Author Topic: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered  (Read 9686 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12011
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2013, 09:15:39 AM »
Personally I think boss was transferring (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference) her irritation from the issues with the busy event, her messing up of the money, and Betty's request/demands onto you.  Classic psychology.

So as a professional, you are "given" a work phone to do work things on, leeway on getting in exactly on time and time to take doctor's appointments? She forgot that she lets you go to the bathroom and gives you a chair to sit on.

I have had bosses get mad at me because I didn't think we should do something at work...but I did what you did, state my piece and then say that ultimately they were the boss and I would do what they ask.

Another idea would have been to say you would get to Betty's request when you had a chance, but right now you want to finish the work on the event.

AmethystAnne

  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter (formerly Laura___)
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3728
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2013, 09:16:03 AM »
I think the boss was wrong and rude to keep harping on the OP to tell how she felt about this request. If the boss had just told the OP to do this map thing and left her alone to do it, the OP could have just inwardly rolled her eyes and just done it.

The boss just had to made a big stickin' deal about it.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1680
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2013, 09:54:11 AM »
Your boss may be hardworking, and pleasant when she gets her way, but I don't see the nice person part. What I see is an oversensitive, vindictive bully.

She did something unprofessional and thoughtless (pulling an employee off a time critical task at the end of a long day to do a random, non-time critical favour for a work contact, something that made the work day even longer).  It was particularly galling because the day was longer due to the fact that you were fixing *her* mistake, and she was micromanaging the fixing process.

Then she pushed, and pushed and pushed to get an honest opinion out of you in gory detail, even though you resisted, and even though she could probably guess your views. Then, when she didn't like your (very reasonable) opinion, she got personally offended and threw a tantrum like a six year old. You apologized profusely. She won't let it drop, and continues to punish you for daring to disagree with her. She's now continuing to threaten you for stating your opinion.

So, now you know what your boss is really like. You're also pretty stuck - it's a two person work-place, she has the power, and it doesn't sound like you have an HR or supervisors to go to.

For what to do in the future... You've got a couple main approaches.

Approach 1: Lie, and CYA. Don't state your opinions, and simply do what she tells you, uncomplainingly. If she pushes or asks for an opinion, lie outright and tell her what she wants to hear. She's shown she doesn't deserve honesty, and you will be punished for giving it.   If she gives you 'perks', don't take them - make extra sure to leave early for work, leave the cell in your desk until asked to use it for a work related function, scrupulously take time off for appointments. 

Don't regard this woman as your friend. She isn't. Don't assume she's super nice. She's not. Avoid telling her personal stuff that may be used against you - keep your work relationship polite but non-personal on your part. It won't be a friendly, congenial work environment, but she won't have ammunition to take you down, either.

Approach 2: (warning, this could result in losing your job). Stand up to her. Give back the cell phone (bonus points if you have the original box). If she asks you for your opinion, state it calmly and honestly (you forced me to tell you what I think, and now you're punishing me for it. I don't think that is reasonable or fair) and calmly wait out the tantrum. Turn down offered perks directly. She may back down if you stand up to her bullying, but she may escalate and threaten to fire you.

Approach 3: Lie low, but keep an eye out for a new boss and a new job and give notice if you find it.

FWIW, I think that your boss is an idiot. While you were fixing the receipts, she could have gone off, printed and annotated a map and emailed it (without having to go through a round of corrections with you). It would save time, and she would have taken responsibility for the inappropriate promises she was making. Or, for that matter, what was wrong with "We'll send it to you tomorrow?" rather than breaking into the middle of a time critical task at the end of a long day.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1680
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2013, 09:59:09 AM »
Quote
Your boss may be hardworking, and pleasant when she gets her way, but I don't see the nice person part. What I see is an oversensitive, vindictive bully.

This.

And Betty is a user.

Neither one of them are your friend.

I'd lay low and start looking for another job and a better boss.

ETA:  Her threat, veiled or not, about the phone was disgusting.  I'd get a new phone, then give that phone back to her.  No fanfare - just "Here ya go -you can have this back now".  No discussion.  Come to work on time, and don't accept any more gimmes/favors from her.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 10:39:16 AM by veronaz »

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 27849
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2013, 10:28:54 AM »
I agree that boss is using perks to buy your friendship, which she sees as agreeing with every thing she says.

