Jump to content

Tips for Dealing with Unrealistic/Oblivious Boss(es)


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 178
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Every time I see this thread pop back up, I come in here hoping to see “I GOT THE JOB AND IM OUTTA HERE.” I’m emotionally invested now so I need you to get the offer too!! I’ll send up a prayer for yo

Posted Images

Had an hour long meeting this morning with Kasey to go over the changes on the project. She was reluctant to shift the deadline forward, but she did. I appreciate that... Although she didn't give a specific day; she just said "next week."

The meeting ran right up to the next morning meeting, which we were both scheduled to attend. Alan, the principal architect, asked me if I could do a couple elevations for a mixed use project, and Kasey said, "She's working on Project XYZ.... but I think she can handle that too."

I said, "Actually, I have a lot on my plate with the XYZ project. Sorry." Kasey said, "That's ok; that's not a problem." Which is good. I think. But I always feel a little weird about shirking additional responsibility. Although, I don't think I'm really shirking responsibility. 

But my fear is that Kasey or Alan might think that I am, and that it may bite me in the ass down the line.... I guess I can't let myself worry about things like that. All I can do is the best that I can do. I have to have faith that my best is enough. And perhaps more importantly: it will all work out.

I also think that I may be feeling weird about that whole exchange because when Alan addressed me, I was in the middle of an amusing text with one of my coworkers on the meeting. I almost got 'caught.' Fortunately, I had one ear trained towards the general conversation, so I knew what we were talking about. But I still felt a little flustered, and that feeling might have contributed to my unease.

Anyway, I'm just venting. 

Edited by Jibralta
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Had an hour long meeting this morning with Kasey to go over the changes on the project. She was reluctant to shift the deadline forward, but she did. I appreciate that... Although she didn't give a specific day; she just said "next week."

The meeting ran right up to the next morning meeting, which we were both scheduled to attend. Alan, the principal architect, asked me if I could do a couple elevations for a mixed use project, and Kasey said, "She's working on Project XYZ.... but I think she can handle that too."

I said, "Actually, I have a lot on my plate with the XYZ project. Sorry." Kasey said, "That's ok; that's not a problem." Which is good. I think. But I always feel a little weird about shirking additional responsibility. Although, I don't think I'm really shirking responsibility. 

But my fear is that Kasey or Alan might think that I am, and that it may bite me in the ass down the line.... I guess I can't let myself worry about things like that. All I can do is the best that I can do. I have to have faith that my best is enough.

I also think that I may be feeling weird about that whole exchange because when Alan addressed me, I was in the middle of an amusing text with one of my coworkers on the meeting. I almost got 'caught.' Fortunately, I had one ear trained towards the general conversation, so I knew what we were talking about. But I still felt a little flustered, and that feeling might have contributed to my unease.

Anyway, I'm just venting. 

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 level. Once you become overwhelmed, quality is usually the first thing to slip, followed by timeliness. Knowing when to say “no” is an excellent skill to have. Don’t second guess yourself. You seem very intelligent, driven, and far more willing to persevere than most people I’ve ever met. I can easily see that no matter what happens with this company, you will still find a way to be successful. I hope you see that too. Keep the faith!

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

One more vent and then I'm done for the day.

I asked Kasey to include me in the projects structure meeting, but that did not happen. Simon (one of the owners) called me with the structural engineer (Hassan) on the phone and told me that Hassan would be doing the foundation design, but that I'd be doing the structural design from the foundation up.

I told Simon that, aside from two classes in grad school, I've never done structural design. Simon proceeded to tell me that it's illegal for a PE to design structure on a residence. I said, "I don't think that's the case." He said, "It's been law since the 80s. Just look up the statute. It will just take a second."

He said that I should learn how to do this (and I actually want to learn how to do it), and that Hassan will help me through this project.

The problem is, Hassan literally just got his PE license. He's a smart guy, but he's only out of college for a couple of years, and has no residential experience. In short, he's not exactly a mentor. In fact, I usually help him!!! Also, this is not a typical residence. It has open spans of 30' feet, which requires engineered beams.

My concern, of course, is liability. I could lose my license if this goes wrong. But more importantly, if something goes wrong with a structure, people can get hurt or die. 

So, I looked up the law that Simon referred to. He didn't give me a statute number and I'm not a lawyer, so I had to guess. But I found something legitimate and I wrote Simon this email. I copied in Hassan.

The blacked out name is the name of the principal architect, who I call "Alan" on here:image.png.26878cb86cdf0346e7b9912e50b5b3ad.png

Shortly after I sent the email, Hassan texted me "It is just messy."

This poor guy is even more stressed out about this stuff than I am. It feels good to know I am not alone in this:

image.thumb.png.f8912ccc9bfc6963c30121c4498ba2ff.png

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Wednesday, I provoked Simon to the point where he called me up and yelled at me for a half an hour. A lot of his argument was a nonsensical tirade, and I didn't bother to put up a fight. It just would have mushroomed the situation. He was angry that I called him out about the law, and angry about a subsequent email that I sent him about the lack of QC in the company. In the QC email, I brought up an issue that happened back in December, and that triggered him even more.

