Vice President of Nitpicking

A reader from Rolla, Missouri, writes…

I had a boss who insisted I rewrite everything I did. This woman had no college degree and a poor understanding of business writing.  She had been promoted only because they’d run out of people willing to do the job.  I was trained in what I did and had a good track record, but as far as she was concerned I couldn’t write a simple sentence.  My job degraded to endlessly going over papers with a ruler to catch any “mistake,” typo, or formatting issue.

Ideas such as a style guide or standard business usage were alien to her.  What could have taken a few hours stretched out for weeks, as she sent everything back marked in red.  I felt trapped in an English composition hell by a person who’s main skill was gossip.

The last straw was a huge pile of documents I had turned in months ago were returned to me.  She had never even looked at them and now I was to go over them all again!  I did, and no surprise, they still weren’t good enough.  I quit, and this idiot had the nerve to call me up wanting me to rewrite my resignation letter! 

That’s a new one on me. Rewriting one’s letter of resignation! You gotta love it. The vaccilation between vagueness, inattention and laziness and obsessive-compulsive correctionitis is not uncommon. Zooming from one pole to another is classic Crazy Boss.

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