update: I’m in charge of assigning work to my manager, but he won’t do it

Remember the letter-writer who was put in charge of assigning work to her manager, who wouldn’t do much of it? Her manager, “Frank,” was regularly missing deadlines and messing up projects. His own boss, “Rebecca,” declined to actually manage the situation and instead put the letter-writer in charge of assigning work to Frank and nudging him to do it. Here’s the update.

While I’d love to say I took your advice, I actually reached an internal frustration point and gave my notice about a week after you posted your column. It was incredibly helpful to hear your and others’ perspectives on the situation, but it left me with a bit of a pit in my stomach because all hopes of resolution seemed to rest on Rebecca, who (in my opinion) had demonstrated poor managerial skills in several different instances.

While I was thinking over how to approach this, a new situation arose. Bill, the manager in charge of the large, multi-month project (that Frank had specifically requested to work on) came to me to ask that Frank be removed from the project (Frank was on vacation at this point). I told Bill that I understood his concerns and would be happy to do so but I was in a bit of an awkward position and that it might come across better if it came from Rebecca. Bill agreed and conferred with Rebecca, and then reported back to me that they had decided that I should remove Frank from the project and reassign it out, saying it hadn’t been properly requested in the first place. I was taken aback by this outcome since it put the ball right back into my court.

I stopped by Rebecca’s office and mentioned my concerns and she agreed that it was probably best that she take care of letting Frank know and to go ahead and assign myself Bill’s project while Frank was out of town. Problem solved, right? I’m not sure exactly what happened at this point, but I believe Frank found out before speaking with Rebecca that he was off the project due to “time constraints.” I know because he sent several texts to myself and emails to Bill and Bill’s assistant manager wanting to know what happened and arguing that he had plenty of time and the project had been requested through the proper channels, etc. I played dumb and said that Rebecca had asked that someone else be moved onto the project and I wasn’t sure why.

I went home that night and couldn’t sleep. I knew that the situation would probably resolve itself and I knew it wasn’t my fault, but I was completely stressed and frustrated. I know this might seem silly based on this one situation alone, but I had experienced Frank’s passive-aggressiveness before and I knew to him it appeared that he went away on vacation and I had stolen his favorite project.

The next morning I had to meet with Rebecca about something and she mentioned offhandedly that Frank had called her yesterday (from his vacation) to ask why he had been taken off this project and push to be placed back on it. Rebecca said “I told him there will be other fun projects but the timing just didn’t work on this one.” Then she sighed, looked at me and said, “I can’t imagine this is the only time we’ll have to deal with a situation like this” and – I think my brain snapped. To admit that there are obvious flaws in this system, and to act as if she and I are in cahoots, trying to wrangle this other employee who is my manager, and then to act as if there’s simply nothing to be done about it – I have no idea if this is an accurate read or not, but to me, I walked away feeling that nothing about this system was going to change and that if any uncomfortable situation arose out of this arrangement they were going to land on my head.

So I left, took a walk around the block, called temp agencies, had a long conversation with my sister (who listened to my fears patiently and then said “You’re miserable. Just live a little – get out of there. You’ll make it work” which I am enormously thankful for), went back to the office, typed up a resignation letter and handed it in. I skirted around the whys when presenting it to Rebecca and was very direct with HR. There were some more awkward moments during my last three weeks – Frank assumed I had found a new position and when I said I had not, was upset with me for not coming to him if I had an issue, Rebecca requested to sit in on my exit interview with HR and then kept referencing “our” decision to have me manage the workflow, etc. In my exit interview I did make a point of saying that I thought that the manager and the person delegating the projects should be the same person.

My last day was a few months ago and while there have been up and down moments in between, and I am definitely less financially stable than I was before, I feel so much happier and so much more like myself. I spent a lot of time being unhappy at that job and a lot of time chiding myself for it, because on the face of it, it wasn’t that bad, other people have bosses who scream at them, I am paid fairly, etc. – but I think the reality was whether or not someone else would have been okay in that situation, I just wasn’t and it was making me miserable.

