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to think my boss just behaved very badly?

(26 Posts)
bigredtractor Wed 22-Feb-17 16:19:23

I am seething just now! I'm back from a few days annual leave and before i left last week i knew that there was a meeting in my diary for this afternoon to discuss a project we're all working on.

There was me, my immediate line manager and our wider Head of Dept. Before i finished for my holiday i shared a presentation with the project, artwork, timescales and detail of everything involved. Our Head of Dept sent me a note pre-holiday saying how thorough it was and that it all looked great. I was expecting a meeting for us all to discuss the progress so far. So far, so good.

I've just come out of the meeting and my line manager has completely changed the project - the name, the stories within it, how it looks etc. She's added all her own ideas, words, and completely changed the direction its now heading in.

That's not so unusual in our line of work - our campaigns evolve. However while I've been away she's discussed her changes with the whole team (except me) and presented it to our Group HoD as a done deal.

Now I've been here in the office since 9am. She had plenty of opportunity to warn me or give me a heads up about the changes. However i feel like she waited until we were with our senior manager to present it as all her own work and I was so totally unprepared that i had very little to say except try to defend why i'd taken the project in the direction i had. I couldn't contribute anything meaningful and felt completely ambushed. Even the meeting invite (by email) was called a general update - no hint of a change if plan.

I am extremely cross. This is one in a series of examples of how I've been left out of the loop. I work flexi time since coming back from having my DD. I no longer sit with my extended team (I've been given a different spot in the office) and so am not privy to the general work chat and discussions about projects that they have. And sometimes (like today's example) it feels like she deliberately undermined me.

WIBU to tell her im not happy? Not necessarily about the changes themselves, but the way she did it?

2014newme Wed 22-Feb-17 16:24:50

Tbh as you say projects evolve and whilst you have been on holiday this one has gone in a different direction. You could ask your boss to let you know next time if there have been any significant changes before the meeting so you can be prepared. Or when you come back from holidays ask fir a ten minute update with your boss Re any key changes you need to know about. That's the first thing I do when I get back.

heartisshattered Wed 22-Feb-17 16:29:23

I think she should have informed you but as the pp says, you need a debrief after your holidays to avoid this in future

bigredtractor Wed 22-Feb-17 16:40:13

I agree to a degree, but that works both ways. We have fortnightly catch ups 1-2-1. The rest of the time we all crack on.

I can't imagine allowing a colleague to go into a meeting unprepared or under a misconception about what was going to be covered. Especially if it was someone else's project!

2014newme Wed 22-Feb-17 16:44:18

Yes but you were away on holiday, things change. Your boss didn't tell you so now you know that next time you can ask fir an update.
Manage your manager!

MrDacresEUSubsidy Wed 22-Feb-17 16:52:53

I'd be pissed off - and TBH this type of behaviour smacks of insecurity and land-grabbing. Is your boss threatened by your capabilities? I had a similar meeting this morning where I was made to look daft despite the fact that it was the other stakeholder who was poorly prepared. Unfortunately they are more senior than I am and there were external attendees present, so it wasn't the appropriate time to challenge back; one of those frustrating occasions where you have to suck it up - which is why I am now sitting seething on MN rather than doing emails!

Manage upwards. Give the feedback and couch it that you are concerned that you were not informed of the change of direction - and so in order to overcome this lack of communication and visibility, you are going to arrange for a standing briefing in the diary, after you return from each period of leave - etc., etc.

HappyFlappy Wed 22-Feb-17 16:54:04

She is a cowbag.

```can you stick a kipper up her exhaust?

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 22-Feb-17 16:55:32

How easy would it be to find another position? Because I don't think that's something a good boss would overlook, especially the blindsiding you in a meeting with senior staff. You can have a discussion with her if you want, but if she's doing it on purpose, at best it will make no differences but it may inflame the situation, and if she is doing it because she doesn't realise then she still isn't going to have the skills to make your job good (though you may be able to get her to make a few specific changes that help make it not so terrible. Either way, you aren't going to get the support from her to excel.

CatsBatsEars Wed 22-Feb-17 16:55:37

That sounds very underhand to me.

MichaelSheensNextDW Wed 22-Feb-17 17:01:53

It's hard to write that off as 'poor management'; it smacks of undermining, a fundamental lack of respect and possibly deliberately wanting to make you feel confused and humiliated. Have you asked her if she'd considered informing you of her sweeping changes?
Keep a note of this in case a pattern emerges.
And agree it would be sensible to start looking for another position. What a cheeky witch.

ExcuseMyEyebrows Wed 22-Feb-17 17:03:41

She is a cowbag.

```can you stick a kipper up her exhaust?

Thank you for making me laugh HappyFlappy - I needed that after a day with my manager!

FearandLoathinginLasVegas Wed 22-Feb-17 17:16:22

I would assume she had a good reason for the change, but whatever the reasons for the changes, she had a chance to update you ahead of the presentation and she didn't. If she were a good boss, she would at least have said 'thanks for all your hard work, but we've had to go in this direction because...'

