View Full Version : ADD Boss - But She Doesn't Know/Won't Admit It


Doranista
04-09-16, 02:43 PM
Hi all.

Perhaps someone here can give me a few new tools to use as the employee of a woman with raging ADHD.

Allow me to preface my remarks with a couple of points:
(1) I am the parent of an almost 20-year old who also deals with ADD. She was never formally diagnosed nor medicated, but she has all the classic symptoms, which we deal with/manage daily. We do all right together. I understand her most of the time, and now that we're past the really rocky early teen years, I think she realizes she can trust me to have her back. I mention this as a way of indicating that I'm not the sort of person who can't adapt to or help navigate the personality of someone with ADD. Granted, my boss is not my child. :p

(2) I've been working in this position for 3.5 years. In that time, I've seen 4 other office assistants come and go. One was on her way out when I came in and had become, after just under 3 years there, openly hostile about the work environment. One left after 18 months. Two left after 4 months of employment. The newest hire has been there 4 months now and admitted to me last week that she wonders, a couple of times per week, if she made the right decision in coming to work there.

In truth, I'd be gone already, too, if I'd found another opportunity. I can't afford to leave until I have something else lined up. Until then, I have to "tough it out." But, my resentment toward my employer has grown to the point that I'm reaching out here in hopes of finding some new ideas to help me manage this very difficult situation.

Among the MOST CHALLENGING aspects of working for this person is that she has *no idea* she's at the root of the office mania. She could be the spokesperson for an ADHD awareness campaign, but if her face showed up on a poster she'd swear it wasn't her. It would be one thing if I could look her in the eye and say, "Person, this is your ADHD talking. I need a minute to get myself collected, and so do you."

One of the employees who left pointed out to her, in a direct, professional,"exit-conversation", that she should find ways to manage her ADD. Some time later, I sat and listened to my boss tell me all the reasons she clearly does NOT have ADHD, and how her brother and father, both of whom are doctors, agree.

Another very difficult component is that this woman is one of the most self-absorbed people I've ever met. EVERYTHING is about her. Perhaps that is another symptom of the condition? Regardless, it is one of the more frustrating components of the office environment. Example: Me - "Oof, I came down with a cold over the weekend. Glad I'm better today so I can get some work done." Her - "Oh, gosh. Whatever you do, don't you dare get me sick. I do not have time to be sick." Um...really?!

So there it is. Forgive the long post, and apologies in advance if any of this is offensive to those of you who also struggle with these symptoms. Like I said, I do understand how complicated your lives can be, and how hard it can be to "get along" with the demands of the work world. But, at least you acknowledge that you have issues and are here attempting to find ways to deal with them. In the case of my boss, it's a matter of utter denial.

What can I do to keep myself from growing increasingly frustrated? What would YOU recommend one of your employees do? Are there resources for people like me who can't afford to walk away from a job but might not be able to afford not to?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I'm ready to "listen." :confused:

kilted_scotsman
04-09-16, 04:20 PM
It's very difficult to be in a power dynamic relationship with someone with ADD if they don't accept they have a problem.

The most important thing is for you to develop strong boundaries.... part of this is accepting your boss is on the autistic spectrum and likely has low awareness of interpersonal dynamics. This is likely to have produced a very "armoured" and defensive way of being.... with high stress levels and a sense of anxiety and insecurity that can result in aggression and denial.... it's important to realise that this comes from a place of fear.... so responding aggressively is going to escalate things..... direct confrontation will rarely work..... stay calm and problem/solution focussed and leave the personal stuff out..... this is called staying "Adult"...

Once you've got a grip of this then you can try boss-training..... which requires considerable skill and understanding of the bosses way of being.

Kilted

TheGreatKing
04-09-16, 04:40 PM
It's very difficult to be in a power dynamic relationship with someone with ADD if they don't accept they have a problem.

The most important thing is for you to develop strong boundaries.... part of this is accepting your boss is on the autistic spectrum and likely has low awareness of interpersonal dynamics. This is likely to have produced a very "armoured" and defensive way of being.... with high stress levels and a sense of anxiety and insecurity that can result in aggression and denial.... it's important to realise that this comes from a place of fear.... so responding aggressively is going to escalate things..... direct confrontation will rarely work..... stay calm and problem/solution focussed and leave the personal stuff out..... this is called staying "Adult"...