I do still get lunch with several old coworkers and everything has remained exactly the same – the other woman in my department is now in charge of assigning work to Frank, herself, and the new hire. I feel for her!

This is already incredibly long but thank you so much Alison, and also to the other readers and commenters! Though I didn’t end up taking your advice, the response to my letter helped spur me to the decision I needed to make myself so thank you, truly.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Junior Dev

    Good for you for understanding that a situation doesn’t have to be Objectively The Worst to not be right for you. I really think someone could legitimately have the worst job in the world and still have doubts like this–“it’s not that bad,” “at least you have a job!” Doesn’t matter, it made you miserable. I’m glad you got out and I hope you find a better job soon.

    Reply
  2. LSP

    Rebecca put you in a terrible situation, and while, sure, there are probably people who could have managed with that kind of pitiful excuse for “management” I think most would have felt exactly as you did. There comes a point where you have to put you own well-being first, and I’m glad you did that, OP. You’ll find a new position, and when you do, you’ll be able to honestly discuss managerial experience you have, being in charge of assigning work to an entire department. Use this awful mess to your advantage!

    Reply
    1. JessaB

      Yes, if they wanted the OP to manage this they should have promoted the OP. Managing without the actual authority can be impossible sometimes.

      Reply
      1. Stranger than fiction

        Yep, my bf likes to say he has all the accountability and none of the authority. Not a good spot to be in.

        Reply
  3. Jess1216

    Sounds like you made the right decision – it’s never going to be different there since they don’t seem to understand the fundamental problem. Good luck!

    Reply
  4. Boop

    Managers should not be in exit interviews – if the point is to obtain honest feedback from resigning employees, having the manager in the room is a terrible idea. I think this is a sign that the organization is dysfunctional, not just that office. Good job getting out of there – and best of luck!

    Reply
    1. Artemesia

      This. Rebecca is a nightmare who should have been fired long ago. for her to go in and repress feedback about her terrible job and for HR to allow it tells you all you need to know about that place.

      Reply
    2. Malibu Stacey

      Rebecca knows all of this – I’m guessing that’s exactly why she wants to be in on the meeting. She wants to prevent the LW from mentioning that she didn’t manage Frank properly.

      Reply
      1. Turtle Candle

        Yep. I’m guessing that’s why she insisted on sitting in and kept referring to “our” decision to handle Frank in that way and so forth. She doesn’t want LW revealing not only that it was her (Rebecca’s) terrible decision, but that the LW knew it was a terrible idea and pushed back without success.

        Odd to me that HR would have let her do that, though! I mean, I can see why a manager might not want their employee speaking honestly in the exit interview, but there’s no reason you need to accommodate that desire.

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          HR often doesn’t look at exit interviews as a way to get the scoop on managers — they’re often seen as a way to get feedback on benefits, salaries, and other less scandalous stuff.

          I agree a manager shouldn’t be sitting in on an exit interview — but that was likely HR’s thought process.

          Reply
          1. designbot

            yeah they don’t always know that an issue like that is going to come up, often only the resigning employee knows. If this comes up for others, maybe try mentioning to HR that you’d appreciate a few minutes alone with them as well so that you can alert them to a couple of things. I’ve done this at an organization that usually did online exit surveys instead of interviews and it was very beneficial.

            Reply
        2. Stranger than fiction

          Yeah those “our” statements really bothered me. Would have been awesome if Op had corrected her in the moment but I’m sure she was just glad to be on her way out the door.

          Reply
          1. Dynamic Beige

            I don’t know how Rebecca was able to say “our” decision with a straight face. Like the LW proposed it as a solution or something and she agreed it was a good one. SMH.

            Reply
    3. LBK

      Seriously, that defeats the entire point of an exit interview, which is to try to get feedback from people they might not have been willing to share while working there (eg feedback about their managers).

