b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Just Let Your Boss BE the Boss

11/30/2005

 

Just Let Your Boss BE the Boss

Several months ago, my manager gave me an assignment to update some training materials for some of our processes. Once completed, I'd have the opportunity to present the update to our sales department.

Those who know me know how much I enjoy creating and delivering presentations. When given the opportunity, I jump on it. Over the years several individuals had commented on my dynamic speaking presence. So, banging this presentation out was cake.

The day came to unveil the new and improved processes and I was fully prepared to deliver them. There was nothing unexpected that came up; no pregnant pauses, no "mis-speaking", no nervousness, nothing.

At the end of my dialogue, I fielded questions from those present. Since my manager also attended, she jumped in to answer most of them.

And then the meeting broke up and we went back to our offices.

As I settled back in at my desk, my phone rang. It was my manager. She asked me to see her in her office. Okay.

On my way over there I'm thinking that she's going to compliment me on the smooth presentation - or at the very least thank me for completing the task so thoroughly.

So I go into her office and she asks me to close the door behind me. Uh-oh. That's not usually a good sign - unless she's offering me a raise which hasn't happened in almost 3 years or better yet, a promotion which hasn't happened in over 5 years.

I take a seat and she glares at me from her side of the desk. "So," she starts, "how do you think the presentation went?"

I took a deep breath and thought about it for a few seconds and answered her, "I think it went very well."

Then she raised an eyebrow at me, "Oh really? You really thought that it was a good performance?"

Now I'm baffled... were we not in the same meeting? Of course I had to ask her, "Was something wrong with it? Did I make a mistake?" Now I'm wondering if I committed some horrible faux pas that I curiously missed.

She sighed and looked at me with an expression that said, "How sad that you could be so stupid you itty-bitty flea."

"Well the presentation was alright," she said. "It just should have been better."

Excuse me?

"Ok, how could it have been better?" Should I have handed out lollipops at the end of it or raffled off a door prize for attending? I didn't get it.

"It could have been prepared better."

"Ok. What should I have done?" I asked. "Was there missing data? Unanswered questions?" I was really trying to understand what she was getting at.

"No, but I would have liked more time to review it before you presented it. I mean, you were making corrections to it up until 30 minutes before the meeting." Yeah, I was making corrections to it because you asked me to BOLD a word here, add a comma there... But none of the information needed to be altered because it was CORRECT. You sick, twisted control freak!

Under different circumstances I might have been offended. However, when she told me that I stunk at the presentation I had to laugh. First of all, I'm a published author. I may not be the greatest writer ever but please don't tell me where to put my commas. Second, giving presentations is now what I do. Not only do I present, but I conduct workshops. I am a return-speaker at my alma mater and I'm building a new career for myself in professional speaking; please don't tell me my business.

THE MORAL TO THE STORY:
What I'm trying to get at here is that my manager clearly feels the need to be a part of every little detail. It makes her feel important. After all, she's "The Boss". At the end of the day I know that my writing skills and presentation skills are competent enough for lots of other people. Just because she feels that way doesn't make it so!

That's my positive spin on my negative ranting. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Digg!
Comments:
Pied Piper- I believe you are probably, hands down, a phenominal speaker! Your boss sounds like she should be working as a 1st grade English teacher and NOT with educated adults in Corporate America! In fact, this B%&^ sounds like she shouldn't be working with humans at all. Someone put her in a basement, suck out all the oxygen in the room and throw away the key PLEASE!
 
Hi Postal Pete, Thanks for your response. I agree... she shouldn't be working with humans at all. As a matter of fact, she should't be trusted to work with small farm animals or fleas for that matter. Heck, a pack of wild dogs probably have better manners than she does. At least they clean the bones off their prey!
 
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