Ten Great 'Old Man' Insults

How do you handle a boss who doesn’t believe in you or trust you?

I have a confession to make. I have not one boss but 4, all working in completely different areas of a very large charitable organisation. Three out of the four of my managers are smooth operators who actually grease the way forward for me to glide through with the lofty strategic marketing solutions. However one manager is incredibly difficult.

The other day I presented a 2 hour strategic marketing plan for the next five years to this moan machine of a person who is always ready with negative and combative responses on hand to poo-poo any grand idea I have.

His responses sound a bit like an #OKBoomer shouting
“Get off my lawn” in a gravelly geriatric voice.

“For the past 20 years, we’ve done paper-based marketing and it has worked..”
“For the past 20 years, we’ve advertised in the local paper and it has worked…”
“For the past 5 years…we’ve done pop up ads on NZ Herald and they have worked”

To any person working in marketing – these ideas are hilarious in 2019. To add insult to injury – organisation wide – they have never measured any of these marketing efforts…EVER!!

So ideas like using social media for marketing are not going to work according to him, and he refers to his lengthy tenure at the helm of a beast he barely understands. He is also the kind of person who is baffled by people who own electric bikes instead of a car (i.e. me) and is baffled about how to use social media. He has in the past openly told me that he doesn’t see marketing as being essential for selling things.

He is also incredibly toxic and negative about any idea that anyone has – not just mine. So I guess that is some consolation. It’s not only me who needs to deal with it.

There is more though – he fails to take anything seriously that any female member of the team says. As though by virtue of having a vagina it means I am less able to reason or offer workable strategic advice than men can. Yes…these dinosaurs do exist, fortunately, slowly but surely they are dying out.

However, tomorrow I need to now present all of my strategic thinking along with digital training to a broader group of over 100 managers. However, I don’t have the support from the 1 person I need it from – this guy… my own manager.

Anyway this is all such a load of bullshit – all of it. Even writing it on here feels like I’m muddying up an incredibly pristine body of water – my own blog- with a whole load of absolute fucking nonsense.

It doesn’t need to be this way and it isn’t for the other 3 managers- who love me and think what I do is amazing. I also love them and I love these aspects of my job, which are meaningful, creative, fun and challenging.

Tomorrow for the big training I need to deliver – I plan on opting out of it somehow – like by feigning ‘women’s problems’ I am betting he won’t ask further questions, given his distaste and lack of understanding of women. Making up an excuse may sound self-defeating, but in the face of this person who is supposed to be my champion but who is actually my adversary, what other choice do I have? I feel so scared of doing this without this person’s support and knowing he will be there in the background shaking his head and being a total dick about what I am saying will seriously put me off.

Any advice you can give will help me and perhaps give me the chutzpah to actually go through with it tomorrow…

10 thoughts on “How do you handle a boss who doesn’t believe in you or trust you?

  1. Ugh, I’m so sorry that you have three bosses who love you, but it’s the toxic one who’s taken up residence and is poisoning your confidence. But don’t let him win by not being there! From where I’m standing, it actually looks like you have all the power in a presentation situation – everybody is turned toward you, and listening to your good ideas, not paying attention to the monkey making faces in the back. And if they happen to notice? They’ll think even worse of him for being such a dinosaur that he doesn’t understand what you’re proposing. And if just seeing his sad negative face saps your energy, just imagine him in one of those rubber dinosaur costumes, waving his tiny little arms around.

    1. Jonelle you are so lovely for writing these words of encouragement. This actually helped me and gave me courage on the day. I did end up doing it and didn’t chicken out. Instead of muttering in the back, he actually came onto the stage and undermined things I said a few times while I was giving the talk, but I did handle it well and told him to sit down, he had his time to talk, now it was my time to talk. People loved the talk and all of my ideas for marketing and it was only him who didn’t. What a load of bullshit and drama I wish I didn’t have to have in my life or pollute my blog with. I am really grateful for your response, it helped me on the day. lots of love

  2. Sorry to hear that, i would most likely tell him to f off! But i can’t keep a job so that’s not really very helpful for you, i guess? Maybe, say to him next time you see him: “why did we have 2 hour strategic marketing plan for the next five years if you just want to do want you’ve been doing for the last 20 years. So let’s not think of any new ways to do anything because let’s hope like hell that same old shit works again?” Maybe don’t say that to his face because you will get sacked because that’s just a very long-winded way to say f off! Sorry I’m not very good at all, unless you really want to lost the job? 🙂

    1. Hahaha I love this William thank you for these lovely and encouraging words. I actually went through with the talk, it went really well, he kept getting up and interrupting me during the talk to undermine me – but I told him to sit down. I won over the crowd though which is great! I won’t tell him to fuck off to his face….just think it when I see him LOL hahaha Thank you for your support on this x

  3. It struck me that there is a similar mind-set between people who argue that “things have always been this way” (and therefore always will be) and the climate-change deniers who say “This change is all within natural variation” (and therefore this change isn’t) ….

  4. Yes….a stubbornness of seeing the world as it has always been through a warped lens, a reluctance to embrace change, and a suspicion for innovation and new ideas.

  5. These are the kinds of people who are not even a footnote in history….if that is any consolation.

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