I have my yearly work review this week. We’re supposed to have reviews every month, but my boss never really has her shit together on a regular basis and so prefers to haul people into conference rooms when they do something that displeases her. I think my yearly review will be about a lot that displeases her, as have my last few yearly reviews, although none of what I do that displeases her has anything to do with my actual job.
In simple terms, I work for an emotionally volatile idiot who cares more about personal relationships than she does about job performance. The personal relationships she cares about are perceived; she has no idea who likes who and who doesn’t, but to her, a short reply, an impassive facial expression, or even a distracted sigh are reasons to believe that anyone who perpetrates these is roundly disliked by everyone else on the team to the point where they are capable of ruining everyone’s day and threatening their confidence. I have been pulled into conference rooms multiple times in the past two years so that she can tell me how disliked I am. My boss says that I am too honest and direct with people, because sometimes people don’t like to-the-point answers and I should be more considerate of their feelings when they ask me questions. My boss says that I am impatient, even when the same person makes the same mistakes that cost ever larger amounts of money and my time, and even when they’ve spent months signing off on all of their training only to later claim that they had no idea what any of it meant. My boss has referred to me as “anti-everything,” which means that I declined to wear a Halloween costume at work and prefer not to stay for an hour and a half after my shift to attend department-wide happy hours. My boss is worried about my social skills. My boss recently referred to me as “a cancer.”
My boss is an asshole.
First of all, there is one person in my department with whom I do not get along. That person is Shit Sandwich, and if my boss actually knew anything about who really doesn’t like who, she might realize that Shit Sandwich is widely disliked for being a lazy, condescending, sexist fucking pig who can’t show up on time, let alone build relationships with other departments (several people from other departments have refused to have anything to do with him). But I don’t let this affect my work. Actually, that’s not right. I do let it affect my work. I let it affect my work in that I will always work harder, smarter, and better than Shit Sandwich does. This is extremely easy to do – I told you he was lazy, and he’s really not very bright – but mostly I do it because I care about my time, and I’m not going to waste it by sitting around and pretending I’m better than everyone. I will be better, and I’ll be able to prove it.
Second, although I don’t have problems with other people in my department, that’s not to say that we’re all friends. Nor should we be. People don’t have to be friends in order to work together. We can be civil and professional and even nice, but being punished because I prefer not to hang out after work to drink with everyone is insane, and my refusal to do so doesn’t indicate a social problem on my part. I am friends with my friends. I am on friendly terms with everyone else. Why is this keeping me from being promoted?
Third, if my boss was more direct and honest with her employees, perhaps we wouldn’t have spent months digging ourselves out of holes or dreading coming into work because of people like Grandma Airplane, who was allowed to preach racial invectives and religious warfare in the office every day because my boss was afraid of hurting her feelings to tell her otherwise. Perhaps everyone would be rewarded based on merit, and perhaps hours wouldn’t be spent getting yelled at by clients because of stupid mistakes or lazy oversights. Perhaps we’d actually be respected in the rest of the company instead of derided like a gaggle of semi-retarded charity cases who can barely type or understand spoken language. Perhaps more people should be honest and direct, because I don’t know about you guys, but what we really need is to be lied to by someone who can’t give us a straight fucking answer.
Fourth, it would be nice if my boss realized how fortunate she is to have a few employees who actually give a shit. We’re there every day, we show up early, we do more work than everyone else, and we’ve proven ourselves capable and adaptable. That’s what performance is. It’s not leaving our desks for office parties, it’s not expecting other people to pick up our slack, and it’s not being friends on Facebook. I’m not doing this job because it’s my career, I’m doing it to earn a paycheck and make some use of my abilities. I want to succeed and fail on my own merit, not the whims of someone who holds my employment in her hands yet doesn’t comprehend the finer points of human behavior, intellect, and what happens when you try to bully those out of people.
My boss is making me miserable. My boss is driving me to look for work on the other end of the country, because I don’t ever want to be in a position where I could possibly work for her ever again.
My boss is being reported to HR.