update: my boss is frequently absent and neglects his work

Here’s one more before people head out for Thanksgiving. Remember the letter-writer in August whose boss was constantly absent and neglecting his work? Because he was so often not around, our letter-writer’s coworkers were starting to come to her to fill in for him, making it hard for her to get her own work done. Here’s the update:

I’m happy to report that I accepted a new job offer a few weeks later at a larger newspaper in a larger city. I’ve been on the job for about two months now and my new bosses are wonderful – fair, hardworking, and pushing me to learn new skills. I trained an old coworker to do about half of my last job and that seems to be going well, though they haven’t yet been able to find someone to replace me. But fortunately, worrying about that website is not my problem anymore, and I’m much happier here.

I should also mention that my new job was with a company I interviewed with in May. They filled the position I initially applied for, but said I made a great impression and would keep me in mind for future openings. A few months later, they got back in touch with a similar position and basically said it was mine if I wanted it. Just goes to show that being professional and courteous with a rejection can get you a job later down the line!

{ 21 comments… read them below }

  1. Adonday Veeah*

    Congrats, OP! I’m always glad when a good person finds a good job, and from the sounds of it your new company saw your value and snapped you up!

    Is it me, or does it seem like most of these really awful situations get resolved by the posters finding new jobs with better companies? Discouraging discourse on the state of things, because it means the problem wasn’t appropriately resolved by the company that was left behind.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Well, there’s a reason that my advice here so often is “decide if you’re willing to live with it or if you’d rather leave over it.” If it’s a particularly crappy situations that there isn’t much hope of fixing, that’s often the most realistic option.

    2. Steve G*

      I thought the same thing…this isn’t really a great update. A great update would have been that the boss was called out on his stuff or let go.

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        I’m glad good things came for OP, and bummed but unsurprised that the original company didn’t solve the underlying issue.

      2. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Great for the OP though. Way better than staying there in a situation that her company clearly didn’t care about fixing.

        There’s a difference when it’s a situation where a simple conversation would solve the problem; it frustrates me when people don’t bother to try that. This wasn’t one of those cases though.

    3. LoFlo*

      Good for you for have the perseverance to stick with the old job, and not let the stink of that blow back on your job search. Nice to see when being positive and professional pays off.

    4. LBK*

      I always wonder if there are any situations where a crazy manager does eventually get worked into a decent one by an employee. I know there have been some updates where the manager just had one annoying habit or there was one bad situation and a conversation resolved it, but for the truly loony people it seems like they do always end up quitting. I imagine it has to be extremely difficult and rare and require a certain talent for tactfully pushing someone you don’t have authority over into new behaviors, but I’d love to hear one success story about it just to know that it’s possible.

      1. A Non*

        I’ve seen situations where a management turnover resulted in the bad boss getting fired. That occasionally happens. I suppose bad managers sometimes reform on their own or when they get pressure from above (though I’ve never seen it happen), I seriously doubt a subordinate could bring about that kind of change.

    5. Grand Mouse*

      I mean, I always have a fantasy of something like in a movie where the bad manager gets ousted from the building in shame and there is a takeover by the good employees and all that. Sweet justice. But this is really the best outcome for the OP, and like she said, it’s not really her problem anymore.

    6. OP*

      Thanks! I should maybe clarify – I was job hunting for a while before I wrote in because of a number of issues with my past company (poor management in other areas, disgruntled/cynical coworkers, lack of willingness to take new technology seriously or invest in it and consensus from just about everyone there that we would never get raises of any kind ever). My manager was just the icing on the cake, and the most difficult day-to-day thing to deal with.

  2. Artemesia*

    so glad this worked out — and once again evidence that sometimes just leaving is the way to fix a problem — and lazy bosses are a problem you aren’t fixing from the bottom. My daughter’s job came a few months after she was a finalist for a job she really wanted and didn’t get it. She was also told they were impressed and might have something down the road — they first hired her on a contract part time and then when the business picked up, hired her full time. So you are right — they aren’t always blowing smoke when they tell you they will keep you in mind.

    1. lili of the vally*

      maybe the manager will not get in trouble for not achieving much. if you cover up for people they will be able to claim credit for work they have not done. OP stopped this which is great. But yeah, quite sad these problems never get resolved, people leave to get out but the situation as such stays the same. it would be great to get an update: my manager was demoted and I got the job. Way fairer too.

  3. Not So NewReader*

    Good for you,OP! Congrats!

    Any regrets about taking on all that work at the old place? Do you feel that the additional experiences there helped you land new shiny job?

    1. OP*

      No regrets at all – it was a good first job out of college to get some experience and learn the ropes for my industry. There’s definitely no way I would have landed my current job without that experience under my belt. One advantage of the hands-off management was a lot of freedom to take on projects and responsibilities of my own choosing, so I used that to develop skills that I figured would help me land a job somewhere better down the line. I learned a lot there and did actually get some professional development opportunities by aggressively seeking out grants, etc.

  4. Realism*

    In the real world there is only one way to deal with rude employers who cannot be bothered to answer: name and shame.

    Do not fall for the lies about rejecting you now but giving you a job down the line.

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