She's a very bitter, incompetent woman. I'm way more capable than her, and she knows it. (I don't want to sound over confident, but several people have acknowledged this too). I'm guessing she's afraid our bosses (who unfortunately are far, far away in another country) will notice this and fire her. She's been doing the same job for the last 22 years, but has not learned a thing in all this time apparently.
When our boss put me under her, he told me that he wanted me to help her update her methods and bring her to our current standard WOW. From a distance, she seemed intelligent, easy going and willing to change her methods. The reality is far, far from that.
Yes, I already spoke with our bosses. Of course, not on a personal level, because this is not personal, is work. They only told me to focus on 'learning' whatever I can learn from her, and try to change her methods. I can't. She's just too stubborn and too used to do things her way. Several other people who are our internal clients complain about her shitty way of dealing with people (everyone is incompetent, but her), but all of them are too afraid of her power to file a formal complain with HR.
She's making my work life a living hell. I KNOW she WILL give me a bad review, in spite of all my good work. Unfortunately I work for a company that is just too big to pay attention to relationships like this, and in a country that is far from any regional main office; that is another reason why anyone hasn't filed a complaint yet. If the labor market wasn't as shitty as it is now, I would have resigned a couple of weeks ago.
Not quite AS bad, but here is my work rant: we have summer associates here right now and their offices are all next to mine and they are driving.me.CRAZY! SHUT UP! Gawd! Plus one of them stomps instead of walks and she duck stomps past my office about 15 times a day in her damn payless shoes screaming at people down the hall.
THEN I was talking to the office manager in the hallway about the oral surgery I had a few weeks ago and getting my benefits and stuff (like, actual work related topics) in a low-ish tone and one of them got up and slammed his office door like he was annoyed he had to hear me. WTF? Pot to screaming banshee.
That sucks, Xica I have been in that position before and tried various approaches. The one that seemed to work best for me anyway was to make a game of it. If you can't change her and the company won't take action and you can't leave, why not see if you can come out on top inspite of her?
Do great work. Make her look good. Find ways to let the powers that be see the great work you are doing (there are ways and you can find them). It's the whole kill them with kindness approach.
I had this senior VP who found fault with everything I did and he was a class A dick. I had almost given up trying to get through the day. One day we were sitting in a board room with my boss and he leans across the table and says, "Anny? I do not want to spend my time telling you how to do things or how to manage your team. Got it?" And I smiled and leaned forward eagerly and said, "That is AWESOME and the team will be SO GLAD to hear it! I also will appreciate having your input less which will allow you to focus on things much more important, to be sure, than my management style. SO GLAD we are on the same page!" Smile. Eye bat-bat. Small hair flip. He looked at my boss dumbfounded, looked back at me (smile smile! HI!) completely at a loss as to what he should say or do next.
I find just saying yes works like magic to everything then do what you want. When called on something that you do not want to do my response is "I have been looking into that...blah blah blah". As long as your on game at work and produce what you really need to error free you are golden. It is just a big game.
You make think this is obvious but I am telling you try it resepectfully. I have gotten along so much better with my supervisors and my paychecks reflect that. I work in technology and it does help that what I say can not be descredited as I am the only one. But that being said my superiors ask for some pretty wild stuff on a regular basis. I find when I say "yes I will check into" knowing fully well that it is a no it is a win situation for me. I use to fight the unreasonable but now just go with it. They control my raises why not just make them happy.
Unless you think you can work her boss over into letting her go, you are better off just pretending to agree with your boss or leaving if you can. Going heads-up with a supervisor in that kind of situation is almost always a losing proposition. I find that people with that level of incompetence and that much tenure desperately crave respect. She's had employees fight her before, she knows how to handle that and most likely expected it from you before you even arrived.
Take a different approach. Kill her with kindness. Pretend like you genuinely respect her experience and want to be mentored by her. She'll be so busy falling over herself to "show you the ropes" that she won't have time to make your life suck anymore.
If you can't stomach that charade, you can always cut her brake lines or poison her coffee.
PS: The boss that put you under her to "update her methods" is the real villain here. He knowingly put you in a situation where you were expected to basically train someone above you and who does your review. That was an hopeless scenario and, unless he's an idiot, he knew that. If she's been there 22 years, he knew full well how she would respond to your arrival.
This message has been edited by Hepatitis_C on Jun 30, 2010 9:23 AM
When put in a not ideal situation, such as being more competent in say certain matters that maybe critical to your offices well being that your super is not. It was a suggestion of what works for me. If you would like to get carried away on some higher work ethic.... go team!
I love my one boss, I tell him all the time "you are being an/ asshole/ dickhead/ jerk".....he goes yeah isn't it great. He does small irritating things with a straight face to his worse employees.
Sorry Xica, that was no help, it does seem like it should be the people over her to talk to her about changing or whatever. Not fair they put that on your shoulders. Is there another department you can transfer too?
The person who stuck you in that situation knew it was bad and put you into it anyway.
There are a few ways it can go.
