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Thread: not comparing, okay comparing

  1. #21
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    As one who has logged in too many years as both subordinate and boss, I have come to these conclusions:

    Virtually everybody, be they however worthy or worthless, believes in their bones they are smarter than their boss.

    Virtually nobody believes they are being fairly recognized for their contribution.

    Many subordinates adapt a strategy of disengagement, choosing to perform at a level just above where it would be worth the trouble to fire them. They become a sort of administrative overhead. In some circumstances, this can be dangerous.

    Many subordinates adopt a strategy of “telling the boss what they want to hear”. While they believe this is effective, bosses worth their salary generally see through it. We sometimes laugh about these people at managers’ meetings.

    Are some organizations and some people ossified beyond hope of redemption? Probably. Is it reasonable to expect existential validation as part of the benefits package? Probably not. But I think there can in most cases be a middle course. I try to surround myself with staff who are smarter than I am (which has not proved to be very difficult), and give credit where credit is due while quarantining the sulkers where they will do the least harm. I consider it a good exchange when it ends with me saying “I like your idea better”. Adjusting for the fundamental unfairness of life, it seems to work out OK for me.

    Ultimately, I would think the psychic toll of play-acting would be greater than trying and failing 90% of the time. As Camus said, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy”. Of course everybody’s circumstances are different.

  2. #22
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    Hugs Zoe.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    As one who has logged in too many years as both subordinate and boss, I have come to these conclusions:
    You have generously compiled many interesting thoughts and insights. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Virtually everybody, be they however worthy or worthless, believes in their bones they are smarter than their boss.
    This is probably true. haha

    For some bosses, I think: "I am way smarter."
    Some other bosses I think: "I am slightly smarter."

    Though I have/have had a few bosses who I thought: "This is a toss up."

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Virtually nobody believes they are being fairly recognized for their contribution.
    More time off, like 6 weeks of vacation time, that'd do it for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Many subordinates adapt a strategy of disengagement, choosing to perform at a level just above where it would be worth the trouble to fire them. They become a sort of administrative overhead. In some circumstances, this can be dangerous.
    This is my strategy, mostly. Though I would say that I am in no way dangerous to anyone. I'd say I am more insignificant, as are most people, in the eyes of management.

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Many subordinates adopt a strategy of “telling the boss what they want to hear”. While they believe this is effective, bosses worth their salary generally see through it. We sometimes laugh about these people at managers’ meetings.
    Well, who knows! Maybe they laugh at me. I don't care as long as I keep my job, keep getting paid, and don't have an unbearable time at work.

    But I will say this, for the first couple years I did not tell them what they wanted to hear. In fact, I had some rather "tough talks" with bosses. I pushed back. I advocated. I came up with new and inventive ideas. But again, this went nowhere. So I then decided to just be a yes man. So what I wonder is what management thought of such an abrupt change.

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Are some organizations and some people ossified beyond hope of redemption? Probably. Is it reasonable to expect existential validation as part of the benefits package? Probably not. But I think there can in most cases be a middle course. I try to surround myself with staff who are smarter than I am (which has not proved to be very difficult), and give credit where credit is due while quarantining the sulkers where they will do the least harm. I consider it a good exchange when it ends with me saying “I like your idea better”. Adjusting for the fundamental unfairness of life, it seems to work out OK for me.
    This is actually quite an interesting perspective and practice you have. I'll think on it more. Thought provoking stuff...

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Ultimately, I would think the psychic toll of play-acting would be greater than trying and failing 90% of the time. As Camus said, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy”. Of course everybody’s circumstances are different.
    What I worry about this what K-Von once said:

    "You are what you pretend to be, so be careful what you pretend to be."

    In order to cope with this peril, I be sure to do things that reaffirm who I am before and after work -- like meditation, reading, writing in a journal, etc.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  4. #24
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    Okay today I am in the boss chair. Just so you know my other side. My one challenging staff has already used a tone and manner that is on the edge. I told the staff a little about our plans for this school year, told them primarily that I would know more about what our requirements were for the year on Friday when I had my training, and so didn't explain very much today. The response from her was that she felt disrespected, that we had made decisions without her, we were judging her for issues last year, etc. OMG, I may share my feelings here but I do not go to a supervisor like that. I usually express myself outside and then think about their perspective before I decide if there is anything to actually bring up.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Girl View Post
    Okay today I am in the boss chair. Just so you know my other side. My one challenging staff has already used a tone and manner that is on the edge. I told the staff a little about our plans for this school year, told them primarily that I would know more about what our requirements were for the year on Friday when I had my training, and so didn't explain very much today. The response from her was that she felt disrespected, that we had made decisions without her, we were judging her for issues last year, etc. OMG, I may share my feelings here but I do not go to a supervisor like that. I usually express myself outside and then think about their perspective before I decide if there is anything to actually bring up.
    ZG: This job... and you... it is like when you have a friend who is dating a guy who is totally toxic, the whole relationship is toxic. And it makes your friend into someone she is not. It makes her unhappy, unhealthy, a complainer; it makes her seem worn down and beat down all the time. But for some reason, she just won't break up with him.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  6. #26
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    I do like the idea of keeping a daily journal this year - two pages a day - "things that make me stay"/ "things that drive me crazy." If you get to the end of the year and most of the left hand pages just say "paycheck" it's definitely time to move on.

    i'm really lucky. I'm pretty sure my boss is smarter than I am. I am absolutely positive that she is better at her job than I would ever be - and I feel like she feels the same about my ability to do my job. And, my organization has a minimum of built in stupid.

  7. #27
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    UA, I understand and maybe I should just stop posting here honestly. I have so much about my work that I really love, and I try to post that as well. I also tend to have a more broad emotional range, so I feel really excited when I am happy and really upset as well. I have heard my entire life that simply having this range bothers people. It seems like I am in a total crisis to people with a smaller emotional range, I have tried more of the tune-out type of style you are doing and it led to a serious depression, so I will take the larger emotional range. The good news is that I just posted how a goodwill find is making me happy for a week. I have been waiting to finish hiring to gush about my new assistant since I had so many fall through the last 2 years.

    But one of the other issues that seems to be missing in this conversation is, where do you honestly think I would go? What other job/career is just simply available without another retraining or pay cut. Unlike a boyfriend I actually need a job to live, and making a basic living wage has only happened in the last couple of years. I have worked my rear off to get where I am and in the living wage category, it took me until I was 48. I like these boards better than new agey type simple boards because we are in reality. Part of my long process to get to a basic living wage was the new agey crap that I was immersed in, rather than real work. Part of my long process was a combination of my mother and ex-husband telling me to think smaller, put the kids first, quit jobs, run away when I got stressed instead of learning, etc. Oh yeah recession. Trust me I would be more negative here if I didn't have this job and my current payrate.

  8. #28
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    Zoe, Keep posting. Don't let what others think stop you from doing what you feel is working for you. You've had a long and complicated journey and made progress.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I think I understand UL's opinion and of course walking away from things is always a choice but I firmly believe there will be no doubt in your mind when that time comes. Improving your workplace experience is largely under your control. Try to not have the high so high and the low so low. Even out your emotional range. And when you can't minimize the emotions....embrace them. It's part of the human experience. It is called the blues.

  10. #30
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Girl View Post

    ...But one of the other issues that seems to be missing in this conversation is, where do you honestly think I would go? What other job/career is just simply available without another retraining or pay cut. Unlike a boyfriend I actually need a job to live....
    Yes, this exactly.

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