Have you ever "overstepped" at work?

What happened?

Long story short, my supervisor said that an email I sent sort of recently felt like I was overstepping, and I didn’t mean to come across this way. So now, I feel kind of paranoid with any email I send, rereading it over and over again even after it’s sent to make sure it doesn’t sound like it’s overstepping but the one I sent where it said it made her feel like I was didn’t sound like it either. I mean, maybe a sliver of the end (“I’m bringing this up in case you’d like to go through the list and see if the ILLs have been returned to their rightful places. :slightly_smiling_face:”) but to me, this doesn’t seem like I’m telling them what to do with their job. :thinking:


I get petty after that. I’ve had similar things happen to me before because people felt like I was stealing their shine. Now I only do what’s in my contract and if they want something done I ask them “what do you suggest/what would you like done?” before taking any action. I refuse to play cryptic games.


Sounds like somebody’s not doing their job right and got defensive over being called out on their BS lol

I work in customer support, so we have “extra miles” instead of “overstepping” :rofl: Nobody’s ever accused me of that, tbf. But I also mostly get by with the bare minimum (by my standards lol), which sometimes happens to be more than some people’s full commitment. If I ever would be told I overstepped, though, I’d just get petty like T said :rofl: Be like…yeah? Then do it yourself and don’t ask me for help if you can’t :relieved:


If she cannot give you precise details, then you are off the hook because this person is petty. Keep a copy of everything said and done for a CYA.

But if you MUST get to the bottom of it, simply send them an email requesting line by line explanation of what overstepped.

Generic overstepping without direction is a shitty boss who doesn’t deserve to boss. This ain’t arrogance. If there’s genuine issues you make sure it’s detailed instead of fucking with people. I’ve NEVER been in trouble at work for a VAGUE issue in my life, and the older I get the less Is tolerate that whatsoever.

Now, if they aren’t your boss, and the boss praised it and they are calling it overstepping, then you ask if they want this covo in front the boss. Because if there is legitimate boundary issues, the boss is the one who upholds that. Senior coworker can shove it.

But I know you’re not naturally this aggreseive, so it would be harder to do.


It could come off a bit passive-aggressive (although you did not intend it this way). An insecure person could read that and assume you’re taking jabs at the one who didn’t sort it right.

This person, imo, has a problem with themselves and asserting their own authority. They were upset that you took an initiative and let their own bias’ of themself influence the way they felt about your message.

I would, as Jenn gave the advice to do, ask for a detailed account (asking for specifics) of why you overstepped. If you still don’t agree with their assessment of you, you have two options. 1) Let it slide but keep documentation of it in case it happens again. 2) Bring it up with your boss, show them the documentation, and explain that you felt as though this conflict need not be a conflict.

Overall, I think this is a case of working with people. Sounds like your supervisor had a shitty day, has some shitty insecurity issues, and is taking that out on you.


Thanks everyone for responding.

My supervisor was nice when she pulled me aside to speak with me about it, and she just said that everyone has their limits and that I’m in no position to tell someone what they can and cannot do as it is not my place, as I am just a library assistant. Which I agree and understand. I brought the (original) issue up to her and she said to email our ILL person, and to what I thought she meant, was to address the issue when she meant to “ask what to do about them” or something, and she said that I ignored her when really it was a misunderstanding that—she also realizes can happen—due to her thick accent, etc. (English is her second language) and I did tell her I didn’t intend on overstepping when I sent it.

Honestly, all I’m trying to do is be good at my job and make sure everything is ran properly. I understand I’m not in a position to do any of that, but I thought I could make myself useful and help when I can. Guess I’m wrong.


Ok, that’s more specific.

To combat that, you can repeat back what you think the assignment is and wait for a response. If that aggravates them, remind them that miscommunication caused you to overstep last time, and you’re just doing this out of respect for their authority.

This is a fixable thing that you can set self-goals for, or that you can ask for goals for, in order to improve the situation.

Without that information, it was a wth?!

I still suggest documenting issues like this, for your own records, though not to bring up 24/7.

A warning and not a writeup is less stressful, but it leaves you with less of a trail if things do go bad from here on out.

And that’s without testing 2verythibf like a fight.

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