our boss will not communicate to us, hides in his workplace, and drops off calls if anybody greets him — Ask a Supervisor

A reader writes:

I work for a small (12 particular person) company that has exploded over the previous few years. Most workers have been there for between 1-2 years, together with our govt director.

Eleven of us get alongside famously, however our govt director has stopped talking to anybody. He has all the time been an odd duck, however a couple of month in the past one of many managers questioned one thing he had written in an all-staff memo. She dealt with her concern very professionally (at first) however when his response was “my teenage daughter doesn’t prefer it after I inform her what to do both, you’ll want to simply recover from it,” she turned very brusque and requested him not to consider her the best way he thinks of his daughter. When it was obvious that she had assist for her grievance (she questioned the condescending tone and impolite feedback made within the memo, not the topic of the memo itself) he disconnected from the decision and hasn’t spoken to anybody since.

Now that we’re all beginning to come again to the workplace, his disdain is palpable. Once you see him within the corridor and say hi there, he simply retains strolling. When invited to lunch “with the gang,” he simply refuses to reply. When within the workplace we try to conduct conferences in particular person, however he’ll keep in his workplace with the door closed and be part of by Zoom, normally together with his digicam off and muted till somebody calls him out and asks a direct query. Then he’ll activate his digicam to reply the query after which flip it off once more. He’s popped in to a number of conferences with out asserting himself, making an attempt to “lurk” with out turning on his digicam. When he’s greeted, he instantly disconnects.

Whereas all of that is odd, none of it’s my direct downside. I used to be promised a promotion and a large elevate in June. Since he’s not speaking to anybody or signing something that he doesn’t should signal, my elevate and promotion are bottlenecked at his desk. The CFO is off for one more month with a household emergency and might’t intervene, and my supervisor is bringing it up at each supervisor’s assembly (most of which he refuses to attend now). Proper now, the plan is that I’ll get the promotion and lift subsequent month when the CFO returns, however it is going to be efficient June 30, as deliberate, so I’ll obtain the extra pay at the moment. Within the meantime, I’m doing the work of the promotion with out the pay or title.

I don’t wish to get pulled into the rising wave of disgust with our govt director, as a result of I actually do love my job and don’t need this to sour the expertise. Apart from being affected person, refusing to pile on when individuals are making enjoyable of him, and doing my job, what can I do to make sure that the promotion and lift undergo as deliberate subsequent month?


The top of your group — who wants to talk to different individuals as a part of his job — is refusing to talk to anybody, freezes individuals out within the corridor, hides in his workplace to the purpose that he joins conferences by Zoom when everybody else is in particular person down the corridor, and sneaks onto video calls however hangs up instantly if anybody greets him? And it’s because somebody requested him to not examine her to his daughter?

Is every little thing … okay together with your director?

As a result of that is critically weird conduct, and it’s nearly as weird that everybody appears to only be going alongside as if this isn’t extremely unusual and regarding. Which makes me assume this isn’t the primary time there have been points with this man?

As for guaranteeing that your promotion and lift undergo subsequent month … there won’t be something you are able to do past what’s already occurred. It seems like your supervisor doesn’t have the authority to make it occur herself however is on it to the extent she could be, and the CFO is coming again quickly. You could possibly ask your boss if she will put the plan in writing, but it surely seems like she doesn’t have the authority to decide to it. Personally, if I had been in your supervisor’s footwear, I’d simply stroll into the manager director’s workplace in particular person and say, “I must finalize the elevate and promotion for Lucinda, efficient June 30 when she took over the function. What are the subsequent steps to make that occur?” Should you assume she is perhaps up for doing that, you might recommend it … however in any other case I believe you’re caught ready till the CFO is again.

If I had been your supervisor, I’d additionally set up the remainder of the managers to confront the ED immediately or to go to the board, however apparently for some purpose nobody is doing that.

It’s value giving severe thought as to if it’s best to construct a profession long-term at a spot that’s run this manner. I respect your “I’ll simply preserve my head down and never get entangled” stance, however when a corporation this small has this type of kookiness occurring, it’s going to have an effect on you whether or not you need it to or not.

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