Office Dynamic Dilemmas

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    OTOH, the same manager STILL micromanages one of my coworkers -- a person who came to work late virtually every day for months, who took extra time for lunch and breaks every day and who did very poorly in terms of productivity and quality of work. This employee EARNED the punishment of being micromanaged and now is going to have to re-earn his autonomy, since he abused the privilege for so long.

    I think that micromanaging comes from a place of insecurity a lot of the time. "Is this employee capable? Are they going to make me look bad? Will they deliver?"

    So, from all the career advice stuff I've read and seen over the years, the most common advice seems to be 1)communicate with the manager about how you would like things to be 2) Keep the micromanager in the loop about work in progress and 3)deliver results.

    If the manager is inclined to change, that should help eventually.
  2. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    and now you have another plan LOL
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    if someone is pilfering from my fridge I invite a temporary Possession by Zuul.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And just to 'fess up, this is not my idea. Got it from Robert Fulghum, who wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten twenty ... five? Years ago.** Good stuff -- life lessons for work and home. :) Some quotes (IIRC each one of these is a chapter title.)


    1. Share everything.
    2. Play fair.
    3. Don't hit people.
    4. Put things back where you found them.
    5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
    6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
    7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
    8. Wash your hands before you eat.
    9. Flush.
    10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
    11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
    12. Take a nap every afternoon.
    13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
    14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
    15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seeds in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.





    ** Yup 1988. Twenty-five years. Where does the time go?
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    That's exactly it. I've known her for...11? years. This is how she is. She bosses everyone, up to an including our branch chief. Don't get me wrong--she's exceptionally organized, very good at what she does, and effective. But I just don't deal well with her style. (Truth be told, we're very much alike in a lot of ways. But I don't have the stones, or the willingness, to boss other people around. She most certainly does.)

    Thanks for all of the good suggestions for how to approach her if things become difficult. I'm definitely bookmarking these pages, believe me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will remain a temporary thing.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I don't know if you have such a thing where you are, P, but one thing that seemed to really help one of my managers is that my company has "360 degree feedback" where every employee has at least one chance per year to give anonymous feedback about their manager's performance.

    So, for example, this particular manager had a real issue with taking credit for other people's work. He got overwhelming amounts of feedback from multiple employees about that, some of it face-to-face, some in other ways that I'll gladly share later (don't want to hijack your convo,) but a lot came via that 360 degree feedback progress, to which managers are held accountable via their own performance reviews.
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I agree with 8. and 9.
    15. is a truism.
    the rest could be summed up with a *SNORT*

    footnote; current good parenting, allows a child not to share; every time you force a child to share its toys or whatever, you diss it, undermine its confidence to make its own decisions. You as an adult, have the choice to share, forcing your child to share its stuff is tyranny. but then again tyranny can be benevolent, take Vetinari as an instance.
    tequila likes this.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I wish. We have an employee feedback survey once a year, but it leaves out any/all opportunity to review our own managers. We can review at the division level, and the "enterprise" level. Can't review our immediate boss, or their boss. We've asked for that multiple times...no such luck. I'm not a fan of tilting at windmills.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    What about 4,5, and 6? Aren't they what we're talking about, when it comes to office fridge etiquette?

    And yes. I know what you mean about #1 (although that's a big part of where my potluck mania comes from. People who have never contributed so much as a fork get to share in those lunches and often do. ) This probably belongs over in the parenting thread but what the heck. I have a GF who, once a year, used to force her now-grown son to pick some of his old toys to give away to needy kids before she would buy him any news toys. Great! Now he gets to resent the needy kids who are now playing with his favorite toys. (And don't even get me started on the mixed message being sent by giving the needy kids used toys while buying her son new ones. But that's another story.)
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Then, my dear, you're stuck with the direct approach. That or look for a new boss. Actually, if I had to pick, I would suggest that AND look for a new boss.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    yes but if the other person thinks I can share everything and as its no.1. it must be more important than no. 6. therefore whoever won't mind sharing their stuff that's in the fridge...

    and you've shot yourself in the foot..
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Which brings us back full circle to my question that started this thread. I need to be willing to share. Ms. Nibbles shouldn't take what doesn't belong to her. You're making my point for me. *grin*

    Say what you will about the book. It was very well received, when it was published and for more than a few years after that.

    Also, just at the risk of being difficult, if #15 is such a truism, then why do so many men and women go into existential crisis when confronting the realization of their own mortality? Why do people spend so much of their time, energy and resources seeking their lost youth? #15 may be obvious, but that doesn't make it less profound, depending on how you look at it, of course.
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Just what every office fridge needs.

    [​IMG]
    bordertangoman likes this.
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    er No. I am just pointing out the contradiciton in the list.

    A: Your second question; Becuase old and ugly people (and even short people)are treated with less respect and less favourably, and you can do more stuff when you are young and fit. Go read Cyrano de Bergerac and see how such a tragedy arises...

    A: Your first question; its just a phase...
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh come on, dude! Let's take this conversation over to the Enlightenment thread, so we can focus on Peaches' Work Crisis in this thread. (IOW I have much more to say about Kindergarten.)

    Just re-read Cyrano with DS six? eight? weeks ago. He had a project in the influence of French culture or some such, and we read it. It was way fun introducing him to one of my fave characters, Cyrano Mr. Magoo.

