Hard Lessons

11 04 2008

Got a pasting at work from both the bosses – I’m taking too much upon myself, volunteering too much, getting involved in things that don’t concern me and not behaving the way they want me to. They are not happy.

Isn’t it amazing that, first, your efforts can be so misunderstood, and second, that it seems necessary to use such a large hammer to crack such a small nut?

I don’t really know what to do about this – I was really angry and taken aback, then sad and then I felt a bit futile, like I’d said something and hurt someone’s feelings but totally hadn’t intended to.

I would like to believe this wasn’t my fault – I can’t get away without feeling like it’s a bit my fault, because I’m genetically incapable of palming all the blame off on someone else.

I shall have to pray about this.

What did they mean, ‘I’m doing too much’? Isn’t that the definition of a worthwhile worker? 😦

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11 responses

11 04 2008
fox

I’m sorry to hear that. It is somewhat shocking to hear from an employer that you are doing too much. What exactly are they looking for? Someone who is mediocre at best? That is just stupid. Sending you lots of love and positive energy.

11 04 2008
The Green Witch

Thank you Fox. It’s a tough one. Thinking it over now – and watching a programme about people who have lost their homes to natural disasters. Like I said to the husband – kind of puts things into their right perspective!

11 04 2008
Mereth

Well, there are two possible explanations as far as I can see. The first would be that by ‘taking on too much’ they feel that you’re not concentrating on the core elements of what you were employed to do and things are going wrong. It may be they don’t have the eloquence to explain it that way, if that were the case. The other possibility, and I suspect this is the more likely of the two (not that there aren’t other explanations, but it’s all I can think of now), is that you are threatening them. If you take on more and more, become capable at the things that they perceive as “boss work” and gnaw away at the things they can hold out as setting themselves apart and above you, they wont react well, in general.

Now, there is management wisdom that says you can only get promoted when you’ve made sure someone else can take over your job and not made yourself indispensable in it, but if there’s nowhere for you to go, then you won’t want anyone else able to do the job, will you?

Why don’t you take the weekend to relax, take some deep breaths and formulate some questions for them? After all, it should have been a conversation and that gives you the right to ask questions about what they have said. Ask them exactly what they mean. Ask them if they are unhappy with any aspects of the work you do – if they can’t fault you, explanation two is about as sure as eggs are eggs. The main thing is, don’t go home and feel hurt – they owe you an explanation about what they are driving at, so gird your loins girl and get to the bottom of it.

If they are feeling threatened, the best policy is to go all girlie, simper a bit (just for a while) and think about whether you can find a better job. Hey! You’re learning HTML and CSS – there’s a possibility for you… Good Goddess TGW, you’re intelligent, articulate and highly capable, it’s no like you have to work in a place that doesn’t appreciate you – just so long as you believe those things about yourself.

12 04 2008
The Green Witch

I really appreciate you thoughts on this, SW – I can always count on you for a measured opinion!

14 04 2008
tangerinelips

That sounds very odd… I sorry 😦 I do agree with Mereth. Just hang in there! Just take some time to think it over. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to!

14 04 2008
The Green Witch

Thanks, tangerinelips – good to know!

15 04 2008
Paul

I’m at an utter loss as to guess what your bosses had in mind when telling you that you take on too much. I don’t recall in all my years in management ever telling someone they took on too much — except in one or two cases out of concern they might be overworking themselves. Do your bosses have a drinking problem?

15 04 2008
The Green Witch

Thanks Paul, you made me feel better! 🙂

16 04 2008
The Shepton Witch

How’s it going?

16 04 2008
The Green Witch

Ugly. Been in bed 2 days, can’t speak, can’t breathe properly. Feeling awful. 😦

16 04 2008
The Shepton Witch

Oh dear. I hope you start to feel better soon. There are lots of nasty things going about. Take lots of Echinacea, vitamin C and TLC and stay tucked up and warm. Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery.

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