update: my managers are giving me contradictory instructions

Remember the letter-writer in July who was receiving contradictory instructions from her manager and the head of the organization (#2 at the link)? Here the update.

I followed your advice, and I also spoke more thoroughly to my boss about how she wanted to handle affairs when she was out of the office (she is quite often out having meetings or working from our second location). I’m very happy to say that it cleared up. My direct report and the director are communicating much more easily, and the (non-artistic) director has stopped taking such a hands-on role in the art department. I haven’t been in the center of any more contradictory instructions to flagging them to the problem.

The job has become more and more enjoyable to me, and I was recently asked to stay on as I pursue my graduate degree. I’ve accepted and am very happy in my position. Thank you for your advice!

{ 4 comments… read them below }

  1. JMegan*

    What a great update! And a really good argument for “just speak up and ask” that Alison so often advises. (Most) bosses are human beings, and (most of them) want to hear about it if you’re confused about their instructions. Well done, OP!

    1. Artemesia*

      Super update. I believe that I am utterly clear when I give instructions and yet over the course of my career, more than once person has inexplicably failed to comprehend these utterly clear instructions. So yes, clarification first before more drastic action. Glad it worked that way for you.

  2. UKJo*

    Hurrah, another excellent resolution that didn’t involve leaving by anyone! (Or firing, or indeed anything but lovely positivity) Congrats OP!

  3. EvilQueenRegina*

    This was quite a timely update since I have something similar right now. This is over whether to clear a backlog in our team inbox or leave it to build up to give another coworker something to do.

    (Story is, when it turned out that the work area our manager Emma originally intended my coworker Kathryn to take the lead on ended up not materialising – bit of a long story – Emma then said for Kathryn to take the lead on the work that comes to the inbox. But since she’s only in 18.5 hours per week and things still keep coming in regardless, Mary Margaret – slightly senior coworker, but not a manager – will say that the work in the inbox needs to get done anyway, but if we do it Emma tells us we should have let the work build up for Kathryn to do It’s total mixed messages.)

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