      Reply
  5. JB

    ” I thought that the manager and the person delegating the projects should be the same person.”

    This is obvious to the point that their not doing that in the first place says everything necessary about their managerial skills. If you don’t have the authority to make people do things, you shouldn’t be responsible for telling them what to do.

    Reply
    1. ArtK

      I disagree. The split between assignment and management can be done. It happens all the time, especially in project-based environments. Most of my career, I’ve been a team lead responsible for assigning work, while not being a direct manager. Project managers frequently do this — they don’t have line responsibility but do allocate work. The issue in the OP isn’t the split, it’s the fact that there was no mechanism to assure that Frank did his work. The OP should have been able to give Rebecca feedback on Frank’s performance and have that managed appropriately.

      The assigner doesn’t need the direct authority to enforce work, but they do need the complete support of someone who does have that authority.

      Reply
      1. Jesmlet

        A direct report shouldn’t be assigning their manager work. That’s just silly. If they were on the same level with Frank being a manager by title that’d be one thing, but that’s not the situation. She’s being told by her grandboss to tell her boss what to do. That’s just completely backwards. This is more Rebecca’s fault than anyone else’s.

        Reply
        1. Pineapple Incident

          Exactly! A team lead among a group of people who are all technically at the same level in an organization still has authority to delegate responsibilities and make decisions, whereas a direct report of a manager does not have this authority in any way.. at all, and shouldn’t have been put in this awkward position.

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          1. Jadelyn

            Yes! I am an HR Assistant. We just hired a second HR Assistant. Since I’ve been here for 3 years and am the person who built most of the systems and processes we’re now using, while the other Assistant is technically on an equal level with me and reports to the same manager I do, that manager has empowered me to delegate work and make decisions on how to split the workload. I have the ability to assign work, but if there are performance issues our manager would be the one to address it. However, I can’t delegate work and choose how to split tasks with my *manager*. That’s a hugely different type of dynamic.

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        2. hbc

          I think it can be done, but there have to be clear guidelines for how things are supposed to be assigned. No one has more than X projects at one time, divvy up “fun” projects on a rotating basis whenever possible, whatever.

          Of course, the other thing you need is someone in the chain of command who isn’t a complete load. If Frank let OP delegate appropriately and didn’t try to sneak off with good projects, this would work fine. If Rebecca read Frank the riot act for upsetting the workaround they had to implement to cover for the fact that *he couldn’t do all of his job*, this could also work. But without Frank and Rebecca being functional, well…I’m not sure there’s a system that could cover for them.

          Reply
        3. LBK

          Eh, it really depends how work comes in and how much individual contributor work the boss does/is expected to do. My manager does a lot of the same kind of work I do in addition to his managerial responsibilities, and sometimes I get requests directly from other people that it would make more sense for him to do so I re-assign them to him.

          However, if we’re talking about a highly structured system where all work flows in through one individual contributor who’s then divvying it up between multiple people including her own manager, that’s weird. And being expected to take work *off* your manager because they’re not succeeding at it (and not because they don’t have time to do it/have more important things to focus on) is bonkers.

          Reply
      2. Ask a Manager Post author

        I think that’s right. It’s workable to have someone assign work to their manager in some contexts, but only if the manager is on the ball. (You see this in fundraising, for instance, where lower-level staff need to “assign” the top person donor meetings or donor calls.) The minute there’s an issue with the manager completing it, it stops being workable for the assignments to come from below. Rebecca knew this was the case with Frank, which means it was a ridiculous arrangement for her to propose.

        Reply
        1. JB

          I think there’s a difference between things like the fundraising example, which is closer to an assistant scheduling their boss meetings, and this situation. “I know I’m doing x, but the grunt work of schedule maintenance is below me so just tell me when I’m doing x with who” is a perfectly reasonable flow. That’s not what’s going on here.

