I’m A Temp With An Unapproachable Boss!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss who talks down and evokes feeling of unapproachable:

I started a new job as a temporary to permanent position. My boss has an Executive Assistant who was assigned to train me and to give me assignments. I am well liked by everyone in the office and I am also confidant that I will be hired as permanent, but this assistant makes me feel very bad. I do my best to learn the business and to be diligent with everything I do. Some examples of her actions are: giving me assignments and after I am through telling me that she wanted it a different way, making herself unapproachable, talks down to me, acts like a drill sergeant instead of training, corrects me for every little thing including how she wants calls from her boyfriend (that has nothing to do with work).

Since I am in a vulnerable position because I am temporary, what can I do to make this a more positive atmosphere? I want this job and I am working hard to do my best, but I feel that I am being criticized for everything. Instead of getting constructive criticism and being helped to learn, I am discouraged. Any suggestions?

Signed, Discouraged

Dear Discouraged:

Your frustration is understandable; however, keep your goal in sight. Remember to grow and gain we must sometimes be willing to put ourselves in a temporarily uncomfortable position. Notice the emphasis on temporarily. When the executive assistant gives you an assignment, repeat her instructions back to her. You might state, “Just to make certain I understand you correctly, the procedure for this task is…”

Be friendly, be professional and be direct when you do have a legitimate concern to voice with her. Is this individual the person who hired you? If not, (and the situation continues to go downhill), would it be possible to discuss the situation with the individual who did hire you? Following these suggestions should help you work more effectively with your boss. Learning to work effectively with those who make and monitor assignments requires patience, persistence, and more patience and persistence.

Resilience is linked to seeking clarification of assignments. You seem to be at a point where you should candidly talk with your superior about what helps you perform to her/his satisfaction. Communication can be key to crossing the bridge to a WEGO working relationship. Do keep us posted on what you do and how your working relationship progresses.

Roxanne Precopia