Sometimes I don’t like being a manager. Yesterday, we had a big meeting with all the teams to make sure that they knew what the targets are for the year and to give them the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. I have two bosses and one of them was off sick (she genuinely was sick, it wasn’t to avoid the meeting!), so I felt the need to make sure that my other boss was not left to take all the wrath. The meeting got a fairly negative response, although those who were fine with it didn’t really say a lot.
As we walked out of the meeting, I asked one of them how she felt about it all and she sort of jokingly turned to me and said “creep”. I was a bit speechless at this. First of all, this person is quite a good friend of mine. Second of all, I wasn’t being a creep by backing up my boss, we as managers had helped to shape the objectives and agreed them, and so to leave my boss to take the flack wouldn’t even have crossed my mind. When we got back to our office, she made some other comment and I just said something like “I’m not even going to bother to respond to that” and walked back to my desk.
She e-mailed me later to say she felt bad about how she had spoken to me and she had taken her stress out on me. I said that it was ok, but that I didn’t quite get why she was having a go at me, and that it hadn’t been ideal to do it when she did because I couldn’t really ask what was going on in front of other people. I also said we’d talk about her feeling stressed at some other point, as that seems, ultimately, to be what was underlying it.
I am not one to hold a grudge and I have had rather more acrimonious discussions with people at work before, but I can’t say that it isn’t rather disappointing to have a friend speak to me like that. But I guess that is what happens when you’re friends with people at work.
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