I am writing this somewhat reluctantly, but after verbal attempts to negotiate broke down without resolution, I am left with little choice. I have been in your employment for over 18 months now, and whilst I enjoy my post immensely, a few changes to my contract are required in order for me to attain some work / life balance.
I wouldn’t usually take a formal approach to this kind of thing, but it can be tricky to hold a sensible conversation with you. You regularly laugh in my face when I am trying to express my dissatisfaction with something you have done, and I find your interruptions – usually involving a request to sing or provide food – rather rude when I am in the middle of making an important point.
Additionally, you don’t respond well to constructive criticism, often reacting with anger or an immediate display of bottom lip syndrome. Only yesterday, you flounced away, screaming and stamping your feet because I asked you (very nicely) not to throw my toothbrush in the toilet. I must say I find your management style of standing in the corner of the room, yelling and looking teary eyed most unusual; you definitely have a unique approach to tackling HR matters.
You also change your mind a lot, so excelling at tasks is near impossible, as the goal posts move regularly. If I’m honest, I find your reactions to some perceived problems really quite unreasonable and not deserving of the negative attitude they provoke. Your behaviour has been nothing short of unprofessional on occasion, and I don’t believe ACAS would view it in a very positive light.
Even writing this letter has been difficult in itself, as I have had three out of five of my breaks this week disturbed by you in some sort of apparent crisis. Despite your position of seniority, you seem unable to deal with minor issues without involving a team member. Dropping Teddy, in my humble opinion, is something you could have dealt with independently by, well, picking him up again, instead of issuing an emergency out-of-hours drill.
You also seem to have a problem with boundaries, as in: you don’t have any. I personally don’t think it’s acceptable to pull up my dress in the middle of a play date networking meeting so that you can inspect my belly button. I also resent you rubbing your unwanted banana into my hair, and fail to see the relevance of this to my work. All it does is add another task to my long to-do list, which I will more than likely fail to tick off. This then undermines my confidence in my ability to carry out this role successfully, regardless of not being at fault. Additionally, it means I reek of banana all day, which I haven’t been able to stomach the smell of since I began my training, eight months prior to starting my role.
On a related note, I also believe you would benefit from developing your social skills – especially regarding tact – which is somewhat lacking. A prime example of this is your behaviour towards my co-worker, whom you shamelessly favour whenever he is present. I appreciate as the boss, this is your prerogative, but physically pushing me out of the way and screeching his name when he returns to the office can be a little demotivating.
I hope you appreciate that this can be a difficult job and that, despite having many good qualities, you are quite the tyrant to work for. An occasional acknowledgement of my dedication to this role would therefore be appreciated, alongside recognition of my impeccable record of starting early, finishing late and never taking a sick day. Well, apart from that one time which I really couldn’t help. And even then, I provided full cover in the form of a close family member to ensure the same – if not better – level of work was completed. How many employees offer that? Let’s put aside the fact my illness was self-inflicted, as we both know I never would have hit the wine as hard if I hadn’t been worn-down from all the overtime you scheduled without permission.
It’s true that I’m not perfect and I’m taking on board the things you raised at my last appraisal, such as spending too much time on my phone, not fully engaging in every activity (even if it is mind-numbingly boring), and bitching about you to others. (Although I always do the latter behind your back which I’m sure is preferable than to your face).
On the whole though, I hope you see me as a decent employee, and in the absence of any praise or positive feedback, I shall take this opportunity to highlight some of my key skills including:
- Unwavering ability to fake enthusiasm
- Expert at animal impersonations
- Being chief bogey wiper
- Remaining calm during the participation of highly repetitive games, instead of stabbing self in the eye with a fork
All I am asking in return of your utilisation of the above skills is for you to revise your professional conduct, or lack thereof, and to reconsider the request for a later start on Sundays.
I am not even requesting that you to comply with the working time directive, being happy to do what it takes to get the job done. But I must insist on the implementation of clear guidelines regarding which tasks should form part of the working day only. More specifically, your requests for:
bubbles, play, milk and da-da-dancing
should NOT fall into the overtime category and as such, 3am demands for them must cease to be made.
You no doubt think that I am failing to account for all the perks of the job, which I agree are many. It is true that I do much less travelling in my current role, and also that the nature of my position allows me more time to participate in various leisure activities that I was previously unable to fit in to my day. On top of chatting with friends over tea and biscuits, I also benefit greatly from more trips to Tesco and of course being on first name terms with the GP and local pharmacy staff.
And you are right; I had failed to appreciate the frenzied fun of splashing through puddles or stamping on leaves before I worked for you. I had also not noticed the majestic beauty of building sites and road works, unbelievably seeing them as more of an inconvenience than a way to culturally enhance my life. Now, thanks to you, waving at men in diggers and watching traffic lights change is one of the best parts of the day – and for that I am very grateful.
I do realise as well that things could be a lot tougher. I have heard of other employees in the same field but with two, three or even four bosses. How they cope with the extra workload and different agendas from their employers I cannot imagine and, in comparison, dealing with the demands of one taskmaster does not sound so bad. I also agree in this economic climate I am lucky to have secured a long-term position, so do not wish to appear ungrateful.
Further, I also acknowledge that my inexperience is part of the reason you have to be so strict and that yes, the training is taking longer to complete than expected. I am (mostly) grateful for the on-the-job challenges you set and am sure that you (partly) have my best interests at heart when you present them.
And despite the above issues, I do recognise that although the role is labour-intensive, the rewards are more than compensatory. What my position lacks in remuneration and time off in lieu, it makes up for in good times and job satisfaction. You really are a fun boss, despite your questionable management style.
If we could just work together on creating some professional boundaries and addressing your use of the on-call system which, quite frankly, you frequently abuse, I would be very grateful. In turn, I will stop moaning about you to my co-worker, and try to respond better to the menial tasks and personal care objectives you set daily.
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