How to deal with an overbearing, perfectionsist boss?
November 11, 2013 2:56 PM Subscribe
I am from the United States and love my new job in a developing country. I believe in what the organization is trying to accomplish. There are two bosses. One is laid back and lets me do my thing. The other is a complete perfectionist who is so overbearing at times that I want to cry.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I need guidance on how to handle the overbearing boss. In moments of frustration, I have resisted crying or going to the nicer boss to explain or complain. I would like to find a diplomatic way to deal with it. One of the things I want to do is address my job description.
Here is an example of a small incident that happened recently. A discussion led to me creating a document to be used internally. After completion, the difficult boss asked me to make a formatting change, and then another. She asked me to give her the document so she could work on the formatting (not the content). She was unhappy with my title because it was at the top of the left-hand column instead of centered at the top of the page- and the box around the text was a problem ("I don't like the box, take away the box"). The information was tight and it was a formatting and style choice based on very limited space. So she ended up telling me to just leave it undone and set it aside, even though the employees could use it immediately. During the exchanges I mentioned using a slash (/) to conserve space, but she "doesn't like slashes." Documents should be readable and made as effective as possible, but her opinions are expressed as facts- she never uses an oxford comma, because that is "wrong." In my mind, a public document may deservedly need more scrutiny; what I created was excellent work- it was thorough and met all qualifications for the staff's needs.
She takes over work that is meant for me, leaving me confused about my position and responsibilities. Staff do not respond to her well because she is critical- the nicer boss has explicitly shared this with me.
If I suggest something to her, nearly every idea is shot down. What is the best course of action? I have been very close to going to the 'nice' boss and explaining that in order for me to stay I need to feel valued. It is a small organization and I am important to their success at this point. It is my preference to first attempt to make the situation better, and will certainly leave if nothing changes.
Thank you very much for any input. I've looked around the site at perfectionist and boss questions and did not find what I feel like I need- apologies if I missed something.