Boundaries

It is no secret that I really dislike my day job.  I won’t say I out and out hate it because I’ve had jobs that were way worse.  But this particular job is incredibly stressful.  Actually, no, that’s not accurate either.  It’s my boss that’s incredibly stressful.  She has a reputation around the office for being the most difficult person up there to work for, and I can say after 2 years with her, that reputation is well-earned.  I definitely earn my paycheck.

I already talked briefly about the hell week I just had at the EDJ.  Well, Friday morning (before I descended to the final level of hell), she told me she’d be working this weekend and would probably be calling me on Saturday (as she will be out of town all next week–thank God).  I told her flat out that she wouldn’t catch me because I wasn’t going to be near a phone.

Well yesterday I was outside most of the day getting 2 truckloads of dirt for my raised veggie bed (I finally got my garden planted! Yay!).  She did call around 3:30.  I didn’t answer because–hey, busy moving shit ton of dirt by myself–but when I checked my voicemail she was having a fit because apparently the tech people have upgraded her to Office 2007, and she couldn’t find anything and could I call her back and help.  For the love of God.  First off, tech support is no where in my job description.  I answer constant idiot computer questions during the week, but I sure as hell am not paid enough to be her on-call tech support.  So I didn’t call her back.  She called again twice more at 9 last night, and again I didn’t answer because it is the freaking weekend, and she has no hold over me until 8 AM Monday morning.  Checked my voicemail this morning, and she’s about two steps away from irate because she didn’t get what she needed to get finished finished (and this is my responsibility how?) and to call her back so she could talk to me about what she needs me to do next week.  Sure I will.  Next week.  Not during my weekends, which are off limits to you.

When I talk to her on Monday, I plan to tell her that I went to a movie Friday night and turned my phone off and forgot to turn it back on.  Which isn’t true but is sufficiently something I would do (ask my friends and family) that it’s totally believable.  I figure a little white lie is more polite than reeming my boss for being rude, invasive, unreasonable, and generally annoying.

She seems to be under some illusion that we have a personal relationship outside the workplace, and we just don’t.   I am not passionate about her area of research.  Frankly, it bores me.  And I don’t want to have anything to do with work after work.  Not only because it bores me but because I’ve got those OTHER jobs that take precidence at 5:01.  She really has no concept of appropriate boundaries or how to say no, so when I say no (which I have no problem doing) she gets all offended.  Honestly, it reminds me of my mother.

I’m going to continue to hide and go finish the freelance copy editing I’m working on.

6 thoughts on “Boundaries

  1. Carrie Cleaver

    You know, you’re absolutely right. Not only is it illegal to make someone work off the clocks in most states, it’s just completely unethical. If that question was posed to me. “Where were you all weekend?” I’d say “out.” And that is the end of it. Stay strong and remind your employer that you have rights.

    • Kait Nolan

      I guarantee she’d just see it as one friend asking another for help and totally unrelated to work. But dude…it’s so not. She is not Miranda whatshername from The Devil Wears Prada.

  2. Honestly, I think you should tell her the truth. Otherwise she’s gonna keep on calling you whenever she’s having a crisis. You need to set boundaries.
    It’s not the same, but I had a good friend, who loved my advice. But in the end she would call me up all the time day and night to get my advice on the littlest things. If I didn’t pick up my cell she would call my work number, my mom’s place, my friends whereever she knew I’d be.
    And it was my own fault, because I couldn’t tell her, that she was invading my private sphere. I just fed her white lies.
    In the end, I had to tell her the truth. That I did want to help her, but I couldn’t make every decision for her, and that she needed to let me have time to live my life as well. And she understood. And appreciated that I told her. And tends to forget it and call me anyways. But now she knows why I don’t pick up. And she knows that I do love her. I just need my own space.

    It really sounds like your boss depends a lot on you. Which is good in the sense that she has a lot of faith in you and your abilities. And bad because she leans on you to do everything she can’t figure out.
    So tell it like it is. And if she can’t handle it and you have to look for a new job, then that is how it is. There are too few hours in the day to spend them on hating what you are doing.

    Hope it all works out.

    • Kait Nolan

      Oh I have no problem telling the truth. It’s just going not to be this particular occasion. It’ll be when I’m NOT ragingly pissed off about it, and can do it diplomatically. This is not common behavior, thankfully.

  3. I’m sort of hoping she doesn’t read your blog! LOL LOL LOL

    You have more backbone than me. I would have called back. Spine made of overcooked noodles.

    • Kait Nolan

      That whole pseudonym thing helps on that front. Plus I don’t think she even knows what blogs ARE.

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