Just a quick update (or not...)
Monday, August 23, 2010
I've been trying to get a little more sleep, so I'm going to try to keep this real short.
First off, THANK YOU to you, my dear dear Sparkfriends, for your loving advice and support.
Second, let's start with the good news: I ran without stopping for over 40 minutes today. I don't think I've running for that long since almost a year ago. It made my day. More good news: I averaged a little under 15 minutes per mile. That's really good for me, especially in light of all of my false starts over this last year. I'm feeling good about it, and I came home and didn't eat any junk food. It's really motivating to me when I can see myself improve.
Also, I had a good long chat with my husband on Skype on Saturday. He is doing well. He has been working about 16 hours a day, and has just completed work on a classified publication few people will never know anything about. That's just how it is in his line of work.
About my boss. This is not an easily resolved situation. I have spoken with him extremely honestly on many occasions, and it's going to take more than a heart to heart.
I have had an excellent working relationship over the last two years, and he really trusts me and depends on me. Unfortunately, we have been through more management changes over the last year than anyone can handle gracefully (in my humble opinion). In addition, our leadership lacks basic honesty and integrity (which is his main asset), and they seem to have taken against him, so he seems to come in for more than his share of crap.
I think it has gotten to the point where he has become paranoid, and he is compensating for his situation by becoming hypervigilant and overcontrolling -- mostly with me. He seems to expect me to be an entire staff in one, spanning all of the levels of experience and expertise. I do everything, from the sublime to the ridiculous (keeping lists, scheduling meetings, drafting papers, copying, punching, assembling, and everything in between; even supervising a problem employee sometimes. Please bear in mind that some of this stuff is well below my grade level. It's definitely not making the best use of my time. I'm a professional, not an administrative assistant.
I'm a good listener, so he has taken to telling me things that I probably shouldn't know -- like all of his frustrations at the office, in great and specific detail. That worked for a while, but now it's getting to be too much for me. I've got my own problems, and I just don't have the psychological wherewithal to handle all of his problems and mine. I've also done a lot of overtime in the past, but right now I can't because I don't have a husband to fall back on when it comes to taking care of the kids. I've explained all this to him, but it doesn't help.
On the surface, he says he understands, but then he becomes over-controlling and manipulative, like insisting on involving me in stuff others could do ("Because I trust you..."), dumping a list of stuff on me as he heads for the gym, knowing full well that in order to meet his deadline, I won't be able to go. Over the last few weeks, he has even embarrassed me twice in public.
Last week he approached me at a Board meeting (about to begin) for which I serve as the recorder and ordered me to change my seat. He said he wanted me on the other side of the room (where I can't hear as well), for reasons that made no sense at all ("physics"). I think I got in trouble with him every day last week for not bringing some tiny issue to his attention; he doesn't want me talking to anyone in the office outside of our immediate group, and there is literally nothing no decision too trivial to be made personally by him. Today I was scolded for supposedly not bringing something to his immediate attention, when in fact that was exactly what I had done. He has accused me of taking advantage of his weakened position in the office to flout his authority. I've been in this line of work for 22 years, and none of my former supervisors would recognize me in his description. Most of them would probably say that I'm dependable, capable, hard-working, a skilled analyst, and usually quiet.
One of you pointed out that I seem to be very concerned about his feelings. I know I am. Our working relationship has been very good in the past, but at the moment I could wring his neck (figuratively). I feel bad about what he has had to go through, and I'm having trouble adjusting to the new reality. I don't know if it's permanent or temporary, and I don't know how much more I can take.
I could go on, but I should be going to bed. Hopefully this will answer some of your further questions.
Thank you for all your help and support.