Wednesday 14 November 2007

New Boss

I've got a new boss. It is the 4th new boss I've had in the space of 14 months but who's counting?

The top dog's first day was last week when I was in France. Bad luck, bad planning, bad karma - whatever!

The first day I was in France I got an email asking for a meeting with him the next day. I emailed back stating this wasn't possible and why, despite already telling him this on several previous occasions. We scheduled a get together for the day I returned.

I knew I would not be on my best form. I knew I would be cranky, tired, grumpy and generally not my usual charming self. I was worried.

I think it is so stressful to have a new boss. You've got to figure out who they are, how much or how little information they want/need. You've got to figure out if you trust them and if they trust you. You've got to figure out if you would follow them off a cliff or if they would throw themselves in front of a speeding train to protect you and your decisions.

So you dance. You build a relationship in a sometimes hostile environment. You try to assess what others think. You try to be not quick to judge but fast enough to not make any mistakes. You try to make sure he doesn't look like a fool to his boss which after all is what we're all trying to do.

You want to be noticed but for all the right reasons.

This is stressful.....and exhausting. I've been in the office at my normal silly o'clock every morning. Tonight I even stayed well past my witching hour of 3 pm to attend one of his meetings.

Marc helped my out by doing the school run which in itself is a bit of a nightmare this week. Sebastian is preparing for his first ballet recital which is scheduled for Thursday evening. He is the first and only boy to ever perform in a St George's School ballet recital. He has a duet with Amy which he has been practising since summer term last school year.

Tonight was a rehearsal from 5-6. So Marc had to pick Seb up at 3:40, pick up Abigail, take them home, change Seb's clothes into his ballet kit, supervise homework completion, feed the children and deliver Seb back to school before 5. I then picked up Seb at 6 and went home to clean since once again my cleaner didn't turn up - second week in a row and I am having a meltdown. Dinner will be grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for Marc and I!

Children now in bath tub then off to bed. I think I will follow shortly.....ah, just a few more emails! Gotta impress the new boss!


Janell said...

Good luck with the new boss. And Grilled cheese and Tomato soup is THE best comfort food! I think we'll have at Nelli's tomorrow!

Anonymous said...


Being a new boss myself, your post is interesting. I generally take the team out for a beer, in my case I have to travel thousands of miles to meet each team member and get to meet you in the process.

Why is your son in ballet? I know I am going to sound like a Neanderthal, but I don't know if I'd want little Joe in Ballet lessons. Theatre, fine, I was a thespian myself in HS and also wrestled. Now, I know there are benefits in terms of exercise, coordination, etc. But I don't think I'd let Heather put him in that. Next thing you know, he'll be doing his chores (Like Marc does) without you asking him. That's almost a form of castration to me. :-)

By the way, I'll e-mail you times for Friday night and Sat. Sat morning is looking better than Friday.

Sue said...

Joe, would you let your daughter play football or wrestle? Let the little guy enjoy his ballet without feeling like a sissy.
When I was in hi school, I wanted to take a shop class and girls weren't allowed. Still wish I knew how to measure and cut wood to make things.

Joe_B said...


My written words sound worse than I intended. I don't doubt he enjoys it, but this may be a bigger issue than just me questioning it. I am never one to back off from my opinion, but I never meant that to sound as bad as it sounded.

I'd let her play football, but not wrestle. Not for the reasons you think, I wrestled in HS and D1 in College. Wrestlers are the sickest bastards on the planet (not saying I am sick, but that's my observation). But I don't have a daughter just a son.

I was just picking points from the post that stuck out to me. Now that I re-read it, how lucky are you to leave work at 3 everyday. I have left at 3 before, but everyday? Even if you come in early, the 3:00 "witching hour" will give you a negative perception (maybe).

So LA, I am sorry if that post came off the wrong way. I am not insulting your family or judgement.

Anonymous said...