I'd be disturbed mostly by the idea that she gave you a work phone (presumably paid by donors' money), then tried to pressure you to drop your personal phone. This is, of course, a bad business idea, but it also involves her in your personal life (can she check what calls you've made?), and gives her more control as you are now dependent on her for a necessary service.

She may be a good boss otherwise, but you will have to set boundaries. While doing the work for the donor may have been a small issue (other than her reaction), there could be legal issues if she decides that your organization should be giving donors more "payback" for their donations.
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."

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2013, 11:40:35 AM »
You have now been given the gift of clear sight when it comes to your boss.  She is not someone to trust. Plan accordingly.

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2721
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2013, 12:06:38 PM »
Quote
Your boss may be hardworking, and pleasant when she gets her way, but I don't see the nice person part. What I see is an oversensitive, vindictive bully.

This.

And Betty is a user.

Neither one of them are your friend.

I'd lay low and start looking for another job and a better boss.

ETA:  Her threat, veiled or not, about the phone was disgusting.  I'd get a new phone, then give that phone back to her.  No fanfare - just "Here ya go -you can have this back now".  No discussion.  Come to work on time, and don't accept any more gimmes/favors from her.


Yep, this. Stop accepting her "friendship." Clearly she's into "helping" people so that she can use it as leverage later, i.e. if Betty was hemming and hawing about her donation for next year, your boss would "remind" her of all the "perks" she gets, like free graphic design.

Goosey

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 735
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2013, 12:12:15 PM »
I would get your own cell phone to start with - that was wrong of her to hold over your head.

But, I'm going to go a bit against the grain here: how did she figure out you were annoyed? This is her business, her client and you're there to support how she runs her office. You get nice perks, etc and displayed annoyance at this sidetrack for a client?

Sure, in a perfect world, you wouldn't have to do it at all. But, your boss cleared it. That's that, in my book.

Try not to get annoyed at things like this - don't look at it as "working for client". You're doing the work because your boss says to. That's what's important.

Also, try not to cry at work and don't beg - both are unprofessional. There are professional ways to apologize that would work better.

That being said, your boss acted very childishly. I don't know why she insisted on you answering her unless she already knew the answer and wanted to confront it directly - but the way she confronted it was completely unprofessional.

MamaMootz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2897
  • I'm a lumberjack and I'm O.K....
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2013, 12:21:56 PM »
1. This:

You have now been given the gift of clear sight when it comes to your boss.  She is not someone to trust. Plan accordingly.

2. I would get my own phone, return hers, take time off for appointments, and start looking for work elsewhere.

She is not your friend, she is your boss but I think she has her priorities all wrong.
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

Firecat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2475
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2013, 12:59:22 PM »
1. This:

You have now been given the gift of clear sight when it comes to your boss.  She is not someone to trust. Plan accordingly.

2. I would get my own phone, return hers, take time off for appointments, and start looking for work elsewhere.

She is not your friend, she is your boss but I think she has her priorities all wrong.

POD. Also, if she was mixing up cash at the event and not writing down what was supposed to be associated with what, I'd start wondering what else she's mixing up. The paperwork to keep a non-profit in good standing isn't a trivial thing, and forgetful and easily distracted aren't really qualities I'd feel comfortable having in charge of that.

So I'd start looking for a new job just on those grounds; consider the rest to be initial incentive to get out of there as quickly as possible, preferably without letting your current boss know you're looking until you hand in your notice (and prepare for her to get very angry and potentially ask you to leave immediately).

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1680
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2013, 01:05:36 PM »
Quote
Also, if she was mixing up cash at the event and not writing down what was supposed to be associated with what, I'd start wondering what else she's mixing up.

Handling and accounting for money - especially cash - in any business is a serious thing.  Something about this sounds 'off'.  :-\
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 01:12:04 PM by veronaz »

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5283
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2013, 02:28:13 PM »
This does not sound like an appropriate professional relationship. A boss should never hold things against an employee.

OP: I recommend you work on stiffening your spine, and do not allow your boss to get you upset. It is so easy for things to go out of control once you get emotional. I would immediately secure my own phone and start documenting the time you have to arrive early for events, especially any excess trips to pick things up beforehand.

I would also be looking for another position.

PrettySticks

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2013, 03:17:45 PM »
Quote
if your boss asked if you liked it - you should have said "i like this and that, i think the color is nice, I like how the caption came out, whatever".

To me, this is where the whole thing really went off the rails. (The situation, that is, not your post, cicero.)  Why in the world did she feel compelled to ask the OP how she felt about this project?  Making a map for a stranger's wedding, that was outside of her job duties?  That's like asking someone how they feel about changing the toner cartridge in the printer, and then questioning their loyalty to the company that they're not completely over the moon about the experience.  Based purely on the story as it was relayed, I think the boss was also tired from the long day and annoyed at the request, and was basically picking a fight.  (I agree with the "transference" theory.)  Completely inappropriate.

I've worked for non-profits for over a decade (all in the performing arts) and in my experience, this is the exact opposite way you want to treat a donor.  For the reasons others have said, but also because it makes it nearly impossible for them to take you seriously. With theatre, this is a guaranteed way for donors to view your company as just "kids putting on a show".

OP, my advice would be to let it go (expect for the cell phone part; get your own).  If she brings it up again, and pushes the matter, I would be direct.  Let her know (politely) that since she's your boss, you'll do the tasks you're told, but you'd rather do Betty's tasks after the work tasks are completed.  And if she brings up the perks again, I think it's fair to use blarg's wording and let her know it seems like she's trying to punish you.  I honestly don't think you have to be concerned about being fired.  If you're in a two-person department, I'm guessing you shoulder a lot of responsibility, and firing you would be a huge inconvenience for her.

And if you can stand a little more two-cent psycho-analyzing: I think she really WANTS to give you perks.  She wants to feel like she's bestowing these gifts upon you.  She wants to think of herself as the Generous Boss.  Which is why I think she was also super worn out from the day, because she shot herself in the foot by calling in those favors, so to speak. You only get kudos for being Generous Boss if everyone else notices on their own; you can't call attention to it yourself.  I've dealt with a "But I'm a Generous Boss!" or two in my time.

nyoprinces

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2013, 07:30:20 PM »
I agree that boss is using perks to buy your friendship, which she sees as agreeing with every thing she says.

I'd be disturbed mostly by the idea that she gave you a work phone (presumably paid by donors' money), then tried to pressure you to drop your personal phone. This is, of course, a bad business idea, but it also involves her in your personal life (can she check what calls you've made?), and gives her more control as you are now dependent on her for a necessary service.

She may be a good boss otherwise, but you will have to set boundaries. While doing the work for the donor may have been a small issue (other than her reaction), there could be legal issues if she decides that your organization should be giving donors more "payback" for their donations.

I've noticed a very distinct pattern in the last several years - a company/boss encouraging an employee to carry one phone to use for work and personal (either by providing a work phone and encouraging the employee to drop their personal plan, or by aggressively offering a reimbursement for a portion of the personal plan in exchange for using a personal phone for work also) seems to ALWAYS be a red flag. I've only seen one instance* where it hasn't been the first sign of the company/boss having no boundaries. Every single other time I've heard of someone having this come up in a job, it's been followed by massive boundary-crossing and resulted in the job ending badly, usually because of the boss expecting the employee to do something unethical/outside their job description, or by the boss crossing other personal/professional lines.


*At a large corporation that offered either personal-plan reimbursement or a separate company phone, at equal value, so the employees could choose depending on whether they wanted to carry two phones or one.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8306
Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2013, 08:19:56 PM »
But, I'm going to go a bit against the grain here: how did she figure out you were annoyed? This is her business, her client and you're there to support how she runs her office. You get nice perks, etc and displayed annoyance at this sidetrack for a client?

My reading of the day

- It's the end of a a very long day. OP started that day even early than required, to pick up stuff that Boss was likely to forget. Her day was made much more complicated than normal because Boss screwed something important up through general disorganized, then got annoyed when OP was trying to sort it out, and tried to micromanage the process. It's now nearing the end, and OP is busy counting receipts and doing other stuff that does require concentration.  In the middle of this, OP is asked to do a non time critical personal favour for a business contact of her boss. Right then, in the middle of her own important task, adding half an hour to the work that needs to be done before she can leave.

Sure, it would probably be best to do whatever was asked with an attitude of cheerful compliance, sucking up the extra half an hour of work in an already busy day. But I don't think it's that heinous to slip and show a bit of annoyance at this point.

The 'nice perks' thing is part of the problem. With the exception of not getting disciplined when she's occasionally 5 minutes late for work, the rest of the 'perks' are things that Boss aggressively pushed on the OP, and the OP didn't need and didn't want. And the OP is providing perks for the Boss too. Showing up early to work to to something that the Boss is supposed to do but will probably forget is above and beyond the job description.