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Tips for Dealing with Unrealistic/Oblivious Boss(es)


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3 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I've also learned to recognize when the stress affects me physically. I usually feel it in my stomach, a grinding feeling not unlike hunger. I'm not sure what do about that yet, because it's not a reaction that I can control

See, I think this is why it'd be good to go to therapy for these feelings. Because they're affecting you physically, emotionally, and psychologically - all interconnected. 

3 hours ago, Jibralta said:

This is the power that I desire! Where is it?! Why can't I stop fighting back?

I know a good therapist would be able to give you that power to disengage and still feel confident.  I'm not sure journaling here will have the same effect.

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Sorry you are going through this. I know how it feels to be with a company you care and work hard for but they ignore you every time you express or address your concerns/aspirations. I posted my work

I think you said the right thing. I would imagine you want them to expect quality work from you. And you are human, so you can only produce quality work when your workload is at or below a certain lev

Sorry you're going through this, Jibralta. Since you are already journaling, you might consider channeling that writing into something preventative--meeting notes that you send via email to clarify a

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8 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

See, I think this is why it'd be good to go to therapy for these feelings. Because they're affecting you physically, emotionally, and psychologically - all interconnected. 

I know a good therapist would be able to give you that power to disengage and still feel confident.  I'm not sure journaling here will have the same effect.

I was in therapy for many years—seven total. I was a willing participant and fully embraced the experience. I am very familiar with the process and the benefits.

This is not the kind of issue that I would bring to a therapist. Yes, I am affected more than id like to be. But my coping skills are healthy and I’m generally anxiety-free.

There’s nothing a therapist is going to tell me in this situation that I don’t already know. In some ways this is just a residual microcosm of my prior experiences and I know how to process through.

It does help to vent here and receive input from everyone and to hear all of your experiences. But this is not a therapy-worthy situation. 

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2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Yes, totally! I'm unattached to the projects, actually. I enjoy them, find them interesting and challenging, and that is it.

What's hard for me to deal with is the unfairness of some of the situations that have arisen out of circumstances that could have and should have been avoided. It really makes me angry to get pinned for a problem I didn't cause, especially when I did everything I could do to avoid it. That's what I have trouble with, the anger. 

That would upset me too. The next time someone suggests that it was your responsibility for something to not have happened or to have happened, can you review whether that was in your scope or duty? You can accept the responsibility then or choose to if you want. If you choose to take the responsibility, take charge of every aspect of the project and own the mistakes. It may seem infuriating and annoying but with time you might learn how to anticipate and avoid problems or learn tricks of the trade that help avoid those pitfalls.

I think there are only two options for this situation: Embrace the responsibilities and ask for a raise (start taking more ownership in the role and giving more instructions about how you want to see things done). Or, remain in the current state and look to your bosses for answers. A lot of the time your boss might not know what's going on on a daily level and in order for something to get done, he/she doesn't understand the chain reaction or domino effect it has on process or the timeline for projects.

You're a very capable person, Jibralta. I have always admired your mettle and can-do attitude with life. I think this is a learning curve but you'll learn quite a lot. That annoying grain of sand inside the oyster does become a pearl eventually(I'm referring to the annoying personalities/people or issues in at work becoming tidbits of growth and lessons). 

 

 

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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1 hour ago, maritalbliss86 said:

See, I think this is why it'd be good to go to therapy for these feelings. Because they're affecting you physically, emotionally, and psychologically - all interconnected. 

I know a good therapist would be able to give you that power to disengage and still feel confident.  I'm not sure journaling here will have the same effect.

I think in this particular situation which I have been in many times (not always to this degree, for sure) over my 25 years or so of working, even though it involves emotions, resolving the issues require boots on the ground nitty gritty stuff having to do with communication -and I don't think she needs a life or career coach for communication skills.  She has to evaluate whether she should move on to a different job - and that's another reason therapy isn't a great option -this is job-specific - not her-specific - if she could not interact in a productive way in any job environment then I would agree.  

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27 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

A lot of the time your boss might not know what's going on on a daily level and in order for something to get done, he/she doesn't understand the chain reaction or domino effect it has on process or the timeline for projects.

Great point.

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2 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I'm not sure what do about that yet, because it's not a reaction that I can control

I just meant that maybe even if you find a new one (?) they may could help you know what to do about the physical side of this, help you be able to control it more, and the anger side, and get to the point where you have that, "power," that Lost does, that you said you want.  [Edited to add - I've personally experienced that kind of thing, where it gives you a totally new perspective and suddenly you feel liberated and don't have those physical side effects anymore, or anger anymore because you have a new perspective on it, at the very least not at all to the degree you're experiencing now.]

