I got in trouble at work this past week.
My supervisor took exception to some emails that I sent to her.
I’ve worked for this company for over two and half years. I’ve worked for this supervisor for over a year. No one has ever complained about my emails.
I do try to be kind and tactful, but I guess I’m also pretty straight forward. Apparently, this past week, she didn’t like that.
One of my responsibilities is to take in requests to use the suite that we hold at an event center in our city. The events and who wants to use them are tracked on a spreadsheet on a shared drive. In case you don’t know (and forgive me if you do), a shared drive means that multiple people can access the files stored there. So, everyone in our department can open and edit and use all the files in the shared drive.
She made a change about who was using tickets on the spreadsheet, which, obviously, since she is the department manager, she has the jurisdiction to do. The next time I opened the spreadsheet, which usually is my responsibility, I saw the change, but didn’t know anything about it.
So, I emailed her. I asked her if the person who had been going to use the tickets knew of the change. I also said to please email me when there are changes on the spreadsheet.
She didn’t like this. She didn’t think I needed to know these things.
I don’t know. Maybe I don’t. But, then again, since the responsibility had been given to me, maybe I do. I just don’t know. I really don’t know.
Maybe part of my reaction comes from living with a passive aggressive person where you never know what is going on. You just don’t know. And therefore, you don’t know how to prepare. You don’t know how you are supposed to handle things because they always change.
My supervisor tends not to be good at communicating with me. And when she does, she writes and talks (and thinks) so differently than I do, that I don’t think she understands at all where I am coming from. It’s kind of frustrating. I want to say, you don’t understand what I am trying to tell you, but I also don’t want to be in your face about it. After all, she is my supervisor. And, I’m just not an in-your-face kind of person.
She’s about twenty years younger than I am. And some people think she’s kind of strange.
Here’s the other thing she didn’t like. My company will pay us for four hours a month of community service. Some of our local elementary schools have a “community reader day,” where business people come in and read a book to an elementary classroom.
I love reading so I volunteered to do this last school year. I was asked again by the school system if I would be willing to do it again and I agreed.
I sent my supervisor telling my supervisor the date and time when I volunteered. Apparently, I should have asked instead of telling.
The thing is, though, I’ve always said, both with her and with my previous supervisor, I have an appointment at such and such a time and need someone to cover for me. Just a straight forward email. Period.
You know, I think I get the hierarchy, but I’m also not in grade school. I shouldn’t have to raise my hand to get permission to go to the bathroom.
Oh, and there was one more thing. She had been out on maternity leave for three months and returned about a month ago. A few weeks before she went out on maternity leave, she told me that my previous supervisor would be the one for me to contact when I needed someone to cover for me for lunch and appointments and stuff. So I have been working with my previous supervisor on those things and kept doing so even when my current supervisor came back from maternity leave. Nobody said anything about doing it any differently. So I kept doing it the way it was.
I told my previous supervisor that I would need most of Thursday afternoon off. Later, I asked someone in human resources if I could use bereavement time later in the week, even though it wasn’t right up against the funeral. (I was going to go talk to the counselor.) I thought I was asking about HR policy, but apparently, it didn’t come across that way. The HR person told me to talk to my supervisor about it. I decided to just not bother about trying to use bereavement time and so I didn’t say anything to my current supervisor about it. The HR person told my current supervisor about my request and my current supervisor talked to my previous supervisor and found out I had asked for that time out and was offended that I hadn’t talked to her, my current supervisor. My current supervisor didn’t understand the timing of my requests/questions and she also didn’t understand that I didn’t know whether my current supervisor or my previous supervisor was the one scheduling coverage for me.
Yeah, I know. I sound kind of whiney. I guess the thing is, I try so hard to do a good job at work. I try to be there for people and help people. I try to do everything right. I try to get things done for people and reply to emails as fast as I can and rearrange things I’ve scheduled for them if needed. I try to work hard for my company and do a good job. I try to communicate with people. I try to be nice and kind and helpful to people. But I don’t quite get this. I guess I have to be more careful in the way I write my emails to her. She is rather flowery, if that is the right word, in her emails. She uses a lot of jargon, which I don’t do. I guess I just have to cater to her since she is the one who does my annual review. (Is it possible to cater to someone and not be codependent at the same time?)
I think one big reason why this is so hard for me at the moment is that it is bad enough walking around on eggshells at home and having to protect myself at home and second guess myself and everything else at home and I really do not want to have to do that at work, too.
She makes me feel the way I feel at home. I just never know. I don’t know if she is going to reply to an email. I don’t know if she is going to give me an answer that I need. I don’t know if I can ask her. I don’t know if I understand what she wants me to do. I don’t know if I am doing it the way she wants me to do it. I just don’t know.
I’m sorry this is such a long, convoluted post. I try not to do that to you. I just needed to get these things off of my chest. I need to stop dwelling on them and obsessing over them. I also need to stop feeling like a victim.
I just need to let it all go.