Post # 1
I started a new job about a year ago at a non profit and a big part of it is to coordinate all of our events along with my boss. We have an annual golf event that took place about a week after I started last year, so I was involved in none of the planning, didn’t get to see it in action, nothing.
When we first started planning, I asked my boss to walk me through how it is done at our org. She told me she didn’t remember much even though she had done two of them since working there. She told me to look through the old event folder, but there wasn’t much information there. I talked with the golf course, but the pro they worked with in the past was no longer there, so I couldn’t gather much info that way. So I set up a meeting with her and asked her to walk me through everything that she remembered from the previous years. She did, but it wasn’t very extensive and she seemed distracted and was all over the place. I walked her through the entire event as I understood it and she said she thought it sounded right.
Now lately she has been asking me really random things. “Did you start putting together such and such yet?” Things that I never found documented anywhere and that she never told me about. Every time I tell her that I didn’t find that information anywhere or didn’t know it was something I needed to factor in, she says something like I really need to be more on top of things or I should have taken the initiative to look the information up so.
How am I supposed to know about this stuff when it is not documented anywhere, I have never done the event before, and she hasn’t told me about it?? Am I missing something here? I have told her that there is no way for me to know that I am excluding something if there was no way for me to know it was even something to factor in. I don’t really know how I can explain this more clearly to her!
I’m not the only one she has these problems with, she is really scattered in general but it is putting me under a lot of stress and making me feel incompetent!
This topic was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by rebeccasum.
Post # 2
I would say something like, “boss, can we have a meeting to discuss the details of the event? There seems to be some miscommunication that I would like to clear up. Also, it seems as though the details of the event aren’t thoroughly documented, and I would like to work together to create a more detailed document so that future events are easier to plan.”
Post # 3
As both a former boss and an employee, I can sympathize with your situation.
It’s likely that your boss is too busy to be dealing with the details and that someone else besides her was handling various components of the event.
Was there any type of committee involved in the planning last year? Is there an administrative assistant who may have been involved? Is it possible that the person you replaced (if your position is not new) is the person who handled all the details last year?
Could you check any other sources of information such as past procurement records that may indicate vendors that were booked to provide services for last year’s event?
Are there any news articles in internal or external news letters or media clippings/news videos that you could go through that may provide clues?
Can you develop a very detailed matrix showing everything that you’re aware of that needs to be done, along with the status of that item, and present it to your boss so that she can then try to fill in any gaps? Seeing your plans laid out in black and white may jar her memory on some missing pieces.
Post # 4
Someone else did take care of the details, but these are big things that she didn’t tell me. For example, every year the owner of a certain company donates his vacation home as the hole-in-one prize. I’m supposed to coordinate with the guy on the details but she made no mention at all about this and it wasn’t documented anywhere either.
Talking to the committee is a good suggestion, but we are a month away from the event and I feel like at this point it would seem like we don’t know what we are doing. Their focus though is on scholarships and I don’t think they’d have the details I need. They aren’t really involved in any of the planning.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
I have a supervisor just like this! She is so scatter-brained and quick to play the blame game (not just to me either). I try to make sure I email her about certian important things to ensure my ass is covered. I wish I had advice or a solution for you though. :/
Post # 6
Sounds like this is your responsbility now. Which is also your opportunity to shine. So I think that you need to be a little more proactive in your approach and less reliant upon your boss for direction–especially because if you stay in the job, you’re also putting together a record that is actually useable for you to use next year.
If she’s asking you about putting together xyz, it suggests that you might need a timeline. Sit down with a calendar and work backwards. Plan out how YOU would do things, with notes to ask her if your instincts are correct. It’s not really that much different from planning a wedding. You’ll probably need the invitations to go out 8 weeks or so in advance. You’ll need a launch-date for the info on your website. You’ll need a caterer and a budget and a deadline for headcounts. Do you have a budget? If the golf course pro who was handling it last year is gone, your next question is “okay, so who’s my point-person now?” (And I would arrange an in-person meeting with these people if I were you) It seems a little strange to me that the golf course doens’t have someone there who is some kind of events coordinator–what about liability and insurance and events contracts?
Basically, do all the legwork that you possibly can, then present your progress to your boss. When I did this sort of thing (which was a long time ago!) my boss and I had weekly meetings just to make sure we were on the same page. At the beginning and nearing the event, our meetings would be longer, but sometimes they might only be “nothing new to report” check-ins.
Post # 7
I had a boss like this during my internship years ago; I almost walked out towards the end of it.
I think you should sit down with her again and go over everything you have, and say “am I missing anything???” Then email her everything you guys went over after the meeting so she has a written log of it.
Post # 8
do you have experience doing this kind of thing before?
its not too late, but you really need to sit down and have a very detailed plan of what’s done / vetted, in progress, needs starting.
Post # 9
I do have experience in this, but a lot of things she forgets to tell me are unique to how we do the event, not just how a golf event works in general. It isn’t really basic logistics that are the problem, it’s things like a drawing they have during the program. I went over the program with her, didn’t know about the drawing, so didn’t include it. She said it was perfect. A few days later she asked me if I had gotten the raffle tickets for the drawing. I asked what she was talking about and she said that there is always a drawing during the program. It’s that kind of thing. It was obviously missing from the program when I went over it with her, but she completely missed it.
Post # 10
Yeah, it’s annoying, but all you can do is fix the mistake.
You can’t take it personally as a kind of “I didn’t know! She’s blaming me/she thinks I’m making mistakes!”. You just have to make it happen. I think she realizes that you don’t have the information and she’s probably having to remember in bits and pieces. Focus on solving shooting the ducks when they fly.
Post # 11
I totally get it. I would just prefer an “oh yeah I forgot to mention that before” rather than “you should be more on top of this” ie: apparently gain the ability to look back in time to what was done in previous years?? 🙂