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retrofade

Work situation question

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So... today, my boss, one of my co-workers, and myself went out to a customer's site. My boss proceeded to completely embarrass my co-worker and I by being completely unprepared and not even understanding the material that she was trying to talk to the customer about. I jumped in and tried to salvage it the best that I could. On the drive back, my boss proceeded to rip me a new one for supposedly embarrassing her and "talking nonsense" to our customer. When we got back to the office, I talked to my co-worker who agreed with me that she sounded completely out of it and didn't know what she was talking about. I then got a call from said customer asking why my boss seemed not to have a clue about what she was talking about during the meeting. 

I suppose my question is what would y'all do in that situation. For the moment I'm capitulating to my boss, but I feel like I need to talk to her boss or HR about the situation... that being said, my company tends to defend managers above everyone else so part of me is just wondering if I shouldn't bother talking to anyone about it. Either way, I'm actively seeking other employment since I have my B.S. degree finally, but I just haven't been in this type of situation before, which is surprising given that I've been in the IT industry for close to 20 years, and am not quite certain how other people would handle something like that. 

Thoughts?

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Is your boss normally competent and was just having a bad day, or is this a common occurence? 

If boss is normally competent and reasonable I may try to have a private conversation with her. If she is a trainwreck or abusive, might go around her and talk to HR. If you go the latter route, be prepared if there are consequences. If you cannot afford to lose job at the moment, you may want to wait until you are sure you have options no matter which way it goes. Good luck.

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If the boss does it all the time, then look for a new role in your company or another company.  The job market is smoking hot in most markets.  If this is one-off, then you did the right thing in not confronting her.  If she is any good at all, she will apologize to you tomorrow once the embarrassment fades.  I would really advise not going to HR.  Whatever you hear from your company, HR exists to protect the company from law suits, not to help you.

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start your own firm and poach that client.   

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1 hour ago, Mano said:

Is your boss normally competent and was just having a bad day, or is this a common occurence? 

If boss is normally competent and reasonable I may try to have a private conversation with her. If she is a trainwreck or abusive, might go around her and talk to HR. If you go the latter route, be prepared if there are consequences. If you cannot afford to lose job at the moment, you may want to wait until you are sure you have options no matter which way it goes. Good luck.

I don't disagree in a generic sense but his boss is a woman. I left employment with the State of California in part because my immediate supervisor was a woman whose knowledge of organizational development was vast but whose knowledge of the substance of what our department did was negligible. She transferred in from another department and at the risk of once again being accused of being a bigot, I'll go ahead and say this. When it came down to placating the heads of the department who were appointed by the governor, I always deferred to her judgment because she knew well how politics worked. However, when it came down to deciding difficult issues presented to us by citizens of the state who disagreed with each other, it drove me crazy to be overruled by that woman who was devoid of an ability to see the big picture. After a couple years I couldn't take it anymore and quit to start my own consulting business and although we have attended at least two conferences simultaneously since, I've gone out of my way to avoid her.

Why does her gender matter? Because at least in the nineties, the State of California bent over backwards to support women in management and from speaking with friends in private industry, the same existed there. retrofade made it a point to mention his supervisor's gender so I suspect things haven't changed one iota from what I encountered. So to him I say buena suerte.

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I think id continue to to look for other job options if your happy with the current one.  She sounds like a dandy! 

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The ugly truth

 

Consider the actions you take in terms of what it will do to your reputation when viewed by potential bosses and co workers. 

How will people, potential new bosses and ch o workers, view your actions? Because they will see it as a predictor for how you might treat them.

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3 hours ago, retrofade said:

So... today, my boss, one of my co-workers, and myself went out to a customer's site. My boss proceeded to completely embarrass my co-worker and I by being completely unprepared and not even understanding the material that she was trying to talk to the customer about. I jumped in and tried to salvage it the best that I could. On the drive back, my boss proceeded to rip me a new one for supposedly embarrassing her and "talking nonsense" to our customer. When we got back to the office, I talked to my co-worker who agreed with me that she sounded completely out of it and didn't know what she was talking about. I then got a call from said customer asking why my boss seemed not to have a clue about what she was talking about during the meeting. 

I suppose my question is what would y'all do in that situation. For the moment I'm capitulating to my boss, but I feel like I need to talk to her boss or HR about the situation... that being said, my company tends to defend managers above everyone else so part of me is just wondering if I shouldn't bother talking to anyone about it. Either way, I'm actively seeking other employment since I have my B.S. degree finally, but I just haven't been in this type of situation before, which is surprising given that I've been in the IT industry for close to 20 years, and am not quite certain how other people would handle something like that. 

Thoughts?

You make your boss look as good as you can while you are in that position.

At the same time you look for another position.

Reality is you will never have a boss you think is as smart as you are unless you work for yourself.   Then you can stop being a petty drone and take on the real responsibility.

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I would talk to her in private and voice your concerns. If she is competent boss she’ll listen, if not find another job. Her loss not yours, and you can hold your head up knowing you did the right thing across the board.

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can't add anything for advice as everything i'd say has already been covered.  great advice in the thread.

i'd leave the second i could.  leave the boss and stay within the company if i really liked where the company was going.  and leave the company altogether if you expect more shenanigans. if your boss can't handle a calm discussion about the technical proficiency necessary to handle a meeting with the customer then today's incident wasn't the first for the boss and won't be the last.