But I could be wrong... I'm sure you understand yourself far better than I do! 😉

Edited by maritalbliss86
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15 hours ago, Lambert said:

I think if you decide not to leave,you have to honor that decision. Meaning, when it gets tough, you remind yourself- I chose this because I want two years on my resume or whatever.  Then decide what are the things you enjoy about your job? And remind yourself of those things. 

Of course! I don't passive aggressively skulk through life when things don't go my way. I do exactly what you say: I remind myself why I'm there, what I'm getting out of it. And 75% of the time, maybe even 90% of the time, I do enjoy my job.

It's just when I get triggered by the BS, it sends me into a spin. I'd like a magic button to get out of that spin and fly steady again.

15 hours ago, Lambert said:

he was the worst!! even took me aside to let me know he didn't expect me to take an extra day off after my grandmother died. Meanwhile, I was one of her care givers and there was a lot happening to address after the funeral with hospital equipment that had to be returned... AND I had perfect attendance prior to this ONE DAY! Unforgivable in my eyes.

Terrible!! But the way it ended for you is right out of a movie. That must have felt good!! 

15 hours ago, Lambert said:

Some bosses I learned how NOT to be when I became the boss.

Yes, I keep a 'file' in my head like this!! 😂

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12 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

If you choose to take the responsibility, take charge of every aspect of the project and own the mistakes. It may seem infuriating and annoying but with time you might learn how to anticipate and avoid problems or learn tricks of the trade that help avoid those pitfalls.

I think there are only two options for this situation: Embrace the responsibilities and ask for a raise (start taking more ownership in the role and giving more instructions about how you want to see things done). Or, remain in the current state and look to your bosses for answers. A lot of the time your boss might not know what's going on on a daily level and in order for something to get done, he/she doesn't understand the chain reaction or domino effect it has on process or the timeline for projects.

I do this. And when I can get all of the information I need, and when my concerns are properly addressed, things go smoothly.

The trouble arises when my bosses fail to communicate specific important details, and then dodge my questions and concerns:

  1. They either blow off my question/concern and say, "Don't worry about that,"
  2. they give me a vague answer and act like that's enough information (it's not!), or
  3. they blow off the questions/concerns altogether--emails, phone calls, and text messages all go unanswered.

Then it blows up and I get some reprimand that I should have done x, y, and z. Meanwhile I did do x, y, and z.... x, y, and z were falling short, I told them they were falling short!!!! They just didn't want to hear it. 

That's what pisses me off. Their deflection, their failure to be culpable in the problem. I hate that.

I don't think it's going to go away. I think that's how they are, and I have to learn to deal with it. Which is tough for me, because it happens to be my pet peeve!!

12 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

That annoying grain of sand inside the oyster does become a pearl eventually(I'm referring to the annoying personalities/people or issues in at work becoming tidbits of growth and lessons). 

God, I hope so!!!

Edited by Jibralta
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12 hours ago, Batya33 said:

this is job-specific - not her-specific - if she could not interact in a productive way in any job environment then I would agree.

Yes! That's what I was trying to get at, but was sort of circling around instead. 

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12 hours ago, Hollyj said:

Have you had the opportunity to discuss this with them?  Could you?  

I think I will have the opportunity to discuss this with them when we sit down for my 6-month review. I completed the paperwork for it in December. We haven't scheduled an appointment to sit down yet. I am not pushing for the appointment, and frankly I'd like it to be put off even longer.

There are a couple reasons for this. 

  1. For the first four months of my employment with this company, I worked in another department (surveying). It wasn't until October that I started in my own department (architecture). So, by my six-month review, I only had two months of experience in my own department.
  2. Shortly after I filled out my form for my six month review, I started to experience the issues that I'm complaining about here. But everything was peachy when I filled out my form. So, I'm going to have to explain why I'm changing my story.
  3. These guys tend to deflect, and I have to get around that. I have to be able to illustrate the problem to them in a convincing way. I need to identify specific issues. And then I need to present them diplomatically. I'm not ready to do that yet. I haven't fully processed the frustrating situations, and also I'm boiling mad over some of this stuff. I need a little time.
12 hours ago, Hollyj said:

Do you think you may need to look elsewhere?

No. I'm just pissed about two situations that I think were unfair. And my experiences with this company have taught me that this is how they are. It's going to happen again. So, I'm going to have to learn to deal with it.

The challenge is that I am personally offended by this particular type of unfairness. It triggers me. My normal coping mechanism--communication--doesn't work because my bosses don't listen. So, it's extra stressful, because I can't circumvent it.

I know that everyone isn't triggered by these things, so I know that I can figure out effective ways to cope. That's why I started this thread.

It does make me feel better to look elsewhere for employment. But at this point, I see no reason to leave. And I doubt my job is in jeopardy. 

