It's Not Me, It's You
January 16, 2013 6:34 PM Subscribe
I'm asking this question because I can't really verbalize it as well as I'd like to since I'm trying to look at it from all perspectives.
I've been under the management or oversight for a couple of total assholes this past year and a half. The first was the director of the graduate program I am on leave from, and the second is my current boss, a cafe owner.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The first had fairly exaggerated expectations in regards to work and study (he himself is more of a scholar than a leader. I'm academically inclined but do not see the point of most of the effort.) I was up for a graduate fellowship (recipient chosen by him) and didn't get it despite my best academic and work efforts. I was just not his favorite. I also had quite a bit of performance anxiety and am fairly certain I sabotaged a few projects due to the unusual amount of pressure I was under.
Last summer, I took a job at a fancy little beer cafe specifically because I knew the owner was a nit picky jerk, just like the director of my graduate program. I wanted to learn how to work with people like him since I seem to come across so many (my partner is also like that; it took me a long time to stop being so defensive when he criticizes me). It has mostly been a nightmare; he's a chronic micro-manager who is so obviously bi-polar. He's made me cry many, many times. All of my coworkers are aware that he is a jerk, but many of them are close to him and seem to do well within the business. But dear lord, is he fucking cray-cray. He's trying to create the best coffeehouse in town, and is trying REALLY HARD to replicate uber hipster coffeebars (some of which I have worked previous, which is why he hired me). He's not really that cool enough and I don't respect most of his efforts since it seems to drive customers away. He won't let me make coffee because I steamed up some soy the wrong way on one of his bad days and he told me I was not allowed to make coffee anymore. I won't go into too much detail, but it's the little things that add up really fast and I constantly feel like he thinks I'm dumb or incompetent. He nickpicks me about reading a paper in the back room for a second between chores (really, I was dumping it into the recycling but wanted to glance over an article), but won't speak to his other employees about drinking beer while working (Oh dear, I would never do that, I'm not 21 anymore.)
Details aside, I'm just wondering why some flourish under people like my director and boss, and why some like me flounder and run for happier grounds. I'm quite aware that I have some self-esteem issues, but I'm not convinced this is entirely why I do horribly around micro-managing nit-pickers. I thought taking this job would shed some light on the whole "you don't respect me I'm outta here" attitude I've had about jobs my whole life, and am trying to create a stronger work-ethic while learning coping skills when around hard-to-please managers. I avoid these people like the plague when at work, at it totally backfires because they can feel that I want nothing to do with them. Hence the extra negative attention. I feel like a failure in that I can't make this person realize I'm good at what I do, and I come home exhausted.
Or- this is another perspective- am I not trying hard enough? I get discouraged really easily, and fail to see that "Please like what I do" aspects that go into working for very detail oriented people. I'm at a point in my life where I feel like I've failed at or quit way too many things. Should I tell the litte voice inside that's saying "what's the point" to stuff it and try harder?
I KNOW that this is just a shitty barista dead end job; very well aware and am not looking to be a professional barista. It's the way I go about work and relationships that I am wanting to improve so that I could maybe have a shot at a better outcome in my later pursuits.
I want to quit, but don't want to run away when things get dicey.