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What is with my boss?

17 replies

BeatieBourke · 12/10/2022 10:21

My boss blows hot and cold and i just find it...weird.

I've been in my job 3 months. It's a big, tricky, new project and I have a lot of responsibility and autonomy. I also work alone most of the time. I'm managed by a trustee who is essentially a volunteer, and has a tricky job of their own. I get that they have their own stuff going on.

Last week was a big one with three very significant high stakes things going on. Boss came up to attend, spent lots of time working together, gave them loads of lifts etc. I absolutely nailed the work (big speeches infront of big people, important meetings, events) and they were very impressed. Lots of well done etc. I worked crazy hours in the lead up and had to miss a day when my ds was ill at home with his dad (which is fine, he has two parents, but it's never nice to be away from an ill child).

In the night ds was unwell again, and proper fainted. He's quite little and it was a bit scary. 111, emergency GP appointment and paediatric referral. Watchful waiting. He seems OK now, it's the second time it's happened (but first time since I've been in this job).

I've not had a day off or anything since I started, apart from prebooked holiday and TOIL. I messaged boss this morning, said what was going on a that I wouldn't be able to be in work today, and would try and do what I could from home. They saw the message, but two hours later, no response.

I messaged again to say definitely need to keep ds home today, GPs advice. Sorry again, hope that's OK etc.

Message I got back was "OK".

AIBU to think this is just a bit...rude? No "Thanks for letting me know, no problem, hope DS is ok". Are they now pissed off with me?

Maybe I'm just a needy loser. I think it's fair to assume a new staff member might be worried about taking time off because of an ill child. And to either say it's not a problem or say it is and let them know what they need to do differently. I don't think I'd treat staff like this. It feels...frosty.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

50 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
AlisonDonut · 12/10/2022 10:24

People take offence at the slightest thing. Probably doesn't want to start a conversation and make you feel like you have to keep it going with all that going on.

Little did she know that you'd take to Mumsnet to dissect her response.

Perhaps just concentrate on your child, that's why you have taken the day off surely?

NumberTheory · 12/10/2022 10:26

It isn’t the best people management skills, but if your boss is a volunteer with their own busy job elsewhere they may not always have the bandwidth that they ought to to manage you properly.

I don’t think it necessarily means anything more than that (if that’s concerning you) but it’s obviously a risk in a position like yours.

Gubu · 12/10/2022 10:34

I work in a similar way, OP, and would get a similar response! I've learned from my boss that she is very direct and efficient and in a case like would be simply acknowledging my situation and accept my judgement on how to manage the day. I guess then next time you speak rather than text, your boss will be more forthcoming and may ask about your ds. It has taken me 5 years to learn that my boss just isn't a gushy person over text or email but much warmer when we speak or meet. I think it's, as like yours, she has a busy, pressured day job so doesn't always have the head space when not in focused trustee mode.

Hope your ds is better soon.

Winterscomingagain · 12/10/2022 10:38

You're overthinking it, presumably they've just read your message and accepted the situation.
Focus on your child and forget about it.

BeatieBourke · 12/10/2022 10:39

@Gubu, I think that's probably exactly it. So I suppose I know to a degree that I am BU. It always makes me feel a bit worried about my position.

I need to learn how to deal with that worry in a better way. Reassuring that it's taken you 5 years! 😆

@AlisonDonut I'm not dissecting as such, or being offended. Just tired, in a new job with a bit of pressure, and feeling a bit touchy!

OP posts:
Gubu · 12/10/2022 10:40

I've just reread your post, and wonder, is your boss a woman? (Your cautious lack of specificity made me wonder.) I found it a learning curve to realise that I expected more of an emotional angle to her inputs than I would of my previous male bosses. Unconscious sexism on my part.

MsMcGonagall · 12/10/2022 10:48

"they saw the message but no response" - they were probably in a meeting. I've got a couple of messages today I haven't got to yet - I certainly don't expect people to be reading anything into that

She said "OK" !! Not "this is a problem you need to be in work"

As someone said, They're agreeing with your assessment of the situation and your response in not being at work.

theemmadilemma · 12/10/2022 10:50

Yep if I was busy at work and you're letting me know you're not coming in, I might just quickly acknowlege you. I would probably ask if you/son were ok when you returned to work.

Royalbloo · 12/10/2022 11:14

Yeah this is completely normal.

BeatieBourke · 12/10/2022 11:29

Confirmed: I am a needy employee! 😖

Good to know. At least I can do something about it now.

OP posts:
Karatema · 12/10/2022 14:11

I am a boss but would always reply "ok" to that type of message. Why? Because if my employee is at home with a poorly child or poorly themselves, they don't want to be caught up with work stuff. It can wait until they arrive back at work!

RoomOfRequirement · 12/10/2022 14:16

You may be needy. But I am too! It's so hard not to be, especially as a new employee in an important role.

I left my crazy NHS role for a new non-NHS position after covid and I dissect this now too. My boss can be very complimentary but also very matter of fact, and while she's never given me any cause for concern I do wish some managers would realize the power imbalance and act accordingly/be slightly friendlier! I don't personally like the straight talk 'ok' responses and I know many others don't either. I stress for usually no reason!

cornflakegirl · 12/10/2022 14:23

I don't think it's needy to expect a sympathetic response to that kind of message. It takes seconds to add "hope Tommy feels better soon" to the message.

DrinkFeckArseBrick · 12/10/2022 14:27

I dont know if you're being too needy, I have a similar boss and there are a few people who get upset by the lack of acknowledgement / support

AriettyHomily · 12/10/2022 14:30

My boss blows hot and cold I just ignore it. She is under immense pressure atm and I think it just comes out in the wrong way occasionally

Gubu · 12/10/2022 15:15

I think it's hard not to be a bit needy when you're in a new role without a consistent presence you can refer to when needed or even just the reassurance of someing else/higher up being around. It has taken me a while to be more comfortable with accepting I've a very long "leash" and I'm trusted to just get on with it.

joycerousselot · 02/05/2023 23:34

I agree - very rude but forget it. Either they are totally insensitive or just too busy , whatever. Too soon to make your mind up, Just act as though nothing happened.

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