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Unread 08-24-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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Default Heard my boss lying about me to his supervisors...what can I do?

This might be a little long, I apologize.

Some background: I work for a small nonprofit organization. My direct supervisor is our executive director and almost all of the work I do is assigned by and approved by him. He is rather difficult to work with, as he procrastinates and will not approve things I've worked on until the very last minute before a deadline, will request lots of changes at the very last minute, etc. I've been working for him for 18+ months and have yet to find a way to get him to not wait until the last minute regarding most projects. I've been pretty flexible (staying late, working extra at home) in order to get stuff accomplished by set deadlines but it's a tough situation all around.

My boss answers to the nonprofit's board, and he has an annual performance review by the board's executive committee. That review was this week and took place in our office. The office is small, and the walls are VERY thin. I could hear every word of his performance review in my office without moving from my desk.

In his review, the board accused him of not accomplishing a certain project they'd agreed to finish last year. He essentially admitted to not accomplishing it....and blamed me for it. Saying basically, "I'm not sure why she didn't get that done. It's a mystery to me." The board discussed ways to "better manage" me to get projects done.

Until I heard this through the wall, I had NO IDEA about this specific project. It was never assigned to me, and this is the first I've ever heard of it. I searched through old emails and found no mention of this project.

So now I don't know what to do. What he said about me and my work was a blatant lie and made me look bad to the board (who can approve pay raises for me, decide to fire me, etc.). I work VERY hard, often well over my set work schedule to get things accomplished for my boss, and he basically threw me under the bus to cover his ***.

I've been looking for another job but haven't found anything yet. Aside from continuing my job hunt, is there anything I can do? What would you do? Should I say something to him? To the board? Help!!!
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Unread 08-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Heard my boss lying about me to his supervisors...what can I do?

Have you met, do you know any of the board? Do any of them wander in from time-to-time or do you have public functions/parties when they show up to glad-hand givers? I would try to make friends with one of them, if you don't already feel comfortable with one and approach them, tell them you "couldn't help but hear" and what you heard and what's going on. They may not be able to "do" anything but they can certainly speak up for you if the pay, etc. situations come up and be used for a reference instead of the lying-to-save-his-own-behind Executive Director?
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Unread 08-24-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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Unread 08-24-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Heard my boss lying about me to his supervisors...what can I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perna View Post
Have you met, do you know any of the board? Do any of them wander in from time-to-time or do you have public functions/parties when they show up to glad-hand givers? I would try to make friends with one of them, if you don't already feel comfortable with one and approach them, tell them you "couldn't help but hear" and what you heard and what's going on. They may not be able to "do" anything but they can certainly speak up for you if the pay, etc. situations come up and be used for a reference instead of the lying-to-save-his-own-behind Executive Director?
Unfortunately I only see and interact with them a couple of times a year. There is no one I have a particularly good relationship with. I may try to chat one up and try to become friendly at our next event but that isn't for a couple months still.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Heard my boss lying about me to his supervisors...what can I do?

Write to your boss's supervisor, be honest and say that you overheard the conversation and explain how you feel, that the blame has been put on you when you didn't even know about the project. They need to know what your boss has just done as dishonesty is not a good trait for any business. Hugs
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Unread 08-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Heard my boss lying about me to his supervisors...what can I do?

I don't know when you come up for review but I would definitely try to get another job before anything might affect you and then give the reason in your termination letter, copy to the board president (not to be "mean" but to inform him -- I would also state in my letter that I did not confront my boss because there are no checks and balances in place to protect you and they might want to figure out how to put some of those in?).

I would also start a work "diary"/journal of projects assigned, when they are assigned, etc. so if you cannot find another job you can at least protect yourself in writing; it's like winning/losing at the race track, you have to have a written record to claim it with the IRS, can't just verbally lie like your boss did.

If you cannot find another job, then when an issue comes up you can expose the whole thing along with your work journal and see where the chips fall, but only if you have no other option.
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Unread 03-13-2014, 04:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Heard my boss lying about me to his supervisors...what can I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dontstopbelieving View Post
This might be a little long, I apologize.
Some background: I work for a small nonprofit organization. ... Help!!!
Wow, you have a lot to deal with. This kind of situation is something I deal with a lot with my clients here in the UK. There is no space here to go into huge detail (and in fact, I've written an entire book on it - see my profile) but here are some thoughts:

1. Use goal congruency to show your boss how you can both have what you want. Work out what thy want, and show them how treating you properly will motivate and enable you to give them exactly what they want for themselves. If you feel it's right, show them the converse is also true.

2. Try to develop a relationship with them - perhaps based on your new-found mutual goals.

3. Collect evidence - preferably written - to lock real-world events into focus. There are various ways to do this without it looking contrived.

4. Build alliances around your boss so that you develop a platform of credibility and respect with the rest of your organisation.

There's so much else I could say - about managing stress, diffusing irrational behaviours, staying strong to fight this battle daily, etc. but I hope that may be of some help to you for now.

Good Luck!
Chris
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