Author Topic: Boss pretends to be someone she's not  (Read 7949 times)

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Cat-Fu

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 11:50:23 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."

Ha, good idea. Maybe she'll get so busy with her novel that she won't bug you anymore. :P

It's a bit of a trope that on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog, so I wouldn't really get too het up about her pretending to cooler online. If it makes her happy to live her fantasy life, then let it be.

And FTR, "targeting my key relationships in the company" is actually quite helpful for advancement. There's no need to get so mercenary that you no longer eat lunch with your friends, but cultivating relationships with the people who can decided to fire you is very helpful in the long run. :)

ETA: now I've got this stuck in my head... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE6iAjEv9dQ :P
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 12:05:01 PM by My cat is a ninja »
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Moray

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 12:02:12 PM »
I always make it a personal policy to try not to let my personal judgments about my coworkers affect our working relationship. Are her exaggerations silly? Perhaps; but unless this is actually affecting her work, they really don't matter.
Utah

Venus193

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 12:04:26 PM »
I wonder whether her superiors realize what a poseur this woman is; it's not going to help her professionally.

Samgirl2

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 12:10:11 PM »
I always make it a personal policy to try not to let my personal judgments about my coworkers affect our working relationship. Are her exaggerations silly? Perhaps; but unless this is actually affecting her work, they really don't matter.

Really helpful, thank you.  Sometimes it's hard to draw the line between personal and professional. To help this I have blocked her on social media but some of my poor coworkers get regular tweets and updates from her on the 'glamourous' thing's she's doing ;)

Twik

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 12:11:29 PM »
Twik's Rule of Cool - those who walk around proclaiming to everyone "I AM COOL!" are giving proof that they are not. So, I could have predicted before finishing the OP that the boss did *not* have a "perfect hourglass figure", was *not* au courant with New York's hottest fashions, and so forth.

On the other hand, there's nothing to be gained from taking her up on it, and some entertainment value in sitting back and watching the fantasy machine spin faster and faster. I would, however, distance myself from her somewhat in the eyes of other people, so I'm not seen as a prop in her play.
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Virg

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2012, 01:31:13 PM »
I find myself asking what the harm really is in her actions.  Samgirl2, others have made the same suggestions that popped out for me, but the underlying question is why her act bothers you.  If it has no professional impact on your interactions with her, then it makes no difference what mask she puts on in her blog posts.  She's living a fantasy life but if it makes her happy and doesn't actively harm those around her, why worry about it?

Steve wrote:

"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"."

Many men do indeed care about this sort of thing.  Putting on airs isn't solely a female concern by any means, and I've run into lots of fellows who shot themselves in the foot professionally by trying to act fake.

Venus193 wrote:

"I wonder whether her superiors realize what a poseur this woman is; it's not going to help her professionally."

Truth be told, unless it's having a deleterious effect on her work just playing at being a social butterfly/fashion maven isn't so likely to blow up on her.  The real effect will be in the difficulty she may have cultivating workplace friendships, and that can really bite one in the tail when it comes to promotions or perks.

WillyNilly wrote:

"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."

This reminds me of a comedian, who said, "My boss told me to dress for the job I want, not the job I have.  So the next day I showed up in a Cubs uniform."  The funny part is that this strikes close to this woman's actions, in that she wants to be a fashion plate so she saves her money to buy the big brands and acts the part.  WillyNilly's second paragraph sums up my thought on it pretty well, again assuming that it doesn't affect her work.  There are those who have labelled it sad, but I'm left to wonder if it's not just as proper to label it oddly empowering.  Is what she's doing really all that different from many people who take on a role for public consumption?  Heck, Andy Kaufman made a life out of this sort of thing and everyone considered him a genius for it.

Virg

Twik

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 01:42:09 PM »
Virg - there's a difference between playing a roll, and playing it well.

In this case, it's not being done well. She's coming off as a wannabe, not a reallybe. While that's her prerogative, it is likely not helpful to her career to ramble on to colleagues about her "perfect figure" and her shopping trips to NYC, when it's known she doesn't ever go there. As I said, the coolest people don't self-promote, because they're too cool to need to.

BTW, not "everyone" thougth Kaufman was all that and a bag of chips, and he had the justification he was an actor. This woman is merely trotting out off her self-delusion in public. What happens when she's sixty, and still telling people she's a drop-dead gorgeous thirtysomething, who isn't on the cover of People simply because her publicists think it's too low-end?

If nothing else, etiquette tells us that bragging of our own desirability in public is rude. If one brags about virtues one does not actually have, it becomes "rude-pathetic".
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

lilfox

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 02:50:04 PM »
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.

<snip>

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?