Oops.

I didn't really argue back, except to insist that I sent the QC email out of concern for the company, and that I wasn't trying to make him look bad. Simon is reactive and volatile, ego-driven like my mother. My mom is Greek, Simon is Armenian...perhaps their personalities spring from the same ancient roots.

At any rate, as part of my argument, I mentioned to  Simon that employees of the company often complained about the lack of guidance and support from him and Kasey. He did not like to hear this. And when Simon dislikes hearing something, he goes on the attack. 

His initial response was to challenge the veracity of what I was saying by demanding to know who dared to say such things to me. I refused to tell him, which I knew was a precarious position. And he really hammered me for it. But I eventually fully deflected him by saying, "You're putting me in a very difficult position. If I betray the trust of my coworkers when they are venting to me, it destroys our working relationship. What this really comes down to is whether you believe what I'm telling you or not. You don't have to believe me if you don't want to. But I hope that you believe that I'm telling you these things out of genuine concern for the company, and not to make you look bad or feel bad."

This got through to him. But he felt offended and hurt that people said they felt unsupported. This is something that I first noticed about Simon when I went to lunch with him and Kasey back in October: he suffers. He categorically shuts things down when he doesn't like to hear them. But he's also wounded by them. For example, at that lunch, Simon asked me questions about the surveying team, which had lost both of its crew chiefs in one week due to general discontent. When I tried to explain how the surveying team felt unsupported, he tuned me out, saying, "That's just how surveyors are." Which is totally wrong, but I didn't challenge him. Then he gave a big sigh and said, "Nobody understands how hard it is to run a business." He sounded like an exhausted parent. And I actually did feel sympathetic.

I still feel sympathetic, to be honest. I even felt sympathetic while I was being flogged by Simon's angry tirade. I got off the phone with him feeling pretty good. I know that's weird. But I felt like some important issues got aired, and I prefer that to letting them fester. Maybe this will work out, maybe it won't. I don't know. But I feel good having at least stood up for myself.

This something I learned over the last ten+ years: it is so important to stand up for yourself in situations where people don't respect you, or where they try to bully you, or run you over. I've tried it both ways. I tried to grin and bear it, and I also tried fighting back. Fighting back is better, hands down, even when you lose. Don't make it easy for them. When you don't at least try to fight back, you have no ally. Your own lack of self worth just gets added to the pile of people who minimize the value of your existence. It wears on you. Even coming home to a happy home and a wonderful partner can't fully mitigate that burden. But when you do fight back, you can say, "At least I tried." And that goes such a long way. 

Edited by Jibralta
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday afternoon, the whole company received an invite for a mandatory staff meeting and my stomach did a few somersaults. I knew it was going to be related to my argument with Simon. 

And sure enough, it was. Simon deals with problems by calling a group meeting, announcing his displeasure at the existence problems, declaring that the problems are hereby solved, and announcing that the existence of said problems is illegal from here on out. Nobody is allowed to say that they have said problem anymore.

It's like calling "base" when you're playing freeze tag 😂. He doesn't ever address specifics.

I think a lot of people were probably left feeling bewildered at the abruptness of the meeting. But it certainly wasn't lost on anyone that someone had pissed him off. They just didn't know it was me. 

Dinah expected the meeting to be about returning to the office, and I didn't attempt to disabuse her of that notion. Her commentary before, during, and after the meeting cracked me up. I wanted to say, "He's throwing shade at me, Dinah." But I resisted the urge.

image.thumb.png.57dcd6824b3e9477e11f72fd5a069fb3.png

Edited by Jibralta
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time!  I hope today is better.  Two lighthearted asides (and I know a number of Armenian people- I've always been interested in the culture and the history, fyi)  So your Greek reference -and please I mean this in a lighthearted way -always reminds me of the Windex bit in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I just can't get enough of it or that movie.  Second, freeze tag reference reminds me of how Mom was base -i.e. me - in any game of tag in the playground when I took my son when he was young.  That meant the park bench on which I sat was base as well.  One time I think the other child didn't know about the default mom is base rule but my son quickly explained LOL.

I sure hope today is drama free for you.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

"You're putting me in a very difficult position. If I betray the trust of my coworkers when they are venting to me, it destroys our working relationship. What this really comes down to is whether you believe what I'm telling you or not. You don't have to believe me if you don't want to. But I hope that you believe that I'm telling you these things out of genuine concern for the company, and not to make you look bad or feel bad."

Well played 🙂

2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I've tried it both ways. I tried to grin and bear it, and I also tried fighting back. Fighting back is better, hands down, even when you lose. 

Me too! Totally agree! You did the right thing!

