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AIBU?

To think my new boss is going to be a nightmare

78 replies

Cantbebotheredanymore · 20/09/2022 08:49

Full disclosure, I've already been told by DH that I'm being unreasonable – but first off he seems blissfully unaware of the way people can stealth attack. Also I am probably extra sensitive to this as I've experienced workplace bullying many years ago and vowed never to let it happen again.

So, I've recently returned from maternity leave for a job a really like, let's call it glass blowing. It's an online company so I've never met my colleagues but the team has great dynamics and is very progressive in their approach, eg take as much sick leave as you need, we're here to support your learning etc etc

While I was away the team had a big restructuring and my boss who I really liked hired some middle managers, I guess to lighten her own load, which is fine. I met my new 'middle' boss on a virtual KIT day, and although she said the right things unfortunately I got really fake vibes from her tbh, you know when someone is forcing a smile. (Perhaps she was nervous then, but she's well into the job now and still doing her patronising smile)

She is inexperienced when it comes to glass blowing, but she 'loves vases' and has lots of ideas on how to improve our glass blowing services. She has 10 years management experience in selling ceramics, I have 10 years experience in making glass. She is leading our team in how to make and sell glass vases.

I'm honestly not bothered that I was technically 'overlooked' for the promotion while on maternity as i expressed previously that team management is not an area i want to be in, and I accept she has more direct experience as a sales manager. However she has no direct experience in our very niche industry and since returning she is zeroing in on me and my glass making ability, in quite a negative way.

Lots of negative critiques, hmmming and eyebrow raising. We are both equally experienced career wise, just in very different areas. And I feel annoyed that she's trying to make big changes in areas she currently has no experience in. (This isnt a perfect analogy btw, but I've made it now lol)

For context my other boss loves the way i make glass vases, and they are selling well. Of course, I understand her role is to help us scale and grow, but I feel like she is barking orders just for the sake of it and to mark her territory as "the new boss". "Lets change all the vases from green to pink" "lets start blowing glass the way i like" etc

The addition of this one person has changed the team dynamic already, we cant discuss it really because its all online and has a paper trail but I can tell that others aren't impressed with her management either. My old boss was very supportive and lead from the front "lets make glass together, or, that batch didn't sell well how can we improve for next time etc" New boss is more "I don't like that vase, you need to come up with something else" Just a very different management approach.

For even more context, my new boss is good friends with my old boss. So even if she was unsuitable, she's not going anywhere. I don't want to quit this job because of one person, but I think she has a superiority complex where she has no respect for the people 'beneath her' and I'm feeling like it's only going to get worse. It's already far less enjoyable being here. I am aware that these feelings are heightened because I'm not long returning from mat leave.

AIBU (probably) but how do I approach this situation?

OP posts:
DomesticShortHair · 20/09/2022 08:55

Go to work, just do your job they way that she tells you to, then knock off and not think about work until you start again the next day.

Then pocket the money on payday. That’s it.

DashboardConfessional · 20/09/2022 08:56

I don't think there is much you can do really. You can ride it out and hope she leaves, but otherwise the risk of not taking on line management is that someone else will.

If she says or does something inappropriate/HR-worthy that's a different matter.

KellyJonesLeatherTrousers · 20/09/2022 08:57

You’ve worked all this out from one virtual meeting??

Try not to jump to huge conclusions after one meeting. Understand what her goals for the team are and what you can do to support her. Keep it factual, your post comes across as very emotional and protective.

LIZS · 20/09/2022 08:59

Maybe she will leave you to do your thing initially while she tries to understand the whole process. Listen to ideas and offer to explain how your part in it works. Starting negatively will not help either of you.

WeepingSomnambulist · 20/09/2022 09:01

KellyJonesLeatherTrousers · 20/09/2022 08:57

You’ve worked all this out from one virtual meeting??

Try not to jump to huge conclusions after one meeting. Understand what her goals for the team are and what you can do to support her. Keep it factual, your post comes across as very emotional and protective.

Why do you think she Onoy had one meeting?