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I had a boss that did something similar. He had a bad habit of over promising clients what we the worker bees could deliver. We would talk to him about it after leaving meetings, but it didn’t seem to do much good. We just kind of lived with it and tried to meet what he promised which didn’t happen most of the time resulting in an unhappy boss and an unhappy client. 

Its tough when you have supervisors you don’t agree with. Either you manage to adjust, transfer to a different department, or look for another job. However, no way would I go behind her back to HR or her supervisor without discussing the issue as diplomatically as possible with her first. That would be suicide. Regarding her attitude, it’s very unprofessional of her to make you look bad in front of a client. I’m sure the client was also less than impressed by her dressing you down. 

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There is good advice in this thread. I'd first suggest talking to her in private. No use in going over someone's head over something like this, particularly if it could have ripping ramifications for you. If you see this as an isolated incident, leave it at that. If it starts to look like it's more of a regularity than an aberration, I'd suggest looking for a new position elsewhere because even if you go over her head, nothing will probably come of it except more problems for yourself to deal with. I'd probably be looking elsewhere for a ob anyway, just because it's always good to keep your options open, but especially if the problems seem to become a sort of pattern. 

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15 hours ago, retrofade said:

So... today, my boss, one of my co-workers, and myself went out to a customer's site. My boss proceeded to completely embarrass my co-worker and I by being completely unprepared and not even understanding the material that she was trying to talk to the customer about. I jumped in and tried to salvage it the best that I could. On the drive back, my boss proceeded to rip me a new one for supposedly embarrassing her and "talking nonsense" to our customer. When we got back to the office, I talked to my co-worker who agreed with me that she sounded completely out of it and didn't know what she was talking about. I then got a call from said customer asking why my boss seemed not to have a clue about what she was talking about during the meeting. 

I suppose my question is what would y'all do in that situation. For the moment I'm capitulating to my boss, but I feel like I need to talk to her boss or HR about the situation... that being said, my company tends to defend managers above everyone else so part of me is just wondering if I shouldn't bother talking to anyone about it. Either way, I'm actively seeking other employment since I have my B.S. degree finally, but I just haven't been in this type of situation before, which is surprising given that I've been in the IT industry for close to 20 years, and am not quite certain how other people would handle something like that. 

Thoughts?

 

13 hours ago, Mano said:

Is your boss normally competent and was just having a bad day, or is this a common occurence? 

If boss is normally competent and reasonable I may try to have a private conversation with her. If she is a trainwreck or abusive, might go around her and talk to HR. If you go the latter route, be prepared if there are consequences. If you cannot afford to lose job at the moment, you may want to wait until you are sure you have options no matter which way it goes. Good luck.

 

13 hours ago, BYUcougfan said:

If the boss does it all the time, then look for a new role in your company or another company.  The job market is smoking hot in most markets.  If this is one-off, then you did the right thing in not confronting her.  If she is any good at all, she will apologize to you tomorrow once the embarrassment fades.  I would really advise not going to HR.  Whatever you hear from your company, HR exists to protect the company from law suits, not to help you.

 

12 hours ago, mysfit said:

The ugly truth

 

Consider the actions you take in terms of what it will do to your reputation when viewed by potential bosses and co workers. 

How will people, potential new bosses and ch o workers, view your actions? Because they will see it as a predictor for how you might treat them.

What they said. I can tell you're a smart and well knowledgeable about your field. . Obviously you're boss knows that also. It looks like her ego got in the way after the meeting.

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Psycho babble relationship mumbo jumbo is always wrong 

And the customer is ALWAYS right. Now reread OP and you will answer your own question.

PS It wouldn't hurt to grow a pair

 

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Don't you have a recording of the phone call with the customer that called you about your boss not having a clue what she was talking about?  I know that companies out there can have phone call recordings attached to emails.

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Unfortunately, you'll probably just have to take it on the chin from the boss and let karma work.  I'd keep looking for more work.  Supervisors with no self-awareness are not rational, and in my experience it does little help to confront them/go over their heads, unless you have this problem with her chronically, and there is a record to refer to.

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Thanks everyone. I'm not even going to bother talking to her about it or going to HR, it's just going to be more of a mess than its worth at this point. She's been in the job for a little less than a year and still has no clue what she's doing. A co-worker of mine that I work closely with and has been with the company for 12 years told me that she's starting to look for other jobs just last week because she can't handle working for our boss anymore. So I'm just going to start looking for other jobs at this point to see what all is out there.

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18 hours ago, Jalapeno said:

Don't you have a recording of the phone call with the customer that called you about your boss not having a clue what she was talking about?  I know that companies out there can have phone call recordings attached to emails.

Nope, no recordings, and they called me on my cell phone anyway. 

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18 hours ago, woo pig sooie said:

Psycho babble relationship mumbo jumbo is always wrong 

And the customer is ALWAYS right. Now reread OP and you will answer your own question.

PS It wouldn't hurt to grow a pair

 

Sure thing maytard. 

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On 7/10/2019 at 9:55 PM, toonkee said:

start your own firm and poach that client.   

I'm in the quasi-public sector, so there's not really a way of doing that. 

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