Boss Cannot Make Everyone Happy

I upset people. Most of the time not intentionally but nonetheless. I try my best not to, but simply being who I am, a boss, I set people off. This, I view, as unavoidable, expected and certainly not unusual in the work environment. This is real life, so suck it up, people. As a boss (or a human being), I will never try to please everyone because it is impossible. The other day I needed a small storage space cleaned: office supplies needed to be moved around, shelves dusted, old archived paperwork destroyed, and some other stuff moved around and organized. Almost all of our employees use this storage for their needs. However, some of them use it more than others. Some of them have more time on their hands.It happens to be that those with the most time on their hands use this storage on a daily basis. So I asked them to clean up the storage, and explained that if they need any help or have questions, let the rest of us know. Obviously, when people have a lot of time on their hands, they like to spend that time doing something of their liking, i.e. browsing the Internet or talking on the phone. People, in general, do not like working on something tedious, something that requires dusting, cleaning and moving things around. Therefore, I was not surprised when two employees got upset and started to complain to other people. Since I like to think that I do not need everyone’s validation, approval and eternal love, I insisted politely but firmly to stop wasting everyone’s time, including mine, and get to work. Ever felt that your boss is picking on you? Ever felt that your boss is not being fair? Put yourself in my shoes then, and think about this: – Priorities and deadlines always take over. Especially when you are the boss. Consequently, I put breaks on something that is non-essential such as trying to please my employees by cleaning the storage space myself. – Fairness should rule any office. I always make sure that my decisions are based on impartial assessment of the situation. – Popularity contest is good when it relates to books, TV shows, blogs and fashion. In the office, getting work done correctly and in a timely manner matters. Nothing else. – The big picture matters the most. The annoying and tedious marshmallow administrative stuff does not matter much. However, it needs to be done. – Confronting the few in order to motivate the majority is worthy of my time and my effort. – Listening is worthy of my time if it is tied into overall goals. Complaints that do not make sense are … senseless. – Responsibility to understand the workplace climate lies on my shoulders. If I ask someone who is working on an approaching deadline to clean storage space, and someone else is sitting around babbling on the phone, what does it make me? Useless. Most of the time my ultimate goal as a manager is to craft a solution that is fair and makes sense. If that does not work, however, I am more than capable (and so is your boss) of playing hard ball. It is never my preferred method, but if that is the only option that I am left with, I might choose that route, and very effectively. Remember, just like in real life, in the office nobody can make everyone happy. It’s called office...

Temp Agencies: Good Idea or a Career Buster?...

You lost your job. You cried. You panicked. You checked your bank account a gazillion times. You added up all your bills and looked for ways and places to make cuts. You stayed up late nights, drinking, bitching and crying some more. You called your friends and asked if they knew anyone who had an opening. You emailed people you haven’t talked to in years. You sent numerous resumes. You filled out endless job applications. Then your first unemployment check arrived. You almost had a heart attack and considered panhandling. You bought ramen noodles and filled one third of your gas tank. You still had hope that you might need to go to an interview. Weeks passed but nothing happened. Now what? Desperate, hungry and depressed, you started thinking about working with temp agencies. But then, somewhat vaguely, you remembered all these temps you saw in the office you used to work. A long time ago. You remembered how overworked those temps looked, and how underpaid they felt. However, you realize that desperate situations require desperate measures, and so you ask yourself a question: is a temp agency for you? I, personally, like to be short and to the point. Instead of writing a long and windy post about temp agencies, I am going to list the most important points that anyone should take into account when considering temp agencies. Pros of Working with a Temp Agency: You build a different network. Networking is always good, especially when it is more diverse. You widen your professional exposure. Make sure not to be shy and put your skills out there. You develop new skills. You might be surprised what you can learn while working as a temp. You might get hired into a permanent position if you perform well. It is not given, but it is very possible. Your pay might be better than expected. I know temps who were making about 50K a year. Yes, by temping.  The formula is simple: the more you make, the more a temp agency makes. You maintain a somewhat flexible schedule that lets you look for a job you really want. Cons of Working with a Temp Agency: Not all temp agencies are respectable. Do your due diligence before signing anything. Please don’t rush to sign any papers. Read them! Carefully. You might end up being that overworked and underpaid temp you had in your office. Most temp agencies will require a two week notice. However, in at-will states, you don’t have to give it. Some agencies are not very considerate and may want to fill in a position that they know would not be a good fit for you. Some agencies might try to talk you into a less paying job just to make money off you. Beware, and know what you are worth. Income is unstable (but it is still income.) Temp jobs might not last for a long time. Reporting to both your staffing agency and your manager might be cumbersome. No benefits. Don’t get sick! Two Temps, Two Outcomes I employed two temps in the past few years. One temp worked for two days, one hour and thirty minutes (roughly) before I lost my sanity and pointed her out the door. I fired her because she: Showed up late and left early. Every. Single. Day. Argued with me when I tried to tell her how I want things to be done. Who the hell she thought was in charge...

