Ask The Insider columnist Ashley Lutz answers all your work-related questions, including the awkward, sensitive, and real-world ones. Have a question? Email [email protected]
I work as an associate account manager for a large shoe label. For the most part, I love my coworkers and my job. But my resentment toward my boss is growing. She holds all of us to really high standards while not following the rules herself.
Everyone on the team is expected to be in by 8 a.m. and work until 6 p.m. My boss rarely gets in before 10 a.m. and rarely stays past 5. She gets away with this because we are in a remote office separate from headquarters and there is no one to hold her accountable.
She expects us to put together her presentations without any credit. She takes them to management and passes them off as her own.
Our resentment is building but my coworkers and I are at a loss. Our team is effective thanks to our hard work, but my boss’ lazy attitude is killing morale. My company doesn’t do reviews for managers, either. How can we address this without tattling on the boss?
Resentful of my boss
Wow! Your boss sounds terrible. You’re bringing to light a problem that many people in the office have encountered: abuse of power at the hands of a manager.
Because it’s difficult to quantify how well managers are doing their jobs, incompetent bosses can often hide behind their skilled employees. Unfortunately, many people leave jobs that would otherwise be well-suited to them because their manager drives them crazy.
Even though many companies have started letting teams review their managers, employees are often afraid to speak up because they fear that complaining will reflect poorly on them.
The fact that you’re in a remote office — far away from additional senior managers or mentors — makes your situation all the more challenging.
That being said, there are a few ways you can improve your situation.
First, I would ask your boss to receive some sort of credit for the work you’re doing. This conversation doesn’t have to be accusatory — I would say something along the lines of, “I’m really proud of X idea and want to make sure I’m getting credit.” Maybe your boss will be flexible about giving you recognition once the issue is brought to her attention.
Her shorter hours are annoying, but that’s something that will catch up with her sooner rather than later. For all you know, the company president is trying to call her at 8:30 a.m. only to have it go to voicemail. Even though she’s not in the big office, her behaviour will become apparent soon enough.
Try to have hope and wait it out. You have little to gain from going to a higher-up with an issue like this.
My grandfather likes to say, “the cream always rises to the top.” Even though your boss is abusing her power and taking advantage of you, she won’t get away with it forever.
If you continue to be passionate and dedicated to your work, you’ll come out ahead.
Ashley Lutz is a senior editor at Business Insider answering all your questions about the workplace. Send your queries to [email protected] for publication on Business Insider. Requests for anonymity will be granted, and questions may be edited.