Author Topic: Boss pretends to be someone she's not  (Read 7343 times)

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Samgirl2

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Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« on: September 21, 2012, 05:52:07 AM »
Any advice on dealing with someone who just can't be genuine? On a personal level I quite like my boss, and actually feel a little sorry for her, but she puts on such a persona and manner with people that it rubs everyone up the wrong way and means I hear a lot of complaints about her.

As well as the way she presents herself at work, she also writes a blog and is very active on social media (however this is done anonymously).  The image she portays is not her, at all.  But the thing is, if she was just herself I think so many more people would like her and work better with her. Instead she just comes across as ridiculous.

Examples:
Describes herself on her blog as a 'glamourous 30something professional, travelling to faraway places, indulging in fine dining, following the latest fashion, adding glamour to the boardroom, a social butterfly in a glamourous county'.  Refers to her 'perfect hour glass figure', how she misses shopping in New York, her wardrobe inspirations are 'Manhattan Chic' and Sex and the City. All kinds of stuff. Says she gives 'insightful, inspirational' posts to glamourous people. She carries this persona over into the workplace as well. I think she really believes it.

She is actually 42, rather overweight, has been to the US twice - once with her parents a few years ago and once with her aunt and uncle earlier this year - taken very few holidays and they are always with family, goes on days out to look around country houses and tea shops with her parents or her younger cousin, lived at home until she was in her 30s and now lives down the street from her parents and her brother and sister in law with whom she spends most of her time.

She's actually led quite a sheltered life and never moved out of the town she grew up in. She has no real opinions of her own, only what others say. She slavishly follows fashions and saves for all the designer brands and looks down on those who don't have them. When one of the more senior staff got a company ipad that immediately became her new goal. She had to have one too and when she finally got it she waved it around at every oportunity that it was embarassing. She judges people purely on appearance. She has no insight into her own abilities and thinks she's 'fabulous' at everything when she really isn't.  She is the worst social climnber I've ever met and actually told me I should be 'targeting my key relationships in the company' and 'not having lunch with people on a lower level or who can't be of any use to my career'.

I don't think there is anything wrong at all in the actuality of her life.  I just don't get why she feels the need to pretend so much.  She has this air of being so much better than everyone else and can be patronising and forceful to people but says 'it's just me being a career woman, some people can't take it from a glamourous woman'!!  If she were amazing at her job then it would be one thing, but she makes a lot of mistakes and some bad decisions, however she can never admit to them and it affects other people.

I know she's never going to change but the whole situation just winds me up. How can I ignore it, or learn to just deal with it?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 06:28:48 AM by Samgirl2 »

Angel B.

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 06:16:53 AM »
I don't have any advice to offer, but this makes me really sad.

I am interested to see what others say.
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Iris

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 06:23:58 AM »
The only advice I can offer is to not look at her blog, or on any social media, and keep your interactions with her purely professional. Most of what you describe doesn't affect you personally so I would just say let it go. Years ago someone suggested to me that in situations like this I ask myself "Why do I care?" Sometimes the answer is that a person's behaviour rubs one of *my* sensitive places but often I find the answer is "You know what? I shouldn't. Doesn't affect me."

Others here are better than I at turning things into games etc, so I'm sure you'll get some great advice to that effect.
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Venus193

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 07:21:06 AM »
She sounds very insecure.  There is nothing you can do for this except ignore what is not relevant to your work.

Giggity

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 07:54:31 AM »
Get her a thesaurus so she can find other words besides "glamourous"?
Words mean things.

TootsNYC

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 08:22:41 AM »
The only advice I can offer is to not look at her blog, or on any social media, and keep your interactions with her purely professional. Most of what you describe doesn't affect you personally so I would just say let it go. Years ago someone suggested to me that in situations like this I ask myself "Why do I care?" Sometimes the answer is that a person's behaviour rubs one of *my* sensitive places but often I find the answer is "You know what? I shouldn't. Doesn't affect me."


I agree with this.

Try to reduce the amount of time you spend thinking about this aspect of her.
It's a wound, and it sounds like a big one, but that's what it is--it is sort of sad.

But it's also hers to heal, and hers to cope with.

When William and Kate married, they wrote a prayer to pray at their wedding.
Here is the line that really hit me:
" . . . keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life . . ."

So keep your focus on the *real* part of your interaction with her. And blithely ignore all the rest of it.

(If her blog is anonymous, how are you knowing what's written on it?)

If people complain, shut them down, "I understand it's a bit frustrating, but I really don't want to get into this conversation."

or, "Eh, everybody's entitled to their fantasies or coping mechanisms--she's very kind and good at her job, and I enjoy working with her day to day." (or whatever's true and *positive*)

Samgirl2

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 08:25:39 AM »
TootsNYC:

I know about her blog because she sent me the link and regularly drops in things like 'I expect you've read my blog', or 'how did you like my latest blog post' or 'gosh I have so much blogging to do, I shall be up late tonight'. 

Steve

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 08:38:43 AM »
I also agree with Iris.

Also I would add this: It is hard enough for a woman to rise on the ladder of management, I have hit my head against the glass ceiling numerous times myself. Some of us go about it in a way that feels off: we emulate male behaviour trying to fit in, or we use manipulation to get things done. Unlike men, who really do not care about this kind of stuff, the lady in question then gets a lot of flack from the other women in the workplace for being "fake" or "Female Dog" or "manipulative".

She may be doing things that are off, she may be trying to reach her goals in inefficient or plain wrong ways. But at least she is trying and chipping away at that ceiling. I hope it comes tumbling down in my lifetime so my daughters get fair chances. Untill that time, I applaud every woman that tries to rise the ladder in the workplace and evens the path. This lady even seems to try and help you, with (possibly misguided) advice.

