To think my boss is an a-hole

(17 Posts)
SplendidPanda Tue 27-Sep-16 14:12:53

Clearly I don't think IABU else I wouldn't be posting here but I've not been working for long and I wanted to get other people's opinions on whether my boss's behaviour is normal confused

I started a new job about six months ago and at first it was great because my boss is very keen to teach me new things (he's very senior and at the end of his career whereas I'm just beginning mine). I think his expectations have become unreasonable though.

For example I had completed a piece of work for him before going away on a weeks break - I got back in on the Monday morning to an email asking me to join him for a meeting with the client regarding this piece of work at 10am that day. What he didn't tell me (until we were in the car on the way to the meeting) was that he was expecting me to lead it. Now if I'd been given even an hours notice that would have been tough but a good opportunity for me. As it was, I didn't do very well. After the meeting he jokes that I'm not on form after going on holiday hmm.

He is also in the habit of springing questions on me as little tests which I do my best to answer but he's impossible to satisfy unless the answer is exactly the answer he would have given. For example, if I give the technically correct answer but can't remember the appropriate reference then that's not good enough.

I love my work but I hate working with him. I don't know if I'm just being too sensitive and need to "man up" or if I should start looking for something else, which won't be easy because I'm not in the UK and visas are difficult. I only got this job/visa because someone did me a favor.

nancyblackett80 Tue 27-Sep-16 14:19:09

Sounds like most workplaces at some time or another. Don't over think it, perhaps mention it at your next catch up session that you would have preferred more support and prep time.

RedHelenB Tue 27-Sep-16 14:26:01

Take the positives - he's helping you and letting you lead on things. From what you have written yabslightlu unreasonable.

SplendidPanda Tue 27-Sep-16 14:27:46

Thanks guys, I'll try to chill out about the whole thing a bit.

Sugarcoma Tue 27-Sep-16 14:36:29

He sounds difficult but it's probably worth sticking out a little longer. I would suggest making a log of these kinds of incidents (dates, details etc) so a) if they ever try and spring them on you in an appraisal you're prepared and b) just for your own notes so in another 6 months you can review and, if there are enough of them, make a decision about whether it's worth looking for something else.

BarbarianMum Tue 27-Sep-16 14:46:23

It sounds to me as though he recognises your potential and wants to 'train you up' and help you on in your career. His methods of doing so might not be to your liking but I think you might do worse.

booklooker Tue 27-Sep-16 15:39:30

I really don't think he sounds like an arsehole at all.

It sounds like he is trying to help you and develop you skills

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 27-Sep-16 16:46:00

I think you need a little more confidence in yourself. He obviously trusts you to run a meeting on a moments notice. The tests aren't great, but it means anyone not quite as pernickety you'll be completely prepared for!

I don't think he's an arsehole, maybe just a bit set in his ways.

HereIAm20 Tue 27-Sep-16 18:04:30

Buy YABU. You had an email asking you to go to the meeting so even if you weren't going to lead it anybody else would have re-read the piece of work to refresh their memory before the meeting.

He had confidence in you to run the meeting. If he had run it I suspect we might have seen a post along the lines of I did all the work but then my boss just ran the meeting.

It sounds as though as a newbie in the field you are being mentored by someone who will want you to take on more of their role as they approach retirement. If it is a field where you should know the correct reference (eg. law) then you are not giving the technically correct answer.

I think you are overthinking it. Be pleased you have a willing mentor rather than someone who thinks you are after their job and therefore goes out of their way to be unhelpful. Grab the opportunity of learning what you can. Good luck in your chosen field.

acasualobserver Tue 27-Sep-16 18:13:51

It is a sign of your immaturity that you are so ready to write him off as an arsehole.

lougle Tue 27-Sep-16 18:47:32

I think it's natural to feel slightly out of your depth if you are in a role where you are being stretched all the time. When you get comfortable, you've stopped learning. I'm in a clinical role where it's expected to take at least two years to become vaguely competent to manage most situations that come through the door, and every time I think I've got the hang of it, something happens and I feel like a complete novice again. I'm just grateful that I'm in a job where there is something to learn and I'm being paid to learn it!

moogoom Tue 27-Sep-16 19:20:57

It must be great to work somewhere your biss takes an interest in your development, there are so many jobs out there with nothing to aspire to except getting all the credit attributed to the boss. Good luck with your new career

HappyHeart87 Tue 27-Sep-16 19:30:47

I actually think think his manner sounds really unpleasant, OP. I'd be very uncomfortable with a manager like that.

The testing questions thing - unless they are explicitly linked to some kind of training / assessment element in your relationship with him - sounds like a power trip.

And yes, poor form to ask a newbie to lead a meeting with such short notice, and insensitive to joke about you doing a bad job. Perhaps there are sectors / industries where you're expected to have a thick skin about that sort of thing, but I'd certainly not consider that appropriate in my area.

Perhaps his intentions are good. But his approach sounds unprofessional to me.

Yy to the idea of noting the incidents that make you uncomfortable in case you need them for review etc. Congratulations on the new career and I hope it gets better soon.

bakingaddict Tue 27-Sep-16 19:32:08

Mmm I don't know it's fine to ask you technical questions on the spot but having you leading a meeting without purposefully giving you time to prep and mentally prepare and then saying you were off form because of your holiday doesn't speak to me of a supportive boss. Be careful he isn't setting you up for a fall I'd be very wary around him

DixieWishbone Tue 27-Sep-16 19:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheVeryHungryDieter Tue 27-Sep-16 19:53:16

I had a boss like that. Forever setting me little tests, trying to catch me out. He had 30 years' experience in the industry, it was my first graduate job. He referred to his previous trainees as "that stupid girl" - and after I left I'm sure I was no different. He would do things like wait til I left the room, drop a file on my desk and refuse to discuss it with me ("not now, can't you see I'm busy!") and the next day or week ask me for the work as "it's very poor form to keep the client waiting, time is money". Often I didn't know I was supposed to be doing anything or was waiting until I could get instructions from him. He would roll his eyes and sigh whenever I asked a question. But I'd get a bitter dressing down if I went to someone else for an answer because that meant they'd know he wasn't mentoring me properly. He totally sapped my confidence and my passion for the job. And it was all in the little things, that one by one didn't add up to much but made each day grim. You felt like he was adding black marks to your slate every day that would never get wiped clean, every sigh, every test you'd fail because you didn't know or were too busy to be tested, every sarcastic remark to someone else about "how has she cocked it up THIS time then?" and tut about lack of commercial awareness (of course I wasn't commercially aware, it was my first bloody job!)... It all weighed heavily day by day. He was wonderfully gracious as long as I could play the grateful disciple eager for crumbs of wisdom he'd deign to drop, but I didn't have the patience or personality for flattery.

However.. as others above have said, it was fantastic training. I've found since then that it's stood to me, especially in terms of being able to get on with whatever's in front of me without needing handholding. But it was brutal and it led me to hate the industry - which is famous for snobbery and contemptuous attitudes - and I'll never go back as there's a good chance I'd end up in close quarters with one of those again. You have to be a certain personality type to get on with one of those guys. I'm not it.

HereIAm20 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:06:17

But the OP isn't a newbie. I would expect after 6 months in a role that OP should be able to run a meeting .

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