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So now I'm apparently responsible for the attendance/performance of a much more senior person than me

(18 Posts)
rookiemere Mon 14-Dec-15 18:49:27

I'm so angry and I really need to find a way to formulate my thoughts more articulately.

I've been given a dotted line boss for a few months, nice guy but if he's not off ill, his cars broken, the road is bad, or he needs to take his child ( adult) to the hospital for tests about what is a fairly minor matter. Meaning he misses meetings with no notice, doesn't phone to let me know he isn't coming, doesn't apologise afterwards.

Unsure what to do as he was a couple of grades above me, eventually I raised it with my sort of dotted line manager. Apparently I should make my expectations clear to him ( cause clearly I'm being unreasonable expecting him to turn up and do his job), all this even though he reports in on my performance so I don't want to tick him off. Have I mentioned he's quite senior to me?

So fair enough tried to set up a meeting, but shock horror, he didn't turn up - can't remember what reason was this time.

Now I'm getting him again next year, and other boss has emailed me to say that I need to make my expectations clear to him. He missed another meeting yet again as off sick. Oh and I suspect I'm getting marked down in my EOY appraisal for not managing the situation more successfully although I did above and beyond as he wasn't there to do his job.

I'm beyond peed off with the situation.

I have a meeting with her on Wednesday.

What I want to say is that I shouldn't need to have a conversation with someone who's my senior to let them know that it would be nice if they turned up occasionally. It's not my responsibility to monitor if he's in or not and I just need to know who to escalate it to when he's off sick or the dogs eaten his homework and if it's her can she do something about it rather than making it up to me.

So how do I say that without sounding bolshy as at the minute I don't feel particularly objective about it all.

StealthPolarBear Mon 14-Dec-15 18:56:27

Could you go down the conflict of you monitoring his attend ce when he's meant to be managing your performance route?
Yanbu in thinking the whole thing is ridiculous. Surely his manager should be managing him. And he sounds like he needs a lot of managing. Presumably managing staff on his grade is not a requirement if your post.

rookiemere Mon 14-Dec-15 19:02:18

Thanks stealth I'm beginning to think I'm going mad. If he was my grade he'd have been down the attendance route, month if not years ago - have heard from the grapevine that he had previous serious attendance issues.

The health issues might be something serious, I hope for his sake they're not, but there's also all the other things which if you were really concerned about the impact your sickness was already having on an area, you'd do your best to avoid you'd think.

I'm also in the process of preparing my CV to apply for a more senior role in another team as quite frankly the aggro of this isn't worth it.

rookiemere Tue 15-Dec-15 16:15:10

It gets worse. I couldn't wait until Wednesday so I sent an email back saying that whilst I'm happy to have a session to agree roles & responsibilities if he ever turns up it's not up to me to manage the attendance of a much more senior member of staff and I wanted to agree who/how I should report it when he was absent and it impacted me.

In response I got an email telling me that he may have missed these meetings because he didn't feel the need to attend ( key project set up meetings where his absence was questioned by senior stakeholders) and that it was up to me to put this in place.

I had a bit of a rage at my desk at that one, then disappeared off to the loos for angry tears.

I've subsequently had a session with my business mentor who has helped me with how to position the conversation tomorrow so that I don't start swearing or crying as both of which could be possibilities.

StealthPolarBear Tue 15-Dec-15 21:09:28

Well that's good. It's the wishy washy Ness of it that isn't fair on you. If you are officially deputising, fine. If you're being dropped in it time after time and looking like a fool, not fine. How can they not see it?

Plbrookes Wed 16-Dec-15 07:07:47

rookiemere I have every sympathy as am in similar situation. Have given up trying to solve things as just get knocked back with implication that the fault is with me and I'm being unreasonable. Unfortunately, my manager is crap at his job, but very good at ingratiating himself with his manager, so only thing I can do is leave the division and get a different manager. But they still give us the bullshit about how they want to motivate staff and make us more productive. If he actually bothered to come in to do the job he gets paid (a lot) for, maybe I could have a tiny bit of respect for him...

