How do I politely tell my boss...

(12 Posts)
ActingBusy Thu 07-Nov-13 12:24:56

Namechanged.

...That I think he’s a bone idle twat and the reason I’ve “been cool with him” (his words, when talking to one of my colleagues about me) is that I’m bored because he does fuck all, therefore I have fuck all to do… And not only that, I’m frustrated that he thinks it’s ok to waste hours hanging around my office like a bad smell, trying to chit chat, when there’s a shitload of work outstanding. He NEVER submits anything on time, and if he spent as much time and energy actually DOING some work rather than dreaming up reasons and excuses for requesting extensions to deadlines and avoiding doing anything unless someone is screaming at him (via me, I’m always the one that gets it in the neck), things would be much better.

As a result, after working for him for just a year, I’ve lost all respect for him… The final shred of respect disappearing yesterday when whinged that he couldn’t possibly get in to work for a very important 9am meeting, despite the fact that he's paid over 100k a year and four other professionals were able to do so, as he’d have to “get up and leave the house really early to get in for 9” and he made me re-arrange the whole meeting.

Whilst I was on leave on Monday he complained to the woman I share an office with that I’ve cooled off with him lately. I’d say I’m attempting to re-set or reinforce some professional boundaries. I’ll give you examples.

While I’m quite happy in the morning (when I have been in since 8.45am and he rocks up at 10ish) to have a brief “how was your evening” kind of chat and a quick catch up, I don’t want him to take that as a cue to sit at my desk for 45 minutes chatting about last night’s TV/what he had for dinner/not being able to find matching socks/the traffic this morning. I want him to get on with his ever growing ‘to do’ list which will in turn generate some work for me to do. I’ll do the five minute chat and then bring the subject back around to work. He’ll then try and take it back to chat, and I’ll bring it back to work again, and unless I put a very blatant stop to it, he’ll just keep on yapping. I’m now abrupt and to the point, “well if there’s nothing else you need me for, here’s your list of what’s outstanding, I’ll get on with pretending to be busy checking these e-mails”. I try and do it without being snappy/rude/insubordinate. But he’s so thick skinned that even then he still hangs around, watching what I’m doing over my shoulder or trying to chat with the woman I share my office with.

If I’m at my desk with a plate of food in front of me and Mumsnet on the screen at 12.30pm then I’m clearly taking my lunch break, which I am perfectly entitled to do. Unless it’s work related (and it never is), then no, I don’t want him to come into my office, peer at my lunch and comment on it, then start having a nose over my shoulder at what’s on my screen, followed by asking me to bring up the Daily Mail website so he can check out the headlines. I’ve somehow managed over the past 12 months to resist bellowing “GO AND READ THE DAILY MAIL IN YOUR OWN FUCKING OFFICE” and now I have started turning my screen off, covering my lunch up and asking him “do you need me for something?”.

I’ve stopped indulging him by going along with his steering the conversation to how he couldn’t possibly get that report finished this afternoon because he has a meeting. I’ll quite happily now point out that the meeting is only at 3pm and only scheduled to last half an hour, so he has quite a bit of free time available.

To him, this is me “being cool” with him.

Unfortunately where I work as his personal assistant, amongst a group of 13 other personal assistants, his shitty work ethic reflects on me. You’re only seen to be as good as the person you work for. I started working for him with a great reputation as a really well respected, efficient PA that takes pride in providing an excellent secretarial service (I suspect his management thought that someone half decent could get him organised and sorted), and now the only time my name is mentioned in team meetings or group e-mails it’s in relation to not meeting KPI targets or missed deadlines/etc. My good name is going down the pan!! This is NHS and there are just no other admin jobs out there at the moment on the same grade as me, believe me, I've been looking for six months now. I can't afford to take a lower band job, I can't afford the pay cut, so leaving isn't an option at the moment.

I normally have another secretary in the office with me but I’m on my own today and tomorrow and I half think my boss may try having an “is there a problem” kind of talk, the other half of me thinks he’s too chicken because he knows exactly what the problem is and he doesn’t want to hear it.

If he does, or if I find the right time to bring it up before I explode, I need to be able to politely explain the above, in a way that gets my point across whilst still being palatable to him.

Can anyone offer any pointers please? I’m at my wits end.

ActingBusy Thu 07-Nov-13 12:26:46

Eeek! Sorry for the essay. And the profanity. blush

I feel much better for having a rant though.

CaptainSweatPants Thu 07-Nov-13 12:28:55

Could you ask hr if you could work for a different manager?