- you succeed in making your boss look better and are recognized for it and moved to a better situation
- you succeed in making your boss look better and are not recognized for it and expected to continue carrying her
- you don't succeed in making your boss look better and are deemed a failure
- you don't succeed in making your boss look better and are given another opportunity to be successful in another role
The first option is the carrot they hang in front of you to motivate you, but is least likely to happen.
The last option is only valid if they are VERY well informed of what's going on and are kind of grasping at straws to fix a known problem. If that were true, then they probably would have taken a smarter approach.
The other two options in the middle both suck. So, you're caught between the very unlikely and the unacceptable. I'd recommend a frank discussion with the person who put you there and ask him or her what their expectations are exactly, and what the timeline is for change.
What I'm doing right now is 'go with the flow'. I am trying very hard not to make evident to her that I don't like working with her. I smile and nod and try to make her feel good by asking her for guidance (when I really don't need it). And Anon, I LOVED working with my previous bosses. Both of them taught me a lot, and I am thankful for that.
But smiling and nodding is just killing me inside
Yes, I already spoke with our mutual superior. I was straightforward with him, and said that yes, professionally, I was doing my very best to update our Department, and my boss', way of working. That I was worried that because of this consuming a large amount of my time, I was at risk of not completing all the other projects and tasks that are on my goal for this year. He asked me to please be VERY patient, not to worry about the rest, but to focus on learning whatever it is that I can learn from her.
My previous bosses have all given me ample space to work, they have focused on the wider view of things, and have let me do my job. The main difference with my current boss, and the thing that irritates me the most, is that she is a micro-manager. She periodically gives me lists of things she wants me to do, TO THE MINUTE (really, the only thing lacking on those lists are thinks like "peeing at 2:44 pm").
She also really doesn't have a way with people. She's not a team player. She waits, expectantly, for every little opportunity to signal a "mistake" from other departments that work with us, and makes a big deal out of it and sends emails all around. People who I used to work just fine with, have now a different attitude towards me (I basically do the same job, just in a different product category). She generally just creates a bad working environment.
I know I have to suck it up and try to do my job. The problem is that I used to love my job and the company I worked for, now I hate coming into work every morning.
Few things suck as much as a micromanager. Maybe you could find a way to suggest to her that her to-do lists aren't necessary.
Maybe something like "I appreciate that you need to communicate priorities on a regular basis, but having my entire workday planned for me doesn't allow me the freedom to find efficiencies in my own work processes. Perhaps in 2 or 3 weeks, could we try a different method where you give me the broad view of my deliverables for the week on Monday morning and I will then plan my own work processes to meet them. This will allow me to be more responsive to short notice requirements, as well as finding my most efficient path. As usual, I would be happy to learn how you do things as well and continue to communicate work status as needed."
I could do a huge post on one boss I had similar to yours....same shit seriously.
What I found was the charade could go on in the daytime, I could smile, make them look good, walk the walk but the tolerance-level collapsed when I came home at night.
So what was once a great job suddenly got poisoned by an incompetent twat. And I would bring it home. The rants my ex heard at night, some humourous some cathartic but still.........daily rants. Then......the sleep problems would start. I'd awaken around 4 and my mind would wander. Useless annoying inner dialogue. Arugments that should/shouldn't occur and I'd not be able to get back to sleep until 20 minutes before the alarm went off.
I was a zombie for months. Not good.
In the end I had to get out. On great terms. Always keep your references in check but I knew I couldn't take the job infecting my life 24/7 anymore.
This is what worked for me, not saying it's good for you Xica but if things start happening at home and stress affects your off-work time....get out. Best of luck.
Thanks for sharing. Ive been kicking myself in the ass pretty hard lately because I chose to leave my last job due to a horrible boss. Now, reading this, it is all coming back to me and I can still say that I made the right decision. The stress just was not worth it to me but I do not have a family to support. Life is too short in my opinion but everyone is under different circumstances. Oddly enough, I was doing a phone interview the other day and learned that the company I left is no longer. Im not sure what happened to them as I didnt want to pry during an interview but I know my boss lost HIS job and so did everyone else there.
I work for payless and the boss sucks. His been working for the company for 20 plus years and hes best friends with The DM. He stays in the back room, doesn't do work, talks behind people's backs and makes life miserable until you quit. It got to the point where i was doing everyone's job including his but i didn't get credit just got criticized. I would cry everyday before work and after work or i'd have to talk myself into going to work. People like that should be fired. I feel your pain it sucks when Payless ties your hands.
It all ended pretty well for me. My boss from hell was fired on January 2011, and our area Director apologized to me, saying "I knew all the time I was going to fire her, but I could not tell you that. I just wanted you to learn anything, if possible, from her".
I did not get promoted to her job, because the position was merged with another one, I just ended up having another boss for exactly 10 days, this guy quit the job, worked without any boss for a few months, and then finally ended reporting to my old boss. A guy I've worked with for the last 8 years, he knows me well and appreciates my job. The best deal is that he is far away, in another country and I pretty much work by myself, like I always did. Boss from hell had a desk in the same office, and she even smelled bad
So Sheila, I hope it all ends up well for you, either in the same company, or in better pastures.
ET correct weirdness
This message has been edited by chicaguayaca on Nov 24, 2011 9:18 PM