People keep trying to sidestep my manager

Um, people keep asking me to do stuff my manager has said no to. So like we gotta bunch of stuff to do so like any manager does they draw a line in the sand at where our capacity is and say, “that’s it for requests.”

Okay great, but then after they say no, the requesters just remove them from emails and then they ask me to do it and then I have to say, um, didn’t the boss person say no to what you’re just asking? And why aren’t they on this email chain anymore? But how do I do that without sounding like a douche? I might need these people to vouch for me one day.

if i get a request not through normal channels, i always cc my boss on the reply


Forward to your boss and CC that person and that person’s boss:
Hello, Boss Smith.
As you know, we do not have time for any additional requests as our plate is full.
But, I don’t want to respond in a douchey way to Mr Jones.
Could you respond to them in a douchey way instead? You have a gift for it.


Learn to be assertive CS.

A simple “no, we are too busy” is fine.

Yeah, I’d copy Boss on the reply and say something like “I’d be happy to do this, but I’m not sure where it fits in with my priorities right now.” And let Boss handle it from there.


Why do you have to involve your manager?

I honestly do not get that. Its a bit passive aggressive.

As a professional, you have autonomy to simply say “No”.

Its irrelevant that a higher up is asking for this.

Unless this is a “drop everything and get this done asap task (rare)” I would simply stand my ground.

Most places I’ve worked, managing a person’s workload is the responsibility of the manager. I’ve been mistaken about what my manager considered a priority before.

Boss said “no” to X at first but then the requester’s boss pushed back and now X is a “yes” but Boss forgot to tell me. Or X.1 is a “yes” which has a more limited scope than X. Or Boss needs to be aware that requester refuses to take “no” for an answer.

All kinds of reasons why it’s a good idea to copy Boss.

You need to have a good scalable price schedule to take care of these scope expansions or additions. As your boss is against this extra work, I recommend requiring cash up front. Just be aware you need to have these customers come directly to you and keep your boss out of it while also not slacking off on the work you do for your boss. If you price properly you should be able to include a 20% kicker you set aside should your boss ever find out and disapprove.

And he should shoot if he feels threatened??

Even a “drop everything” request/demand/command needs to be denied and to go through proper channels. It is for long-term survival to have one manager to rule projects all.

There’s so much dysfunction in the initial post information it’s hard to know where to start without the background.

In the situation being described, I think I’d be inclined to respond directly (“I’m sorry, but we’re swamped until at least [insert appropriate date here]”, perhaps with a brief writeup of how to do the task in question / where to get the data, if the folks asking might realistically make use of it).

Instead of cc-ing the boss, I’d probably forward boss a copy of my response as an FYI.

Do you want to do the requested work instead of what your boss gave you to work on?

I’ve seen this where someone else is trying to “get ahead” in their area and wanting to use an “outside” expertise to make themselves look better. Not necessarily by claiming credit for the work but demonstrating they have connections and pull.

Let’s not forget the bcc: option. I’ve used that on occasion.

And if your boss’ boss (or boss’ boss’ boss) comes to you and demands you to work on something that your boss has said “no,” time to polish your resume.

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In this sort of situation, where you want to include someone in on a communication, but not immediately disclose to the primary recipients that you’re doing that, forwarding is better/safer than bcc.

It’s too easy for the bcc recipient to miss that they are a bcc, and click “reply all”.

If the manager wants/needs to directly respond to the end-run, they can make a conscious effort to do so. However, I’d hope that the “junior no” would be enough to put an end to the matter, and the manager would see there’s no immediate need to say anything to the requestor.

(I’ll admit that I’m basing that on an assumption about the office politics involved. Your mileage may vary.)


I feel like this is an issue of not having enough resources on your team to fulfil your (internal) customer demand more than anything.

Yeah a bit more context would help. Even the heirachy looks as if it has dotted lines.


I say no. Usually it’s a first and last name with a recent join date and short (minutes) read time.

Bot posts also read like a high school English proper paragraph response. They have an intro, 2-3 supporting remarks, and a conclusion. Very formulaic.

I don’t think that’s always true.

The reason is, I sometimes like to back up my opening remark. I need to back up my opening remark because people don’t always understand where I’m coming from.

That is all.


Posts read and threads viewed do not align with a bot posting.

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