I’ve been having a lot of them lately. I’m not a person that shies away from giving honest, direct feedback and, well...My staff. A handful of peers. Most of my direct reports. Everyone’s been getting a piece. Part of this has been a natural extension of the time of year—4th qtr always has a ton riding on it financially, and sometimes realigning expectations to meet those demands are necessary. But this, this has been something else.
When I marched into my peer’s office last Monday to ask if she had anyone that needed to have a real hard conversation, because I had a free hour, she laughed. Then looked concerned. Then laughed again and closed her office door. “You’re stomping around giving everyone the what’s what because the only person you really want to have a hard conversation with is avoiding you” was her feedback. And she’s 10000000% right.
You guys, my boss is avoiding me. Avoiding me HARD. She cancelled a conference call last week—a call with 20 participants scheduled!—so she could lay low and avoid me for a few more days. She selectively responds to my emails. She doesn’t return calls. We have not physically spoken in two weeks. I’m not in trouble; I haven’t done anything wrong. *I’m* the one who’s furious, and I’ve never ever had a boss this afraid to talk to me.
There’s been a lot of stupid shit adding up lately: a crazy moratorium on payroll, my travel schedule getting cut, a project that I should have been included on but wasn’t because I was supposed to be traveling...it’s a lot. But the thing that’s sending me over the edge is the different standards for leadership that have become glaringly obvious lately. There’s a handful of us—about 8 or so—who have tighter deadlines, harsher audits, heavier workloads; we’re held to a different standard than the rest of our peers. The problem is, we’re held up to higher expectations because they’re the expecations we’ve held ourselves to. There’s no one holding our asses over the fire—we hold ourselves there. Several of our peers can—and do!—fuck all, and there are zero repercussions. No accountability. And it is driving me FUCKING CRAZY. Because seriously, why kill myself when I’d get the same results for working half days and running behind schedule? Because that’s not the kind of manager I WANT to be, so I’m not. But the double standard is killing me. And I’m ready to kill my boss. And I’m pretty sure she knows it.
TL:DR: My boss is avoiding me because she knows I’m going to yell at her, but all her avoidance is doing is making me look at job listings during my lunch breaks.