In the last 14 years, I've had maybe five bosses at my place of employment. The one I currently have is one of the better ones, but sometimes I wish I could get into her head and figure out where in the world is she going with her thoughts. One thing I've learned about her is sometimes she appears to have no backbone and other times she does. Like she hates confrontations. She finds me useful for calming down one of my co-workers - seems to think I have a knack at it. Sometimes all I have to do is have a whack at the co-worker to get 'em to behave and I am not even a supervisor! There are times, I could just sit and listen to her, because she gives me insight about issues I wouldn't have thought of. The mysteries of bosshood!-Sugar

LaDawn said...

Joe - I report to the Group CIO of a company with £11B (that's B not M and £ not $) revenues. I am a boss to people who are bosses.

My son is in ballet because he loves it. There doesn't need to be any other reason. End of.

Let's hope your daughter isn't a talented mathematician or scientist. Those are boy things, I hear. You could just pull her out of school once she had learned to read well enough to follow a cookbook. At least you don't have to save for university, just the wedding.

I am able to leave work at 3 pm because I work in an enlightened work environment that believes it's not the hours you spend in the office but what you do with the hours you've spent. My contribution to the organisation leaves some with the impression that I am superwoman because I am able to do my job effectively and achieve objectives within the time constraints. Working mothers add diversity to a workplace that is valued at my organisation at all levels of management.

Sugar-I too use some of my direct reports to help me out. That's what good managers do. I've got to recognise that each individual brings a different set of strengths and weaknesses to a workplace and it's my responsiblity to make sure I maximise every strength and minimise every weakness.

Joe_B said...

Totally agree LA, and hopefully my future daughter will have small feet. That way, she can stand closer to the sink and get those dishes done more effectively. If she is really smart, perhaps she can do dishes and cook at the same time. I can imagine a scientific mind would only help with conjuring up recipes and math would allow her to get the measurements correct. Not a lot of people know how many Table Spoons make a 1/2 cup. Let's not even discuss the metric system.

The company I work for, you know who, is actually the smallest company I've worked for. I've had previous lives in GE and a few other large multi-national. My 3'Oclock comment is more of bitter envy, given I have a global role, I have been working both ends of the day (My directs are everywhere). Sometimes I have mid-day off, but stuff to do very early for EU and very late for PRC and East Asia and India.

Anonymous said...

Joe, as Sebastians Grandmother 62 yrs old) I find you to be entirely off base and ignorant. I have raised 5 children and letting them try all things within their grasp is as vital as them breathing. I am also an ex competive ballroom dancer and thank God there were Men to dance with..To bad your son has father as closed minded as you.. Linda

LaDawn said...

oh dear heavens....Joe is incurring the wrath of my mother. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh Mama ain't happy! LOL

Seriously, lets take this interesting conversation and shift it a little. We're talking about equality, ok. I don't know what kind of professional y'all work in, but let me ask your company an EOE?

The reason I ask is, as a deaf person - I've been blessed to have been in my profession for 27 years and I truly believe if it weren't for the degree, I wouldn't be able to do this job - much less any great paying job. I would be at a disadvantage without the degree, but an even greater disadvantage as a deaf person.

When people first meet me, they do not realize how smart I am. Sometimes people think I look like this innocent lady who probably doesn't have a significant amount of intelligence.

I may not be MIT material, but I've worked hard to get where I am today and have had to really make "noise" to get noticed. I've written papers that somehow copied by others who were praised for their "papers". :)

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend to many ~ who just happens to be deaf ~ I have the same cares and interests many of my hearing peers have.

So, just because a person dresses differently or whatnot - don't pass them up - give them a chance. :) -Sugar

Anonymous said...

