In the pantheon of bad bosses, my current ones don’t figure prominently, most of the time. But this morning, I was given some “feedback” on a document I has drafted hastily last night. The joy of temping is that I don’t care about any of this work. But it doesn’t mean I am immune to comments like:
“So, this is a mess, obviously.”
In all honesty, sure, that is probably true. But also, I received this assignment at 4:00pm from someone who was too busy to offer any instructions. This is the third draft of this document, which I have created in letter form, in “graphical one-sheet” form, and in “info sheet” form. And I am not a graphic designer. Ugh.
I really wish that in the workplace, it was possible to just call someone out for being unnecessarily rude. I would feel so much better if I could just say, “all of your feedback on this document is great, I feel like I have a much clearer picture of what you want from this document; your remark at the beginning of this meeting about the document being a mess was totally unnecessary and hurt my feelings.” But the majority of workplaces and managers do not welcome this kind of honesty.
I used to struggle with this problem constantly at work. I was often the person who took the “first stab” at large, difficult projects–of course they were going to be messy and bad. But we would at least have something to work from. I would be derided mercilessly, both to my face and behind my back, and then I would be told to praise the final outcome as “so much better” than my own first draft. There was one day in particular that I left early, rather than listen to my boss edit my work out loud on the phone with another colleague.
Now, I know I am too sensitive when it comes to this stuff. But I also think that 1) there is value is writing the first draft, and 2) being openly derisive of a subordinate’s work is completely unnecessary and erodes morale.
So, back to my document. Ugh. Friday.