Author Topic: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination! Update #7 and #8  (Read 4577 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JacklynHyde

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 489
PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination! Update #7 and #8
« on: December 02, 2012, 09:34:11 PM »
We've had a major shift in supervisory duties at my job, and Ken is now in charge of my department.  After several years of reporting to John, I was expecting to face an adjustment, but things have gotten to the point where it has become an etiquette issue.  To the point, Ken at once insists upon micromanaging my department while taking forever to respond to questions, if he responds at all. 

My job is a telecommuting one where I have often altered my hours in order to best serve my clientele, but I also have made medical appointments and the like during my stated office hours.  If I make a change for any reason, I send notice to my clients.  Now, the entire department has been told that we must ask in advance for permission to be away from our desks for more than a half hour.  We are also to email Ken with any questions or problems we have and are not to go elsewhere.  When I worked with John, he had no problem if I asked questions from others, but I was to talk with him if I was having a bad time with a client or co-worker.  The one time this year I found out a new procedure from another department and let my immediate team know, it got back to Ken.  I was told, under no circumstances, that I need to filter my questions through Ken and only through Ken.

This leads to the second part of the problem.  The ONLY reason Ken got that information out to my department is because I found it out for myself and it got back to him.  Otherwise, we are terribly in the dark.  Emails have gone unanswered for days, sometimes weeks.  My coworker Jim has an outstanding email request to cap his client load (which is much higher than anyone's) for two months without an answer.  I've had a question unanswered for a month about why my support is missing for a certain percentage of clients.  The only answer I received was an inquiry whether a client name fell within a certain name of the alphabet (the client's name was the subject of the email).  It took office gossip with someone at headquarters to inform me that the support contact had been fired.

Thanks for hanging in through that background.

How do I deal with this terrible imbalance?  I've asked for time off for a doctor's appointment, but have heard nothing for a week.  I'm still not getting the client backup and am playing dumb that I know why.  Do I speak with my former supervisor John, with whom I still have a great rapport but who manages another department?  Do I talk with Ken's boss and risk my neck?  Do I sit and wait for someone else on my team to speak up before I do?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 02:37:47 PM by JacklynHyde »

Hillia

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3933
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 09:43:25 PM »
How often do you repeat your requests to Ken?  Depending on the urgency of the request, I would repeat the request by forwarding the original email after one week; if still no answer (so 2 weeks outstanding) I would reforward the 2nd email to Ken, cc his boss.  Alter the time periods depending on the urgency of the question.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

edgypeanuts

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 151
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 11:14:45 PM »
Could you word your requests to say what you will do if you do if you do not hear back in time?

Such as, "I have a doctor's appt on Sept 3rd at 3pm, so I will need to be out of the office from 2:30 until 4pm.  If I do not heal back from you I will assume this is alright.  If it is not, please let me know by August 15th."

"as a fair number of my clients are not receiving any support, I will a call to client support and make other arrangements for my clients if I do not hear back from you by tomorrow.  If you have another solution, please let me know asap."

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5522
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 11:31:16 PM »
Could you word your requests to say what you will do if you do if you do not hear back in time?

Such as, "I have a doctor's appt on Sept 3rd at 3pm, so I will need to be out of the office from 2:30 until 4pm.  If I do not heal back from you I will assume this is alright.  If it is not, please let me know by August 15th."

"as a fair number of my clients are not receiving any support, I will a call to client support and make other arrangements for my clients if I do not hear back from you by tomorrow.  If you have another solution, please let me know asap."

I agree with that. I would send all emails with a deadline for response and the action you will take in the absence of a response. I would aim for a turnaround of a week for things like a doctors appt. A day or two before the "deadline" I would send a reminder (basically resend the original email) As soon as the "deadline" passed I would send another email outlining the action you took. Each email would reference every previous email.

 For requests for information, I would give it a week and then a couple days and then email daily and then ask his boss. The main thing is to make sure that you reference every previous email.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11664
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 12:26:29 AM »
I would say do the following:

1) dig through your email and collect some concrete examples of where Ken's failure to do his job has kept you from doing yours

2) talk to John to feel out the office politics involved and to see if there's any particular reason Ken is still there (e.g. he's the owner's best friend, etc.)

