Blogger Lazy Hero May 18, 2020 3:51 PM  

Approximately 18 years ago I had to work with a gamma, and man did he gamma. Long story short, I was assigned to code some data to get output for him. He showed me a similar program a phd student friend of his did at the Univ of Chicago. Guess I should of got the hint when he made sure to point out his friend's higher educational attainment than mine. Anyway, while the pgm worked, it wasn't the best way to get his outcome which I had plenty of experience doing already, twas why they hired me to begin with. So, I generated his output very quick and gave it to him. He was furious, not that it wasn't right, but that I didn't follow the pgm he had given me. I explained to him, while it worked, my code did it in half the lines, processing time, etc., but he was still not satisfied. He took this to our direct mgr. Now both of these guys were Chinese, born in China not ABC, so I was wondering if this would get racial. Nope. First thing mgr asked, does it work? Yes? Then what's the difference? So gamma gammas to him telling him how to do his job - something about old Chinese saying (yes, no shit he said this) and the mgr just walked off. Guess this is more than long to short. In the end the gamma got fired, and I was told everyone hated him and they had been looking for a way to get rid of him. But when he got fired I was put in his office space. That morning he called me at his old work number and asked me how I liked his desk. Man, did this guy obsessively hate me. Well, he didn't show up and start shooting anyway.

Blogger God Emperor Memes May 18, 2020 4:06 PM  

I was just thinking the same thing. The worst supervisor I've ever had - hostile, suspicious, backstabbing, unstable, never satisfied, etc - behaved exactly like the only woman manager I've ever had.

Blogger Zorlig May 18, 2020 4:45 PM  

This shit kills me in the work place every time. The last one I managed to get out from under in time but he wrecked my performance review regardless.

Blogger Ransom Smith May 18, 2020 5:04 PM  

A close personal relative is the exact picture of a delta working under gamma leadership.
Other people take credit for his work, harp on him for things he can't control.
And he just takes it.
I want him to wise up, because eventually I think they'll force him out.

Blogger J Van Stry May 18, 2020 5:09 PM  

Oh yeah. If you work for a Gamma, the minute he feels you're a threat, your career there is -over-.

I worked for one (indirectly) my boss quit after said gamma racially insulted him in front of witnesses during an argument. They wouldn't fire the gamma, my boss was given a rather LARGE financial incentive to not sue - so he went back to the parent company with a six figure bonus.

This put me in the sights however. I'm doing major work for the company and this shit is always sniping me. HR won't do a thing. So I find another job. BUT - before I tell them I'm quitting - I got out to lunch with several other managers. I talk shit about the gamma all through lunch. When I get back from lunch, I get called to his office for 'an important meeting' about an hour later.

The moment I walk in I give him a concerned look and tell him: 'I'm happy you called me in here, I was just about to let you know that I quit. I got a better job offer and I'll be gone Friday.'

I have never in my life seen someone do a double-take like that. It was all I could do not to laugh. Suddenly he's all like 'well I was afraid this day would come and you'll be hard to replace' blah blah blah. He was all set to tear me a new one, and suddenly he can't. Was hilarious.

I laughed all the way back to my desk.

I have no idea why they wouldn't fire him. They lost a lot of their best people because of him. We used to speculate that he gave really good head or something.

Blogger TechieDude May 18, 2020 5:12 PM  

"Gamma male manager remind me of female bosses."

Ooof...I can't imagine. After dealing with Gamma employees, I don't think I'd want to work in the same company or division as one. I'll add Gammas to the list of those I'd never work for, which is women and french canadians.

Blogger Dole May 18, 2020 5:22 PM  

@41 Gammas may be even more annoying than women as managers. The woman unintentionally causes a mess, but the gamma... intentionally in his secret king-hood.

Blogger ScottC May 18, 2020 5:48 PM  

Took the words out of my mouth. They are vicious toward omegas.

Blogger Crew May 18, 2020 7:46 PM  

Now this is the sort of move an Alpha makes!

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/18/president-trump-informs-media-he-is-taking-hydroxychloroquine-and-zinc-as-preventative-measure/

Blogger Kiwi May 18, 2020 9:44 PM  

Take him out or get out.

This person should take the latter.

Blogger Greg from the Piedmont May 19, 2020 12:01 AM  

In my experience, management at software companies are full of gammas. They will never make a decision without metrics showing them a path to glory but take no accountability if their numbers based decisions go wrong.

Knowing what I know now, I should have gone mechanical and not electrical. Then I would have designed very expensive 1911s and trained some very skilled gunsmiths.

Blogger Arthur Isaac May 19, 2020 1:06 AM  

Fan = gamma.

Blogger Balam May 19, 2020 1:29 AM  

''What would be a good role for a subject matter expert? ''

They can write a book detailing their knowledge, then others can teach the good bits out from it without dealing with the personality. The gamma even gets to go on book tours occasionally

Blogger SciVo May 19, 2020 5:12 AM  

@urthshu:

If on the other hand the individual sees a more efficient way and implements that despite undercutting their own job, is that omega? I did that once, not for glory or anything it just struck me the situation was dumb.

No, that's gamma as subordinate. Omega would try harder to avoid attention, delta would try harder to please, and sigma would game the system.

For a rough rule of thumb, is it something that a lambda or female would do? But the perp is an ostensibly straight male? Then it was a gamma move.

Blogger SciVo May 19, 2020 5:41 AM  

@ Ora Tevzre:

What would be a good role for a subject matter expert? Are Delta's subject matter experts also?

Advisor. No, they're doers.

Blogger JamesB.BKK May 19, 2020 7:03 AM  

A fruity major gamma should tick boxes for lambda.

Blogger VFM #7634 May 19, 2020 8:29 PM  

And if their Gammatude isn't obvious, whether due to introversion or something else, I guess a good rule of thumb is to be wary of any man who has an unattractive wife.

Blogger JamesB.BKK May 20, 2020 2:13 AM  

Let us see a counterpoint via Jimmy Soul:

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall
As soon as he marries her and then she starts
To do the things that will break his heart
But if you make an ugly woman your wife
You'll be happy for the rest of your life
An ugly woman cooks meals on time
And she'll always give you peace of mind


Not all. Not all.

Blogger DonJuanBear May 20, 2020 9:59 AM  

I'm a Sigma who works for Delta with heavy Gamma tendencies. My situation is a little different because I only have the job for the health insurance (not really climbing the ladder here). The best advice I can give is to 1.) Do everything you can to make it clear to the manager that you are NOT in competition with him and 2.) Relentlessly "be yourself". The women who are interested in you - by definition - will not be interested in him (therefore no competition) and eventually he will get tired of trying to "change you" and give up altogether. Again - this is not a strategy for "climbing the ladder" but it is a good way to learn to work peaceably together.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts