“I work hard” he muttered. I could barely hear him.
“You do WHAT?” I asked.
“Work hard. I told you, I work hard.” It seemed to him like no one ever really listened.
He went on to say that he was sick of spending his nights correcting his boss’s awful grammar for her reports that had to go out the next day. She was always late with her reports and always had a ‘do it now’ attitude.
“I am a communications expert, not a third-grade teacher” he complained.
“Did you ever tell your boss about your frustrations?” I was just getting to know his vulnerable points in this first leadership development coaching session.
“You can’t tell her anything. No one can. You just do what she says and stuff your thoughts and feelings.”
“What do you think would happen if you said you needed time for yourself, for your family in the evening and would appreciate if her reports were sent to you in a more timely fashion?”
“I would get fired.”
“How long have you been with the company?”
“I have been here for eight years,” he said with deep pride.
“And you would get fired, just like that?”
“She is and always has been a bully. She is and always was loud and a know it all. She is and always was the one to demand that it was her way or the highway.”
OK, you got the picture? A demanding boss and a subservient director of communications. A bully and a victim. Do either of these patterns resonate with you?
In the employee’s eyes, the boss is a jerk at work. In the boss’s eyes, the communications director is the jerk at work.