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nikipedia's avatar

Would you defend yourself or let it slide?

Asked by nikipedia (27454points) December 3rd, 2008

I am working in a particular place for another few weeks. My boss pretty clearly does not like or respect me. She thinks I’m a slacker because I come in very late in the day—but I am also there nearly every day on the weekends, and sometimes as late as midnight. She seems very reluctant to give me credit for ideas I come up with or projects that I pull off correctly, and I’m not entirely sure why.

I will have to work with her in some capacity for a very long time. Is it worth it to try to defend myself to her? Should I continue to be hard-working and hope that eventually my accomplishments speak for themselves? Or should I just avoid her as much as possible?

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16 Answers

cak's avatar

I have a question before I answer – are you supposed to be there at a certain time, regardless of the late hours and working through the weekend? I’m not passing judgment – I was in a situation similar to this, but need an answer, first- if you don’t mind!

jessturtle23's avatar

I would just stay away from her. Times are tough and no job is really secure. If it bothers her so much that you come in late then you may just have to bite the bullet and come in earlier. She is your boss after all.

nikipedia's avatar

@cak: Not that I know of.

shilolo's avatar

You are a grad student. Sometimes, the boss expects you to be there so that you can interact with other people. It doesn’t help if you are a night owl but cannot share ideas and work with others who work a more 9–5 day. If this is a rotation only, then just forget about it. If this is going to be your mentor for the next 5 years, I would sort this out now, or find another lab.

nikipedia's avatar

@shilolo: Thanks. I actually am more of a morning person, but this is the only way I can squeeze everything in given my class schedule.

It’s just a rotation and there is absolutely no way I would ever come back to this lab—but I will definitely interact with her in the future, a lot. And mostly it just pisses me off that she has such an inaccurate perception of me.

cak's avatar

^^^ I was thinking what Shilolo was thinking. She’s not there when you are there and might expect you there while she is – regardless of all the extra hours. Especially since you are a grad student. Unfortunately, you might have to find a way to accommodate her schedule, more often to change her opinion.

Now I’m reading your response – it would piss me off, too. For the lab, for now, I might be more inclined to let it go and when you interact with her in the future, her perception might change. Especially if it isn’t daily contact.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I would say she views you a just another rotation, and because you are coming in late, and won’t be coming back, you are expendable. The best way to correct the impression is to do the work assigned to you, leave it neatly in her chair, where she has to look at it, and e-mail her before you go with any details, synopses, questions, updates, etc. This way, she gets a message with a time stamp on it from you.

You need to keep in mind that this is a rotation for you, but for her, it’s a career. She’s not going anywhere else with this. Respect that.

steve6's avatar

I’ve worked in a lab most of my career but I don’t really know your situation. It has been my experience that lab supervisors think they know everything and your chances of reasoning with them and altering their opinions about anything are slim at best.
Ignore her, communicate with her as professionally as possible, do your best work, but don’t worry if she doesn’t change. Worrying is carnel. You have to take care of yourself and those you care about first.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Let it slide, if you argue with her, or try to prove yourself right, then it’ll only leave a worse impression of yourself to her.
Avoid her as much as possible.
And continue with your hard work, even if she doesn’t notice it, everyone else probably will. :)

wundayatta's avatar

Or you could sit down with her and ask if she is troubled by your hours, and if so, what is her perception of your working style. If she’s wrong, you could correct her, and if she’s right you could either work out a solution together, or pretend to work it out and really do nothing.

answerjill's avatar

Maybe the two of you could sit down and write an informal contract that specifies the times that you are expected to be at work. That way, there will fewer misunderstandings and she will know that you put in your time, even when she is not around to see it.

cwilbur's avatar

You have to decide what’s most important: making her happy or getting the work done. For a good boss, these two things will be the same; for a bad boss, you’ll have to choose.

I had a boss in the past who wanted my butt in my seat at 9:00:00 AM. It did not matter if I had stayed until 11 pm the night before fixing a problem; it did not matter what the weather was doing in my 60-mile commute. My butt had to be in my seat at 9:00:00 AM, period. So that’s what I did—except that I was as insistent about my personal time as she was about my work time. So if something broke at 4:55 PM—too bad, I was out of there at 5:00 PM and it would have to wait until the next day.

This was not good for the business, but she was not willing to let go of the 9:00 AM requirement, and I was not willing to work uncompensated overtime. But she got what she wanted most, at least until I found another place to work.

maybe_KB's avatar

Stay reserved and work hard

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
yuchenshort's avatar

In a non-confrontational way, you should ask to sit down with her to discuss this. Express your concerns in a non-judgmental way. Explain why you feel you have been a positive contribution to the lab and what you have accomplished. Ask her if your “feelings” about her not liking the quality of your work are justified and why. Do all of this in a non confrontational way. Even though you are leaving it will help you in the future if done right. She will be in contact with a lot of people that you will be in contact with, and if you try to leave with a good impression it will pay off in any future issues or recommendations, whether they are formal or (most importantly) informal.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Whatever time I was suppose to be there unless HER boss says it is OK to come in later I would be on time. Avoid her as much as possible, but if you were the reason for success on something I would let it be known, tactfully, but let the actions speak for themelves.

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