          Reply
          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            There are other examples too, though — say you manage a newsletter and you need to assign your boss the regular column she writes, or whatever. It works as long as the manager is actually responsive.

            Reply
            1. Purest Green

              Another example, I complete an end product but my manager is responsible for communicating that the product is available to the appropriate parties. Because I’m the one who knows (1) that it’s complete, (2) where it’s located, and (3) who should be told about it, I have to assign her the duty of communicating this information everyone (and the communication is better delivered by her vs. me).

              Reply
      3. NW Mossy

        It’s SOP on my team that the team handles assignments of incoming tasks based on criteria that I set, and I check in often to make sure that they’re being followed and the workload is reasonably balanced. For some tasks, they also do self-assignment and pick up items from a queue. We take in thousands of tasks every year and it would unreasonably delay the work getting done if everything was stacking up waiting for me to get out of a meeting to assign it.

        There certainly can (and have been) dust-ups about a particular assignment, but I expect that and my team knows that they can talk to me if they have concerns and need me to intervene or if the criteria aren’t working well. It works fairly well, although I’m looking to automate some of this work because it’s just a lot of labor.

        Reply
      4. Koko

        I interpreted that comment not to mean, “the delegator should have managerial authority,” (since many situations don’t require a manager at all, but rather, “the manager should be the delegator [in a scenario involving a manager].”

        Reply
        1. Jadelyn

          That’s a good way of putting it. *If* someone in a situation has managerial authority and someone else in that situation doesn’t, there’s a clear direction that delegation needs to flow and it’s not upwards.

          Reply
      5. Turtle Candle

        Yes. I work in a situation where I sometimes sorta-kinda give assignments to my boss–the nature of my work is such that sometimes I’ll be in a meeting with Grandboss but without Boss, and Grandboss will tell me during the course of the meeting, “Please ask Boss to get me an update on the rice sculpture toolkit by next Friday.” Or either Grandboss or Boss will put me in charge of assembling the Rice Sculpture Weekly newsletter, which means that I have to collect and proof articles from other members of staff, including the rice sculpture trends report from Boss. Or etc.

        This works fine, for two reasons. One, my boss gets his work done and is not a jerk, and if he can’t get the update or the article done by deadline, he tells Grandboss and works something out, rather than just not doing it or dumping the problem on me. Two, if he was the kind of person who would refuse to do it or flake on it, I could tell Grandboss something like “I told Boss that you wanted this done a week ago as you asked, and followed up with a reminder two days ago, but there’s been no movement,” and Grandboss would step in and handle it rather than leave me in the middle with responsibility but not authority.

        Reply
        1. DArcy

          I would argue that’s not really assigning work to your boss, that’s just serving as a messenger for an assignment by Grandboss.

          Reply
      6. DArcy

        A team lead assigning work without being the manager works because they’re the team lead. That’s really not the same situation as grandboss pretty explicitly wanting OP to manage her manager.

        Reply
    2. JessaB

      This. If you want someone to manage something they need the actual authority to make people do things. Doesn’t matter where on the hierarchy they sit. If they’re in charge of a thing then let them be.

      Reply
  6. AMPG

    I wonder how far this goes up the hierarchy – there are clearly some systemic issues around management in this company. Good for you for cutting your losses and saving your sanity.

    Reply
    1. zora

      This^. The fact that people are promoted to manager positions even though their manager knows they don’t have the skills, there is no way this is the only position with that problem. In fact, it looks like the same thing happened with Rebecca. Ugh, I can only imagine how far up that continues.

      Reply
  7. Lemon Zinger

    OP, you made the right decision! This is a massively dysfunctional workplace and your instincts were right; nothing is going to change. Good riddance to you!

    Extra kudos to your sister for being the encouraging force you needed in a stressful time. :)

    Reply
  8. vanBOOM

    Ugh, the ridiculous spinelessness of this situation would have stressed me out as well. It’s amazing to see the lengths people will go to in order to cover up their own mistakes. The gall of her to promote him and then expect you to manage him.

