I'm not her assistant but she's treating me like I am. Frankly I'm ready to just quit but I can't afford it without another job lined up. To rub salt in that wound, she's micromanaging and professionally lazy and generally gets under my skin... Help me stick it out while I look for another job!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've worked for this consulting company's business development group since summer '11, and was made marketing coordinator, given an office-cubicle around the executive area. M was hired on a few months later as the friend of an exec, and has transitioned into our BD group, given an exec office (not the title though). Neither of us had formal job descriptions. Our mutual manager told me his intent was for M and I to have parallel roles in BD and marketing, with separate responsibilities and focuses, often collaborating together. He's done this with another pair of people, at our head office where he's based (in another city across the country). Sounded good, but this did not come to fruition - he left the company on short notice just last week. His temporary replacement has no idea who I am.
In the meantime, things have gotten out of hand with M, who was very recently and quietly promoted to BD manager. She's been treating me like her employee, and this perception has spread to the rest of the office. Part of my duties were originally to help develop and execute certain BD objectives, and I was ok with that at first - I'm a team player and will help out when needed. But I was not hired to be an admin assistant. Sadly, BD has been so busy lately that M has steamrolled me into spending 90% of my time on her proposals, and I haven't been able to do any marketing-specific work to make myself shine with my own accomplishments. I'm feeling like I've been inadvertently down-graded to her assistant, which is incredibly frustrating and depressing. And we're putting in tons of extra hours on her stuff, so I've been left too exhausted to work as hard as I'd like on getting the heck out of there and landing a new job. I can't afford to just quit though.
I wouldn't mind the situation so much if she wasn't so awful to work with. I feel like she's having me do all her work for her, and making it appear like it's all her, I do nothing (because i'm marketing and just lending a hand). She gets requests from the execs and delegates every last bit of it that she possibly can to her admin assistant and me, micromanaging us and preferring to stand over our shoulders and describe what she wants in vague terms (not literally - she's more likely to do a telecon while sitting at her desk though we're just a few meters away). Then she'll redline stuff and have us rework it until it's more to her liking, never making the simple effort to do the rewrites herself. Sometimes she'll hand something over to me completely, trusting in my ability to do it, but then checks in constantly to see what i'm doing and comment. Or something she's supposedly taken on for her own responsibility gets several sections handed off to me. She's even been wanting to review what I've been doing for marketing lately (back off, lady!).
Mild example: Last week I was due to go to an event at 4 pm with a colleague. It's 4, my colleague's here to collect me, and I'm trying to make an exit... but suddenly M's calling to me to hunt down a safety slide from 2012 for a presentation due at 5 pm (first I've heard of it). Thinking this will be quick, I look online, finding only a presentation from 2011. I send it to her. She calls that she wants just the one slide, I tell her to cut it from the presentation, she ignores that and asks for the slide again. I tell her this is all we've got, take the slide from that presentation, it's easy. This goes back and forth, moving on to looking in other places online, me telling her that's all I've got and we're heading out, her telling me to keep looking (because i haven't found a perfect slide yet), contact some other people and ask them, find out from any available source. Finally at 4:30 my colleague's asked a top exec if he's seen this mythical slide (no), we've emailed the safety person to request something from 2012. My colleague simply tells M we have to go, safety person will just have to get back to her or she'll have to make do with that one slide from 2011. Not once has M actually gone online to look for herself or call this person. M is still asking me to just look around online or try to reach safety person again as I'm finally getting my jacket on to go. The next week I get chewed out by M for leaving, being told I should have gotten my colleague to leave without me and not involved them in our work because it's confidential.
I don't like to think of myself as a pushover, or a person that avoids confrontation. I try my best to be polite but firm with her, but she just brushes it off and disregards what I've said. I've tried having a serious talk with her about this situation and she's completely brushed me off. I tried engaging HR on this situation but they're useless, and I'd go talk to the other execs but they adore her and don't think highly of me for reasons beyond my control. So yes, I'm looking for another job asap, but I have to stick it out for the foreseeable future. I'm tearing my hair out.
I need help understanding what it is I'm doing that's letting her walk all over me, what I can do to curb it. I want to work reasonable hours again so that I can spend more effort on my job hunt. I want to bring my stress levels down. And I want to preferably not burn all my bridges doing it. How???