RE: Working for a liar

Subject: RE: Working for a liar
From: Janet Valade <janetv -at- systech -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 10:09:19 -0800

Regarding your example: If you were aware of your boss's style and knew to
expect possible lying to avoid responsibility, I would suggest the
following communications.

If you had sent an email stating your objections, he could not have
"forgotten" your objections. Send a copy to the consultant. And to yourself.
If he still tries to say you never sent it, your sysadmin can dig it out of
the system and prove you did. You could do this semi-tactfully. For
instance, say:

Thinking through our discussion this morning regarding the decision to print
a report without normalizing the tables, I may not have been clear when
describing the consequences of not normalizing the tables. The possible
problem with not normalizing is that wide tables produce erratic reporting
results. The data may not be stable. Unless I hear differently from you, I
will print the report with a note at the bottom regarding the wide table

Then, you have email about both your objections and the note at the bottom.
Even if he doesn't reply in writing to omit the note on the bottom, he can't
say he never heard of it. If he tells you verbally to print the report
without the note on the bottom, I would then send a status report, saying:

Status: I am currently revising the report, as you requested yesterday, to
remove the appendix note warning of the wide table problem. This should be
completed by 2:00 PM today. I will then reprint the report, which should be
on your desk by 4:00 PM today.

Unless your boss refuses to allow you to send email to him, he can't prevent
you from putting things in writing. And if he did refuse to allow you to
send email, this would be bizarre behavior, and a red flag to his boss. In
fact, I would insist on getting the "no email" rule in writing.

Actually, as someone else mentioned, the real problem here is your boss's
boss. This type of lying behavior and blaming everyone else for problems
becomes obvious in a short period of time. If his boss can't see the problem
with your boss, he is pretty incompetent himself. It definitely would be
time to move on.


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