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Green Room - Week 19 - Day 9

How do you deal with a boss who can't "get" that not everyone is going to be organized in the same exact way? And that some people are better than others at it?

Asking for a friend of course. But this friend isn't having trouble with his actual work, but the boss is making a huge deal about the detailed organization *just in case* someone has to find something... (which they rarely do, and if they do, they can *ask* instead of just grabbing stuff)

The assumption that is being made - because this guy isn't doing exactly what he is told (not that he is actually being told *exactly* what to do... other than "it needs to be BETTER!") - is that he just doesn't like taking orders from women.

Which, IMO (and my friend's), is a *really* huge jump in logic to be making. Perhaps you need to know more about managing different sorts of people, rather than to just assume that someone is being sexist.

Anyway - any advice that I can give that guy?


Any advice I can give to those who haven't voted yet? Other than "be prepared to say goodbye to your favorites, because they *need* your support... http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1019025.html


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2017 05:17 pm (UTC)

Office politics is nearly as bad as national politics, with the exception that you have never seen the faces of the people in office politics. Which is why it's not quite as bad as national politics. That, and there's far less potential for office politics to have an effect on your life.

Office politics is, like national politics, universally disliked, never goes smoothly or the way you would hope and usually has a lot of personality conflict that takes the bad and makes it worse.

Toss in the "isms" and you have a recipe for unpleasantness that will keep you talking at the water cooler until the next season of "The Apprentice" begins!

I was, twice upon a time, a manager. And I was good at it. But I hated it. It is the most thankless position anyone can ever have, and you get complaints from every direction you look. Just thinking about it makes me not want to think.
Jun. 1st, 2017 06:41 pm (UTC)
Advice for that guy: First take a big step back and make sure that he and his boss are on the same page about what his job duties are. Organization can be fine tuned if need be, and that can be done from a place of confidence once the guy is sure he can say, "I'm supposed to be doing x, y, and z, and here they all are." Just my two cents, offered in the spirit of, "I know someone in a similar situation (minus floating rumors of -isms) and wish that person would take this approach so that everyone could stop being so stressed out."
Jun. 1st, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
Differently-organized is not the same as DISorganized. Unless we're talking about my son, in which case yes-- it's all a total lie.

I don't think people are very good at realizing that there many different ways to work effectively, rather than having them all fit some specific model. Corporations are especially bad at realizing that!

And I work for a corporation, which tries to pride itself on being smart and flexible and yet has really become entrenched in chasing short-term accounting rather than long-term thinking. Which means that what saves money in one fiscal year may cost money for the next several years, and that you can easily foresee it for certain choices!

But taking the larger picture view? Buzzuh? What's THAT? \o?

Jun. 1st, 2017 07:10 pm (UTC)
That's a very inflexible boss / manager who is fixed on organizing uniformly more than productivity and results.
That's also not good grounds / proof that the employee is sexist.
Make 3 changes in organization. That could be cleaning up some stuff so less stuff is sitting out, tossing some stuff in the trash or just making neat piles. Take photos as evidence of your effort. Doccument-Doccument-Doccument.

The other advice: Start scouting for a new boss?
Jun. 1st, 2017 07:11 pm (UTC)
Since she's already decided he has a problem with her gender, he can't tell her anything. She'll think he's mansplaining whether he is or not. So he needs to ask questions, the old reflective listening. Careful with the voice tone. Keep it positive. "So I should x, y, z?" (Pause for her response). "Thanks. I'm on it."

If he has ideas about better ways to do a thing, they should be presented as questions rather than suggestions.

"I was wondering..."
"What do you think about..."
"Would it be good to..."
"How should we deal with..."

End with
"Great. Thanks. "
"I appreciate it."
"I'll do that. Thanks. "

Note. This is less about gender than control issues and insecurity. But she's labeled it, and correcting her would be counterproductive. (This said with the supposition that your friend is not actually a misogynist. )

I also have to say these are things women have had to do with controlling bosses forever, but (at least in my generation) women are socialized to accommodate unreasonable overbearing men.


(Kathrynrose, but I bet you knew that. )
Jun. 1st, 2017 10:36 pm (UTC)
All great advice!

Also how does your friend know that he's being accused of misogyny? Did the boss say something? Or is it a rumor? If it's a rumor, I don't think it would be untoward to say something to her about it, and try to reassure that it's not coming from that place at all.

Sucky situation all around.

But, I'll also offer this advice - if his superior wants it done a certain way - and can explain it - just do it that way. *shrugs*
Jun. 1st, 2017 07:54 pm (UTC)
Is this the same boss who has issues with explaining things, and gets angry when people don't understand her explanations?
Jun. 1st, 2017 08:24 pm (UTC)
Whoa, Nellie. This is a type of sexual harassment. What makes your friend think that this is his boss's assumption? This is not an okay assumption if she's really assuming that.

Management is difficult for some most people and those being managed can really suffer legitimately under poor management. I'm not a fan of "he said she said" but I have come to believe that in many work situations using HR or a neutral third party is the way to protect everyone with the added bonus that people get HEARD.

I have unique organizational skills and my intensely detail-oriented organizing boss is driven crazy by that...but if he asks for something, I know exactly where/when/how/who/why. EXACTLY.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 02:28 am (UTC)
" What makes your friend think that this is his boss's assumption? This is not an okay assumption if she's really assuming that. "

She said those words.

I'm the "friend". :)
Jun. 1st, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
does LJ have a pop idol singing competition that looks like featured labeled_girl? Still Got Time!
Jun. 2nd, 2017 02:27 am (UTC)
Not to the best of my knowledge.

Someone tried it, about 12 years ago. But I think they would have a better shot on it succeeding now, if LJ were still big enough to support it. Maybe that is the sort of thing that could drive folks back!
Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:44 pm (UTC)
im so young
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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