Elanore Roosevelt said: There is a special hell for women that do not help eachother. I would say in this case: Cut her some slack.



Tabby Uprising

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 09:26:21 AM »
The only advice I can offer is to not look at her blog, or on any social media, and keep your interactions with her purely professional. Most of what you describe doesn't affect you personally so I would just say let it go. Years ago someone suggested to me that in situations like this I ask myself "Why do I care?" Sometimes the answer is that a person's behaviour rubs one of *my* sensitive places but often I find the answer is "You know what? I shouldn't. Doesn't affect me."

Others here are better than I at turning things into games etc, so I'm sure you'll get some great advice to that effect.

I think Iris expressed this beautifully.  Perfect advice!  Another thought, maybe to her the blog is more of a creative writing outlet and its only purpose is to provide entertainment - for her and any readers. 

siamesecat2965

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 09:39:10 AM »
I agree with everyone who says keep your interactions with her to work, as much as you can.

It sounds like because she's led such a sheltered life, she is insecure, and feels the need to embellish HER life, accomplishments etc. to make herself feel better.

Zilla

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2012, 09:53:14 AM »
The only advice I can offer is to not look at her blog, or on any social media, and keep your interactions with her purely professional. Most of what you describe doesn't affect you personally so I would just say let it go. Years ago someone suggested to me that in situations like this I ask myself "Why do I care?" Sometimes the answer is that a person's behaviour rubs one of *my* sensitive places but often I find the answer is "You know what? I shouldn't. Doesn't affect me."

Others here are better than I at turning things into games etc, so I'm sure you'll get some great advice to that effect.


I agree, I thought this was going to be where you are complaining she should be more like how she is online in real life.  I kept thinking, why does it matter to you so much what she writes online?  How does it affect your work?  I agree with PP in stop reading her blog and block her on social media.   I also think she sounds very unhappy with her real life and lives a "rich" fantasy life online that she wishes she could be. 

Samgirl2

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2012, 10:42:54 AM »
The only advice I can offer is to not look at her blog, or on any social media, and keep your interactions with her purely professional. Most of what you describe doesn't affect you personally so I would just say let it go. Years ago someone suggested to me that in situations like this I ask myself "Why do I care?" Sometimes the answer is that a person's behaviour rubs one of *my* sensitive places but often I find the answer is "You know what? I shouldn't. Doesn't affect me."

Others here are better than I at turning things into games etc, so I'm sure you'll get some great advice to that effect.


I agree, I thought this was going to be where you are complaining she should be more like how she is online in real life.  I kept thinking, why does it matter to you so much what she writes online?  How does it affect your work?  I agree with PP in stop reading her blog and block her on social media.   I also think she sounds very unhappy with her real life and lives a "rich" fantasy life online that she wishes she could be.

You're right, I should stop paying attention to it. The issues arise when she keeps bringing her personal life (or her imaginary one) in to conversation during work.  Making out she's more important than she is, name dropping brands, looking down on other people. Because I know it's not real I just find it so frustrating I guess. If I didn't know then I would just find her persona a bit difficult. It's because I know how hard she works at it that it makes me so frustrated I guess.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 10:54:07 AM by Samgirl2 »

Zilla

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2012, 11:11:32 AM »
The only advice I can offer is to not look at her blog, or on any social media, and keep your interactions with her purely professional. Most of what you describe doesn't affect you personally so I would just say let it go. Years ago someone suggested to me that in situations like this I ask myself "Why do I care?" Sometimes the answer is that a person's behaviour rubs one of *my* sensitive places but often I find the answer is "You know what? I shouldn't. Doesn't affect me."

Others here are better than I at turning things into games etc, so I'm sure you'll get some great advice to that effect.


I agree, I thought this was going to be where you are complaining she should be more like how she is online in real life.  I kept thinking, why does it matter to you so much what she writes online?  How does it affect your work?  I agree with PP in stop reading her blog and block her on social media.   I also think she sounds very unhappy with her real life and lives a "rich" fantasy life online that she wishes she could be.

You're right, I should stop paying attention to it. The issues arise when she keeps bringing her personal life (or her imaginary one) in to conversation during work.  Making out she's more important than she is, name dropping brands, looking down on other people. Because I know it's not real I just find it so frustrating I guess. If I didn't know then I would just find her persona a bit difficult. It's because I know how hard she works at it that it makes me so frustrated I guess.


But that has nothing to do with her online persona, that her trying to be like the Joneses.  I would just try and keep the conversation professional and not "mingle" with her.  That way you won't get as frustrated.

WillyNilly

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2012, 11:33:59 AM »
There's an expression "dress for the job you want, not the one you have."  Its generally considered sound advice... although sometimes to the people around you, they wonder "why is she dressed like that when she's just a lowly [whatever]?"  Other people will sometimes advice "fake it till you make it."  Again its often touted as good advice.

It sounds like your boss is projecting the life she wants, not the one she has.  She might not be there yet with a glamorous life, heck she never may get there.  But by projecting herself this way she's a heck of a lot closer then if she just gave up and dressed like a dowdy overweight middle aged woman in a go-nowhere life.


bopper

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2012, 11:45:00 AM »
TootsNYC:

I know about her blog because she sent me the link and regularly drops in things like 'I expect you've read my blog', or 'how did you like my latest blog post' or 'gosh I have so much blogging to do, I shall be up late tonight'.

"I do so like your posts...you should make a novel out of them."