Office Politics 101: My boss is very disorganized!

Other managers have even blamed me for the late completion of projects. Your advice, please!

Q: My boss is likeable, but extremely disorganized. I’m her assistant and often have to resolve last-minute crises because of her lack of planning. Other managers have even blamed me for the late completion of projects. Your advice, please!

A: You have every right to be frustrated, although I would guess you feel appreciated by your boss who, no doubt, is very dependent on you.

She is a almost certainly a social person and her spontaneous nature, while pleasant, is making it difficult for you to do your job. It must be especially irritating to be blamed by others for her organizational incompetence.

The current situation has emerged incrementally and you now increasingly find yourself assuming responsibilities that were not part of your original position description.

You know you are enabling her, but it will be a challenge to extricate yourself from the current situation. Her reliance on you may be bordering on dependency, yet she is probably quite happy with the arrangement.

I sense, too, that you have also been protecting her, even defending her to some extent. While laudable, the fact managers have blamed you for her negligence would indicate she is deluding her colleagues.

She is also fully aware of your skills and, while complementary to her own, they are effectively being exploited to serve her own ends; in short, she is apparently taking advantage of you.

You have two options available.

The first option is  to pursue a transfer to another department for a position with similar responsibilities. A promotion may also be a possibility at this time.

Your second option — which would be more difficult to achieve — is to speak with your boss about the matter. She won’t be surprised, but she also won’t be happy to receive your concerns. In fact, she might even become emotional.

Arrange to meet with her — perhaps over lunch or coffee off-site — and present the issues as they relate to the good of the company.  Arguments that are seen to be self-serving will be less persuasive.

Avoid criticizing her and stress the positive if at all possible.

Select a specific subject that could represent the larger problem and illustrate how it is contributing negatively to the success of the department.

While she may initially be annoyed with your presentation, she’ll be impressed with your sincerity and will want to do the right thing.

Allow her the opportunity to respond within, say, a week, and you may be pleased to discover that she is taking greater responsibility for her managerial deficits.

 

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life here.

 

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Trail RCMP seeking info on van near Fruitvale school

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school

Parity prevails at BC Senior Curling championship

Teams go toe-to-toe in second Draw at the BC Senior Curling Championship

Thieves target Genelle commercial properties

Police believe thefts may be connected

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read