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Thread: Lessons Learned

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Lessons Learned

    My boss threw me under a bus, so to speak, yesterday at work.

    Recently, he tasked me with preparing an environmental restoration document (I am a community planner by training and passion, but I do everything I am asked to do because that is what one does when working for the man).

    Relatively new to the environmental planning field, I do not yet understand completely the entire environmental restoration process. I am learning as I go, reading up on the regs in my spare time, soaking up whatever training opportunities come my way when I can afford the time/fees. My boss is fully aware of this, appreciates my effort, and encourages me to do as much environmental planning as possible. We are short staffed and I am extremely efficient, which means he hands a lot of work my way, especially for jobs with aggressive deadlines. The client apparently wants this job completed by the end of September, so my boss has pulled me on board to get the process rolling along as quickly as possible. Happy client = we all get to keep our jobs through this rough economy.

    So,on with the story... he told me what I needed to prepare and gave me a template he wanted me to use so that my document would match the style and language of previous documents we have submitted to this client.

    I completed the report last week. He looked it over, gave it two thumbs up, and asked me to send it to the client.

    I receive an email from said client yesterday tongue lashing me for having submitted an entirely different document than what they tasked us to prepare.... awesome. I love looking like a complete idiot.

    Now, I can understand my boss scapegoating the error onto me. He is extraordinarily busy and it certainly looks worse for one of our PMs to screw up big time than a staff planner. I have no problems with, we have bigger fish to fry. However, an apology, acknowledgement, um... ANYTHING from him on our end would have certainly smoothed over my ruffled feathers more than just throwing me under the bus and calling it a day. Something like, "Ms. Sapient, I'm sorry I told you to prepare the wrong document and that our client tore you a new (you know what)". It really could be that simple.

    I think what annoys me most is that I know better than to just rely on others. Sigh...

    Lesson learned. Never take someone's word for it or assume they know what they are doing. Always read the contract and scope of work despite assurances from others. At the end of the day, it is my own reputation on the line as well as the firms.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Northern Utah
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    Ouch!

    Yikes. Well, for what it's worth I'M sorry that your boss told you to prepare the wrong document. Probably not comforting, huh? I've spent some time under the bus myself (as everyone has).

    Hope you're out from under it OK, Ms. Sapient.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Sounds to me like your boss screwed up and isn't willing to man up and admit his error. Can you approach him privately to discuss? The client may never know the truth but at least you could get some closure from your boss.

    Otherwise, time to start working on that voodoo doll!

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Back in my private sector days I recall a co-worker asking me after an unfortunate occurrance, not unlike that described above "so who's going to be the whipping boy this time, I did it last time...."
    We at least had the decency to take turns falling on our sword and the acknowledgement was above the table, so to speak. When you have five different hands involved in a project it only makes sense to openly admit that both the blame and the credit will be shared. Springing that on you like that seems more than a little underhanded.

    I don't know, I guess I'd have a word with the boss just to clear the air for your own satisfaction/sanity.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Yes... words will be shared with the boss shortly. First step, fix the problem, second step, ask for a raise (hahahahaha).

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