DEAR HARRIETTE: I just had a big argument with my boss over what I felt was an injustice done to me during a conference call with a client. I am the one who did all the work on this project, and my boss interrupted me as I was making a presentation and basically took over and acted like it was all his idea. I was infuriated, so I told him as much. We ended up arguing; he claims that every project is his project. He had told me that I was supposed to present.
I feel like I should apologize for blowing up, but I do want to come to an agreement with him for how we present in meetings. I don’t want to be the one to do all the grunt work only to have him take all the credit, especially since he presented something totally different to me about how things were going to be. What should I do? -- Getting on the Same Page
DEAR GETTING ON THE SAME PAGE: You should apologize for blowing up. That’s never helpful in any negotiation or point of clarification. Then ask your boss what his expectations are around presentations. Point out to him what he told you when you first started working together that led to your assumption that you should take the lead in that meeting. Tell him you want to do a good job, and you consider that presenting your work to clients is part of that. Ask him to give you space in meetings to make the key presentation, and he can take over from there. Or conversely, he may want to set you up and let you take over by providing details. Figure it out together.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am the highest producer on my team, even now during COVID-19. My boss constantly tells me what a good job I am doing and thanks me for bringing in business. I appreciate that. I feel like he doesn’t cut me a break at other times, though.
I have one downfall: I am not very good with time. I admit that I sometimes show up to staff meetings late. I have even been known to skip a meeting if I am tired or get distracted by something else I am working on. I check in with my boss or co-workers afterwards to get caught up, but recently I have gotten complaints. I realize being late isn’t good, but nobody else is pulling in the big bucks like me. Don’t you think I deserve a pass? -- Wanting a Pass
DEAR WANTING A PASS: In a word, no. You do not get a pass for being late, no matter how effective you are at bringing in business. Think about it. If everybody else has to show up to meetings on time and participate in your office culture in the same way, so should you. A rare exception could be if you had to stay out late with a client or work on a project until the wee hours of the night AND your boss knew you would be late or absent in advance. Otherwise, you still fall under the same rules as the rest of the team. You should show up with a smile on your face, ready to inspire others to step it up rather than resent you, which is probably how they feel right now.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.