Friday, January 25, 2008

Can It Get Any Worse???

Okay so I KNOW the title is a bit dramatic, but I'm just exhausted after the work day.

I work about 44 hours a week, open and close the office and take care of all that is necessary to run a small office. You'd think I'd go home feeling stress-free, what with only three people in the office including myself. Nope. My boss counts as 3 people.

Yesterday the man handed me a set of rolled up plans and asked me to have 3 sets printed, telling me who they were to go to in the morning. A pick up was made, the plans were dropped back off and while he was out of the office I rolled them into their sets and labeled them for the individuals picking them up.


This morning I get in early and this is the conversation:

Boss: Jill??! JILL??! (Our office is small, there is no need to holler.)

Me: Yes? (First thing in the morning I'm forced to cop an attitude.)

Boss: What are these?

Me: (In other room) What are WHAT?

I walk into the conference room. He's unrolling all the sets I've done just yesterday for him. Papers are falling off onto the floor, I can't tell which plans belong to which set anymore. I want to cry. Instead I cop more attitude.

Me: What are you doing?? Those were bound & labeled the way you wanted.

Boss: This is wrong. This isn't Project A.

Me: Yes it is. It says it right there on the plans.

He's shaking his head at this point.

Boss: No its not. These aren't the plans I wanted printed.

He looks at me like its my fault.

Me: I printed the plans that you handed to me. Remember yesterday? You put them in front of me and said "Print these".

He's still shaking his head. He then tells me I need to tune in more to what he's working on so I'll know. I tell him I am tuned in but how am I supposed to know that the plans he said he wanted me to print were in fact not really the plans he wanted printed at all? I told him I couldn't read minds.

I'm so freaking tense as I type this. J called me a minute ago and as I was sharing my incident with him I could hear my voice become strained. My shoulder muscles had tightened up.

This is a three person office and I feel this way. There really isn't that much going on but these incidents can put us back. It feels like it did when I used to work 60 hours a week planning conferences and managing associations. This job should be stress free.

J has given me some advice on confronting him, says that just because he's the boss doesn't mean he shouldn't be spoken to about issues that are disrupting the office (and my sanity). Please, if you have any advice on this matter, ridiculous or serious, I want to hear. Please share.


-Papa said...

I concur with J, you need to speak with your boss, he needs to know he's being disruptive and that you won't be his patsy for his mistakes. When you do speak with him he'll then officially know what he's doing in detriment to the office.

RM, your boss sounds like a moron, but to me, somewhere in a few of your posts, it seems to me that he does value having you there and will listen to what you have to say, but it's up to him to value it and make the needed changes. I'm sending positive thoughts that at the worst he'll act non-plus but inside he'll cringe at what his actions have done and will make the needed change.

Put your arms out, palms up and catch the love. ;D

Steph said...

Agreed. Be careful how you word it, but make it known that you were only following HIS instructions.

Don't ever take the blame for something you didn't do.

Kitty said...

Sometimes, with people like that, it's a good idea to double check what they're saying when they're saying it. Next time he does it, you are quite justified in saying 'After what happened last time, are you sure those are the plans you meant to give me?' and mirror back to him the instructions he's just given you. This gives him the opportunity to spot his mistakes before you waste your (valuable) time doing something he didn't want doing in the first place.

At the end of the day though, if this place is making you unhappy, it might be time to look for something different? (((RM))) x

Open Grove Claudia said...

I think if you were a guy? You should have a sit down with your boss and be clear. But really, Jill, could you get through it without crying?? I don't know if I could.

I have two words of advice for you: NEW JOB.

Right after college, I had this awful job at UCSF - I mean really awful. Weeping, I went back to my department and spoke to Jasper Rhine. (You can look him up - youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize.) He said these words of wisdom:

"Maybe you're right, maybe it will get better. But when you work for assholes, you'll always work for assholes. You aren't waiting for the next time they MIGHT be assholes because you know - they are assholes."

Taking his own advice, he switched departments and I quit my job.

This job is not your passion. This job is not your "life's work" (which for Jasper, his appointment was his life's work). It's only a Clark Kent job - of which there are a million and one.

Don't let anyone scare you about the economy or any of that crap. If you're smart and willing to work hard, there's always opportunity. Maybe you should get out your "Think and Grow Rich" or your "Overcoming Underearning" and bone up a bit - then look for another CK job.

No one should ever treat you like that.


Krissyface said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. Sorry work is so stressful for you!

Christie said...

I would spit in his coffee. That would make me feel better. But I'm mean. I think I need to start doing 2 or 3 nice deeds a day to make up for the mean things I do, don't you?

Lad Litter said...

There is some very good advice contained in the above comments. But you need to use your judgement: you mentioned in a previous post that he had improved; do you think he is likely to improve further or relapse?

And then you need to decide whether it's worth banking on him getting better or whether it would be easier to just move on.

But by all means discuss it forthrightly with him: what he did was unacceptable.

Stacie said...

I can't tell you what TO do, but I can tell you what NOT to do. You did the right thing in telling him, you only printed the plans he gave you and you can't be expected to read his mind that the ones he gave you really weren't the ones he wanted...I still swear this is a control issue...people who do crap like this just do it to make other people feel inferior...without knowing your boss personally that's what it sounds like to me from several of the incidents you've mentioned...I can tell you this..don't ever make the same mistake I did and accept blame for things that are not your fault..I can't tell you how long I did that, and it was the worst mistake of my life..suddenly I was the scapegoat for every mistake made weather I made it or not. IN addition, it will make people lose respect for you because you don't stand up for yourself and it makes your work less took me years to get out from under that rut (I still work on it really) but being a peace keeper sometimes lands you in a warzone...

Good for you for standing up for might confront your boss and tell him these behaviours of his are going to cost him a valueable employee and while he's at it, he can look into hiring a janitor for his bathroom as well!

Good Luck Jill! I hate to see you so stressed out over this guy..he makes me mad for you!

Kelly said...

Forget being mature! Stomp on his foot! Then throw your hands in the air and scream. Throw yourself on the floor kicking and wailing your arms.

Then get up and brush yourself off. Look straight into his eyes and ask, "look familiar? Big baby"

Then ask for a raise.

Good luck! ;-) (please don't take any advice from me)

jason said...

I love kellys advice. After you follow her advice give him a good kick in the ass and do the D X. You know what I'm talking about, cross your arms in a X and bang it against the crotch area. Yeah, that would be sweet. Don't forget about the elbow drop off the corner of the desk. I love the visual I get thinking about you doing that. Love you babe!

Hong Fu said...

True, true that stress of job make frown and crying. Strange, but sometime best way of handle is for moist cute girl to post picture on interweb with no bra or panty. Not dirty if show beautry of human form and strength of making employment happiness.

Preposterous Ponderings said...

Just flat out tell him how it is. Otherwise you will continue to live/work in misery!

Nocturnal said...

I think you should tell him too, that way he knows where you stand with him. As well, maybe confirm his requests just to make sure you're both on the same page.


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