Author Topic: Boss pretends to be someone she's not  (Read 8049 times)

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Samgirl2

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2012, 04:57:48 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.

Complaints are from pretty much all other staff who have to deal with her. They find her so ridiculous and over the top and complain she doesn't listen to anyone or turns all ideas around to be her own.

Samgirl2

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2012, 05:05:11 PM »
I think I would be fine with finding her a little eccentric and overbearing but could laugh that off with friends. It's because she makes me aware of all her online stuff, which is honestly not well written and a number of coworkers find it embarassingly bad on her behalf, given that her job is to write and communicate,  that it makes me really annoyed when she refuses to listen to others, corrects people's written work, or tries to act superior.

I think I need to go cold turkey from reading any of her stuff and just bean dip when she tries to get me to chat about it. You guys are right, I need to concentrate on my work and try to just be amused at any other antics.

AustenFan

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2012, 05:24:19 PM »
You may want to tune out staff who are complaining about her, too. Negativity spreads like wildfire and it'll be so much harder to maintain your resolve to ignore her online fantasy life if you're continually being tempted by people gossiping about how bad Saturday's post was.

Pippen

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2012, 05:29:11 PM »
You may want to tune out staff who are complaining about her, too. Negativity spreads like wildfire and it'll be so much harder to maintain your resolve to ignore her online fantasy life if you're continually being tempted by people gossiping about how bad Saturday's post was.

True. You don't want to get drawn into that.

Fleur

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2012, 05:31:06 PM »

OP, you have my sympathy. This woman sounds mental, I would find her super annoying as well. I'm actually a little suprised so many people are saying 'just tune her out'. Honestly her self promotion, lies, and actually pressuring people to read her work sound like a hostile work environment to me. Is there any way that you could make a complaint to HR?

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2012, 07:26:35 PM »

OP, you have my sympathy. This woman sounds mental, I would find her super annoying as well. I'm actually a little suprised so many people are saying 'just tune her out'. Honestly her self promotion, lies, and actually pressuring people to read her work sound like a hostile work environment to me. Is there any way that you could make a complaint to HR?

Sorry, sorry, former HR lady here.  Hostile work environment is often used as a catch-all term for crummy/irritating/otherwise stinky workplaces/co-workers/bosses, etc, but it is actually a very specific condition where the treatment must be based upon a protected class (under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and meet very limited and precise criteria. (In the U.S., not sure if this is the case in other countries, of course)

Not trying to make this an HR lecture or pick on you, Fleur because I've seen this done by folks anywhere/anytime similar issues are discussed. 

This, if the workplace is in the U.S., would not come close to passing the sniff test for hostile work environment.  And my advice to an employee in this situation would be to ignore it. 

GSNW

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 11:05:10 PM »
What a drag!  I had a boss once with similar issues and while it is very annoying, it's so overwhelmingly sad.  I have three suggestions:

1- if she harps on who you lunch with, give the same reply on repeat:  "I'm happy with how I spend my break time, thanks."

2- if she babbles on about her blog, "Sorry, not reading as of late, way too busy."

3- as for her mistakes and professional issues, of course document things that affect workplace goals. 

Good luck!  Dealing with these types is indeed frustrating.

Ceallach

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2012, 12:20:16 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.

I disagree that her behaviour has anything at all to do with the glass ceiling or climbing the corporate ladder.  I have encountered women like this in my career, however they appear at all levels.   That type of insecurity and posing does not bear any correlation to their career choices or successes.   It can be more obvious at higher levels because they are more visible, and also have more $$ to waste on their desperate and failed attempts at being cool.  But I've seen just as many secretaries and junior office staff who behave in exactly the same way - trying to pass off their life as full of glamour and excitement when it's not, spending money they can't afford on hair cuts and designer clothes, and reeking of desperation and despair.  Anyway, as somebody who has successfully climbed the corporate ladder without ever owning a designer handbag (got nothing against them, I could just never justify the cost of one!) I can say that it's not part of the process. It's a reflection of a sad person who is trying to be cool in society in general, not related to any specific career aspirations or challenges. It's more of an internal issue with their confidence or lack thereof, and would be the same regardless of what job she was in. 

As to how to deal with it - I pity them.  And I ignore their silliness and internally roll my eyes at their hypocrisy.   After all, it must be horrible to not be yourself and go through life desperate to please others.  (For the record, in case this comes off horribly judgmental, I do love beautiful clothes and things myself - I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with that.  Just doing it for the wrong reasons and desperately trying to be somebody you're not. For example, I hate parties, and I won't go hang out at nightclubs or pretend I have a nightlife and active social life when I don't.  I'll stay in with a good book and be quite honest about that!)
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2012, 03:45:02 AM »
Like other posters have said, I would find this type of behaviour simultaneously annoying and sad.

If it was a good friend, I'd pull them aside and gently tell them "You're a great person the way you are. You don't have to try to be someone you're not".

Unfortunately, as this is Samgirl's boss, not her friend, I don't think there's anything to be gained by talking to her about this. In fact, there's high chance she could go into denial and get really offended. Which would make things awkward at work.

I'd give polite, yet vague answers the things she says. Eg:

Her: "What did you think of my latest blog entry?!"

Samgirl: "Yeah, it was interesting."

Her: "You should only eat lunch with people who can help your career!"

Samgirl: "Hmm, thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

Her: "I have the latest iPhone Six!!!!"

Samgirl: "Oh, nice."

