Dealing with the boss can often be a problem, but dealing with one who's not very smart can immensely complicate work life.
QFor the first time in my 10-plus years of a professional career, I am working for someone who is a moron. That sounds harsh, but it's the only applicable term. For the past year, I've tried to find different ways of coping with the situation because I like the company. My work is fairly independent. But there are still occasions when I need to run things by my boss, and I always leave in despair. This person doesn't have the smarts, skills or experience to be in the position he's in. It's obvious that he got this management-level job because of his friendship with our big boss. Is resigning the only way to handle this situation?
ASandra A. Crowe, a Rockville workplace advice consultant to corporations and government agencies, said this worker can develop a different mind-set toward his plight, or attempt to change his relationship with the boss in some way.
If he takes the first tack, Crowe said, the worker should ask himself how important the relationship is. "If you only have to deal with this moron now and again, and if you like your job, can't you put this in perspective? Can't you say, 'Okay, I don't have the greatest boss, but I have other satisfactions.' I'm saying, if you love the work, you put this in the proper context."
Conversely, Crowe, author of "Since Strangling Isn't an Option," said this worker can attempt to deal directly with the boss, perhaps with the help of a mediator. She said the worker can do nothing about the favoritism that got the boss his job, but he can tell the boss "what he expects of him as a boss, if he thinks this will make a difference."
But Crowe said the worker also can deal with his dislike for the boss indirectly, by seeking a position elsewhere in the same company or leaving the firm. In any event, Crowe said the worker ought to realize that it is unlikely the boss would be removed based on any complaint he might make to management.
-- Kenneth Bredemeier
E-mail your workplace questions to Kenneth Bredemeier at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discuss workplace issues with him at 11 a.m. Wednesday at www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.