The OP likes her boss, but the boss seems intent on OP (and others) knowing about her glamorous blog.  That doesn't mean OP shouldn't stop reading the social media stuff, but perhaps a better tack is to say, "Oh I find blogs/tweets/whatever kind of impersonal, I'd rather talk to you about XYZ" and then pick a neutral topic to have a friendly chat.  Or straight-up bean-dip.

To any work complaints about her personality, maybe just say "Yes, she's an interesting character" and leave it at that.

And from the description, it seems to me that the problem isn't so much the fictionalized version of the boss (because as others mentioned, it could be a fantasy outlet), but that the boss strives to appear "better than" in a way that's not work-appropriate.  Even if she was fantastic at her job, her attitude is exclusive ("I'm important because I'm better than you"), not inclusive ("I'm important because I'm helping us succeed").  And playing the "career woman" card to defend or excuse unpleasant behavior is a bad move.  I don't see that as helping to eliminate the glass ceiling at all, and certainly not if (in this case) it's making her out to be the office PITA or worse, the office joke.

MrsJWine

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2012, 06:27:59 PM »
She might be annoying at work, but I would have thought that her fictional persona was exactly that, not that she actually thinks she's all those things. It's possible she's acting out a lot of the things that she *wants* to be at work, but that doesn't mean she's actually delusional. Lots of people put on a certain character when they write.


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Utah

AustenFan

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2012, 06:48:37 PM »
I think that if she is actively sharing her blog with friends and coworkers that she believes what she writes to be the truth.

I have a couple insecure friends who honestly think that buying couture makes you fashionable, that travelling automatically brings culture and that people don't see through their perfect Facebook lives. It sounds like your boss is the same way, partially brought about by the fact that she is secluded and living through what she sees on TV. She honestly may think that she's fashionable for the small town she's from. She may not know many people who have travelled internationally and believe it to be a rarity. It's sad, but her reality isn't hurting anybody, so what's the harm?

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2012, 07:27:12 PM »
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'.

Are you worried that she might penalize you if you fail to show enthusiasm for her blog?

Kaypeep

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2012, 10:40:21 PM »
My advice if she's pressuring you for feedback on her blog is to express some disinterest in the subject matter.  "You're a good writer, but I'm just not really into fashion, fine dining and travel so I'm probably not the best person to ask for feedback.  My favorite blogs are _____, I am obsessed with Dr. Who/Current Events/Dancing with the Stars/Medieval Art of France/etc.  I will send you some links, you should check them out, it's great reading. "

Or, to keep things professional tell her you're studying/researching blogs and websites that pertain to your career, and send her links to industry stuff.  This might even work better, to keep things more professional and show her you are growing as an employee  through knowledge as opposed to simply networking with upper management or wearing designer clothes to make good impressions.  Basically, try to convey substance over style is more your strategy.

Virg

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2012, 07:47:34 AM »
Twik wrote:

"If nothing else, etiquette tells us that bragging of our own desirability in public is rude. If one brags about virtues one does not actually have, it becomes "rude-pathetic"."

Double this back to the original question that Samgirl2 asked.  "Any advice on dealing with someone who just can't be genuine?"  It's obvious that you think this woman shouldn't be doing it, but what relevance does that have toward interacting with her?  Even if she's being rude (which I don't agree with), pointing it out or giving her unsolicited advice about it would be rude, and if it's not harming Samgirl2's work or work environment, then the proper thing to do to deal with it is bean dip it.  Kaypeep's ideas work well if she's not interested in the things that her boss blogs about, and if she is then she could converse about it normally.  But there's no polite approach that includes chastising her about her imagined life nor advising her to alter it, so discussing why this woman shouldn't be doing it doesn't help anything.

Virg

LadyL

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2012, 11:34:09 AM »
I think the polite thing to do is treat it as any other interest or hobby or behavior you privately find bizarre but ultimately doesn't harm you or affect your work.

"Oh, you take your cat kayaking? That sounds different! Did you see we have a meeting at 2 today?" Just redirect everything back to work. Have whatever feelings about the situation you have. Laugh, cry, both, over drinks or pints of ice cream or in kickboxing as you punch out the frustration of working for an epic faker. Remember ultimately that it's sad if she has to go to such extremes (extending her fantasy life inappropriately into "real" life, potentially making herself look very foolish at work) in order to cope with life. There is healthy fantasy play and then there is not having self identity. Wherever she lies in that continuum (none of us know for sure) it is not your problem -repeat this as you sip your drink/eat your ice cream/punch your punching bag.

Pippen

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2012, 04:25:00 PM »
You mentioned you are getting complaints about her. Do you have some more details on these?

You would have cause for concern if customers are unwilling to deal with her because they don't trust her. It also depends on what role she has in the company as the narcissistic behaviour can be indicative of potential problems. I'm drawing a long bow with this one but she fits the profile of someone who could commit fraud.