What I wish I could tell my boss: ‘You're stuck in the past’

Anonymous
‘If I want to avoid being a dinosaur like you, I have to move on.’ Photograph: Ken Lucas/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited

Today I burst into tears in my car after work because you insisted on re-doing everything that I had done. You have every right to do this and I shouldn’t mind, but I do. I’ve done the grunt work, written articles to deadline, planned out where the photos were to go. Then you want to “critique it” as you say, because you think you’re the next Hemingway.

It’s a power thing. I don’t mind being edited by people who know how to write, but it’s not your job, and you don’t. Even the managing director criticises your verbose writing style. I want to tell you that people don’t want to read an article the length of a book. They want something bite-sized they can read in their lunch break. But you stab away at the keyboard with your sausage fingers, undoing my work and sighing.

At an off-site meeting a few weeks ago you hijacked my presentation to colleagues. Every few minutes you interrupted me with “suggestions”. You said you did it to support me. Today you took ownership of my new marketing video to use for another project. You said you were “developing” it. This is management talk for the fact that you saw it was a good idea and want to pass it off as your own.

There’s so much we could be doing to improve our marketing but you don’t want to bother. You say “we’re a small team and there isn’t the budget”, but the truth is you’re stuck in the past. You shy away from anything digital and refuse to listen to new ideas. If only you knew how exhausted and demotivated I am when I go home each day, maybe you would.

At my last appraisal I suggested I could take on more responsibility, but you said we would discuss it another time. When I reminded you I was an accredited PR practitioner, you snorted that it was a “meaningless title”. Yet you still ask me to double-check your press releases.

Colleagues have noticed your behaviour. They say you would be lost without me. Managers ask you to change your writing style. You need to accept that digital is here to stay. It’s time to embrace new technologies and let me make changes to the way we do things.

It took me four and a half years to get this permanent job after years of contract work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful, but I knew at interview that you would be the stumbling block. I told myself to make it work. After 10 months of propping you up I realise it’s not going to get any better.

I woke again at 3am this morning worrying as I often do about work. Since working for you my skillset has diminished. I’m scared that, at 50, other employers won’t want me. I dread making another move when I’ve fought so hard to pin down a permanent job. I hate the thought of more interviews and endless questions about why I’m changing roles after only 10 months. But if I want to avoid becoming a dinosaur like you, I have to move on.

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