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12 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I've personally experienced that kind of thing, where it gives you a totally new perspective and suddenly you feel liberated and don't have those physical side effects anymore, or anger anymore because you have a new perspective on it, at the very least not at all to the degree you're experiencing now.

I have, too. But it doesn't take a therapist to get me there. Good conversation, patience, and perseverance will get me where I need to be.

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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

Of course! I don't passive aggressively skulk through life when things don't go my way. I do exactly what you say: I remind myself why I'm there, what I'm getting out of it. And 75% of the time, maybe even 90% of the time, I do enjoy my job.

It's just when I get triggered by the BS, it sends me into a spin. I'd like a magic button to get out of that spin and fly steady again.

Terrible!! But the way it ended for you is right out of a movie. That must have felt good!! 

Yes, I keep a 'file' in my head like this!! 😂

That's exactly it- those triggers! It is so hard or they wouldn't be triggers. Right? 😀 I know I have mine, too.

I guess when you feel that spin, taking a break might help. You know that saying, don't quit, rest.  Maybe hold stronger boundaries. Like, ok this sucked and I'm going to vent to a friend or write a journal entry and then let it go until you're back at work or until next time. 

I heard a wife of a famous coach say, in our house we celebrate our wins for 24 hours and the same for our loses. I always liked that because it's the balance of both sides of that coin.  Nothing is so great, nothing is so bad. 

I think you got this, J!

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3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Are men working there as well? Stand up and ask to be appropriately remunerated for your time, work and expertise.

You're not volunteering.😉

I am appropriately remunerated for my time, work, and experience. I make good money. Yes, I will ask for a raise when the time is right.

I am definitely not volunteering 😂

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I have one more suggestion.  Can you change the way you communicate -literally the method - so if it's all text/email request a meeting - a phone call most likely given covid - and have your talking points ready - not accusatory -simply clarifying.  Now that means no paper trail but repeat back what you heard or think you heard.  

I'm just not a fan of owning mistakes I didn't make unless - in some work environments -it was caused by a coworker - then especially if it's my project, I own it.  I worked for a boss years ago who basically said we all were a team so the team made mistakes not individuals.  

 

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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

Good conversation, patience, and perseverance will get me where I need to be.

That's great!  Just don't let the physical and mental side of the stressors get to the point where they're affecting your overall health.  It takes a toll on the body long-term, literally shortens your telomeres on your strands of DNA, causing premature aging.  If it gets to the point where you can't cope with the stress, it's healthier to jump ship again I think.  Just my 2 cents though!

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Can you change the way you communicate -literally the method - so if it's all text/email request a meeting - a phone call most likely given covid - and have your talking points ready - not accusatory -simply clarifying.

I actually do all of this. That's why it's soooo frustrating.

I'm basically stonewalled by the fact that they either minimize the importance of the questions/concerns, respond with insufficient/vague information, or ignore the requests for communication altogether.

The bosses do this to everyone at one point or another. And a lot of times, the problems they ignore sort of go away. Or they are able to talk their way out of them with the clients.

But recently it caused a big problem and I caught some of the blow back. It made me really angry.

Then, the other day, my coworker and I basically got reprimanded for something unrelated--an impossible deadline that Superman couldn't make. And I got angry all over again.

 

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Best advice I ever got in this area: stop having the meeting after the meeting. 
 

This was intended to mean, once you’ve left a meeting with upper management and you have a new set of tasks or maybe even a new direction to work toward, we tend to walk away and go re-discuss it with our close colleagues. It usually turns into a conversation full of complaints about how all of these new ideas are going to be disastrous. DON’T DO THAT.

And let that spill into all areas. If the owners say “XYZ” then all you need to think is “they want their business to be done XYZ way, so how can I achieve that within my scope? What do I think is the best way to do my part while aligning with XYZ.” When any coworkers start talking anything other than that, walk away from the conversation. Not that their concerns aren’t valid, but the conversation will not yield positive results. They can address concerns with management, meanwhile you’re three steps ahead on your own action plan.

If you can keep that mindset always, employers will fight to keep you. You’ll have your pick.

Edited by indea08
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1 hour ago, indea08 said:

Best advice I ever got in this area: stop having the meeting after the meeting. 

We don't have meeting after meeting, though. I'm lucky if I can get a meeting.

1 hour ago, indea08 said:

It usually turns into a conversation full of complaints about how all of these new ideas are going to be disastrous. DON’T DO THAT.

