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Old 08.03.2012, 20:55
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Am I too picky with boss?

Hi everyone, I am some king of specilist in my area and I was hired +1 year ago by a Swiss retailer in order to build analytics capability. The role is (or looks) permanent.

I have a German boss who is a fine person, knowledgeable, open to dialogue and good coach. No problems with the guy, on the contrary, he is an above average boss and I'm happy to work with him.

However, the Managing Director is Swiss. A guy that came up the ladder, from manual-technical worker to top boss. The problem is, he went up professionally but unfortunately, his manners, general culture and instruction did not follow.

Just to provide you a glance into this guy's profile:

Wears short sleeve shirt with tie, sometimes carrying a pen in the shirt's pocket
The knot of the tie is sometimes yellowish (accumulated fat and dirt)
Believes it is his duty to know about everything, consequently, he never asks for opinions, the guy just asks for info, then decides. His subordinates are, invariably executioners, not thinkers (or if they are, they hide those qualities).
Always orders Swiss wine when inviting (even though there is more value per SFr with other origins).
Barely speaks anything other than German, therefore, prefers to only deal within Switzerland or in Germany.
Is mostly unaware of what happens in the rest of the world.
Does not understand basic knowledge like what is a standard deviation. Since he doesn't ask questions, you have to somehow notice he doesn't understand the concept, then you have to explain in such a way that it doesn't become evident that you are teaching him Stats 101.

The list can go on and on. It makes me wonder what is the future of the company. I mean, it can't be good, can it?

I think I'm quitting the job. I was informed that I will be reporting to him in a long term project.

Am I right? am I too picky?
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Old 08.03.2012, 21:00
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

If you don't feel it, leave it. But find something else first.
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Old 08.03.2012, 21:14
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

Some of your concerns seem valid.
Others make you sound like a terrible snob.
The way you have listed those varied concerns do not point to a very specialist and analytic mind.
Only you know the answer.
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Old 08.03.2012, 21:52
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

Umm - welcome to the forum.

If you're a specialist in your area (a king one at that! yeah, I know you probably meant "kind") then you should be able to judge for yourself the potential of the company. Odd that you'd pick a website like this one and jump straight in with such an odd question. However, looking at your list of complaints, you do seem to find it tricky to work out what's relevant and what isn't.

"Company goes bankrupt due to owner's propensity to wear short sleeve shirts" is a headline even The Local wouldn't run (because they can't spell propensity ...).
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Old 08.03.2012, 21:58
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Am I right? am I too picky?
You're too picky.

Guys who've worked their way up from the bottom are usually well respected in CH. They've usually made it to the top for a reason, and they don't tend to be complete b*llsh*tters, unlike some just-out-of-uni consultants. That they haven't been to finishing school is the norm. I mean, he does drink wine (albeit Swiss) instead of beer

Frankly, some of your complaints make you sound like a complete toff. Short sleeves with tie... good Lord, we're going to lose the Empire next!
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:02
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

No matter how much of a bad dresser or moron you think he is, you need to respect him - he is your boss.

btw Switzerland produces excellent wine that's good value for money too.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:14
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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No matter how much of a bad dresser or moron you think he is, you need to respect him - he is your boss.

btw Switzerland produces excellent wine that's good value for money too.
I agree and disagree with you at the same time Some Swiss wine is excellent, but respect must be earnt not just expected because of a job title and/or seniority.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:17
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Wears short sleeve shirt with tie, sometimes carrying a pen in the shirt's pocket
case closed. why haven't you quit already??

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No matter how much of a bad dresser or moron you think he is, you need to respect him - he is your boss.

btw Switzerland produces excellent wine that's good value for money too.
i disagree. respect is earned, not bestowed.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:20
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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btw Switzerland produces excellent wine that's good value for money too.
Well, since I am a specialist over the past year on local white wines...I'd have to say that, yes, some of the Swiss wines are good value, but many of them aren't and are outclassed by other cheaper, foreign and tastier wines. I'm currently enjoying a Chilean Sauv Blanc that is under 5chf which is drier, fruitier and has a more pleasing taste than many of the similarly priced (though none under 5 chf) Swiss wines. But, I think the sentiment by the OP meant that this particular person is a bit of a nationalist...buying only Swiss because it's Swiss, not that it's better or tastier or even cheaper. I have a MiL like that in a different country so...I can empathize.

As for the dude wearing short-sleeved button downs with dirty ties...well, he sounds like a nerd to me but if he's a nerd in dress but not in knowledge, I completely agree that it's a terrible fate to be micromanaged by a nerd wannabe who doesn't know the basics.

Don't worry about the company, worry about if you can stay sane being managed by someone you have little to learn from. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. (and left)
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:33
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adrian, I meant "king" not "kind"

May sound strange but some nights I dream about the yellowish tie knot.
Shit.
Swiss houses have mirrors don't they?

