In the US and for those celebrating Christmas, today is the day that people flock back to the malls to return bad gifts or to buy the gifts they wanted but did not get.
"Oh, honey, the sales are too good to pass up."
(Translate: "I wanted the ________ and I am going to get it. Thanks for the socks and vacuum cleaner. Not!")
Anyway, the plethora of stupid after-Christmas sales ads got me thinking about how nice it would be if we could return or regift managers we don't want or have a use for. There ought to be at least one time a year that we could go into the HR office and request to work for another manager.
Kind of like kick ball in grade school. (I was the dork that nobody wanted on their team but sat next to in class because I got good grades and wrote real big.)
Alas, this is business. It's serious, and if we were intended to enjoy it, the authorities in the matter would not have called it work. Bunk! I think we should acknowledge the need to shuffle assignments and teams every now and then. That said, if a manager is bad for everyone (not just a poor fit with you), then he or she needs to go, not get regifted.
In some ways, we regift bad managers all the time. We change their roles - they get "special projects," or get pushed on to an unsuspecting unit in another part of the company. This practice never works. Bad managers need to go!
That said, sometimes it's just a bad fit - the personalities are like oil and water. Two great people CAN become crappy teammates.
I remember someone I worked for that was like this. Looking back, I can she that she was talented, but I did not like working for her one bit. We were both professionals and made it work, but it was not a great union and I am sure neither of us did our best work.
And that's the real point. I know that we need our jobs and we need a stable paycheck, but life's too short. If we can, we should try to work with people that help us be our best.
I was talking to a couple people about some potential work on Thursday. I would love to get to know them and do great work. The vibe was good - you know what I mean?
OK, so we can't just waltz into HR, return our managers and request a new one. But take some time today to think about your work situation and what you might be able to do to spend more time working with people who you like being around. If another assignment would we a welcome change, ask for ti! You never know what might happen unless you try.