    You made the right decision to leave despite the financial insecurity you’ve been dealing with.

    Reply
  9. NonProfit Nancy

    Good for you OP. It’s possible Frank has some kind of skillset that we can’t see (could be client relations etc) that makes him valuable to the company in spite of his deficiencies so Rebecca is unwilling to fire or demote him. OP may have no way of knowing this. But OP is making the right call for themselves – they’re unwilling to be the “secret manager,” especially as their presumably not being paid equal to this level of responsibility. If it were me I’d probably try to leverage this into a promotion for myself down the line, but each person has to make their own decision about what they can reasonably deal with at a job. Best wishes finding something new! That’s what your walking away money is for.

    Reply
  10. Sunflower

    Rebecca is ridiculous. This is such bad management I don’t even know where to start! While Frank is obviously not totally innocent in all of this, I wouldn’t put any of the blame on him since it sounds like Rebecca was skirting around issues by mentioning deadlines weren’t being met instead of saying ‘you aren’t meeting your deadlines Frank’. I’m also not sure how I would take being promoted and then told the person I’m managing is assigning the work? Sounds confusing for everyone all around.

    I actually think situations like this are harder than say, one where your boss was asking you to donate body organs. Boss asks you to donate a kidney is a prettty clear boundary. This is one I could see myself thinking ‘Am I the crazy one here?’ This is the kind of situation that would eff with my mind and drive me completely mentally bonkers. OP I am so happy you got out. Hopefully better things are on the horizon for you.

    Reply
  11. MissDisplaced

    Oh jeez! I’m sorry OP. Why some companies simply WILL NOT LISTEN is beyond me. Again here is a perfect example of the saying “People don’t leave companies they leave managers.”

    Reply
  12. MC

    Good for you. Job satisfaction is tied so closely to the people we work with and how well we’re treated. Rebecca’s refusal to be accountable for her staff and ignore a problem employee became your problem. She treated you like a peer but without affording you the title, pay or actual authority. On top of that she made you accountable for problems she refused to deal with. You saw the writing clearly on the wall.

    One note – you probably could have reached out to HR after your meeting to request a follow up. I have a feeling HR would have understood the unspoken reason behind that request.

    Good luck.

    Reply
  13. ThisIsNotWhoYouThinkItIs

    1) This situation is objectively awful. To quote Alison from the first post, “Unfortunately for you, you don’t actually have the authority to manage Frank, who is in desperate need of management, and Rebecca apparently isn’t willing to do it even though it’s her job.” <———-This x100. That's all sorts of shades of ridiculous.

    They aren't asking you to donate a liver, but that doesn't make this situation any sort of normal (bad anchoring).

    See also: Bill talking to you about reassignment first instead of Rebecca (or notifying you that he plans to talk to Rebecca about reassigning the project)–everyone is treating you like the manager here!

    2) I would have done the same thing (quit). I might not have had the tact to 1) refrain from a pointed comment or two when my boss started the "we" nonsense, and 2) not state to HR on the exit interview, "you know, I'm a little confused and I want a bit of clarification–my understanding of exit interviews is that they are typically only with HR. Is this an informal or feedback interview? Will we be scheduling another later on?"

    That last comment would depend on how angry I still was and how much I needed the reference. :) I'm getting honest in my old age about why I burn my bridges. :D

    Reply
      1. AnonEMoose

        This. THIS. SO much THIS. Been there, done that – different context – and it’s absolutely horrible.

        Good for you for getting out of there, OP. I hope you find a much better job, very soon.

        Reply
    1. designbot

      I would skip the pointed comments and just flat out say, we did not agree to my managing my manager, I was assigned to do so by you and have repeatedly spoken to you about how it has not been effective as I have no authority to get him to comply with anything I ask of him. This is my primary source of stress and my primary reason for leaving. If I was meant to be Frank’s manager instead of the other way around, then our titles, salaries, and authority within the organization needed should have reflected that.