How to Ask For A Raise

I have to admit that supervising people can be a very rewarding experience. It also can be frustrating, sometimes even maddening. People come to me with different set of problems. Some like to complain about others. Some like to ask for advice or direction they need to take with a project. Some like to have a conversation about a raise, the most intimidating discussion of all. However, I believe that if this conversation is timed correctly, researched and approached properly, the subject of a raise is not intimidating. Not at all. If anything, it can be a positive experience. However, just because you think you deserve a raise, it does not mean that you are going to get it. I am a good listener. In general. But I don’t like to waste my time, especially if it comes down to complaints or salary conversations. I like to have meaningful conversations, supported by facts. I don’t like to hear assumptions, opinions or gossip. I also don’t like you waltzing into my office like you own it. Respect my time. Respect your time (you should be working on that project after all.) Make an appointment!  When it comes to salary negotiations, this is what I want to hear from you: 1. You love your job, you enjoy coming to work and being a part of a team. Hint: Do not praise me! Ass kissing has never won me over. 2. Your achievements that go above and beyond your job description. I already know them anyway, but I want to hear it from you. Please be specific and tell me what problems you solved, how much time and cost you saved, how you improved a certain process. Hint: the more examples you provide, the better. 3. Your value to the company. If you can show me how valuable you are to us, I will be more inclined to listen to you, and act on your raise request. Hint: document your accomplishments, and show it to me. I love to see the evidence. 4. “What can I do to increase my salary in the future?” This sentence opens a door to a very good conversation. Hint: This question shows me that you are interested in what I have to say. I am intrigued by what you have to offer. I like having open-minded conversations, therefore I am willing to listen. 5. A reasonable figure based on your market research. Hint: you are not trying to sell me a car, or an oriental rug in a Turkish bazaar. Please, don’t be pathetic and try to bid me up by starting high and lowering your price (aka salary.) If you want us to have a meaningful conversation, and, most importantly, if you want me to consider your raise request, please do not say the following: 1. I need money. (I need money too! Got five bucks on you?) 2. I have bills to pay. (News Flash: we don’t pay you based on your financial needs. We pay you based on your value to the company.) 3. I deserve this. (If you do use this word, you better be able to show me that you indeed do deserve the raise. I don’t like your attitude of entitlement especially when it comes to salary negotiations. The word “deserve” sets me off. So by now, I am pissed.) 4. I quit. (I hope you have a job lined up.) 5. DO NOT CRY. (I will hand you my...

About What Your Boss Really Thinks

Wondering what’s going on in your boss’ head? Dying to know what the interviewing panel thinks when you are stumbling to answer a tricky question? Wishing you could know how to handle all that drama at work? Going to ask for a raise but not sure what to say? Just got promoted, feeling overwhelmed but your ego stops you from showing it to your boss? Hold and behold because you find yourself in the right place. I’ve been supervising people on and off for about twelve years. I was 25 years old when I was put in charge of fifteen people. The first year was the toughest as I hardly knew what I was doing. But that first year enlightened me about the ups and downs of being a manager more than any book or class could ever have taught me. Being a boss is never smooth sailing. My biggest pet peeve is dealing with personnel issues. I am not a people pleaser by any means, but upsetting people does not make me happy either. You know that statement that says “you cannot please everyone, but you can try your hardest?” This is the biggest bull shit of a selling pitch for some management book that I’ve ever heard. If you try to please everyone, you are going to lose this game and end up with missed deadlines, more stress, unhappy management and (surprise!) upset employees. In the past few years I demoted and promoted. I have given raises when asked and given them when not asked. I have fired and I have disciplined. I laughed. I cried. I screamed. I have dealt with sexual harassment claims. I have dealt with financial fraud. For these reasons alone, I prefer to stay anonymous and to not talk about what exactly I do for a living. By no account I am a so called “big wig.” I am not a CEO. I am not a CFO. I am your average supervisor who deals with people, interviews, raises, work conflicts, personal drama in the office on a daily basis. I have enough experience that I would like to share with you. You think your boss doesn’t care what you do outside of work? Wrong! You think that even though you are a star employee and your work is immaculate, nothing else matters? Wrong! You think your shoes do not matter?  Wrong! I know it sounds pathetic but it is true? You think your life starts after your leave your office? Wrong again! I cannot promise that I will tell you exactly what’s going in your boss’ head. But I definitely will share with you what I, as a boss, think. The purpose of this site is to help you to better understand your manager, give you a direction, provide some guidelines. If you are looking for a career coach, you are in the wrong place. I am not going to give you advise where to look for a job, or what career you should choose. This website will not be your work and life manual. Remember, there is no manual for real life.  But I do hope that this site will help you to navigate (and not blindly) that not-so-simple office life. If anything else fails, accept this site as ramblings of your boss. And learn from it! Want me to discuss any specific topic? Have a question? Got a situation and need advice? Feel free to email me anonymously (or not.)...