Etc.

Fleur

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2012, 04:27:06 AM »

OP, you have my sympathy. This woman sounds mental, I would find her super annoying as well. I'm actually a little suprised so many people are saying 'just tune her out'. Honestly her self promotion, lies, and actually pressuring people to read her work sound like a hostile work environment to me. Is there any way that you could make a complaint to HR?

Sorry, sorry, former HR lady here.  Hostile work environment is often used as a catch-all term for crummy/irritating/otherwise stinky workplaces/co-workers/bosses, etc, but it is actually a very specific condition where the treatment must be based upon a protected class (under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and meet very limited and precise criteria. (In the U.S., not sure if this is the case in other countries, of course)

Not trying to make this an HR lecture or pick on you, Fleur because I've seen this done by folks anywhere/anytime similar issues are discussed. 

This, if the workplace is in the U.S., would not come close to passing the sniff test for hostile work environment.  And my advice to an employee in this situation would be to ignore it.

No offense taken! I'm in the UK, it is a little different here, but I do get your point that ignoring might be the best option. I would just have a problem not straining my cranium from the internal eye rolls.

cheyne

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2012, 04:08:50 PM »
This type of post always amazes and amuses me.  Where are people working that they have so much time for all this interpersonal stuff?  OP's boss must have too much time on her hands to be badgering her employees to read her blog, worrying about who they're going out to lunch with and where they buy their clothes.

As a manager, I agree with Ceallach that it's not a glass ceiling thing.  However, my opinion doesn't mean much in this instance, as I don't think Manolo Blahnik has taken to designing leather lace-up work boots.  The thought of carrying a designer purse into my work environment gives me the willies as it would quickly be ruined, heavy-duty jeans are de rigueur fashion statements in my workplace.

Ignore your boss's personal inquiries, ignore her blog, ignore everything she does that isn't work related.  These people don't change-even with good advice from their peers/supervisors, much less anything that a subordinate would say.  Keep your head down, document anything that you think is hinky, do your job and you'll probably be her supervisor soon.

Fleur

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2012, 04:29:20 PM »
This type of post always amazes and amuses me.  Where are people working that they have so much time for all this interpersonal stuff?  OP's boss must have too much time on her hands to be badgering her employees to read her blog, worrying about who they're going out to lunch with and where they buy their clothes.

As a manager, I agree with Ceallach that it's not a glass ceiling thing.  However, my opinion doesn't mean much in this instance, as I don't think Manolo Blahnik has taken to designing leather lace-up work boots.  The thought of carrying a designer purse into my work environment gives me the willies as it would quickly be ruined, heavy-duty jeans are de rigueur fashion statements in my workplace.

Ignore your boss's personal inquiries, ignore her blog, ignore everything she does that isn't work related.  These people don't change-even with good advice from their peers/supervisors, much less anything that a subordinate would say.  Keep your head down, document anything that you think is hinky, do your job and you'll probably be her supervisor soon.

I totally agree with this post.

Ceallach

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2012, 09:52:31 PM »
This type of post always amazes and amuses me.  Where are people working that they have so much time for all this interpersonal stuff?  OP's boss must have too much time on her hands to be badgering her employees to read her blog, worrying about who they're going out to lunch with and where they buy their clothes.

As a manager, I agree with Ceallach that it's not a glass ceiling thing.  However, my opinion doesn't mean much in this instance, as I don't think Manolo Blahnik has taken to designing leather lace-up work boots.  The thought of carrying a designer purse into my work environment gives me the willies as it would quickly be ruined, heavy-duty jeans are de rigueur fashion statements in my workplace.

Ignore your boss's personal inquiries, ignore her blog, ignore everything she does that isn't work related.  These people don't change-even with good advice from their peers/supervisors, much less anything that a subordinate would say.  Keep your head down, document anything that you think is hinky, do your job and you'll probably be her supervisor soon.

I remembered something else I forgot to say.   I did work under a direct boss who was just like this.   And that was one of the most frustrating parts - we didn't have time for all that interpersonal stuff, but when the boss is talking, people feel obliged to listen.  I really resented her both because she was utterly pathetic in the try-hard things she'd say and do (very similar to the boss described in the OP actually!) but more because she took time away from my work day and then would crack down really hard on me for not meeting a deadline (and yes, I tried to communicate, put in extra time, tried to politely avoid the distractions etc).   I lost count of the number of times I went into her office and caught her playing solitaire on the computer..... no wonder *she* had time to come chitchat to us, while making us do all the work.  I was never so happy in my life when I left that job.   
I'm very mindful of it now that I'm a senior manager, because what I may think is just a friendly chat with my staff could really be taking time away from the work they're trying to do.   I always try to assume they're just being polite, and let them get back to it!
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Giggity

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2012, 10:34:50 PM »
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.

That makes me uncomfortable. No one person in my life deserves more help than any other person in my life simply because she is female.

It's actually kind of sexist, and I generally have a tin ear when it comes to that.
Words mean things.

Fleur

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Re: Boss pretends to be someone she's not
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2012, 05:36:36 AM »
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.

That makes me uncomfortable. No one person in my life deserves more help than any other person in my life simply because she is female.

It's actually kind of sexist, and I generally have a tin ear when it comes to that.


I completely agree. Why is this being made into a 'sisterhood' issue. It very much isn't. If this boss was a man, I'm sure nobody would have a problem with decrying him as a phony and a showboat. Why should a woman be treated more leniently?