Boss is on thin ice, how do i keep her from taking me down too?

Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
So my boss keeps getting into trouble with our director, some deservedly, some questionable. to be honest, they both seem to dislike each other, and are getting a bit petty. The director is blowing up at stuff that isn't really my manager's fault now, and my manager is acting very butthurt. I'm 75% sure the director is building up a case to shitcan my manager, but who knows for sure.

The director has told me personally in an informal closed door talk to make sure my manager doesn't "take me down" with her. In hindsight, i should have said "how do i do that?" Currently, I basically keep my head down and do my job the best i can. However, often times i see things falling behind, and ask my manager if she wants me to take care of X issue, and she says she is on top of it, or she's waiting for Y, or whatever. While i don't particularly want my manager to get fired, she's nice enough, i don't think she is a very good manager and i'd prefer not to have my responsibilities handed down through her. i think people in my office like me more, because they often come to me directly, and i funnel stuff through my manager, and it often gets held up there. it's very frustrating because i don't want to be involved at all, and both parties kind of vent to me.

Anybody experienced something like this? how do i keep my ass out of the fire?

Posts

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Keep records of all conversations and try to keep most communication by email rather then phone call is a good place to start.

    bowenBobbleEddEncToxlonelyahava
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Tell the director you're going to BCC him on emails and keep all your job/project based correspondence in emails instead of person to person or phone calls.

    That way when she says "she's waiting on Y," you can forward the reply to the director.

    Don't get involved with politics, always take the neutral ground if someone comes to vent to you. Try to be as impartial as you can be, but understand and offer to help as best as you can.

    You'll be a manager yourself in no time, if you're up for it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Start acting like the manager you expect she should be, not the manager she is.

    For example, don't go and ask her "Do you want me to handle X?" Just handle "X" and make sure people are aware that you're the one that did that.

    Don't let your manager be the hold up.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    Start acting like the manager you expect she should be, not the manager she is.

    For example, don't go and ask her "Do you want me to handle X?" Just handle "X" and make sure people are aware that you're the one that did that.

    Don't let your manager be the hold up.

    This is overstepping your boundries tho and can POSSIBLY get you in deep shit. I would keep asking her if she wants you to handle something but, again, do it by email and save the replies.

    bowenBobbleCaptain ElevenEsseeDrezBalderdash444ToxZombiemamboAgahnimPacificstar
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    yeah i don't think going over her head is a smart plan at this point.

    BobbleCaptain ElevenUsagiEsseeDrezToxZombiemamboPacificstar
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Start acting like the manager you expect she should be, not the manager she is.

    For example, don't go and ask her "Do you want me to handle X?" Just handle "X" and make sure people are aware that you're the one that did that.

    Don't let your manager be the hold up.

    This is overstepping your boundries tho and can POSSIBLY get you in deep shit. I would keep asking her if she wants you to handle something but, again, do it by email and save the replies.

    It is also definitely betting on "Manager gets fired" and is going to be nearly impossible to maintain a friendly work relationship with the manager. This definitely needs to be understood if you go that way.

  • PantshandshakePantshandshake Registered User regular
    1. I had pretty much this exact scenario about a year and a half ago. I solved it by putting in a transfer to a different team.

    2. Why don't you just put them both in your basement and let the ghosts handle it?

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    IMO BCC'ing higher ups is playing politics, unless it is external interaction where they were not included (clients, partners, vendors).

    Is there no way you can take 2 minutes and talk to the director and ask "how do I do that"?

    DrezPacificstarDerrick
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    just cover your ass, and make sure you are doing your responsibilities. Don't go over anyones head, and document things that seem not right

    camo_sig.png
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    There is definitely a way i can chat with the director. but i know if my boss sees me in the director's office she is going to think we're talking about her and flip.

    maybe the next time my manager is out of the office, i'll drop in with the director.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Send follow up emails to in person conversations with a BCC. If your like do you want me to take care of x account while I'm at it. No we are waiting for y group to finish the prelims. Send a follow up question that is phrased like. You said we have to wait for y to do x do you have an eta on that, with the bcc to your director.

    bowen
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    You know, you can kill two birds with one stone.

    Sacrifice her to your house. The house clearly demands it, and it will make your life much easier.

    I seriously can't believe you people didn't bring this up earlier.


    But seriously, I'm of the impression that you should document it, but not BCC anyone. Keep it in your email, and if it comes up you can use it then. No need to spam someone with BCCs because you're trying to do your duty. I agree with Djeet on this one.