Sugar, we are women thank God and not men. we all work harder than men, think faster,and in general are far more compassionate. We give all ppl. a chance to explore and achieve all that they can.. I have this theory that most men would not agree with, but here it goes..the reason women were suppressed for so long as equals is simple FEAR! We just simply get it done.. FEAR, of just how much better we can do it all except one thing we do not have a sperm bank..Don't get me wrong I am married and Love my Husband dearly however, last night we were talking about that same thing and guess what, he agreed..It's FEAR Sugar, you are a winner. Joe, get educated about life, children, (one son)families, grandchildren of which you have none.. With your attitude you won't be a professional or a manager long., Linda, Grandma to Seb amd Abbey P.S. that's all I have to say about that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous.....thanks... I think! :)

(reaches for some sweet tea)


Anonymous said...

G-Mama and Sugar,

Sounds like I struck a cord. Must be from all the kitchen fumes. I have nothing against women, every good man should own one. Now.. If you actually believe what I just said above, then you really have no sense of sarcasm. Now I can genuinely say I am a nice guy, just ask your daughter!

On a more serious note, the laziest bastard on the planet thinks he works harder than everyone else. I guess my point is, there was some discrimination in the past and I believe there may be a little bit of a "ceiling" left.

I am not trying to take away from what you've accomplished and how hard you worked. I have some news for you, I worked hard to. There are winners and loosers in in life. Just because some women and minorities lost, and some won, doesn't make them victims. That's a typical loser game. I lost, therefore the process / system is unfair.
This day and age, you need to get the chip off your shoulders. Sounds like you are playing the woman card. I frankly don't care about anyone's race or sex. I am hispanic, but I don't wear it on my sleeve. I don't look at a room and note to myself who is missing or what the room is full of.
I don't discriminate and have no guilt for my actions. I've fired women and minorities, beaten women and minorities for jobs, and given them jobs. I made this point before, its not a zero sum game out there. If a white guy gets a job (or me, since I am both hispanic and white) its generally not at the expense of many other people other than competing candidates.

But according to Sugar, I might as well pack my bags and go home. Get used to saying, would you like fries with that...On the contrary, I think my future is looking pretty bright...

Anonymous said...

By the way...

Yes, we are EOE.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm .... :) Is it just me or do I sense a little bit of hostility?
I wasn't lecturing anyone ~ actually I am very proud of my acomplishments and just wanted to offer a different POV. Blogging is very touche' ~ lots of room for misunderstandings. I guess I will stop replying and visiting this blog. Have a good holiday!

Anonymous said...

Sugar, did that comment actually scare you off? Thought you were tougher than that. No hostility, just a bit of passion.
Get your but back on here.

LaDawn said...

Sugar - please come back! Don't let little ole Joe sscare you off. I value your POV. You bring an additional dimension to the comments.

Anonymous said...

What happened to G-Mama? She drops a little bomb on the the site and goes away?

G-Mama, are you mad?

Anonymous said...

Hello again... I admit..I came in here to peek and see how the general atmosphere was and it feels OK. I will be happy to return and enjoy your website.

Anonymous said...


Janell said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: as long as gender is an issue, one side will be screaming, "You can't do it because you're a woman!" The other side will be screaming, "You won't let her do it because she's a woman!" I can't exress how much I respect Sugar's input here, as well as her accomplishments and successes, but being deaf can not be equated with a gender issue. Now I realize this may be an over simplification, but deafness reflects something missing (the sense of hearing) gender reflects (or anyway it SHOULD reflect) a difference, not a lack or advantage. (I hope this makes as much sense in this comment as it did inside my head.) I don't believe any of this has any hostility in it. It's an intelligent discussione between friends - at least that's how I meant it. I hope you come back. I don't doubt that what you lack in the sense of hearing you make up for in ways I will never be able to comprehend. God bless you.
Wow. I have never been a boss, but i sure got sucked into this discussion!
And you know, I thin some of us take Joe too seriously when he is actually being silly.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are right... deafness and gender do not seem the same when it comes to what we can or cannot do. That is why I offered a different POV on equality. :)

'Scuse me while I pour some sugah on Master Joe :) Jus' teasin', jus' teasin'.....

Anonymous said...

dont call me masrer. Boss will do just fine....