By Kathryn Gomez | Tuesday November 30, 2010
At first I thought my boss was just annoying. I tried to make the best of it by just smiling and keeping my nose to the grindstone. But it’s been thirteen months now and I’ve noticed a trend. He will come to my desk about a day after the VP has asked him to provide his thoughts on a relevant matter – maybe whether or not to feature a new Caribbean route in the TV ads for the cruise line I market for – and he will ask me to write up a one-pager on my thoughts.
When it happened the first time, I assumed it was a test of sorts, because I was new to my position and he wanted to get a handle on my thought process. Now it’s becoming clear it’s because he simply doesn’t know how to do his own job.
I’m pretty sure he knows I’ve caught on, because now he tries to hide it. For instance, last week our VP asked him to run the numbers comparing how our profits might improve if we changed two of the ports we used in two of the cities we stop in. So he gave me the same exercise the next day, but changed the cities. How do I know the VP asked him this? Because I am friends with someone who was in the meeting when the assignment was given – and she shares her information with me.
Once I asked if I could attend a meeting with the VP and present my findings. My boss got really angry and actually called me “uppity.” He said I should not be so demanding and that I should take more time to settle into the company, like he did.
How To Manage The Bad Boss
I really like this company and the industry – it’s fun to market cruises – but I certainly won’t continue to move up the corporate ladder if I never get credit for my ideas here! I am 34 years old have always been a hard worker. I want to keep learning and to be rewarded for my hard work and my ideas by being promoted. I want to be a co-provider and an example for my family, but I feel trapped. What should I do?
Wendy Weighs In
I have a friend who was in a similar situation and it was very difficult.
What generally happens in situations like these, is that you are not the only person to notice that your boss cannot do his job. Eventually, his bosses notice too, and he gets replaced. In the mean time, you can do one of two things.
You can continue to prove how smart you are and provide your ideas to him and anyone and everyone else who will listen, and continue to do your job well. But you must also speak up for yourself. Not by going to his boss and telling her that your boss is an idiot. But by going to his boss and sharing some of your ideas. Do some extra credit. Set up a lunch meeting with this VP and present some ideas to save money on one or more of your cruise lines. Or present some ideas on how to punch up next year’s cruise season: a cruise for parents of young toddlers! A cruise for parents of teenagers! A cruise for gay couples! A cruise for newly divorced people! Whatever. Just wow this VP with your thought process and get (and keep) yourself on her radar. She might even ask you how things are going with your boss…
If you believe that you have already earned yourself a solid reputation within the company, you can start working on a lateral transfer. Be aware, however, that this involves some serious risk. You will set yourself back in that you will have a new learning curve to climb when you start a new job at the same level. People will also wonder why you are looking to move within the company – they will wonder if you could not make it work in your current job and may not give you the benefit of the doubt.
Either way, marketing for a cruise line does sound like fun, I admire your goals and I wish you the very best of luck!
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