get annoyed with supervisor (MMO)

My supervisor and I started off on rocky footing. Things have gotten better, but he still gets on my nerves. An example is I don’t feel like I can go to him with questions because instead of being helpful he tends to get overly involved and it backfires on me in one way or another.

Some background: I work as a bicycle/pedestrian transportation planner. He used to have my job but now is in more of a managerial role. He has told me he wishes he had my job, but took his to get a raise. Bike/ped work is more of a religion than a job. People in the field tend to be extremely passionate.

Today I followed up over the phone with him regarding an email I had sent last week and was still waiting for a response on. It was a very straight forward email and basically had two sentences: can you show me how to do this thing or point me towards someone who can? This is what I plan to do with the information/ why I’m looking for it. I reiterated the question to him over the phone, but instead of answering it, he followed up with 20 questions. Why do you want it (reiterated reason). Why do they want it? Pretty well known problem. It came up at this and this. So they are asking you for it? We had an informal conversation and decided together this would be a good way to proceed. more questions. I attempted to redirect the conversation to my question. If you don’t know how to do it, that’s fine. I can try to figure it out myself or ask someone else. No luck. Wanted more discussion. In the end what I gathered from the encounter was he doesn’t know how to do it, and doesn’t want me asking someone in another department how.

Anyway, I have a really hard time keeping my cool during times like this. I get extremely frustrated and annoyed and would like to be able to better manage my emotions. Afterwards I attempted to do some thought models. I’m not really sure what thoughts were running through my head but tried to guess. Any suggestions for different thoughts or other feedback?

C: asks qus instead of answering
T: Answer my question! Stop asking me questions! I don’t want to explain all of my thoughts to you or every detail of how this question arose.
F: exasperated. Mad. Very impatient. guarded
A: Try to end conversation or redirect him back to answering my question
R: Even though I didn’t say anything inappropriate, I think my frustration comes across

C: asks qus instead of answering
T: he anticipates this being an issue
F: guarded
A: Try to close conversation
R: still don’t get help

C: asks qus instead of answering
T: he is trying to be helpful
F: more compassionate and patient
A: answer his questions with questions. Are you concerned about this? Have you heard of this problem before?
R: hopefully deflect his barrage of questions and appear more in control and calm.