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Thread: and now he is cancelling my plans,...

  1. #1
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    and now he is cancelling my plans,...

    sigh, I am learning a LOT about keeping my head about me this year. I know I was freaking out in the beginning of the year about some things, I am still distressed but much better at letting it be someone else's issue.

    I noticed that my boss does not get to reading all the things I send him, so I have started to send him drafts or things that have a summary and some of the information to start with. Currently we have a situation where grant money needs to be spent in very specific ways by the end of December. That means we need training provided for our outside partners and we will pay their staff to attend (like the soccer program or the dance provider). I saw we did not have a plan to use this money so I emailed him with my idea to provide a couple short trainings at my site, I have experience and qualifications to do this, and he said yes. He asked for a proposal after he said yes. So I replied with a summary and asked for feedback. Meanwhile I worked to get space, work with providers and their schedules, worked with the grants accountant to make sure I was doing everything right. I sent him a detailed plan of half of the 2 hour session and asked for feedback again. That was the middle of last week. I just got an email telling me to cancel and to make sure I checked with him before scheduling with outside providers next time. He said he needs to understand the grant better (mind you I got the draft in early August and turned around my proposal to spend the money in 48 hours). There is no established protocol because I just worked my freakin' butt off to create a training at the last minute, which will still be awesome, so I didn't know I had to have more than what I have sent. Besides it is just wrong that I scheduled providers before getting approval, I have an email showing he approved and wanted my proposal. He said nothing about what the proposal should look like or include or anything.

    I emailed him back, I am using a much more friendly tone. I also sent an email to the grants accountant to see if she could help him learn more about the grant so he is comfortable with this. My providers are super happy to come to this and I have done a lot of work. However I am rolling with it more than I have in all the previous situations. Honestly this is a lot of work, as much as I love training I don't need to be treated like I am trying to get away with something instead of offering something above and beyond.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Frustrating to go through this but good that you can roll with it. Keeping up with the email (paper trail) is very wise.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
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    Did he want you to do a proposal and have him okay it before you set it up?
    I understand about the limited time in December-you really only have two weeks now. But I am not following what he asked you to do. Sounds like you had a good idea but he did not pick up on it? Is that about right?

  4. #4
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Wow that is frustrating.

    All I can think of is that his yes, meant sounds like a good idea, put together a proposal for review before we commit to anything and you heard yes, please go ahead and implement your idea.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    From this, sounds like lack of clarity in communication. When he said “Yes” did he mean “yes this concept sounds great, give me details so that I can approve it at a micro level” ?

    It sounds like you are doing good for the organization if there is grant money for the entire organization that you can facilitate spending.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all, Thank you Iris for getting what I was trying to do! I have the original email that says 'yes and send me a proposal at your earliest convenience'. That was November 21st. It did not say that it was provisional on my proposal, I sent him a summary right away and then the plan for half the time. I have enough experience and training as well. Besides my master in education, I have been through 3 'train the trainer' programs in the last 12 months.

    I had a YES! If there was a potential for being cancelled I would not have spent so much time on this, I would have spent more time making sure he understood the grant and the specific way this money needed to be spent. From some issues my colleague is having with him, this is him and his ability to comprehend and remember. I was visiting with the one person he supervised last year and asked her some questions in the tone of 'help me work with him better'. She said they spent a lot of time talking through things in great detail since she was his only direct report and they shared an office. I think she didn't see the same things I am seeing because it was her first year in the position as well. I am keeping REALLY good notes and sending a lot of emails to back everything up right now. I don't want to put this on English being his second language, I have worked with many people who have English as a second language after all. I still am being VERY cautious, my one colleague feels that she is on the verge of being fired. I think it is very possible based on the history of our department.

    So what is this thing where you feel that you are offering to do work that benefits the organization, and it is also work you like and possibly part of a larger career goal, but then it gets treated like you are trying to get away with something? I can only say maybe they feel threatened?

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Girl View Post


    ...I don't want to put this on English being his second language, I have worked with many people who have English as a second language after all. I still am being VERY cautious, my one colleague feels that she is on the verge of being fired. I think it is very possible based on the history of our department.

    So what is this thing where you feel that you are offering to do work that benefits the organization, and it is also work you like and possibly part of a larger career goal, but then it gets treated like you are trying to get away with something? I can only say maybe they feel threatened?
    I would just assume he communicated poorly, and I would explain to him in your next conversation about this project that you interpretted his “yes” as an ok to go forward and secure resources to carry out the training. I don't know your organization’s process for spending money but assume eveything you did fell within those parameters.

    It is important to talk about the specific occasion of your misunderstanding of his “yes” so that he hears what happened and why you went forward.

    I would not obsess about his language skills, his ability to remember, his reading of your emails, etc, although they all may play a part. I really would not assume some sort of personal power trip on his part to keep you from “getting away with something.”

    And finally, you have to accept the reality that with such a short turnaround time to spend this money, the permissions you need from him might not come through in time. That is the reality. This happened to me regularly, my boss would be all cheery about a particular thing but would not do the things she needed to do by deadlines to make it happen. So be it, they either do it or they dont.

  8. #8
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    I wonder if when he said, "send me a proposal" he meant he wanted to approve it before you set it in motion.
    I am thinking of when I get work done on the house--I can ask for a proposal but will not okay it until I have looked it over.
    But maybe your chain of command does not work that way, and maybe you have autonomy to set up the programming and go ahead with it.

    It does seem that there is a miscommunication going on in the situation.

  9. #9
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    Trying not to overthink, I tend to however

    I am not so worried about how to prevent this in the future, based on the past there has not been any lasting changes from our talks. Usually the new conversation begins with 'I forgot,...' So getting too worried about solving a problem when I have more than a 50% chance of him totally forgetting the conversation seems like a waste of mental energy.

    BTW this is not spending any of his money, the money is approved by the accountant I talked to. I have my own purchasing card and a budget, which I am accountable for. The space is in my building, my time is 'free', there are no supplies. The payment to the provider is invoiced through the accountant. The only way this came up is because he tried to schedule our bi-weekly check in during a time that showed busy on my calendar. I could have just said I was no available with no reason, it has been marked for a couple weeks now, but I told him what I was doing that I couldn't meet at that time. If it was a medical or personal appointment I would not be cancelling with 2 days notice either. He has missed a lot of our check-ins, sometimes he cancels and sometimes he just doesn't show or call.

  10. #10
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    How frustrating!

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