What's your Problem?

MY NEW FIRM IS IN CHAOS. I left a good company to join a start-up as the office manager. Unfortunately, the organisation is shambolic. Meetings are missed, clients are let down, and although there are just five of us in the office, internal communication only seems to exist between the boss and his deputy.

by Jeremy Bulmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I've spoken to the boss, but he doesn't realise a small company needs all hands on deck. He thinks I'm fussing over unnecessary detail. I'm frustrated and angry, but feel there must be a way to change this haphazard office culture.

A: I wish I could offer you hope, but I can't. If your boss and his deputy were just as shambolic but actually recognised and regretted the fact, there'd be grounds for some optimism. They could turn to you for your managerial skills and you could probably straighten things out before disaster finally struck. But you have the supreme misfortune to work for an authoritarian boss, with a crony as a deputy, who is totally blind to his own deficiencies.

I hope you left your last, good, company on friendly terms; they might welcome you back as soon as a vacancy occurs. I do hope so.

Jeremy Bullmore's responses to work dilemmas in MT are collected in his new book Another Bad Day at the Office? (Penguin, pounds 5.99)

Please address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: Management Today, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP. Or e-mail: management.today@haynet.com Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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