Bossed Double

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about two bosses and double work load:

I work at a job where my foreman and supervisor are brothers. They do and say what they want to you and you have no one to report it to. You go over his head to talk to his supervisor and somehow everything gets worked out. But nobody tells me you what happens. Now your workload has doubled and he follows you around all day trying to fire you.

Signed, Bossed By Brothers

Dear Bossed By Brothers:

It is clear that you are unhappy in your workplace, and more than that, you are afraid you will be fired. You see both your brother supervisor and brother foreman as bosses who see things alike. Have you had a complaint about one of them and taken it over his head to the other brother? Did that turn out badly? Are there specific parts of your work that you feel are unfair? Is the pay fair? Do you like or dislike the kind of work you are assigned? Have you been overloaded, treated rudely, and overworked? Do you think of your job as just a paycheck and not as something that has a future? Do you find any satisfaction in what you do? Do you have skills that make finding a job elsewhere more to your liking possible? No matter what the job, we each consciously and unconsciously answer such questions as these. And when we are dissatisfied with enough things; type of work, amount of pay, mistrust and dislike our coworkers and/or bosses, see no future; we are ever on the lookout for other job possibilities.

When for the most part we are pleased with our jobs and find only one or two things about it that we dislike, we find a way see if those downsides can be changed.From what little you say, it sounds to me that you think you will stay in the job you have in spite of your dislike for the brother teamed as foreman and supervisor. Therefore, you must either bite your tongue and suppress you complaints or become more assertive. Until and unless you speak up and make a case for what you think needs changing, you’ll continue to feel you are a victim. If you determine that things can’t be changed, continue to work where you do, but start looking for a better place to work, or work on skills you need to be employed in a better workplace. Have you ever thought about how you would manage your job and workplace if you were the big boss? What would you do to cut wasted supplies, time, duplication, defects and money? How would you manage if you were foreman or supervisor? I suggest that if you want to keep your job you do a lot of thinking that way. Then make little steps to cut waste and to make money for you company?

Doing that will put you on the same page with your foreman and supervisor. No longer will you see them as enemies. No longer will they see you as just someone to be bossed. You will be seen as a member of a team. You will then earn your right to talk with them about what you think is unfair or might improve working conditions. Does this make sense? If it does, you will come to understand why I often sign my advice with this sentence: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Get back to us after you have weighed these thoughts. Tell us what you do and if it works.

William Gorden