February 24, 2011

Irritable Boss Here

Those of you in Gen X, Y, Z and Zero or whatever you* call yourselves, consider this a little advice note from your boss. I recently, due to no fault or ambition of my own, doubled the number of subordinates who I supervise. It has not been a joy-filled experience. And as much as I hate to think of it in this challenging economy, a few young stars in their own firmament may be getting a career change opportunity in the next few months.

I don't like thinking that way. I like to let people do their jobs out of my way (and I like to keep out of theirs). My primary responsibilities and yours are not the same and I'd like to trust you to just DO yours without my intervention.

Do you know the primary cause of employees not rising to their responsibilities? No, not incompetence (although that plays a role). Absenteeism.

Yes, you may get 26 days of leave a year**, half vacation, half sick, but that doesn't mean at the end of the year your balances should be 0. With vacation, maybe, but you really should have some brains and try to husband your sick leave. Also, bosses get very suspicious of leave taken on Mondays and Fridays. So here's the advice:

  1. Regarding vacation leave: request it, don't demand it. If all your peers will be on vacation, don't assume you'll get that week off as well. Unless you want your employer to think: "Hmmm. We really can manage without all of them. Why don't we try that, since budgets are getting slashed."
  2. Regarding sick leave: it gets annoying when you always get sick on a day that makes a weekend a long weekend. Soon you'll be asked for a doctor's note, even when you just need to stay home a day or two to recover from a cold that doesn't require a prescipriton.
  3. If you do have leave, don't let assignments be late and completed after you return. Finish them before the two weeks in the Bahamas.
  4. If you have children or pets or a chronically ill spouse, while it's reasonable to request leave to care for ill children, pets, or spouse, it also behooves you to befriend a few neighbors. Really. Suck up a bit. Do you want to be beholden to your cranky neighbor lady or your not-cranky-but-really-really-tired boss who just wishes someone wouldn't always leave her with finishing up subordinates' jobs.

I have no expecttation that anyone will take this advice. But really, if you have a new boss, and need to keep your job, these might be suggestions to follow.

*Assume you are a GS-5 to GS-11 and you report to me. Yes, I know you don't, really. But trust me when I tell you, what I'm about to say might actually benefit you. Might keep you employed. Might keep you from eviction or foreclosure or just being that totally annoying crying drunk at the bar who is so totally not getting laid except by a serial killer.

**Assuming a first, second, or third year employee. After that, you get more leave than that if you work for the feds. If you've made it until your fourth year, you haven't annoyed the living shit out of me with leave abuse, so you clearly figured it out. But even so, think about what I'm writing here.


Foilwoman said...

Oh, spam comments. Yeehaw.

Jen said...

I think you might enjoy a little irony. Besides that the only comments you are getting are spam. Blogs should be fun not a job, we deal with enough bs at the office don't we anyway? SO here is a little study that says being unemployed can be harmful to your mental health, new research shows that having a bad job could be just as damaging. Not that you have a bad job ata ll...just STRESSFUl.


Is this really news to anyone! I want to find this other article for you I found the other day that talks about gen-y's and their sense of entitlement in the workplace...that the attitude "we showed up so I am contributing" is part and parcel.

Anonymous said...

Hey Foil, how are you?


Sujay said...

So beautiful this site.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Foilwoman,

You are an ignoramous.

change the name of this post to "hormonal boss here", or "insensitive, irrational tool here", or something else indicating your insensitivity to the needs of others. I mean sure, how DARE they get food poisoning on a Thursday afternoon? Or where do they get off having a sick kid and no family to care for them? I mean, these people sound like terrible employees. The nerve of those people not living, breathing and ingesting your every whim on command.

Happy blogging dickhead. :)

Anonymous said...


your advice is sound, at least in today's world. as a boss i don't need shit from my employees since i get enough from my bosses, and with people lined for the job - well the math is easy...

the advice you offered is what i would tell my daughters.

anon - you are clueless. maybe too much time spent Occupying stuff.