She said she got a bad feeling about this woman during her first meeting and is now back at work and feels she was right as the new boss is making work pretty horrible, had changed the working culture and dynamic of the team. The OP had been working and having feedback and contact from her so clearly more than one meeting.

All it takes is to read what has been written and actually respond to it. Dont make up your own story and respond to that.

ArtichokeAardvark · 20/09/2022 09:01

I had exactly this scenario (returning to a new middle manager!). I lasted 11 months before I handed in my notice. Think she was equally as relieved to see the back of me as I was to leave. Not a lot you can do about it I'm afraid.

Cantbebotheredanymore · 20/09/2022 09:02

DashboardConfessional · 20/09/2022 08:56

I don't think there is much you can do really. You can ride it out and hope she leaves, but otherwise the risk of not taking on line management is that someone else will.

If she says or does something inappropriate/HR-worthy that's a different matter.

This is what DH said, and I agree about me not taking on management.

See I do enjoy my work, but when you manage others, the job becomes less about glass blowing more about politics. My old boss was good at managing and knew what she was talking about when it came to glass blowing. Our new boss clearly isn't good at managing, or glass blowing, but here we are...

OP posts:
Dipsy12 · 20/09/2022 09:02

DashboardConfessional · 20/09/2022 08:56

I don't think there is much you can do really. You can ride it out and hope she leaves, but otherwise the risk of not taking on line management is that someone else will.

If she says or does something inappropriate/HR-worthy that's a different matter.

This

GoldPig · 20/09/2022 09:02

You should be bothered about being ‘technically overlooked for promotion’. The protected characteristic of maternity means that your employer should have made you aware of the opportunity while on leave so that you could apply if interested.

Dipsy12 · 20/09/2022 09:03

You should've applied for the job and absolutely not made clear you didn't want to do any management. I'd rather be management than be managed any day plus it's the only way to get more money, progress etc

Doingprettywellthanks · 20/09/2022 09:03

How recently have you returned?

NoSquirrels · 20/09/2022 09:04

How long have you been back from maternity leave? If it’s not long at all, just try not to focus on any perceived negatives at this stage. She doesn’t know you yet. She doesn’t know that your brand of glassware is actually brilliant, even if she’s never sold it before. Give it some time.

In the meantime, kill it with kindness. (‘It’ = the situation). Decide that you’re going to be your best, most pleasant and cheerful self. You’ll win her round.

Cantbebotheredanymore · 20/09/2022 09:04

GoldPig · 20/09/2022 09:02

You should be bothered about being ‘technically overlooked for promotion’. The protected characteristic of maternity means that your employer should have made you aware of the opportunity while on leave so that you could apply if interested.

They found some loophole i'm sure. The role was never advertised, my old boss just created a new position and parachuted her mate in basically.

OP posts:
ArtichokeAardvark · 20/09/2022 09:04

Does the new manager have a life (kids etc) outside work? Major problem I had was that my new manager was a single, child free workaholic and liked having my (equally single child free) mat cover working for her. Funnily enough, she rehired my mat cover as soon as I left.

wildseas · 20/09/2022 09:05

I'd ride it out for a couple of months not making too many waves and see if it calms down - sounds like she isn't a very experienced people manager and is trying to make a mark in her own way.

If that doesn't work I'd start job hunting.....

mamabear715 · 20/09/2022 09:05

Ah. Sounds like the old 'time & motion' people my late husband had to put up with during a spell in engineering. 'Why can't you put more pieces on there?' DH - 'because it will shatter & fly off in every direction'.
T&M man 'Can you do it & we'll see?'
DH (walking away) ok, I'll be over here so I don't get injured..

How do they GET these folk who have absolutely NO idea about how things are made? :-(

Doingprettywellthanks · 20/09/2022 09:08

. I met my new 'middle' boss on a virtual KIT day, and although she said the right things unfortunately I got really fake vibes from her tbh, you know when someone is forcing a smile.

you made a very hasty judgement

and you really like and trust your old boss? Well if she’s really good friends with this new woman, how do you square that?