You are right tart
I was taking the nationalistic angle on the wine selection
I'm quite sure he votes SVP

Last edited by jrspet; 08.03.2012 at 22:36. Reason: Merging of successive posts
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:36
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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adrian, I meant "king" not "kind"

May sound strange but some nights I dream about the yellowish tie knot.
Shit.
Swiss houses have mirrors don't they?
Ok, so I agree, you sound like a snob/jerk
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:36
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Wears short sleeve shirt with tie, sometimes carrying a pen in the shirt's pocket
...

Always orders Swiss wine when inviting (even though there is more value per SFr with other origins).
I'm not sure what you're on about. You may have a valid point somewhere in there, but frankly I don't think the above two help you make your case.

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Does not understand basic knowledge like what is a standard deviation.
Standard deviation is one of those things academics use to approximate and model real life. Other people just understand stuff without knowing what the nerds call it.

Warren Buffett did not get a PhD in Finance. Steve Jobs was'nt a computer science graduate...

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The list can go on and on. It makes me wonder what is the future of the company. I mean, it can't be good, can it?

I think I'm quitting the job. I was informed that I will be reporting to him in a long term project.

Am I right? am I too picky?
Hard to say. The guy may actually be a duffer. Or he may be a diamond in the rough. What you describe is hardly enough to judge.

Yes you're being too picky; and you're picking on the wrong things too.

although - If you find it difficult to get along with him or respect him, then yes it may be best to move on.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:40
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Ok, so I agree, you sound like a snob/jerk
Oh, c'mon Nil, in a country where folks drive expensive cars and women are dressed to the 9's just to go shopping? I'm a nerd, and both I and my husband are not big on dressing up...even HE wears clean shirts. We are what we are perceived to be and if you are a nerd, looks are far less important...what's important is if you are knowledgeable. If you aren't, no matter how you dress, you're not going to get respect and if you don't get respect...well, you're going to lose people who are thinking they're wasting they're time.

I understand the OP...jump son.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:42
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Well, since I am a specialist over the past year on local white wines...I'd have to say that, yes, some of the Swiss wines are good value, but many of them aren't and are outclassed by other cheaper, foreign and tastier wines. I'm currently enjoying a Chilean Sauv Blanc that is under 5chf which is drier, fruitier and has a more pleasing taste than many of the similarly priced (though none under 5 chf) Swiss wines. But, I think the sentiment by the OP meant that this particular person is a bit of a nationalist...buying only Swiss because it's Swiss, not that it's better or tastier or even cheaper.
We had a Valais wine at a recent work event that was very nice. I saw it in Coop for 6.50 a bottle. I love Aigle wine, starting at around 7 and my favourite, Aigle Les Murailles can be found for 15 a bottle. Ticino Merlot, Tamborini/San Zeno are excellent to.

I'm on this thread for the wine
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:43
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

Thanks everybody for your comments.
I'm quitting. Easy-peasy, no wife, no kids, no attachments.
Shit, can't stand the guy.

Ignorance compounded by total lack of style kills me.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:44
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Wears short sleeve shirt with tie, sometimes carrying a pen in the shirt's pocket
In my previous job, I had to wear a tie. When it was hot, I would frequently wear a short-sleeved shirt with it. A minor fashion crime is a lesser evil than sweaty armpits in the office (although I have to confess I didn't know it was a fashion crime).

You are being too picky, but you have clearly already made your mind up that you can't work with this person, or at least you can't report to him. Given how important relationships are both in doing the job well and in staying sane in the office, you are probably better off not staying !
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:45
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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Warren Buffett did not get a PhD in Finance. Steve Jobs was'nt a computer science graduate...
And neither of them are poor dressers. Not to mention that they weren't direct managers of those who might find their lack of experience distressing. Also, at least of of them was a very charismatic CEO. Dorky Swiss dude doesn't enter into this argument.

(I might also mention that both of the above were gifted LEADERS which this Swiss guy doesn't seem to be...)
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:49
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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women are dressed to the 9's just to go shopping?
No moreso than Walmart cashiers dress!

Tom
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:49
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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We had a Valais wine at a recent work event that was very nice. I saw it in Coop for 6.50 a bottle. I love Aigle wine, starting at around 7 and my favourite, Aigle Les Murailles can be found for 15 a bottle. Ticino Merlot, Tamborini/San Zeno are excellent to.

I'm on this thread for the wine
Hee...try Denner, they have a rather good Fechy white at the moment for just over 5chf. Of course, I can't remember the name at the moment...I'm not a red wine drinker as even one glass of it gives me a barfy hangover the next morning.
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Old 08.03.2012, 22:51
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Re: Am I too picky with boss?

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In my previous job, I had to wear a tie. When it was hot, I would frequently wear a short-sleeved shirt with it. A minor fashion crime is a lesser evil than sweaty armpits in the office (although I have to confess I didn't know it was a fashion crime).

You are being too picky, but you have clearly already made your mind up that you can't work with this person, or at least you can't report to him. Given how important relationships are both in doing the job well and in staying sane in the office, you are probably better off not staying !
Well, you can sleep tight, short sleeve shirts are no fashion crime. It is all how and the style of it.
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