Boss attributes worker’s stress to poor time management skills, not workload


Question: I work for a non-profit organization, where I have worked for most of the past 30+ years. I’m a bit of a workaholic.

A few weeks ago my manager asked everyone in a meeting to say what our stress levels were, on a scale of 1 to 10. I told the truth: 10.

A week later, the manager’s theme for her morning email was time management: basically anyone who says they’re busy or has too much work actually has poor time management skills. . I considered it a public shame on myself and a colleague who also reported high stress levels himself.

Email isn’t the only thing I don’t like about the manager, but it sounds like the proverbial straw, the latest in a series of disrespectful actions. Do all the bosses do this? If I decide to hold on until I am eligible for Social Security, what is the best approach? – Anonymous, Madison, Wisconsin

A: Your manager is passive-aggressive and has toxic ideas about the work culture. I don’t know if she embarrassed you as much as she judged you, which isn’t much better.

But what does it matter what she thinks? You are stressed. Most people are. Your manager is just mean. Ignore his stupid provocations.

You have been working in your organization for over 30 years. You can see the light at the end of the employment tunnel. You can and you will. If you have the energy, you can certainly look for a new job. Or you can just hang in there.

You haven’t shared how long you have to work until you qualify for Social Security benefits, but I’m guessing it’s less than 10 years. It’s time to find out who you are beyond your job.

You can be great at your job without being a workaholic. Keep doing your best, but find other things outside of work to put some of that intensity into it.

As I wrote in this column before, work will never love you. Don’t invest your whole identity in what you do for a living because when work refuses to love you back, when it lets you down, you end up with nothing and you deserve a lot better.

This is not the canon of classical music

Question: I work for a large classical music organization. I am the only non-white person on my team. I tried to raise awareness about the implementation of a structured equity, diversity and inclusion plan. I am the only person on my team to have spoken in favor of the change.

I recently had an argument with a close colleague who I trust and who is white. I exclaimed that no one cares about diversity and inclusion in our organization. She has become defensive and has said in the past that she doesn’t like to “make people uncomfortable” discussing these issues and that “this is the world of classical music”.

I am starting to get tired of being the only person doing the job and I start to feel resentful. What can I do to implement achievable changes, both with my colleagues and at the institutional level? – Anonymous, Toronto

A: It is lonely to be the only non-white person in almost any situation. In the workplace, this means your white coworkers are only focused on their jobs when all too often you have to do the job you were hired to do. and diversity, equity and inclusion work, a specialized area in which you probably have no training.

I understand why you are trying to raise awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion and get your employer to put in place a structured plan. And I imagine it’s very lonely to be the only person who’s willing to do this job.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to get people to care about these issues. At some point, you have to decide how long you are going to do this extra work for colleagues who are unwilling to meet with you even halfway.

Of course, you feel resentment. This is an absurd situation that you shouldn’t have to face. As for your colleague, it is the height of the privilege of being able to avoid the discomfort of discussing difficult subjects. So much of the important work for change occurs in the uncomfortable times when we are forced to face the things that challenge us.

Your colleague said that “this is the world of classical music”. What does it mean? People of color create and consume classical music.

I would suggest starting small with the change you want to see. You may be able to organize programs for your colleagues that can help them educate them about classical musicians and composers of color, like Scott Joplin, Florence Beatrice Price, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and George Bridgetower, and contemporary artists, like Lara Downes, Wynton Marsalis and Jessie Montgomery.

Having said that, there isn’t much you can do. You may very well be around people who are unwilling or unwilling to live in the real world where diversity exists. If so, you may need to move to an organization whose values ​​are more aligned with yours.

A sneaky salary negotiation

Question: I am in the process of hiring a new writer. She impressed us all in the interview process. We made her an offer and she verbally accepted. Then she sent us a few questions about the details of the offer. We’ve sent out details on the benefits and vague information about our growth numbers, given the nondisclosure agreement she signed.

On the day her acceptance was due to return, she phoned Human Resources – not me, the hiring manager – to say she had another offer at a surprisingly high salary. She said she would accept our offer for an additional $ 10,000. I really doubt the level of the second offer. But others wanted to go ahead and gave him a $ 5,000 bump. When I called with the counter-offer, I mentioned her competing offer, and she rejected it, “Oh, that, I wouldn’t take that. I would love to work for you.

I have the impression that we have been played. I can’t help but think that she lied to us and got around me. What should I do with this feeling? – Anonymous

A: Your new hire does not withdraw money from your bank account. Why are you in such a hurry with his negotiating tactics or the amount of his compensation? You don’t know for sure that she’s lying about the competing offer, but if so, she’s not the first or the last person to manifest an imaginary job offer to negotiate more pay. high.

Looks like she was savvy, done her homework and pulled it off. Let go of the feeling that she lied and circumvented your authority. She is restless. She will hopefully bring that hustle and bustle to work every day and be a great employee. Otherwise, you will deal with the matter accordingly. I understand why you are upset with the way she proceeded, but it’s your bruised ego speaking. Treat the bruise and move on. You are still the boss.


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