Once you've got a grip of this then you can try boss-training..... which requires considerable skill and understanding of the bosses way of being.

Kilted

I personnaly agree with Kilted, but i am not comfortable unofficial diagnosing someone, and keep in mind i am not saying that you aren't right but if indeed you suspect this and other workers do as well, then isn't it possible to speak to human resource about this situation.(if you have hr)
It only takes one person to stand up, and on top of this you won't just be helping others but you will also help your boss, if they truly have an undiagnose case of the disorder. up to you, good luck.:):grouphug:

peripatetic
04-09-16, 05:42 PM
If I were that person I would not take kindly to people diagnosing me or questioning me about anything to do with my mental health. That's nobody else's business. And, it's never ok for someone to tell me my ADHD (or other mental illness) is acting up...not an employee, a co worker, a relative...not anyone. Attributing my speech, actions, or comportment to being a function of my mental health issues simply isn't ok--and I'm actually diagnosed.

I *would* be receptive to getting specific feedback that x action or y behavior creates challenges. That would be the professional thing to do and the onus would then be on me to reflect on how to modify that behavior.

As others suggested, there's also HR. But going in with the position "she has ADHD and so..." is unwise. First off, there are privacy issues around medical diagnosis and care and HR would be foolish to even entertain you diagnosing her. What they could do, however, is ensure your specific concerns about xyz behaviors/actions/speech create challenges for her employees are documented and addressed as appropriate.

Doranista
04-09-16, 05:54 PM
direct confrontation will rarely work..... stay calm and problem/solution focussed and leave the personal stuff out..... this is called staying "Adult"..."

Once you've got a grip of this then you can try boss-training..... which requires considerable skill and understanding of the bosses way of being.

Kilted

I agree, and I believe I do a fairly good job of this. The problem is that it frustrates me enormously from an employee/efficiency point of view. For example, I read somewhere recently (perhaps on this forum?) that many individuals with ADD can't think until they are speaking. This is very true of my boss. In order to give a directive, or answer a question, she needs to verbalize everything, from the very beginning, before she gets to the point. So, let's say I need to clarify whether there are eight or nine widgets needed for a project, so I ask that specific question. "Does this project require eight 8 or 9 widgets?" And, the answer: "So, we're going to be adding 45 ding dongs, and 3 doo dahs, and over on this side, we'll be removing 4 whatsits before so-and-so comes in to do his part of the project. That reminds me, we'll need to email so-and-so to make sure the date is on his radar. And, did we remember to change the date on the calendar for that other meeting? I was going to meet them on Tuesday, but now it's Thursday..." "Yes. But, I just need to know about the widgets. How many widgets?"

:D

So, what I'm asking is are there other, better ways for me to manage these circumstances? You speak of "boss training." Can you be more specific?

Doranista
04-09-16, 06:04 PM
I...i am not comfortable unofficial diagnosing someone...

That's fine. I can appreciate that speculation and labeling can be dangerous. But, I'm forging ahead with this "assumption" all the same. It's more helpful to focus on specifics, imo.

...if indeed you suspect this and other workers do as well, then isn't it possible to speak to human resource about this situation.(if you have hr)

Three person office/small business. Her, me, and one other employee.

Fuzzy12
04-09-16, 06:09 PM
I agree with peri. If she has adhd or not it's really immaterial to you and it's not your place to make her or anyone else aware of it.

Try to deal with just the issues you've got with her. The specific issues that are making your life and your work more difficult. Maybe you can address those with her...or HR.

dvdnvwls
04-09-16, 06:15 PM
me to manage

I just wanted to highlight these three words because they clearly show one part of the situaion you're in. You're not the manager, but you're perhaps feeling thrust into that position.