      Reply
      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        I agree, but it also takes a lot of bravery/gumption to be this frank with your manager/grand-manager in an exit interview. Oftentimes by the time someone’s resigning in circumstances like OP’s, they’ve been pushed to the limit of their patience, and it can be really hard to tamp down the exhaustion/frustration long enough to offer a matter of fact rebuttal. I think OP did the best she could under very difficult circumstances.

        Reply
  14. StatsGuy

    I definitely think leaving was a good move. While it’s true the best case is to have another job lined up, sometimes peace of mind is worth it. Such dysfunctional workplaces have a way of draining the energy out of you, which makes it hard to job search and actually appear enthusiastic in interviews.

    Reply
  15. Just a Thought

    As someone who used to have a manager yell at her I just want to say that while a lot of people do, it is not okay! I spend way too many years stressed out never knowing what would set her off. Good for you for getting out of there. Adults should not yell at each other (or anyone) unless imminent danger is at hand!!

    Reply
  16. Lana Kane

    I think that this situation was going to escalate eventually. I can foresee Rebecca starting to place more responsibility for Frank’s performance on you, since, after all, your job was to get him to be on task (and it’s a job she desperately did not want, enough to foist it on someone junior). Frank’s failures would have become yours. It might have even hurt your reputation with clients. So aside from protecting your mental health, I think leaving protected you from a much uglier situation that would have been harder to bounce back from.

    I hope to read another update from you soon, about the great new job you found!

    Reply
    1. NonProfit Nancy

      This is true, over time if you were the scrapegoat for Frank’s failures – that may have literally been your role! – you weren’t going to be able to win.

      Reply
  17. AndersonDarling

    OP, you mentioned you felt strange leaving because your boss wasn’t yelling and the situation wasn’t the worst it could be…It’s not fair to do that to yourself. You deserve a situation that you are comfortable and happy in. As you said, someone may come along and be able to handle the weirdness of your old job, but you may end up in a great job where people would wonder how you can cope with it. We all have different temperaments, skills, and talents that make us great fits for different jobs. Just because you walked away doesn’t mean you gave up or failed, it means you made a decision for your happiness. If we all did that, there would be many more great companies and many more happy people!
    Good luck! I’m sure you will find a great job soon!

    Reply
  18. Jubilance

    Re-reading the original letter and then the update reminded me what a clusterf*ck that whole situation was! Rebecca is the problem, and neither she or Frank should be in any type of management position, as they both refuse to actually, you know, manage. Good for you for getting out OP, and best wishes that you find something permanent that you love soon!

    Reply
  19. You're Killing Me Smalls

    I’m sorry it came to this, OP, but I’m glad you’re out. Just because you can’t objectively say a role is the “worst job ever” doesn’t mean it’s not having a seriously deleterious effect on your health, happiness and productivity, and without any indications things are going to improve on the horizon, if you have the option of walking away, it’s good to take it and practice some self care!

    Reply
  20. zora

    OP, you say you didn’t take Alison’s advice, but you actually did! You did exactly what she/commenters said, and you told Bill/Rebecca when they came to you that it should come from Rebecca, and then you went back and told Rebecca ONE MORE TIME that you had concerns and you thought it should come from her. That is exactly what Alison meant, and you did a great job!

    The key was to clearly communicate back to Rebecca that this system wasn’t working, rather than just continuing to get more frustrated with Frank until you lost it and yelled or something. The problem is she not only didn’t listen, but then she doubled down, WTF?! And then you decided you had to get out. That is perfectly reasonable, you tried twice to get the problem fixed, and they didn’t, so you took care of yourself by putting it down and walking away, because it was clear they wouldn’t listen to reason.