    [​IMG]


    You're right. Old and ugly people generally do not get treated as well as younger, better looking people. With some notable exceptions. *giggle*

    [​IMG]

    But no. Having watched all of the elders in my family (except my parents, thank God) die of old age and/or various diseases, usually cancer, I don't think that struggling with the idea of mortality is just a passing phase. But that really is probably better discussed in a different thread. Would be more than happy to exchange ideas with you, though. I think it would be a great conversation. :)
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And, back to Peaches current concern, I'll share just a tad of my experience with my worst boss ever, to reinforce why I think it's important that, even if your Ts are all crossed and your Is dotted in terms of making sure your work is above reproach, direct communication is important.

    Years ago, I had the worst boss ever. I won't go into a lot of detail, but I will say that he was (arguably) a benevolent bigot. A very nice man who, despite my technical education and background, gave me menial, administrative work, little responsibility, etc. Meanwhile, he'd do things like ask me about my athletic prowess, etc, All the stereotypes. I'll pull the curtain of charity over the worst of the details.

    Anyway. I worked for this guy for ... two? years, during which I took your approach, P, and did my very best to do work that was above reproach. I also worked with cross-functional teams outside my group and/or department, which helped build my credibility with and visibility with other people of influence (something I highly recommend for you, btw.)

    Meanwhile, back in my office, I stewed and steamed and stewed some more because my boss was a bigot and he wasn't going to change. He was 57 years old, at the time, and mentally set in his ways. My doing a good or even great job wasn't going to erase his lifelong belief system.

    Finally one Friday I decided I'd had enough. I marched over to his office to have a confrontation and tell him that, come Monday, I expected him to help me find another job where I'd be more valued. He wasn't there, because he'd taken the afternoon off to go play golf. Okay, fine. Monday morning then. So Monday morning, I went stomping off to his office, only to find that he'd died of a heart attack on Sunday night. And I was left with all that pent-up, unresolved rage PLUS a sidelined career that I had to revitalize.

    What if I'd just opened the lines of communication when I first realized there was a problem instead of waiting?

    Not suggesting that your micromanager boss will die, P. Stuff that dramatic doesn't happen often. Just saying. Uncomfortable or not, I believe that direct, timely communication may be your best option
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I guess I should connect the dots on this example, just a bit more explicitly. I spent a lot of years coming to peace with it and have drawn my own conclusions. No reason to assume that someone reading this for the first time would draw from it the same lessons I did.

    Lesson 1) The time is now. If something needs to be done, career-wise, do it now. And that doesn't mean just the regular day to day work do-list items. That means active career planning and management. Your day to day job is covered. Managing up, as you put it, is about your career, not just your job, IMHO.

    Lesson 2) Even the world's worst boss is a boss, which implies that someone in your organization values their input enough to have promoted them to that level. Even if you and everybody else knows that the boss is a loser, their say carries weight (even from beyond the grave, as I found out.)

    I think we talked about this before (maybe via PM.) According to a presentation that I saw years ago, one of the top ten career mistakes that people make is staying too long in a bad situation.

    Not suggesting that you should run for the hills immediately. Saying that you should take steps to improve the situation ASAP so that you can assess whether it's fixable and/or whether you should forget it and move on. Talk to her.
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I guess that advice went over like a ton of bricks. lol.

    Change of subject. Does anybody other than me get lots of chain letter emails? I mean things like, "This email is for all the wonderful Moms in the world. Send this to nine more wonderful Moms right now. Make sure you send it back to me."

    What the heck do you do with those things?
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    No, It went over really well. I just got involved with stuff elsewhere. I have to say, the idea of actually speaking up scares the ever-loving [poo] out of me. I'm not a speaking up kinda girl. At all. I'm a quietly-stew-and-find-a-way-to-work-around-something kinda girl. But I've also realized that needs to change. I'm still hoping that 1)my fears are unfounded, 2)my boss comes back after her 3-month detail, and 3)even if my fears are real, that I'm able to deal with it for the duration of three months. But I'm also a pessimist (as you say, I gotta be me), and I know how much she rubs me the wrong way, so...I'm trying to get my mind used to the idea of speaking up for myself--calmly, professionally, directly (ha!), and with an eye towards expressing my needs and meeting hers.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    On the subject of chain letters...at work, not really. Sometimes we'll get spam, which I just delete (even though we're supposed to forward it to some damn division or other...whatever, they're the uber-scary division of our organization, and I'm not going to voluntarily involve them in my life). At home...only from my dad, who is the king of forwarded emails. Ugh.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    My problem is that I know too many women. Just kidding! But I do have a lot of GFs and other acquaintances at work who send those emails. I HATE them, especially the 'If you love me, send me this email right back" clause. Talk about emotional blackmail. And don't even get me started on the fact that, technically speaking, they're skating on the fine edge of against company policy. Yeesh.

    And, to make it even more annoying, my work email has the popup feature where you can see a little summary and subject line of every incoming email on your screen, not matter what you're doing. (Not optional. It's in the required computer set-up. I've seen pop-ups on VPs screens during a presentation, if they were using their personal laptops.)

    So what do I do? Delete most of them. If there I get one from somebody I love whom I know adores those stupid emails, I send it back to them, blind copied so they can't see that I'm not harassing eight other friends with such nonsense during the workday.

    Oy.

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