Friday, January 22, 2010

Personal opinion

I was just musing over a comment my boss made and about how much it bothers me that he does this. I wanted to muse out loud and remembered I have this blog that I technically retired from. Still, I'd like to know the thoughts of my internet friends about this-if you still tune in.

Boss commonly likes to tell me his personal opinion of others. I hate that he tries to shape my opinion of colleagues before I've gotten to know them. Some of these comments are positive, but today, like most days it was negative.

I showed him an e-mail I received from someone (SO) I've just barely started working with at another firm, for a project in which they are the prime and we are the sub. It was my understanding that we were going to study Y and figure out what was significant. This e-mail made it sound like they were going to do a study on A through Z (including Y), and tell us what was significant about Y. This is actually a common procedure in the type of document we are writing but wasn't my understanding on what our role was in the project.

Boss says, after talking about the e-mail a bit, "I've never like working with SO, she does bad work and always tries to get others to do her work for her."

I can see how Boss is trying to warn me of some issue that could arise with SO, yet, it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth that he talks about other people in this way. And that he acts like he is an authority on other peoples personalities. I haven't gotten this impression for SO at all, but we have only had three or four encounters.

So what do you think. Is it ok for him to talk this way about others? I feel like the message is just but the delivery is pompous and rude.


JustMe said...

i agree with your last part, the message seems fine it's the delivery that seems wrong. b/c yah, talking about ppl in that way stinks.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I think that is a tactic that insecure people use to assert themselves. Not cool though. At least he doesn't say such things about your coworkers at your firm (or maybe he does?); I find that to be bordering on intolerable. Sometimes when I'm in a situation like yours I respond by saying something nice about the person, or that I haven't had enough experience with the person to know what she's like. It's subtle, but I think it can help. It would be better to call out the gossiper on the inappropriate comments, but sometimes you feel like you can't.

Jennie said...

EGF, that's what I did. I simply said that I haven't had that experience with her. Boss responded with a nod, a noise and stated that I need to be aware of this behavior. I like the idea of saying something positive.

I really want to tell him that I don't appreciate these types of comments and am surprised he keeps saying these types of things because I always look floored when he does. And I never thank him for his information.

I was thinking that he didn't make these types of comments about coworkers but then remembered he told me that one of my coworkers always runs out a budget when I was concerned about one of my projects going over budget. I didn't think it was this person's fault so I explained that but Boss seemed convinced that it was always this person's fault.

Psych Post Doc said...

I would find this really off putting as well. It seems that there are other ways he could pass along this information.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

This would bother me, but I do think you're right. He's trying to warn you of a situation that may come up. I'd do exactly what you did. Maybe eventually he'll get the idea?

Geomom said...

That is a tough situation. My office-mate was telling me about when the 2 senior people in our group were complaining to her about another one of our peers. She apparantly told them something like "I don't want this to get negative" which shut them up. She's got more guts than me.

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