At least with some bosses, and probably with most of them, it will be very important for you to never seem to be taking charge of anything except what they told you to take charge of. However, doing what you can do without seeming like you're "stepping on her toes" might be necessary.

daveddd
04-09-16, 06:17 PM
I just wanted to highlight these three words because they clearly show one part of the situaion you're in. You're not the manager, but you're perhaps feeling thrust into that position.

At least with some bosses, and probably with most of them, it will be very important for you to never seem to be taking charge of anything except what they told you to take charge of. However, doing what you can do without seeming like you're "stepping on her toes" might be necessary.

i have to do this with my boss, who starts 20 projects a day but never gets anything done

they just need stroked usually

Doranista
04-09-16, 07:14 PM
Perhaps it's not my place to diagnose someone, since I'm not a professional. That said, I'm not sure how else to frame my questions here. l reached out for support with the hope that I could address my own growing resentments and learn how to be more effective in my management of this situation. But this may not the best place for me to field these questions.

I will add, however, that the office environment in which I work is a small business. Just my employer, myself, and one other employee. So there is no HR. There is no one else in whom to confide or from whom to seek intervention/information.

TheGreatKing
04-09-16, 08:26 PM
If I were that person I would not take kindly to people diagnosing me or questioning me about anything to do with my mental health. That's nobody else's business. And, it's never ok for someone to tell me my ADHD (or other mental illness) is acting up...not an employee, a co worker, a relative...not anyone. Attributing my speech, actions, or comportment to being a function of my mental health issues simply isn't ok--and I'm actually diagnosed.

I *would* be receptive to getting specific feedback that x action or y behavior creates challenges. That would be the professional thing to do and the onus would then be on me to reflect on how to modify that behavior.

As others suggested, there's also HR. But going in with the position "she has ADHD and so..." is unwise. First off, there are privacy issues around medical diagnosis and care and HR would be foolish to even entertain you diagnosing her. What they could do, however, is ensure your specific concerns about xyz behaviors/actions/speech create challenges for her employees are documented and addressed as appropriate.

Well i wouldn't suggest going into Hr with your unofficial diagnoses but i would go in with your concerns about her behavior.

daveddd
04-09-16, 08:28 PM
Perhaps it's not my place to diagnose someone, since I'm not a professional. That said, I'm not sure how else to frame my questions here. l reached out for support with the hope that I could address my own growing resentments and learn how to be more effective in my management of this situation. But this may not the best place for me to field these questions.

I will add, however, that the office environment in which I work is a small business. Just my employer, myself, and one other employee. So there is no HR. There is no one else in whom to confide or from whom to seek intervention/information.

some people got it

i get the don't dx feelings, but i understand where your coming from, the issues are there

like DVD and me mentioned, sometimes you have to nudge them without them knowing it

TheGreatKing
04-09-16, 08:40 PM
Perhaps it's not my place to diagnose someone, since I'm not a professional. That said, I'm not sure how else to frame my questions here. l reached out for support with the hope that I could address my own growing resentments and learn how to be more effective in my management of this situation. But this may not the best place for me to field these questions.

I will add, however, that the office environment in which I work is a small business. Just my employer, myself, and one other employee. So there is no HR. There is no one else in whom to confide or from whom to seek intervention/information.

Well.. no HR...damn.
I had that situation happen to me a few times and personally i just found a different job. Once you found a way out you can give them your 2 weeks and if they ask why, then you can voice your concerns. I do feel your pain but unfortunately she is running things, i am not sure what kind of support i can offer you.

TheGreatKing
04-09-16, 08:49 PM
oh and i guess it also depends how valuable your are to the company, because the more valuable you are, i find the more leverage you have, which just means you can raise up your concern in a neutral environment, of course without calling her out on any disorders she might have, and possibly get somewhere. I personally would tell her how you feel.She most likely doesn't know she is making people feel the way you do and if you tell her i bet you she might understand and you guys might even come to an agreement. If not then i believe that you shouldn't work for that company.

peripatetic
04-09-16, 09:00 PM
I'm confused by your post above. I read through the replies and people are being supportive and offering suggestions. You said in your thread start you were ready to listen, but when people are pointing out the problems with assuming diagnosis you say you're going to do it anyway...

