Managing to be a Manager

equal rightsI’ve had quite a few managers in my lifetime and not all of them were good at their job.

Being a manager means managing many things and people at one time. It’s not a job for everyone. There are many folks that get promoted to the auspicious position of manager that should never be managing anything, much less other people. Those are the ones that could care less about your success.

I was relocating to another state after spending a total of nine and a half years working for this one manager. She was a nightmare! I worked in a satellite office and only had to talk to her once a week for our weekly conference call.

She made every single conference call I had with her a living hell. That’s 492 conference calls!  

I was never fast enough completing my case load.

I didn’t ask the right questions.

I could have done that better.

I didn’t order enough supplies.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. It was one negative phone call that lasted an hour each time and it was 60 minutes of the vilest negativity I have ever had to put up with in my life. It was so bad that I had a couple of other colleagues that would call me just to complain about their conference calls with her. One woman would even cry sometimes and threaten to quit because her calls were so debilitating. I told her the same thing I ended up telling anyone that ever worked for this manager;

You only have to deal with her for 60 minutes, once a week. Just keep telling yourself that the whole time you’re on the phone with her. Then treat yourself to some chocolate or a stiff drink when you hang up.

I told myself that same thing 492 times until the day I told her I was moving to another state. Inside my heart was singing because I knew I’d get a new manager and I really deserved someone a lot better than this sorry excuse I had put up with for nine and a half years.

But she wasn’t through with her manager-ship of me yet.

When I told her I’d need to speak to Human Resources in order to get my move on record and start the process of getting cases assigned to me in my new residence, she told me that I wasn’t allowed to speak to Human Resources!

What’s this you say?

Oh no!” she exclaimed “Human Resources isn’t a resource for field people! That’s only for managers!

Then why do they call it Human Resources?

Was I so lowly and insignificant that I didn’t even count?

Being who I am, I called them anyway. Then I reiterated the message she had clearly given me that I wasn’t allowed to call them. They were just as surprised as I was that she would tell me something like this, especially since it wasn’t even true.

They started an investigation.

The reason she told me this fallacy was because that’s what her manager told her. She was merely passing along information she believed to be true. Human Resources contacted her manager. Her manager was so bold about his belief that the lowly field interviewers weren’t allowed to call Human Resources that he even put it in writing and dared anyone to disagree with him!

He was asked to resign and my old manager had to go through months of reconditioning and sensitivity training.

When a manager has no idea of what the company policies really are, and they treat you like a second class citizen, not worthy of utilizing Human Resources in order to succeed in the job you have, then you need to find another job.

Some people just aren’t cut out to manage other people.

When a manager has absolutely no remorse about calling you names, or exploiting your gender, or showing no regard for your personal safety, then you need to find another job.

I was out of town working on another assignment when a manager from a different assignment decided she desperately needed to speak with me. She called and left me two messages on my home number, knowing I was out of town and never checked my home phone for messages. After waiting a day for me to respond and never trying to send me an email or call my cell phone, she called my husband at his place of business.

She called my husband! At work!

Not only did she make it sound like a dire situation, which it wasn’t, she worried him and she made it sound like I would lose my job if I didn’t call her back right away.

Instead of calling her, I sent her a curt email asking why she felt it was okay to start calling my husband at work.

When is that ever okay?

Then I resigned from her project.

When a manager finds it difficult to respect your personal boundaries, you need to find another job.

Some people just aren’t cut out to manage other people.

After all these years, I finally hit the literal jackpot with managers. She’s a wonder to me and because I’ve suffered through some of the worst managers you could ever imagine, it makes me truly appreciate her and her management style.

She’s never pushy or demanding, but she knows exactly what to say to me in order to get me to achieve my best performance. She’s never negative about her observations of my case execution and offers compliments and encouragement instead. If I ever have a bad time in the field, she never blames it on me. She is kind and generous with her time and never rushes me to finish. She listens to me.  I am never afraid to call her and I am never afraid to tell her I made a mistake.

In a world gone crazy with the power of being a manager, she knows the secret of being the best manager I’ve ever worked with.

I told her that if she ever quit, I’d quit too.

When you feel that way about the person helping to manage your career, never take that for granted.

If you read something here that struck a nerve, make a comment. I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to read more and just strike every nerve you own, consider pressing the Follow button on my home page and get notified every single time I bang on my keyboard. Thanks for stopping by today!

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
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