RE: Lumberg! (was Ruffled Feathers)

Subject: RE: Lumberg! (was Ruffled Feathers)
From: "Michele Marques" <marquesm -at- autros -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 13:39:17 -0500

Andrew suggests ignoring your boss when you think he's wrong and just being
petty; that your good results will be override the effects of not playing
petty politics.

One problem with this approach is that the person choosing to ignore the
boss may not realize the he cannot deliver the results or that the results
are not good enough. Even if you are good enough to get away with it, if you
do this too much, others may resent you for a prima donna attitude and you
may be disrupting the dynamics of the team.

My approach when faced with a boss who tends to make unreasonable demands,
is to try to manage the boss with regards to my work. Someone asking you to
do lots of last minute overtime is either facing an unusual crisis or has
not properly planned -- I get the job done on time, even if overtime is
required, the first time - and then in the future I make sure I manage my
time properly.

I had a boss once who would get really picky about presentations and who
could spend forever putting in and taking out materials (sometimes removing
the same information that he earlier put in). After the first time that I
stayed until 10pm (without a dinner break, because I kept thinking we might
finish sooner if I didn't take a break), I realized that I needed to manage
the situation. Two weeks before a presentation was due to occur, I would
give him my completed presentation and give him just over a week to request
any changes; if he wanted to make changes after that time, he was the one to
make changes.

I got away with it because I gave him ample warning (i.e., he didn't first
hear of my policy when requesting a change at the last minute), because I
gave him ample time to do his part (at least a week), and because I
maintained flexibility (if I did have time to complete a last-minute change
I would, otherwise I would tell him what else I was working on and apologize
that I didn't have time). I'm sure that if I just ignored him (i.e., didn't
try to manage the situation in the future, and just left at the end of
working hours while ignoring last minute change requests), that he would
have had complaints against me for insubordination and for not doing the

Michele Marques
Technical Writer,
Autros Healthcare Solutions
marquesm -at- autros -dot- com


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