BuddhaAtSea · 20/09/2022 09:10

From my experience this kind of people don’t stick around for long. They come, cause chaos and then bugger off somewhere else, they’re normally promoted.
The one way I sometimes approach issues like these is to leave a paper trail: thank you for your very informative meeting, to sum it up, you’d like the vases to be green, blown like this, delivered by X.
Also, I would go to her with a problem (say she wants them green, but only pink ever really sold) and ask for her expertise and advice on how to make the green ones sell and offer an alternative: could you make a batch that’s green with pink rims, what’s her experience tell her?

on the side, keep the design for the pink ones up to date, so when it all explodes, pull the papers of the pink ones out and ask: would these be a viable alternative?

It’s a job. You do it, you get paid, you go home. End of.
I’ve been bullied out of a job to make space for the boss’s mate. Trust me, if they want you out, they will, nothing to do with you or how good you are. Don’t sweat it.

KellyJonesLeatherTrousers · 20/09/2022 09:12

@WeepingSomnambulist wow, unnecessarily aggressive! Maybe go back to bed and start again today! The post is clear that assumptions were made at that first meeting and it’s not clear how long OP has been back at work.

Cantbebotheredanymore · 20/09/2022 09:14

mamabear715 · 20/09/2022 09:05

Ah. Sounds like the old 'time & motion' people my late husband had to put up with during a spell in engineering. 'Why can't you put more pieces on there?' DH - 'because it will shatter & fly off in every direction'.
T&M man 'Can you do it & we'll see?'
DH (walking away) ok, I'll be over here so I don't get injured..

How do they GET these folk who have absolutely NO idea about how things are made? :-(

This! Honestly I think it's very much about people not knowing what they don't know.

Everyone has a glass vase at home, most people don't know how to make one. So they feel familiar with something they actually know very little about.

The reason I'm writing this thread, is that it's become apparent that new boss isn't interested in learning about how glass blowing works at all. She's already decided based on a very basic understanding of the process and is now trying to change processes which will make it more difficult, but not impossible to continue. It's like the blind leading the non-blind lol.

The company has a 'disagree and commit' approach. So we are expected to follow her process, however illogical, and deal with it. Which I am doing tbf, but Im more concerned that it's just becoming not a nice place to work anymore.

OP posts:
Yack02 · 20/09/2022 09:15

I had a boss who I just couldn't warm to. She exuded fakeness, was patronising and had a rather unpleasant bitchy undertone. Was also working above her station imo and I regularly wondered how the hell she had managed to wrangle that job.

The solution for me was to leave! I stuck it out for a year but ultimately just couldn't work underneath someone like that.

Cantbebotheredanymore · 20/09/2022 09:16

Doingprettywellthanks · 20/09/2022 09:08

. I met my new 'middle' boss on a virtual KIT day, and although she said the right things unfortunately I got really fake vibes from her tbh, you know when someone is forcing a smile.

you made a very hasty judgement

and you really like and trust your old boss? Well if she’s really good friends with this new woman, how do you square that?

Well honestly I was questioning this myself. My theory is she has superiority complex. Kisses up to her boss (and is nice to her friends of course) speaks down to her direct reports.

Not completely uncommon I would imagine?

OP posts:
PersonaNonGarter · 20/09/2022 09:17

DomesticShortHair · 20/09/2022 08:55

Go to work, just do your job they way that she tells you to, then knock off and not think about work until you start again the next day.

Then pocket the money on payday. That’s it.

^Such good advice.

Don’t let work stress leak into your life while you have other more important things to worry about.

Doingprettywellthanks · 20/09/2022 09:19

Cantbebotheredanymore · 20/09/2022 09:16

Well honestly I was questioning this myself. My theory is she has superiority complex. Kisses up to her boss (and is nice to her friends of course) speaks down to her direct reports.

Not completely uncommon I would imagine?

You said they are “good friends”
So presumably before they ever worked together?

how long have you been back op?

Doingprettywellthanks · 20/09/2022 09:21

And it is very very common to being in a manager without direct or any indeed experience of the business itself.

You think the CEO of BG knows his way around a boiler?!

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