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

So your Greek reference -and please I mean this in a lighthearted way -always reminds me of the Windex bit in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Oh, no. That movie was hilarious. My mom and my godmother--both grew up in Greek households, in insular Greek-American communities-laughed their asses off through the whole movie. And the windex reference is my grandmother (Yia Yia) to a T--except her cure for everything was Vaseline. I can still here her with her Greek accent, "Put some Vaseline."

Edited by Jibralta
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

My first thoughts reading about Simon's response were of the dad in Big Fat Greek Wedding... his ego they needed to make sure was intact when making changes or challenging him, it's a good life skill in a way LOL

Growing up in a family that is half Greek, half Irish, I saw this dynamic clearly in the Greek side. The Irish side is much more laid back. But the Greek side requires diplomacy!

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Growing up in a family that is half Greek, half Irish, I saw this dynamic clearly in the Greek side. The Irish side is much more laid back. But the Greek side requires diplomacy!

We have a bit of temper 😁 Not very productive, it's helpful in bed though lol.

Irish are the Italian version of British, they are pretty laid back even by northern standards.

I liked your answer, pretty direct but written in a diplomatic way. Best approach by far. 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Oh, no. That movie was hilarious. My mom and my godmother--both grew up in Greek households, in insular Greek-American communities-laughed their asses off through the whole movie. And the windex reference is my grandmother (Yia Yia) to a T--except her cure for everything was Vaseline. I can still here her with her Greek accent, "Put some Vaseline."

LOL vaseline - yup - what would she think of the newfangled "aquaphor?" (which is basically more expensive vaseline and yes, guilty of using it -awesome for winter-dry hands!)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

dry hands!

Ha, glad you clarified it.  We have many naughty members here, who knows what they imagined!

Edited by dias
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing about Greek people: Their normal speaking voice tends to be yelling. My mom and my sister yell at each other from five feet away.

I saw a meme a number of years back, "I'm not yelling; I'm Greek. We just talk this way." So accurate. I've seen the same meme for Italians.

Maybe there's one for Armenians, too. The structural guy is Armenian, and every conversation with him is basically a yelling match. There's absolutely no anger--he doesn't have the ego thing. I just have to bellow at him at top volume. It's like trying to rein in a runaway horse. I don't mind at all, really. 

But I just spent the last hour on the phone with him and now I'm mentally exhausted and I have a sore throat. My neighbors must think I'm an asshle from all the yelling.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahahahahahaha yes we speak loudly. Maybe it's because of the structure of the language.

Also daily arguments/fights are normal. It's more like a hobby, 10 minutes later it's like nothing happened. They are called "we are alive" arguments lol.

I don't exhibit the above characteristics (I have been told) but I am not the typical sample. I do have other typical Greek traits.

Armenians are pretty close culturally so I am not surprised. Also because he shouts it doesn't mean anything. You replied the right way. You were direct and diplomatic, this is the way to go (with any race really). A very firm tonality also helps. I guess you had a lot of practice with your mother in the past, you know the drill pretty well at this point 🙂

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Simon was definitely yelling at me. It was an "I'm the boss and you're not" lecture. But it was also a "we are alive" argument because I felt invigorated afterwards.

Growing up in my mom's house did give me valuable practice with diplomacy! My sister is much, much better at it than I am, though. But she is my mom's biological daughter, so she's got a genetic edge 😂 

I agree that it is important to be firm. Very important. A person like Simon is bouncing all over the place, trying to get an edge in the argument. He needs to hit a wall in order to stop.

The structural guy, Hassan, was just yelling. That's just how he talks, though. Sometimes I just yell over him until he stops talking lol. He's going to kill me one day 😂😂 I really like him though. He's great.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple people suggested getting my resume in order and applying for a new job, and I think that's a good idea. I had actually updated my resume on the day that I first posted this thread. But I've lost momentum since then.

However, I was thinking about reaching out to an architect, Bill, who I've worked for a couple times in the past. I'm hesitant though, because I backed out of the fulltime position twice now. It would be sort of embarrassing to reach out a third time. I feel like he probably wouldn't trust me anymore!

At the same time, I'm probably going to end up putting my resume out there again. The highs and lows at this place are just exhausting. I love it one day, hate it the next day. I thought, if I just email Bill a head's up that I'll probably be looking for work again soon, maybe it will be ok. 

And then you know what happened? He emailed me! 

It happened just this afternoon. He's just checking in to say hello. So now I'm in the middle of composing a reply in which I tactfully put forth the fact that I may be looking for a job without looking desperate or clobbering him.

☘️

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good opportunities come to good people. Don't let it slide this time. I don't know what he offers salary-wise but if it's for your mental well-being, go ahead.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Jibralta said:

The highs and lows at this place are just exhausting. I love it one day, hate it the next day. I thought, if I just email Bill a head's up that I'll probably be looking for work again soon, maybe it will be ok. 

And then you know what happened? He emailed me! 

This is wonderful Jilbralta!  Very happy for you :D ...  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...