Have you ever had a boss or a coworker that constantly tried to keep you from doing something you wanted or needed to get done? Someone who was always badgering you about everything and did nothing themselves?
I did. And it was the absolute worst.
This person does little to encourage or incentivize their people and it sucks to watch. They wake up late every day, don’t get assignments done on time, but expect their people to pick up the slack on EVERYTHING while they drink coffee and text all day.
This person was extremely inconsistent and unclear about their goals. One minute they’d want you to finish one thing, but then they’d get distracted and have you do something else. It was a nightmare for me because of the confusion it caused. And I do NOT like being confused.
One day, I got a planner and had a good long talk with that boss. I told them that we were going to write down everything that needed to get done that week, scheduled and plan it out, and stick to it. Surprisingly, they agreed. It worked for a while, but only for a while. We fell out of routine and, before you could say “premade logos”, we were back to scrambling to get things done.
I work really well off of lists. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, even if it’s superficial and temporary. I LOVE LISTS. Grocery lists, honey-do lists, wish lists, all of it. This boss adapted to lists (with my “gentle” nudging in that direction), but it never did last. I thought about why for a long time, but then it dawned on me: this person didn’t have any discipline.
I talked to them one day and we looked over a project we had worked pretty hard on and decided to scrap it and start all over. There was no function, flow, or rhythm to it and it desperately needed it. That boss was unhappy about it, but I didn’t care. It needed to be done. We sat down and planned out everything about the project, from the way it looked, to the way it worked. I made them research the tools we needed to get it done and while we couldn’t get everything, we got damn close.
That boss consulted with one of her partners about it and while I appreciate wanting an outside perspective, I wish that boss had the confidence in their work that I do. The truth is when they’re all in, like 100% in, they deliver some pretty quality stuff. They get what they need to done, have a clean and tidy work area, and have an all-around better attitude about… well, everything. And that’s one of the best kind of people to work for.
I really didn’t mind the texting and putting off of duties so much, but it got to the point that some projects were delayed or got behind. You can only sweep so much under the rug before you trip over it. They were the kind of person who would trip over it repeatedly, but that was more to do with them not being 100% themselves. A whole cocktail of depression and anxiety gave them a very unhealthy outlook on life. Somedays were better than others, but it was hard for me to go back and tidy up where things had clearly fallen apart.
Reader, if you made it this far, you probably figured it out.
That boss is me. Hi, I’m the worst boss I’ve ever had.
Don’t be a bad boss like me. Get shit done when and where you can and if you aren’t 100%, take a break before your work suffers. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead. Doesn’t have to be a year. It could be two days from now. Be consistent, make a plan, have discipline, and take care of yourself. You’re here for a good time, not a long time.