    Essee
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    You know, you can kill two birds with one stone.

    Sacrifice her to your house. The house clearly demands it, and it will make your life much easier.

    I seriously can't believe you people didn't bring this up earlier.

    Pantshandshake beat you! He is often the first to crack this joke in Dr. F's threads lately.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Pantshandshake
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    I am ashamed. I didn't see his post when I made mine. I shall now hang my head.



    But the point still stands...

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Document document document. Don't play the game unless you plan to play to win. Keep all your shit documented, be an exemplary worker and avoid the shit out of the political crap. What if your manager has the ear of a VP?

    Pacificstar
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Yeah, BCCing your director IS a political maneuver, plain and simple.

    Don't do that unless you are committed to sacrificing your relationship with your manager. And then probably still don't do it - it's not a smart move.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
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  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    Yikes! I have been there, and I allied myself with my boss (who was awesome btw) and went down with the ship so to speak.

    Do your work. Offer to help. Cut any social ties with this boss if you have any. Sounds like she's going down like the Titanic, so jump in a life boat and row far, far away. You don't want anyone, especially not the director thinking that you are on "her team" as opposed to "his team". If you have any problems with getting your work done because you are waiting on your boss, be sure and follow up with it in e-mail where you can show documentation that you were being diligent. You don't need to BCC the director, just keep copies of the e-mails, perhaps even print out your e-mail with her response and keep them in a folder in case you suddenly need them......

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    Email goes both ways, make sure you are making requests over email, even if you already did them in person or over the phone if they are for important projects. The easiest way is to ask for clarification of something, or just update her on your progress in a way that goes over what was talked about also.

    Also it should not have to be said, but keep the email records (and all other information) on your company computers, do not make personal copies...

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • 143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    It sounds like you know what you should do (follow up with the director when it's safe to do so), and just need a safe time to do that. In the meantime, keep your head down.

    Don't know if this helps, but in my experience, a director A telling a lower-level employee B not to let his soon-to-be-outgoing manager C drag him down with her often means that A is giving B a heads-up on what's going on, A appreciates that B can see how C's been screwing up, and that A and B are cool as long as B doesn't get C draw him into C's faction. YMMV, of course.

    8aVThp6.png
    Aegis
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Don't BCC unless the director specifically asks for it. Just keep things in email, and it's easy enough for them to check the emails when it comes time to review how things are going down.

    In all honesty it sounds like you are fine. If the director is going to fire her and is outright telling you to keep your hands clean so you don't get thrown out with her, then it's pretty clear he's already on the up-and-up and knows that you can't be used as the scapegoat for her failures should the time come. All he is telling you to do is to keep doing a good job while making sure that you aren't being set up to fail (for example, being handed a toxic project at the last second, being asked to fix everything, and then being blamed when the time comes to evaluate the performance of that project).

    The easiest way to do this is, as others have pointed out, by documenting everything in email. For example, if she tries to surreptitiously hand you responsibility for something during a quick chat in the hallway, you can just shoot an email out when you get to your desk saying, "Per our conversation earlier today, I just want to be clear that you're asking me to do X because of reasons Y and you'd like to have it done by Z." You don't even need to CC or BCC anyone, because it's an email. It's saved in the system. If someone ever needs it, they can just pull it up.

    Just to clarify, you don't want to only communicate by email. That's going to be a red flag for her and it's just going to cause unnecessary drama. Just document things whenever necessary.

    That's it. That is literally all you have to do. Keeping your hands clean means keeping your hands clean, not doing stupid crap like BCCing people who didn't ask for it or sneaking around and having super secret special society meetings.


    If, for some reason, you feel like the director is asking you to do more than this, than you should have an actual discussion with him about how certain real-world tasks or responsibilities should be performed so that they meet his expectations. Otherwise, it's just unnecessarily vague politicking, like, "Watch your back!" For example, if you get caught in a situation where you feel like you are being told to do one thing by one person but then another thing by another person, then that's the kind of thing which would make sense to bring to his attention - tell him exactly what is happening and how he would like you to resolve it. Then, after he tells you what to do, you ask him if this is the type of thing he wants you to bring to his attention or if he thinks there is a better way for these things to be handled.

    Stay focused on getting your job done. Keep everything documented. The only time you should bring it up with the directors when you are no longer clear on what "getting the job done" actually means.

    tapeslingerEsseeKakodaimonos
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