    You learned a lot of valuable lessons here, and got practice in how to professionally talk to your manager about a problem you have affecting you getting your job done, and you dealt with Frank the right way, by ‘playing dumb’ and directing the conversation back to Rebecca. These kinds of situations might come up again, and this was a good thing to practice. But that place is a crazy mess, and there is nothing you could have done to fix it. Good luck with your next steps, I hope you end up somewhere where your new skills will move you forward and you have a fantastic career!

    Reply
  21. AW

    Then she sighed, looked at me and said, “I can’t imagine this is the only time we’ll have to deal with a situation like this” and – I think my brain snapped.

    Honestly, it sounds like your self-preservation instincts kicked in. I’m thinking your read on the situation was 100% accurate and that this was some weird forced-teaming strategy where she wanted you to think that you two were in this together in dealing with Frank so you wouldn’t see that the problem was her failure to manage him (and making it your problem instead).

    Reply
    1. NW Mossy

      The OP showed admirable restraint in not responding with “Well, not so much with the ‘we’ on that, since I’m out of here.”

      Reply
    2. JessaB

      And if it worked and Frank got managed I guarantee Rebecca would take full credit for it because she “instructed the OP to deal with it, and LOOK it worked.”

      Reply
  22. animaniactoo

    LW, one thought process you might take away with you to other jobs is the idea that the fact that something else would be worse, doesn’t mean that this is acceptable.

    Yeah, it could be worse. But that only works if whatever you’re dealing with is relatively acceptable as it is without comparison. That’s when it can be useful to talk yourself out of the frustration with the idea that other things could be worse. But if you use it to try and justify why something that isn’t acceptable is not so bad, not so much. If you literally have no other choices, then okay, it can be that kind of sanity checker. But when you have choices, don’t let what could be worse impede you from seeing and dealing with “not the worst” as unacceptable. And you can extend that to all kinds of ideas like saying to HR, “No, actually, I would prefer not to have Rebecca sit in on my exit interview with you.”

    Congrats on getting out of there. I hope you find something better – in the category of “good!” – soon.

    Reply
  23. Tomato Frog

    I’ve had those conversations, too, where you’re discussing the problem with the one person who can fix the problem and they’re like “Man, it’s too bad about [problem].” And you realize you live on Earth and they live in a parallel dimension. See also: when I chattily asked my manager what his favorite aspect of his job is and he said “What do you mean? We have the same job.” (He runs a department with many staff members. I… do not.)

    Good on you for getting out, OP.

    Reply
    1. Turtle Candle

      Yes, it’s absolutely maddening when someone with the authority to fix a problem just goes, “Gosh, too bad about that problem!” That can be a reasonably sympathetic response if the problem really is out of their hands, but there’s something distinctly crazymaking about it when the problem is something that they could fix.

      Reply
  24. Rahera

    That sounds like such a miserable, unfair situation, and Rebecca’s fobbing responsibility off on you makes me so frustrated on your behalf – GAH! As I was reading, my shoulders started creeping up around my ears…

    I’m so glad you’re out of there. Thank you for the update, and best of luck with your job search and new situation- it seems clear to me from what you’ve written that you did the right thing. :)

    Reply
  25. Schmooples and the Binkie-Boo

    She sat in on your exit interview? They let her do that? Ye gods you are best off out of there!

    Reply
  26. turquoisecow

    I didn’t read the original question, but this situation reminded me a bit of my old boss. We had a coworker who was constantly on the phone making personal calls and generally slacking off. Rather than being her boss, our mutual boss would commiserate with us fellow underlings about how horrible she was. Several of us felt like slapping him across the face and yelling “You’re the boss. Tell her to stop you imbecile! What am I supposed to do about it?” and it sounds like you have a similar situation here, of some one who refuses to actually do their job and MANAGE.

    In my situation, a major reorganization during which the offending coworker was laid off and the rest of us were moved under different bosses ended the problem. I was put under a series of supervisors who actually managed, and it was a breath of fresh air.

    Reply

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