The reason people are suggesting you separate your issues with her from your assumption she's ADHD is *because* we're trying to be helpful. Specifically, helping you to avoid making things worse.

What I wrote above is still the best advice I can give. You didn't mention no HR/she's self employed before people suggested HR.

Dealing with your resentment...if you want to try and change her behavior then I still suggest you identifying specific things that make your work more difficult. With your example of her and your widget question, you could try using email for questions with a concrete answer so her reply, even if it contains a stream of consciousness segue, you can skip to the bit you need. If there's no email option, try approaching her in a neutral moment and letting her know that you could be more efficient and effective in your position if she could be more direct and focused in her communication. If she agrees that it's best for you to be those things, then ask her how you can best keep her on track when she goes off topic.

If she doesn't care if you're more efficient/effective and sees your job as doing what she wants, when she wants, to include listening to her ramble...then, if it's her own company/business, frankly that's her prerogative and if that's too frustrating to work with, you've done what you can and should get your resume/cv in order.

Another idea for dealing with your resentment is talking to a therapist about coping with these feelings. Maybe it goes deeper than your boss and you could explore that. Learning how to let go and focus on what you can control, etc, could be improved with practicing mindfulness--a therapist can teach you how.

Finally, as for whether this is the appropriate place to ask your questions, there's also a non ADHD section you can look into, but it did seem like you wanted input from people with ADHD and in that respect it's certainly not an inappropriate place to ask.

sarahsweets
04-09-16, 09:00 PM
Am I the only one missing something here? I mean I get it, she lives and breathes chaos, is selfish,has an ego issue, scattered, impulsive, wants to be the boss to have control but not do the work..but it really doesnt matter if she has adhd or not. None of us who are diagnosed would ever want to be judged by coworkers on how well we manage our adhd that day, and whether we are qualified to run a business. I am also bipolar, can you imagine if my coworkers saw me being moody and spectulated about whether I am medicated or not? Having a manic episode or not? Especially because you dont know that she has anything. Yes you have a daughter with undiagnosed adhd-like symptoms but adhd is not a cookie cutter disorder. She could just be a self absorbed, micro-managing little twerp. or she could have the most horrible internal pain from issues she desperatley tries to overcome and it spills out at work.

It doesnt make her behavior ok. But its not ok for you to diagnose and then judge her for it.

Little Missy
04-09-16, 09:40 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of find a different job or put up with her. I mean really, what do you hope to accomplish by becoming her diagnostician?:confused:

daveddd
04-09-16, 10:01 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of find a different job or put up with her. I mean really, what do you hope to accomplish by becoming her diagnostician?:confused:

I think the question was advice on dealing with it

Doranista
04-09-16, 10:04 PM
With your example of her and your widget question, you could try using email for questions with a concrete answer so her reply, even if it contains a stream of consciousness segue, you can skip to the bit you need. If there's no email option, try approaching her in a neutral moment and letting her know that you could be more efficient and effective in your position if she could be more direct and focused in her communication. If she agrees that it's best for you to be those things, then ask her how you can best keep her on track when she goes off topic.

This is a very helpful idea. It is definitely more likely that her replies will be focused when she is doing so via email. It won't be an option all the time, but I can work with this at times.

Another idea for dealing with your resentment is talking to a therapist about coping with these feelings. Maybe it goes deeper than your boss and you could explore that. Learning how to let go and focus on what you can control, etc, could be improved with practicing mindfulness--a therapist can teach you how.

Another valuable concept. I have thought, more than once, about my role in this (yes, letting go of control and judgement (as someone else mentioned) would benefit both of us). Unfortunately, therapy is expensive, and I do not have the disposable income available to enlist this option right now. That's one of the reasons I came here.

..it's certainly not an inappropriate place to ask.

Thanks.

Doranista
04-09-16, 10:13 PM
It doesnt make her behavior ok. But its not ok for you to diagnose and then judge her for it.

I hear you. I'll keep trying.

kilted_scotsman
04-10-16, 09:58 AM
Mentioning you think someone might have a mental health issue is not the way to speak to a boss, or anyone that you don't know VERY well.

