View Full Version : How to deal with Unrealistic / Overwhelming Expectations?

7-26-11, 4:55pm
So.... most work places are cutting staff and increasing workloads. Also, the boss is trying to be promoted and thus has recently started demanding unrealistic and overwhelming assignments. In the past, I have usually found that it is best to just agree with her and then do your best and eventually she gets the idea that she cannot have everything her way (corners need to be cut, things that are not as important fall by the wayside) etc. But now she is following up almost hourly on some things that never used to matter before.

How do you deal with it?

7-26-11, 5:16pm
Before agreeing to take on another assignment, I'll update my boss with what's currently on my to do list, and ask them which items can be dropped (I usually have suggestions handy if they are having a hard time deciding on the fly). This way its not a surprise to anyone, and no promises are made to higher ups. As a manager, I've hated when staff agree to do something, then disappoint. Particularly when I may have made promises to others based on the staff agreeing to complete.

7-27-11, 8:37am
I used to have a boss who would pile it on until we started tacking on a person-hour count to each project. When that started stretching into the years (!), she finally got the idea that she needed to prioritize!

7-28-11, 9:07pm
While it may not work depending on your boss's priorities I agree with herbgeek about trying to set her expectations each time she gives you a new task. She probably won't like this, and may outright reject it, in which case there's not too much you can do.

I used to have a boss that had been removed from the production aspect of our business so long that she assumed that everything would take about 5 minutes to accomplish. So, 5 minutes before leaving for a client meeting she'd ask for a schedule of insurance. Yes a quick and dirty one could be produced that quickly, but a quality one that's been checked for accuracy and has enough detail to be worthwhile can take quite a bit longer. I'd try to anticipate needs like that, but since I didn't know her schedule it was a constant aggravation because there would always be random off-cycle meetings, or clients whose insurance policies all renewed at different times and she'd be going for a meeting to discuss a minor policy but want to have a complete schedule "just in case".

8-9-11, 5:41am
I'm not sure there is anything you can do if you are on salary they can pretty well expect you to work til you drop. My sympathies. If you are hourly, at least hope they will get tired of paying you OT and rethink things.