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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.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    WOW! I am so happy about your run. It sounds like you needed it to help dispel all of the work stress.
    I really do not know how to advise you about your boss situation. It sounds abusive to me as well as controlling. He needs some help, but not from you. It sounds like he has undergone a big change and perhaps it is some kind of health issue ( like high blood pressure?) Once I got on BP meds years ago, I became calm and not so high strung. In the meantime, do your best to cope. Remember we area ll here for you.
    3747 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2112467
    Great job on the run!

    It may be time to look for another work place. I had a boss that was pretty cool, easy to work with. Changes started happening, alot like what you talk about. Then a year later, after all I had put up with, the police came after him! He was on drugs, stopped taking his bi-polar meds (no one knew he had a prob, not even me). It all finally hit the fan in a big way! Just be careful. I think sometimes those situations are dangerous - I had no idea who I was working for!
    3748 days ago
    Great job on your running! 15-minute miles are great! Soon you'll be running a 5K!

    I doubt that you're the only one who has noticed your boss's weird behavior, and I suspect that his days are numbered in the company. If others there aren't aware of your talents, I'd try to think about ways to MAKE them aware, though you'll have to be careful about not inflaming your boss further with fear that he has lost your loyalty. You might even consider shopping around your resume. Knowing the little that I know about you, I'd bet that you're perceived as a very solid, if not outstanding, employee ... and your boss is NOT!

    Hang in there, hold your head up high, and this too shall pass!
    3748 days ago
    I don't know anything about your boss situation. Something that is going through my mind is something that I have seen on TV where a young woman is isolated from her family and friends by a controlling boyfriend, then he escalates the control, sometimes to violent behavior. Something about your blog says to be cautious since your husband is out of town and maybe you should talk about this behavior of your boss to a close friend that lives near you.
    3748 days ago
  • BOBBYD31
    first great job on the run, sounds like that aspect of your life is coming around to where you want it to be. take it and run with it, fantastic!
    second i have no advice to offer other than i am sorry you have to deal with this especially while DH is away, that makes it all the harder. hang in there, keep your chin up and go for more stress relief runs.
    3748 days ago
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