That being said spotting that someone might have a diagnosable issue can REALLY help in managing your relationship with them. (It doesn't matter whether it's diagnosed or not.... it's the persons decision who to disclose to.)

What follows from the realisation that someone you're working with has a mental health issue is compassion..... they are struggling and sometimes promotion or circumstance pushes someone from a situation they could cope with into one where they can't...

One thing that underpins ALL humanistic counselling/therapeutic methods of interacting with people is the Person-Centred approach.... focussing on "AGE" - Acceptance, Genuineness and Empathy. Acceptance of where the person is right now, empathy with them being in that place, and genuineness in one's response (note this doesn't mean losing the rag with them..... it means being able to voice calmly how they are impacting on you). The Person Centred approach says that using AGE in one's interactions is all that's needed to initiate change.... (personally I feel that it may do but most people don't want to wait that long so adding in other techniques speeds things up......

Moving on from there is using NVC.... Non-Violent Communication.... This is using a series of moves rooted in "AGE" that structures communication with someone to drill down into what is important and gets deeper problems into the open.

It works on
1) Observation..... something happens thats an observable fact.....
2) Feeling.... the incident creates a feeling in you... (This NOT "you make me feel"...... alway use "I" and the feeling is associated with the observed event, not the person/people involved.
3) Need..... the feeling is generated by some deeper need.... so one then says what the need is behind ONE'S OWN feeling..... in a chaotic work environment this may be a need for structure, stability/ safety..... This is the key step..... one is talking about one's OWN needs, not trying to pin stuff on the other person.....
4) Request for something to change.....with acceptance that the person can say no..... but the point is not change.... it's about being able to name things.....The request is NOT a demand.... but it can be VERY difficult for insecure frightened people to see a request as a request.

Boss Training is using common therapeutic tools in a work environment.

acdc01
04-10-16, 10:03 AM
You're not going to be able to deal with it long term and the likelihood of her improving, especially when she seems to strongly deny her weaknesses, is extremely low.

Shame your workplace is so small you can't transfer to a different dept. So all this means you need another job.

Until you find another job, I'd get yourself in as relaxed a mood every day before and after work. Maybe music or something that really calms you. Then when your boss is doing the most annoying, ridiculous things, maybe try watching her actions like you would observe a lab rat or something. By that I mean don't take it personally but maybe try to look at it as if you were on the outside and just realize that's just the way she is and let her weirdness astound you in how unusual she is.

TygerSan
04-10-16, 02:13 PM
Unfortunately, the only person you can control in this situation is *you.* You might be able to fantasize about what would happen if you somehow convinced your boss to get help, but the truth is there's absolutely no way of knowing if it would actually change a darned thing. That she's not willing to seek help, regardless of whatever chaos she lives with, is not something you have any recourse over.

So, basically, as hard as it is to do, you have to work with what you're given. Emails, written communication. anything that helps you get through what you need to do. And maybe (as scary as it sounds) look for a new job, if things are getting out of hand.

I worked in an environment which was incredibly difficult, with someone with similar weaknesses. Again, said person blamed everyone else in the office for the dysfunction. There also wasn't any HR or other place for me to go to lodge a complaint, or work with other people, and it was honestly one of the most soul sucking experiences I've had in my life.

That said, what I learned from that experience was that I have control over myself, and my reaction to others. I have no control over how others react, think or feel. Even if you think you're trying to help, if the person is not receptive to hearing what you have to say, you aren't helping, and whatever you say or do won't have the desired outcome.

InvitroCanibal
04-21-16, 08:53 AM
There are two ways to approach conflict. Perceptual or Conclusion based.

Conclusion based looks like this
"You need to get your ADHD under control. "

Perceptual conflict is when you might say to your boss 1:1," I noticed that most of the people in our office are quitting or looking frustrated. Have you thought about maybe working on a solution? Perhaps we could all meet and discuss it?"

Conclusion based statements gas light the conflict. Perceptual statements help to actually figure out why X doesn't work.

Perceptual based statements focuses on the actions not the person and uses actions as the solution. In this way, it simply looks like evidence without having to decide for the person what it is.