EBearhug Wed 16-Dec-15 09:07:32

In response I got an email telling me that he may have missed these meetings because he didn't feel the need to attend ( key project set up meetings where his absence was questioned by senior stakeholders) and that it was up to me to put this in place.

Even if he didn't need to attend, it is good practice to respond to say, "I won't be attending - rookie will fill me in on what I need to know." This gives people the opportunity to say, "you do need to attend, because..." Or at least means time isn't wasted at the start of meetings, waiting for someone to turn up when they have no intention of doing so, but fail to tell anyone so. It's really disrespectful of other people's time. I have no issue in pointing this out to other people, including those more senior than me, if I organised the meeting, and have apologies, but they're old enough and senior enough that they shouldn't need telling. (It is a particular bugbear of mine.)

EBearhug Wed 16-Dec-15 09:11:07

Also, I have cultivated a good relationship with the manager of the main culprit round our way, and I do give feedback when it's required. (I do try and balance it by pointing out good things too, but that tends to be much more of a challenge.)

daisychain01 Wed 16-Dec-15 09:22:42

The way I would approach it from now on is to carry on all your meetings without the person. Sounds like they aren't contributing anything to your project.

Get on with the project, make any decisions without him, and send him the minutes to each of the meetings he is missing literally flood his inbox with email after email entitled Minutes to Meeting [date] to highlight all decisions that you and/or your team made and how he wasn't involved.

It will give the most tangible message not wanted or needed on voyage

Maybe he will end up on the next redundancy spreadsheet grin

WaitingForSnow Wed 16-Dec-15 09:31:21

I would just act as if he doesn't exist and do as daisy chain suggests.

YeOldeTrout Wed 16-Dec-15 11:25:06

Oh good luck, RookieM. I imagine you are a PA with some understanding of the industry but you shouldn't take responsibility for big decisions.

What Daisychain said, will others go along with that or will they breathe down your neck? Do you really have full expertise to take these decisions, and who gets the blame if your decisions turn out to be mistakes? Can you persuade the other stakeholders that you have the power to make decisions in absence of Mr.Missing, as long as you keep him fully informed?

If you feel you can take decisions, document the fact that every decision was communicated to Missing-Boss (& everyone) in several ways (minuted, email, outlook calendar updates, etc)

Totally unfair you have to do all that, obviously.

rookiemere Wed 16-Dec-15 18:11:32

Hi there,
So I had the meeting and it didn't go as badly as I feared at all.

The absences of the person in question are being noted and apparently addressed and she has advised that if there is a meeting which he should be and he misses at or a decision that I need him to make and he is unavailble then I should escalate to big boss rather than taking the decisions myself. Oh and apparently I haven't been marked down for doing more than I should.

I'm not a PA by the way I do have some knowledge of the other person's job as I used to do it myself, but ironically went down a grade to support proper part time working and less stress.

Roll on Christmas, and thank you all for your input.

YeOldeTrout Wed 16-Dec-15 19:42:53

That's really nice you have a clear procedure. I'd still document things well smile.

rookiemere Thu 17-Dec-15 17:07:01

So I just had to update.

The person was meant to be back today and on a key call that I had set up, other boss had also previously agreed to dial in. Guess who didn't turn up? Got message from her saying is he in the office today - to which I replied that he wasn't. Just need to check with her on Monday if it's her or me that should be raising it further up the food chain on this occasion.

Oh and was also given very high compliment about my capabilites by fairly senior person, so I feel so much better now.

But I'm still applying for the other job fwink.

StealthPolarBear Thu 17-Dec-15 19:37:25


YeOldeTrout Thu 17-Dec-15 20:05:11


daisychain01 Thu 17-Dec-15 20:09:35

Well deserved rookie, great that you have been recognised by a senior person. I'm amazed someone in a management position is able to swan around wth so little accountability!

All the best with your job search.

rookiemere Thu 17-Dec-15 20:27:07

Thanks folks, it's been very helpful being able to vent on here.
Glad it's my day off tomorrow.

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