Saturday, February 16, 2013

Letter To a Former Manager

In thinking back over my years in the workplace, I count at least twenty-one managers. This, despite working seventeen years with one company and despite not counting the President of my last employer, to whom I reported with a dotted line.

Some of these managers were really wonderful. They were very knowledgeable, trusting, and deserving of trust. They were patient, level-headed, gifted teachers, and concerned about me as a person. These are Bea, Rose, Anne, Donna, and June among others. I’m certain I’ll have a degree of gratitude to these managers as long as I live.

And … no surprise, I’ve had my share of not-so-wonderful managers. Most people have, I’m sure. 

Have you ever wanted to tell one of these not-so-wonderful bosses exactly what you think of her managerial skills? Yes? Well, I can help with that! You say I've never met your former not-so-wonderful boss? I have, trust me.

Here then is my letter to one of your awful ex-bosses.

Dear You:

I must admit that I’ve grown to dislike you very much in the past few months. You are self-centered. You are selfish. You’re not very good at your job, and watching you scramble to protect your rear (which often involves throwing others under the bus) is painful. You willfully ignore problems and apparently think it’s okay for managers to demean, scream at, and otherwise disrespect their employees.

You like to waste my time, and it’s irritating. Yes, I know I’m being paid to do what you say, but did I really need to spend two hours preparing a self-evaluation that you never read and never referenced in your own (months late) crappy review of my performance, which, by the way, though flattering, showcased your complete ignorance of my job responsibilities, my abilities, my motivations, and my value?

You think your forgetfulness, lack of focus, and general disorganization is adorable, and we should join you in laughing at how “you” you are. Well, I’m not laughing. It’s not cute to be repeatedly late to meetings. It’s irresponsible and discourteous. Having to update you two, three, and sometimes four times because you don’t listen (although you’re the one who asked the question) is a pain in the rear. For crying out loud, if you’re not going to remember something, write it down!

You demand a lot but give very little. That is, very little guidance and very little support. Actually, I don’t need your guidance—you don’t know how I should be doing my job anyway—but I could use your support sometimes. But, I guess that’s asking for too much.

In short, you are one lousy boss.

Surprisingly, all this would be tolerable if you were to express any real interest in my well being, but instead it’s all about you. Oh, you give good lip service, but in the end, it’s what you need, what you want, and your priorities. Well, news flash. I’m a human being existing independently of you, and I have career aspirations, family responsibilities, and needs and wants too. Frankly, I’m sick of pretending I don’t so you’ll be comfortable and not have to concern yourself with my “stuff,” as though I haven’t been dealing with your “stuff” forever.

So, I’ve moved on. You’re fired, and I’m gone!

You’re welcome.

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