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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Micromanagers or why Evil HR Lady Looks Slightly Like A Rutabaga

Dear Evil HR Lady,

My boss is a micromanager and feels he must go over his written instructions with me to make sure they are clear. I do not need him to explain his instructions. I have worked for him long enough that I understand what he means better than he does. How can I handle this?



Dear Over-Managed,

The Evil HR Lady feels your pain. She once had someone give her a full page, single spaced typed document explaining that she would like lines added to a report. Oh, and the font changed. Then this person called to make sure the Evil HR Lady understood. This may have been the moment that Evil was added to the HR Lady’s name.

First question: Do you need this job? Why don’t you just quit and become a life guard? In most places that means winters off and a tan! What a great job. Evil HR lady wishes she had a tan. As it is, she looks like she’s been kept underground for several years and has only recently been plucked up. Mr. Evil HR says it is the rutabaga look.

All right, Evil HR Lady will assume you need the job. Do you have a good relationship with the boss? Does he have a sense of humor? If so, try saying, “Steve, I understand what you mean better than you do. I’ll let you know if I have any questions.” Then lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

If your boss has no sense of humor or you are so annoyed with him you couldn’t say the above line without it coming out like, “Listen you stupid idiot, I learned to read in the first grade!” then this is a bad idea. Look around your office. Does he micro-manage everyone or is it just you? Sometimes micro-managers just have to be ignored. You may just have to grit your teeth and deal with it. If he’s just micro-managing you then either your co-workers have figured out how to get him off their backs (ask them!) or you used to need micro-managing. (Evil HR Lady will give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you don’t need to be micro-managed. Although she will say she knows people that do need it.)

Try interrupting him or completing sentences:

Micro-managing boss: See where I wrote, “file this report…”
You: Under Q for quality assurance. Yes, and then I will create a power point presentation detailing blah blah blah
MMB: But make sure you use-
You: The company template. Yes, Steve, you wrote it right here!

This technique will probably fail miserably, but Evil HR Lady can shut her office door (she wishes she had a door, unfortunately Evil HR Lady just has a cube) and feel like once again she has done her duty and helped others.


Evil HR Lady

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