Desperate For Less Stress!

Question:

My boss is moron. She is the manager of the entire office, and she doesn’t even know how to utilize spell check. She and her friend, whom she has given a management position to despite of her being totally unqualified, just sit around the office gossiping and going online to totally inappropriate work websites (hotornot.com for one). She has recently been getting into to trouble over not doing anything because our office has gotten really busy and people are noticing that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing.

I stepped up and have been taking on more responsibility and working to better the office over all because I am the only manager on at night and I hate dealing with issues that could be prevented, so I have just started fixing the issues and such myself. This has really threatened her and now she sends me nasty emails about doing things that aren’t my job, and when I try to gently explain that they are things that have needed to get done for several weeks and were prohibiting me from performing my regular duties, she literally flips out and cries and yells and tells everyone that she is going to fire me. The director of another department advised her to listen to me because I had held a position similar to hers in the past and that she could really use my experience in getting her arms around her new position.

This seems to have really threatened my boss, and she now is trying to replace me. She keeps setting me up to fail (which I don’t, because I am very good at my job, but it sure stresses me out) and is continually talking about how incompetent I am and that she just wants to fire me and start over. The problem is, upper management doesn’t agree with her, so it creates tension. I’ve even caught her breaking into my email and reading messages sent from other managers about groups in the hotel, deposit issues, etc.

I have since found another job, and will probably end up leaving this job in about two months, but I want my last few months to be less stressful (I feel like I’m losing my mind!) and I am afraid to give too much notice, that she’ll just lay me off early instead of utilizing me to help train my replacement. Please help. I’m sick of the tension headaches and unnecessary stress from this job. I also don’t know if I should explain to my higher ups why I am leaving my position or if I should just keep my mouth shut and leave quietly. Please help me!

Signed,

Stressed


Answer:

Dear Stressed:

Do you not have to choose either to back off or to confront your boss? Since you say you plan to leave in two months, you may find it easiest to simply bite your tongue and in as much as possible avoid your boss. However, if you have the guts to confront her, you will need to plan what specifically it is that you see needs to be done differently and what approach will have the best chance of working.

List those things that you see affect your night job. Don’t try to solve your boss’s lack of ability. Then with these items in writing schedule a meeting with her and learn if she will sign off on them or suggest what will work better. If she is cooperative, you should be able to survive for the next several weeks. If not, tell her you will go above her head and invite her to go with you.

At what should be a three-way meeting (the director and your boss and you), you can again explain what you see is necessary to do your job and hopefully the manager above your “moron” boss will be ordered to what is necessary to make your work effective. In this meeting avoid personal attacks and focus on your job effectiveness. (By the way, if you can bring yourself to find even a few redeeming qualities in her, that might help you soften the disrespect that you have for her, and that might free you from the festering stress she has stirred within you.)

However, also it might be wise to have a log of your boss’s past and present behavior–her yelling and threats to fire you told to others–with the dates and to whom she made these remarks. No boss should behave in this fashion. It is unprofessional to do so. Also make copies of the e-mails she sent and evidence of her breaking into your e-mail. This is ammunition that you have should you choose to fight her discourteous and unprofessional behavior.

Although if you want to gather honey, it wise not to kick over the beehive, you do not have to tiptoe on eggs. So make your choice and weigh these thoughts. Possibly, you will find a more creative solution. Please feel free to let us know what you do and what works or does not.

There are some good places to work for and in. Hopefully, in the time you are still with this job, you can find a way to cope and possibly even to make operations better for your self and the hotel’s guests.

Put your faith in candid assertive communication. Think WEGO.

William Gorden