Out of interest, did you tell her that you would share the presentation with her boss (your boss's boss) before you went on holiday? Had she seen a copy?
If you shared it without giving her her a full visual/approval - then maybe you undermined her in the first instance, and that is why it has panned out as it did?
If not, then she must have approved your presentation just a week ago? So should have informed you of any reasons to change it either then or when you got back, And is undermining you, probably because you'd done a good job and she's a little intimidated about how good you are or the praise you got.

whoputthecatout Wed 22-Feb-17 17:18:00

Let's put it this way. As a boss (before I retired) it is not how I would behave. In the event there had to be a complete U turn done while the project developer was away the very least I would have done is to send a text before the member of staff returned, saying there had been some developments which necessitate changes and to say we would speak first thing she was back. I would also have credited her role publicly in the meeting.

Changes like that are sometimes inevitable. What is not inevitable is to not acknowledge the role of a member of my team.

You have land grabber there OP. If you stay long-term you should know what sort of person you are dealing with, make sure about asking for updates. It will let her know that you have twigged what she is up to.

LucklessMonster Wed 22-Feb-17 17:19:14

I see the other side of this. One of our team is part time and sits away from us (by choice - have you asked to be moved back?) Of course she gets "left out" but it isn't intentional. If she went on holiday and one of our projects evolved in her absence, my first priority wouldn't be updating her. The project is the priority, and the team understands we do what's going to be best for the company, not what one individual wants.

Why didn't you prepare for the meeting by looking at the latest files? That's what I would do if I had a meeting after an absence. I don't expect to be spoon fed.

bigredtractor Wed 22-Feb-17 17:27:02

Thanks - like the kipper idea!

To answer a couple of Qs, both of them received the same presentation from me before holiday, in the same email.

There was no update i could have known about or seen in advance - she brought her own laptop in with her and had it on her desktop.

StickyMouse Wed 22-Feb-17 17:28:07

You now how to manage her now and shouldn't allow yourself to find yourself in the position that you were in this morning again but a word of caution, your work isn't owned by you, its your company.

I have a friend who talked herself out of a role after 28 years as she tried to stand her ground over "her project" when the leadership team were taking another direction culminating in ditching the technology that she deployed.

Witchend Wed 22-Feb-17 17:31:42

She should have explained to you, but maybe she didn't think the changes were as major as you think it was.
I've certainly had to deal with a situation where one person thinks the changes are massive, and the other thinks they've just tweaked it. And I could see where both of them were coming from.

TheDowagerCuntess Wed 22-Feb-17 17:36:32

I'd be massively pissed off too, but would be careful about how I said anything.

Would probably approach it more along the lines of - 'is there any way I can be given a heads up on a change of direction before a project meeting? I don't like being under-prepared for meetings, and would like to figure out if there's a way to avoid this happening again'.

It's not accusatory - it's about how you can do your job better, but it also shows that you clocked her in action, and you don't expect it to happen again.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 22-Feb-17 17:46:04

Thats a cunt move to pull on someone. I would have said something right there in the meeting. 'this is news to me, I have not been updated'.

Obsidian77 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:52:18

It does sound like she was either trying to stitch you up or didn't care what it made you look like.
Can you feign concern for how this makes her look - eg "HoD is going to think our department is a disaster! It looks like we can't even orgsnise the basics! What's she going to think about you us?"
Then let it go but be more wary of her next time.

FearandLoathinginLasVegas Wed 22-Feb-17 18:17:10

Why did you send it direct to HoD before she had seen it. She might have had comments there and then which would have helped prevent the situation you were in today ..

If I was HoD I would suspect there was a communication issue between you two, especially as within a week I had received two completely different updates on the same thing.

In future I'd be tempted to send stuff past her first for comment. Or at least give her a heads up, as she doesn't sound like a great boss, but if your head of dept keeps seeing issues like this is doesn't reflect well on either of you.

bigredtractor Wed 22-Feb-17 18:21:13

I didn't sent it direct to the HoD - i sent it to them both and she (line mgr) had seen many previous versions.

So i absolutely didn't exclude her from anything. She's been involved throughout.

iklboo Wed 22-Feb-17 18:27:49

Can you ask her for 'feedback' about why she thought the presentation needed changing - in an email copying in the other manager?

FearandLoathinginLasVegas Wed 22-Feb-17 18:33:14

I would say something tomorrow then, for sure.

Along the lines of, I'd like to avoid being in a meeting Im unprepared for again, how could we have avoided it? Then see what she says...

Why do you think she's trying to undermine you, do you have a bad relationship already, is this a one off or is she just not that good with the management stuff?

foxyloxy78 Wed 22-Feb-17 18:48:29

Oh I have experienced this. Seems like your boss feels threatened by you. In security makes people do strange things and she is setting you up for failure and what better way to do that than in a meeting with stakeholders. I have been there and experienced the same thing. Be wary of her and try o manage upwards as much as possible to boost your own profile. Would not trust her as far as I could throw her.

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