I posted a long time ago about a boss that interrupted me a lot. I was kind of able to get to stop, but he is such a show off. He is not a technical guy. I've been with my company for 3 years. We are in the process of getting bought. My issue is that I can't manage my project because I'm managing his anxiety - and now I look incompetent that problems haven't solved, when I couldn't solve them because I am so busy managing his anxiety.
In late March, we had technical issue with my R&D work. His reaction was to tell every other boss. I ran lots of experiments, some designed by me, but others I disagreed with to appease my boss (who was acting like a 5 year old kid who didn't get the exact flavor of ice cream he wanted) or other bosses he told. Meanwhile, my boss kept asking me for things on other related projects too, so it was a lot to juggle.
All my experiments should have been analyzed by someone else at the end of April when I was at a training. Only 1/2 the data got analyzed; the half related to material we would present, not the 1/2 related to solving this problem, because my boss decided something else was more important. When I asked my boss about getting them analyzed, he kept acting like a 5 year old kid. When I had good data on other issues, he would share with everyone ASAP; when I had bad data, he'd share it with everyone too, making me look foolish. The other bosses were all telling me different things to do. End of May comes and I needed this data to make samples for an outsourced project I had coordinated, but for which my boss showed little interest in. We sent the samples anyway, without an analysis, and without the ones I needed from before. Meanwhile, I read lots and lots of papers, often sharing them with my boss who would share with others with a "see what I know."
I was frustrated. I called meetings of the bosses getting them to debate their mixed priorities. I had been doing monthly one on ones with my boss, but he would just tell me I was doing a good job. I figured if I did what he said, I'd get credibility. I kept notes. I got advice from a former mentor-consultant. I listened to the bad boss podcast and got the premium content. I looked at "Dealing with People You Can't Stand" by Brinkman, realizing my boss was a "Think they know it all" who exaggerates, can learn a little, and is hideously insecure. I called the two former bosses who had hired me; one, retired and a conultant, the other a stay at home mom. Both said they were not surprised to hear complaints about my boss. The stay at home mom pressured me to talk to a different big boss, out of my chain of command, who she had known for years and who had known my boss even longer.
Mid June comes and my boss pressured me (acted like a 5 year old kid) to present the 1/2 data for presenting - but in a different way than normal. It was a disaster as people saw problems with the data, tied back to the problems I still didn't have analyzed. I asked the other bosses who said maybe I didn't do a good job of telling my boss I needed these samples analyzed.
I was very nervous, but I met with the other big boss that my former boss (now stay at home) had recommended. He laughed when I told him the issues, saying I could join the long list of people who have had these issues in the 20 years he had known or supervised my boss at various companies. He told me about my boss's family background, his ability to drive (D on DISC), his low leadership experience, added his suspicion of ADHD I had due to his scatter brained-ness, some of his past leadership problems, and that others in the company were well aware of these issues. He also suggested my boss may be nervous our company is getting bought given his nontechnical background, so he may be trying to show off more. This big boss and I role played scenarios and how to respond, offered to go to my big boss or the VP (I resisted) and he said I could and he said I could talk to him anytime.
Those tips were working for managing my boss - though everyday, I come to work not knowing what my boss will change as the most urgent thing this week. We got results from the outsourced study, and my boss who was indifferent before, was ecstatic, sending the results to everyone. I FINALLY got the analysis I had waited 2 months - it was clear all these technical problems were NOT in my sample preparation, but rather, in our analysis method (outside me). Those other people my boss had gone to with all the problems we were having told me to different things, but I got my boss to agree we'd hold everything off.
But what really, really, really bothered me was in our meeting yesterday. I am nervous about mid year performance ratings, and my former boss (retired) had given me suggestions on how to approach him. He said other bosses think I don't listen to them (no - everyone is telling me different things and I had to choose). He felt the project was beyond my knowledge since it took so long and he wants to get other people involved. It made me SO INCREDIBLY mad because I couldn't solve the problem because he delayed that testing for so long -- not because I didn't have knowledge. He also mentioned that people say I don't show much emotion at work (no, I don't, for good reason).
I am angry at him he has prevented me from demonstrating my knowledge by holding off the rest results. I'm so so so angry at myself for believing that following his scatter brained widely different directions, and putting up with his 5 year old behavior, and not pointing out to him when he was wrong, would gain more credibility with him.
Any advice would be appreciated. I've been told this happens pretty often, especially in science / engineering based organizations.