That's not the case here, though. The problem is that the projects aren't getting the correct support at critical points where support is required. For example, I say, "We need time for QC before we send this out" My boss says, "It's ok to send it out without QC." So we send it out without QC and the client catches a big error and complains. Then my boss gets upset and btches at me for not QCing it. Meanwhile, he's the one that sent it out without QCing it after I told him we should

1 hour ago, indea08 said:

If the owners say “XYZ” then all you need to think is “they want their business to be done XYZ way, so how can I achieve that within my scope? What do I think is the best way to do my part while aligning with XYZ.” When any coworkers start talking anything other than that, walk away from the conversation. Not that their concerns aren’t valid, but the conversation will not yield positive results.

This has nothing to do with my coworkers. I was hired to be an expert because the owners are not experts. When they give me XYZ criteria, I know before they do when it won't work. My frustration (and the frustration of others within this company) is that the owners make themselves oblivious to problems, as described in the example I just gave. 

 

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4 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I think I will have the opportunity to discuss this with them when we sit down for my 6-month review. I completed the paperwork for it in December. We haven't scheduled an appointment to sit down yet. I am not pushing for the appointment, and frankly I'd like it to be put off even longer.

There are a couple reasons for this. 

  1. For the first four months of my employment with this company, I worked in another department (surveying). It wasn't until October that I started in my own department (architecture). So, by my six-month review, I only had two months of experience in my own department.
  2. Shortly after I filled out my form for my six month review, I started to experience the issues that I'm complaining about here. But everything was peachy when I filled out my form. So, I'm going to have to explain why I'm changing my story.
  3. These guys tend to deflect, and I have to get around that. I have to be able to illustrate the problem to them in a convincing way. I need to identify specific issues. And then I need to present them diplomatically. I'm not ready to do that yet. I haven't fully processed the frustrating situations, and also I'm boiling mad over some of this stuff. I need a little time.

No. I'm just pissed about two situations that I think were unfair. And my experiences with this company have taught me that this is how they are. It's going to happen again. So, I'm going to have to learn to deal with it.

The challenge is that I am personally offended by this particular type of unfairness. It triggers me. My normal coping mechanism--communication--doesn't work because my bosses don't listen. So, it's extra stressful, because I can't circumvent it.

I know that everyone isn't triggered by these things, so I know that I can figure out effective ways to cope. That's why I started this thread.

It does make me feel better to look elsewhere for employment. But at this point, I see no reason to leave. And I doubt my job is in jeopardy. 

It may be the way they are, but can't they recognize that it is to the detriment of their company?   

"I was hired to be an expert because the owners are not experts. When they give me XYZ criteria, I know before they do when it won't work. My frustration (and the frustration of others within this company) is that the owners make themselves oblivious to problems, as described in the example I just gave. "       This is what they need to understand for the benefit of their business.

Edited by Hollyj
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I tell my husband this all the time.....it's not your company. If the owners are driving it into the ground/make bad decisions, that's on them, not on you. So put your foot down, and stop knocking yourself out over it. The weight of responsibility is not yours to carry.

If they seem to think that it is, ask for a huge raise. A raise that would be suitable for a CEO because it sounds like that is what position you carry. Pretty ballzy, yes, but if your work ethic is that strong, you will have np finding a new job, and excel proper somewhere else.

Edited by smackie9
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1 hour ago, Hollyj said:

It may be the way they are, but can't they recognize that it is to the detriment of their company?   

"I was hired to be an expert because the owners are not experts. When they give me XYZ criteria, I know before they do when it won't work. My frustration (and the frustration of others within this company) is that the owners make themselves oblivious to problems, as described in the example I just gave. "       This is what they need to understand for the benefit of their business.

I agree with you. And I think (HOPE) part of it has to do with the fact that I've been in this position for a little less than four months. They hope they hired someone good, but they don't know if they hired someone good. So it's probably natural--especially being leader-type personalities--for them to be headstrong, think they know best, and assume control. 

I HOPE that over time, they will come to see that I know what I am talking about, and that they can trust my judgment. But I've definitely been in positions where people never overcome their doubts about me, even despite strong evidence that I am completely competent. So, I'm a little afraid to be hopeful.

In the last year, this company has gone from about 5 fulltime employees to 25 fulltime employees. So, I think some of the problems are related to them being completely overwhelmed. They are in a position where they need to grow to remain viable, but also where they must continuously win new work to sustain their explosive growth. 

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43 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

I tell my husband this all the time.....it's not your company. If the owners are driving it into the ground/make bad decisions, that's on them, not on you. So put your foot down, and stop knocking yourself out over it. The weight of responsibility is not yours to carry.

And this is what my boyfriend's parents tell me as well. They are entrepreneurs themselves. I know I should trust their judgment. It's not my company!! 

I know that the owners of my company care a lot about their company. They've been building it for eight years now, and it's at a critical point. They don't need me to do their caring for them!

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