How the eff do you earn 100k in the nhs & do bugger all?!!

ActingBusy Thu 07-Nov-13 12:33:15

I have thought about asking for a move, but there really is nowhere to move to at the moment.

He's a consultant. I don't want to be too identifiable, we are in a very specialised setting. You wouldn't believe how many people here earn, perhaps not as much as him, but do just as little.

I'm feeling quite jaded with the NHS at the moment. The waste of money where I work is just un-fucking-believable, and we are a tiny fraction of the NHS as a whole.

kickassangel Thu 07-Nov-13 12:36:02

Go to HR

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 07-Nov-13 12:54:21

I am afraid that you have to just manage him better or leave. 'I've taken note of all today's tasks boss, and timetabled them for you in this handy excel spreadsheet which I have printed out for you. I need to get X and Y off by 3 so I'm afraid I'm going to be nagging you by 12 to make sure it is done. So if you start with X and then I can send that off for you, and then you can do Y so that I can send that off for you. Oh and at the meeting last week it was mentioned that i didn't do Z and I need to make sure that doesn't happen again as it makes you look bad so if I could get that sent off by Ahem-oclock this time then that gets that done and dusted.

That sort of thing.

Leverette Thu 07-Nov-13 13:04:58

Document EVERYTHING for a month and the knock on impacts on you. Visit HR and have a discussion about the quality of your working life.

I'm assuming he's a medical consultant? You would have a very different experience working for a surgical cons.

ActingBusy Thu 07-Nov-13 16:08:01

You’re all right, I think the situation has become unbearable now and I’m going to have to go to someone about it/him.

Funky That’s exactly what I have been doing in the past few weeks. Every conversation I have with him I’m steering it back to work, telling him what’s outstanding, letting him know that people are chasing for stuff, chasing him myself for stuff. We’ve had another report due today. I told him this morning when he got in (at 10.20am) that another department had phoned chasing this overdue report and asked him directly what he would like me to say to them. In a nutshell, he said they’d have it today and I relayed that back to them. Apart from the 30 minute meeting I mentioned in my OP he has had nothing else to do today, except catch up on outstanding work. And guess what, the report is still not done and I’m about to go home.

Leverette You’re right, a medical consultant, and extremely specialised. I know people doing the equivalent of my job in general hospitals are much busier. I’ve spent this afternoon filling in my calendar for this week, noting every piece of work I’ve done, every reminder I’ve passed on. I’m going to do exactly what you've suggested, keep very detailed notes over the next 4-6 weeks (after all, I’ve got plenty of time on my hands grin) and then request a meeting with the relevant person. They will be able to see that I’m mostly filling my day by helping out my colleagues with their typing, filing and photocopying. I’m the highest paid office junior in this hospital at the moment! You're right about the 'quality of working life' approach. I'm bored, frustrated and am starting to think well if he can't be arsed, and his superiors can't be arsed tackling him about any of it, then why should I be arsed. But if everyone thought like that... Well I dread to imagine what it'd be like.

I'm off home now for a soothing glass of wine.

ACS1980 Thu 07-Nov-13 20:43:21

Does he not have a job plan or is he a medical director?

auntpetunia Fri 08-Nov-13 20:43:43

I worked for a senior solicitor like this years ago, he was totally crap at organization …brilliant at procrastination. The worst thing was he'd sit arsing around on the phone all day and then at 3.30 start dictating tape after tape AND then rush out at 4.15 with things that needed doing urgently. Even worse was when he'd do bugger all till 5 and then assume I'd stay to do the work, only problem was I was picked up by Oh who left his work at 4.45 and this was in the days before mobile phones so no way to contact him. I got so fed up in the end I did what you've been advised to logged everything I'd done and what was still on his desk despite being "urgent " and requiring me to work overtime . After 6 weeks I went to the senior partner with all evidence. The sh#te hit the fan. Guess who ended up leaving though …

Auntidote Sun 10-Nov-13 10:09:13

Have you actually said anything to him? Or are you trying to hint? I hate hinters, personally, and would much rather people said something straight out.
(though I appreciate it's harder when you're the junior. But people are so surprised that they do listen)

Do you need to be his mum living calendar? Say, "right, you need to to X, Y and Z today; X by noon, Y by 3pm and Z by 5pm. Your diary is free, and I've promised A, B and C that I will send them your input" kind of thing.

He sounds maddening but I think you need to just go for the bossy PA thing with all your might.

SynchroniseYourDogmas Tue 12-Nov-13 23:58:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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