Re: Working for a liar

Subject: Re: Working for a liar
From: "Sandy Harris" <sharris -at- dkl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 10:11:42 -0500

Jo Baer wrote:

The essential point:

> Quit or get transferred to a different boss as soon as humanly
> possible.

No doubt about that.

> Bosses who lie consistently are trying to be "teflon" bosses--nothing
> *ever* sticks to them. Some day, sooner or later, something will go so
> wrong that someone must be fired, or at the very least severely
> disciplined. This isn't going to be the teflon boss who directed you to
> proceed despite all warnings. It's going to be you.

Not much about that either.

> In the meantime,
> take all of the documentation suggestions given. Being able to produce
> even a personal notebook recording date, time, subject matter, boss
> said/I said, etc. will give you a certain credibility.

I'd do that differently. It is one thing for you to produce your notes.
The boss can lie about that, including calling you a liar, or claiming
you've misunderstood or ...

It's quite another thing to print the email. Yes, I know email can be
forged, but it still looks more solid than your own notes.

I'd send a lot of email along the lines of:

--------------------------------------------------------

Just to confirm our phone conversation, my understanding is that you
want me to:

1) water the azaleas more often
2) print all manuals in 34-point Helvetica Italic
3) ....

Please let me know if I've misunderstood or missed anything above.

I'm still not entirely clear on which shade of magenta you felt should
be used in the blueprints. Would WonderPackage 4.7's electric magenta
(see attached sample) be OK?

---------------------------------------------------------

Depending on my mood and how far my job search had progressed, I might
get fairly aggressive about this -- e.g. sending email saying I could
not start work on a project without a clear statement of scope -- but
my default would be just polite requests for confirmation.

I'd also copy lots of people.

If the docs boss is the liar, then when he/she tells me to finish
project X before starting project Y, my confirming email includes my
time estimate for X and is cc'd to both the product managers. If the
development manager for Y explodes, I ask him to confirm with the docs
manager. Perhaps I misunderstood...

If the development manager is the liar, I'd cc the marketing manager
whenever it seems appropriate, or the developer responsible
for a particular section of the product.




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