3) if John thinks it'll fly, go over Ken's head to his boss and lay out a concise argument for why the current system isn't working.  Don't pick on Ken specifically, but do point out that routing everything through a person who refuses to be reachable for long periods of time holds the entire team hostage.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2723
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 01:01:15 AM »
I would say do the following:

1) dig through your email and collect some concrete examples of where Ken's failure to do his job has kept you from doing yours

2) talk to John to feel out the office politics involved and to see if there's any particular reason Ken is still there (e.g. he's the owner's best friend, etc.)

3) if John thinks it'll fly, go over Ken's head to his boss and lay out a concise argument for why the current system isn't working.  Don't pick on Ken specifically, but do point out that routing everything through a person who refuses to be reachable for long periods of time holds the entire team hostage.

POD. Definitely see about going over his head. If he's not responding to his employees queries, and insisting that those queries go ONLY to him, he is very much NOT doing his job, and that could be some serious PD.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12283
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 02:44:14 PM »
I would call up Ken and say "Ken, I want to know what is the best way to communicate with you.  I have tried emailing but have not gotten responses in a timely manner...I imagine you get a lot of email!  Would calling you work best? IM?  Also, how would you like us to handle it when we have a request in to you but have not heard back? Should we contact you again? Text you?"

I would also try what someone suggested and say "I have a doctor's appt on Sept 3rd at 3pm, so I will need to be out of the office from 2:30 until 4pm.  If I do not heal back from you I will assume this is alright.  If it is not, please let me know by August 15th."  The ol' "no response=concurrence".


Sounds like Ken wants to have the power and control the communication and never wants to be out of the loop.  If you talk to other people directly, then it looks like he doesn't know what is going on.  But any email that require him to actually do anything get ignored.

I would ask John privately for other suggestions on how best to work with Ken.  Come across as you are asking how best to work with him, not as "Ken is a powerhungry useless weasel".


JacklynHyde

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 489
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination!
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 05:52:20 PM »
All excellent suggestions!  I had a VERY important need to test the email issue because I had a deadline for pre-approval on tuition reimbursement.  We had a major in-person meeting yesterday and today.  It forced him to look at me as I asked him to please respond to the request and forward it before the end of the week.  Since I had his full attention and he knew he had been remiss in answering my emails in the past (I politely emphasized how important a timely response was without mentioning past failures), he gave me a promise that he would have all paperwork signed and forwarded by noon tomorrow or I am to call his cell phone at 12:01.  In the future, if it is truly important, I may have to get in my car and drive to HQ, because it seems that face-to-face communication trumps phone or electronic.

As for the micromanaging, John was also at the meetings and apparently got an earful from several of my coworkers who are having a much rougher time than I am.  It is now his decision how to act upon this information.  I am working to position myself for an administrative trainee position by next fall, so I am hoping to extricate myself from the entire mess soon enough.

JacklynHyde

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 489
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination! Update #7 and #8
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 02:46:33 PM »
I haven't received the email confirmation that my tuition paperwork was forwarded correctly.  As Ken suggested, I called to remind him.  The phone went straight to voice mail.  This was almost three hours ago.  I also requested a half-day off on Friday and another half-day on Monday (I have one personal day left this year) and have heard nothing.

In the meantime, I HAVE received email confirmation of another update in protocol, but it came from someone other than Ken.  As I've said, the last time I filled in my team on protocol changes without going through Ken, I had my knuckles rapped with a verbal ruler.  The protocol change won't take effect until the 20th.  However, that tuition paperwork is due in two days.

rigs32

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 518
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination! Update #7 and #8
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 03:27:11 PM »
I'd be calling every hour on the hour until he picks up.  It's how he asked you to contact him.

I would also not expect an email that went unanswered for more than a couple days to ever get answered.  Keep emailing.

BeagleMommy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3069
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination! Update #7 and #8
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 04:20:33 PM »
As far as the tuition confirmation is concerned, I think it may be time to go over Ken's head.  This will affect your ability to attend school, am I correct?

JacklynHyde

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 489
Re: PA / Unresponsive Boss - What a combination! Update #7 and #8
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 02:18:31 PM »
I went next to Ken's head.  I sent this email and copied the assistant department head:

I do not mean to be a royal pain, but you had told me on Tuesday that I should contact you if I hadnít heard a confirmation of this form being passed along by Wednesday at noon.  I have called twice.  Thank you in advance.  If I do not hear from you by tomorrow (which will be the 30 days), I will send you a text to give you another reminder.