Thursday, September 29, 2011

There's a New Sheriff in Town

So, I have a new manager at work.

When we found out that we were getting a new manager, it was much like last year when we found out we were getting a new manager: cleaner desks and workstations, more professional attire and less sweaters that looked like they came from the lost n' found bin, (sometimes forced) enthusiasm for job and teamwork (sometimes with high fives), and overall non-work related internet use drops with productivity going up 30%! We were a little like those small, nervous, and easily excited monkeys at the zoo, but at least we were positive.

But it was also a lot different from last year when we found out we were getting a new manager: we liked our (now old) current manager, lots of hissy whispering, and their future office was raided and cannibalized of everything from matching desk chairs to a non-sticky keyboard to ancient starlight mints found in the drawers. It looked a tad bit ugly...and then he arrived.

He seemed friendly enough. He seemed capable, had a long history of library work and management to confidently rely on. He brought cookies to our first reference staff meeting. And then slowly things changed, or rather these things had probably been present all along and I just hadn't been paying attention. Disguised as a normal person he was in fact a horrible boss.

List of offensives:
1. Shirks responsibility. When the phone rings he never reaches for it, he always takes the desk seat farther away from the public, he defers to someone else constantly because he is "too new," to find a book on the shelf, help someone with the copier, print out directions from Google maps, etc.
2. Eaves drops/reads over your shoulder. This is actually my biggest problem with him but since I am guilty of doing non-work related stuff part of the time (hello) I moved it down a notch. If I'm helping a patron over the phone, when I hang up, he's all "What did they want?" You want to know what they wanted? Well answer the damn phone next time. Because he wears sneakers he can sidle up to you quickly or suddenly appear over your shoulder. He must have great eyesight too because before I have time to minimize my want list on Amazon he scares the bejeezus out of me with, "Hey, I bought that same coffee maker!" He hovers and I don't like it.
3. Too personal/no boundaries. If you're in his line of sight and he feels like chatting up a storm he will engage in awkward conversations about his wife, his cat, where he buys his pants, what he was doing in 1969. Similarly, he wants us to reciprocate by oversharing with him. When I asked to use sick leave for my annual check up, he responded, "Could you be more specific?" Uh, no.
4. He can't take directions. I don't know if it's just me, but frequently I will tell him something and it will go in one ear and out the other. For example, yesterday our IT guy came by to work on a computer and told us not to use it while he was updating some software. My new manager comes out of his office and sits down at that computer station. I repeat IT guy's request, but instead he starts typing away, then announces to no one in particular, "Hmm, I can't login." I repeat IT guy's message a second time, but then he gets up and goes into his office. A few minutes later he comes back and says, "I called (IT guy) and he said not to use that computer right now, so nobody use it!"
5. He doesn't know how to do his job...and on top of that he's not even trying. As someone who gets paid I'm sure considerably more than I do, it is frustrating to see he can't do what I consider simple job required tasks. Combine that with his "What is it you do again?" attitude and I feel like replying, "Part of what I do involves fixing or redoing things you do." But alas, I kinda need to retain employment so that I may continue my meager existence.


  1. Seems like ineptitude is a requirement for any library management position.

    Don't forget your TPS coversheets and yyyeeeeeaaaa, I'm going to need you to come in this Saturday...

  2. I have a sneakers-up-behind-you guy, too. It really startles me sometimes. He'll just look at what I'm doing and say, "What's that?" Plus he's a candy-chomping close talker, and his morning breath smells like gross Bubblicious.