Q: My editor is a real fascist. She micro-manages everything I do. She never admits when she's wrong or when she makes mistakes. Rather, she places the blame on other people.
Working with her has become the worst. The other day, she handed me a story assignment at 4 p.m. She'd been sitting on it all day and wait to the last minute to give it to me. When I showed obvious signs of dissatisfaction, she told our top editor that I don't like to work hard.
Speaking to the woman is like speaking to a brick wall. She never listens or considers intelligent suggestions. My biggest annoyance is that she edits my writing so that it fits her style. That doesn't seem right. If she doesn't like the way I writer, why did she hire me?
Once, she sat down and had a one-on-one meeting with me. She said I shouldn't complain about working 10-hour days. She looked at my time sheet and said, "You haven't even been working that much over time. I see you only worked nine hours OT last week."
I wanted to pull my hair out and scream.
As you can see, I'm all over the place with this letter. I guess my question is: When is enough enough. At what point do I declare mutiny and rebel, quit, walk out or get fired?
A: Once upon a time, I was unhappy (though not as unhappy as you are) with the way some things were going for me and Becky Baybrook, then on the human resources team with Knight Ridder, told me that when things get bad, we have three choices:
- Change the situation
- Get used to it
- Get out.
I though the advice was a little harsh, but it works.
It sounds as though your situation is not going to change. Mutinies are good for fantasies, but they almost never work. The top boss clearly listens more to your editor than to you. So, changing the situation is not an option.
Anyone who calls his editor a fascist and who is thinking about pulling hair -- his own or the editor's -- is not going to get used to the situation.
You're at Option Three: Time to go.
Be in charge of that process. Get your resume and work samples together, get them out and start interviewing.
Leave on your own terms and your own timing. Try not to get fired. It doesn't sound as though there would be much severence for you, and that will raise questions when you interview.
When you walk out the door, don't slam it. Remember, this is not a situation you can change -- that is why you're leaving -- so hurling a few insults back over your shoulder won't change anything. It might make you feel better, but they will fall on deaf ears. It's not worth your effort. Just find a good job and move onto it without investing any more emotion in the one you'll be leaving.
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