Monday, April 4, 2011

my boss keeps crying at work

Yeah so I really enjoy reading advice columns for some reason. I guess the fun part is reading ridiculous cries for help that are usually answered reasonably in less time than it takes for each person to meticulously word their trivial issues/pleas for help.

Many times, the advice-requester, he-or-she-who-seeks-the-advice, kind of pre-defends the query in the first sentence or two. You've heard them before, "I don't usually do this, but I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A BLOW JOB ON THE CITY BUS"; or "I'm not racist, but here's a really funny joke about black people".

I don't know, those always generally just catch my attention and give me a light chuckle.

Check out the one below, where an employee has a boss who keeps crying at work. John Doe makes sure to mention that he respects his boss, BUT... she's an emotional wreck and he hates/whats to screw her.

Anyway, let's give John Doe some advice here:

I have a supervisor who knows her stuff, and I respect her judgment and guidance. My problem is that she's very emotional. When she gets upset at something that someone says—which happens constantly, and is usually over nothing—she talks about the person endlessly and vitriolically with her other friends in the office. Also, when she gets upset about a work-related issue, she cries—to me, in my office. For example, the other morning she came into my office, closed the door, and sobbed about what she thought was a snippy comment that someone made in a meeting. She will now hate this person with unbridled passion until a superficial conversation makes them friends again. I have no idea how to deal with this drama. My wife says that women are just different, and I should learn to accept it. I'm at a loss as to how to react.

—John Doe

That sounds like a dream sitchu to me, Mr. Doe. But first we're going to operate under the assumption that your boss is hot as fuck, DTF and doesn't know/care that you're married (c'mon she's female and I'm a huge misogynist).

Let me lay this out for you: your boss is showing you her vulnerable side, opening her heart to you. And as any dude should know, a woman's heart is a way to her chest is a way to her goodies is a way to blasting your boss on the regular.

John, yes, broads crying is always annoying; there's no getting around that. But don't think of it as a chore; think of it as an opportunity. Turn that frown upside down, as it were. Every time I make my wife cry, it's an opportunity - for me to again convince her that she shouldn't divorce me.

You see, a woman, especially one in a position of authority, that is comfortable enough to cry in front of you, is comfortable with you comforting her. Take the lead, be the man, show your boss your comforting side. And reap the benefits.

And when the boning fizzles out, start telling her to get lost. What's she gonna do, go to HR about her subordinate no longer putting it to her?

Now what if my assumptions about your bossing being hot and DTF were completely baseless? What then? Well, John you mentioned in your note that you were married; you should know how to say a camouflaged version of "shut the fuck up" to a woman.

At the very least, you could always bring your chainsaw to work, and give her something to "really fukken cry about".

Now the boring part: the actual expert's advice:

Dear John,
I have to disagree with two premises here: One is that your boss has good judgment; the other is that her behavior is to be expected from a female. She may have good technical knowledge and make sound business decisions. But to be a competent boss also requires managing both subordinates and one's own emotions. Instead, she incites feuds and draws everyone into her psychodrama. Unfortunately, she has designated you as her involuntary therapist. So you should have long-term and short-term treatment goals. Long term, you want to fire her as a patient. That is, you should be looking for opportunities inside and, if necessary, outside the company to escape from having her as a supervisor. You could also talk about her emotional volatility to human resources. Praise her good qualities, then specifically describe how her constant talking about "enemies" and weeping in the office is undermining productivity and morale. Short term, you want to stay dry and on her good side. So put a box of tissues on your desk, and when she bursts in, make noncommittal, empathetic-sounding statements, i.e., "I hear what you're saying," "I can see that was very upsetting." You could try to shape her behavior by helping her see that she's overreacting, i.e., "That's annoying, but Jack's brusque to everyone, so he probably didn't mean anything by it." If she bridles, stick to the anodyne remarks. The danger here is that you get so good at this that she orders a couch for you and comes in for 50-minute sessions. I know none of this is your actual job, but the better you are at managing her, the faster you will be able to attend to your real work.

—advice columnist


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