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In an interim role (maternity cover)..

(18 Posts)
UmbrageousOrRight Fri 19-Dec-14 19:30:55

Do you think it's reasonable to lay out a whole new strategy (2 year) for the dept and present it to the returning incumbent on their first day back?

flowery Fri 19-Dec-14 19:49:49

Unusual. But whether it's reasonable or not depends on the context and the remit of the person.

Development of a two-year strategy for a department is not usually a one person job, and usually involves meetings, input and approval from others, including line manager/directors, for example. If the strategy needing doing and it was done with the knowledge and input of relevant people it would not be reasonable of the absent employee to expect everyone to wait until she (possibly) returns.

Who are you in this scenario?

UmbrageousOrRight Fri 19-Dec-14 20:00:52

My boss is on mat leave. Her cover, who was my peer and will be again has devised a 2 year new strategy and plans to present it to her when she comes back after Christmas. She's made loads of waves throughout the period and today I got sent my orders for outlining how I'm going to fulfil my part in all of this ready for that presentation. This wasn't discussed with me, I've been given 'headings'. Normally I would expect to have discussed the coming year with my boss when she gets back, I head up my own area which sits alongside but is not directly related to the main dept. I'm cross about the way I got the 'request', I think she's overstepping the mark anyway, and I would expect any strategy for my area to be presented by me.

iamthenewgirl Sat 20-Dec-14 10:03:22

No, it's not reasonable at all.

Maternity cover normally means you are there to keep things ticking over not reinventing the wheel. You are right to feel pissed off.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 20-Dec-14 10:05:03

Smile, nod and look forward to the boss returning.

iamthenewgirl Sat 20-Dec-14 10:05:34

I wouldn't do anything until your boss gets back and I would tell her that.

What a cow. I take it she doesn't care whether people like her or not?

flowery Sat 20-Dec-14 10:15:15

Have you any reason to think her boss is not on board with this?

tribpot Sat 20-Dec-14 10:23:20

What an odd way to try and make a name for herself. Assuming boss hasn't asked her to draft something because the strategy is due in on 5th Jan (seems a bit unlikely), why would she want to be presented with a roadmap for the next 2 years on her first day back? I'd imagine that would be what she wanted to do first - go round all the team leaders and get up to speed on where everything is, then work with them to build the two year plan. Sounds like a solid start to a new period of work.

I think this person was a bad choice for maternity cover; she's going to find it very difficult to go back into the ranks again. Delusions of grandeur.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 20-Dec-14 11:02:34

What an odd way to try and make a name for herself.

It might not be. It might be the reason she was chosen. And the boss might have used her to make changes she wanted in the first place.

Smile, nod and wait for the boss to come back.

UmbrageousOrRight Sat 20-Dec-14 12:09:01

Thanks for input. Boss definitely didn't choose her for this, she expected her to have enough to do keeping things ticking over - I know this because she told me before she went off, in the context of not to worry about something else that had been said. It feels really inappropriate to me, as well as the fact that she's seriously trampled all over my toes whilst she's been in post, and I'm also concerned about the impression being given to the rest of the staff, like its a criticism of the boss. Difficult to say anything without appearing defensive and resistant to change though. And no, she clearly doesn't give a shit about being liked, she sent me my instructions 3 working days before the break via another colleague who is my peer (and also another mat cover), who told me that they had discussed it and this is what I needed to provide. hmm

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 20-Dec-14 12:10:54

When exactly is your boss back? how many working days in between now and then?

LIG1979 Sat 20-Dec-14 12:29:41

I think it depends on your viewpoint. I was glad that my mat cover left things ticking over with very few changes. However, from his point of view he didn't really make the most of this opportunity to have his own function and team. So now 18 months later he still hasn't got a management job even though he wants one. So doing things like that during the time your boss is off could potentially open other doors if he/she does it well without pissing other people off.

UmbrageousOrRight Sat 20-Dec-14 12:31:38

She's back on Jan 5th, but I'm off from noon on Christmas Eve until then myself. So 2.5 days given that I got the email about 4.30 yesterday.

flowery Sat 20-Dec-14 12:35:40

When I say "Have you any reason to think her boss is not on board with this?" I don't mean your boss, I mean the person she is currently reporting to, ie your boss's boss, who is presumably responsible for this person's remit.

UmbrageousOrRight Sat 20-Dec-14 12:36:21

LIG1979 I get that, but she's already a senior manager, my boss is Director. She's not implementing this herself is she, it's a roadmap she's leaving for someone else not what she's doing herself whilst in post.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 20-Dec-14 12:36:26

Ok so she didn't even send these instructions to you herself but via a colleague.

I'd avoid having the discussion and say I didn't/don't have time to do any of it before you break up and before spending time on it, need it to be okayed from the boss when she returns.

UmbrageousOrRight Sat 20-Dec-14 12:40:07

flowery she hasn't presented it to him, he doesn't know about it. He's the MD, as long as the business is running smoothly I don't think he'd be that interested in the detail.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 21-Dec-14 09:07:44

From what you have said it sounds like it's either a totally unnecessary piece of work or something she was supposed to have done over the period and has left to the last minute and handled badly.

Either way you only have two and a half days left in the office so I would email back suggesting you have a meeting to discuss so you can make sure you understand what is expected because it's such an important piece of work. Then if you even get as far as a meeting (probably won't this close to Christmas) make sure you get it clear exactly what she wants from you and establish a deadline that fits in with your other responsibilities and time off. This may well be in January...

Ride it out (while being seen to be cooperative and helpful) for the last two and a half days and then deal with it when the boss comes back.

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