KarmanMonkey
04-21-16, 02:58 PM
If you express your concerns to anyone about a possible issue they might be dealing with, the big factors in determining how it will be received are:

1) Why you're expressing your concerns. Are you talking to them about it because of how the behaviour is affecting you, or are you doing it because you are sensitive to the struggles they're experiencing and want to offer some support?

2) How they feel about their own struggles. It was a major step to even consider the possibilities that my problems were anything other than laziness, lack of discipline, whatever... And anyone who suggested that I might be one of "those people" would've put them on the **** list for sure. In order for me to seek help, I needed to accept the possibility that there was something that needed addressing that went beyond my current methods of coping. And I had to work past the (unwarranted) shame attached to asking for or even accepting help.

3) Your relationship. If you're on a first name basis, chat during your lunch breaks, you know about their family and they know about yours... Then you might be able to broach the subject after testing the waters a few dozen times by talking about mental health or ADD in general terms and seeing how they react.

4) How you ask them about it. One problem all of we ADDers have from time to time is foot-in-mouth disease. Plan how you're going to ask, and even get the help of someone else to craft the message.

As many people have said, what you attribute to ADD could be a miriad of other things. Do you spend time with your boss in other settings? Do they have the same problems at home, at the mall? Very rarely do we see the person's whole life, and even rarer are we able to remain objective and open-minded. All too often we see what we want to, what we fear, or what relates to our own experiences. This is the very same reason people who don't have ADD have such a hard time understanding and being supportive of us.

In the end, rather than dwell on the diagnosis, focus on specifics, and pick your battles. Also make sure the person is receptive to constructive criticism as well.

As far as how to address specific issues with the person:
1) Stick to a specific moment. Don't generalize. Stick to "This morning you said ____", and avoid statements like "You always _____" or "You never _____".

2) Try to express your concerns without stating assumptions about their intent, and without passing judgement. Focus on the facts of what the person said/did, how it affected you, and ask what you can do differently and what you would suggest as a different approach.

Example: This morning when you told me that you didn't have time to talk and I had to come back later, your tone of voice left me feeling like I was intruding, or that my presence was unwelcome or unimportant. I was wondering if in the future you'd prefer if I sent you an e-mail in advance to schedule some face time. I'd like to apologize if I was intruding this morning, and I'm also hoping that you might be able to be more mindful of your tone of voice in the future, now that you know I tend to be quite sensitive to it. (This last bit would've gotten me seriously chewed out by my previous manager)

In the end, I find a diagnosis is helpful in receiving treatment and connecting to like minded people. It is not at all necessary to have a diagnosis in order to discuss the impact of a person's behaviour or to find a solution. Sometimes it helps, but one thing that's a constant battle for us is when people pathologize our behaviour.

Your boss might already have been diagnosed with ADD (or one of the 20 or so other things that get misdiagnosed as ADD), and may already be receiving treatment. If I was doing everything I could to manage my various diagnoses, and someone gave me unsolicited comments about my behaviour, I might end up resenting the advice, the person, and myself.

In other words, unless you're close to the person, their health and diagnosis (or lack thereof) isn't really your business, any more than it would be your place to comment on someone's weight, or cancer, or any other piece of their person, unless they invite those comments. Their behaviour as it affects you is a different matter, but even addressing that needs to be done delicately. Labelling someone with a diagnosis in the workplace, or any unsolicited commentary on a person's health could even be argued to be a form of discrimination or defamation.

I'm not saying any of this to be harsh, and I'm not upset with your belief in the diagnosis; I'm simply encouraging you to be sensitive to the potential risks (socially, legally, and to your job) of focussing on the diagnostic piece.

WildCard7
04-21-16, 04:32 PM
Hi all.

Perhaps someone here can give me a few new tools to use as the employee of a woman with raging ADHD.

Allow me to preface my remarks with a couple of points:
(1) I am the parent of an almost 20-year old who also deals with ADD. She was never formally diagnosed nor medicated, but she has all the classic symptoms, which we deal with/manage daily. We do all right together. I understand her most of the time, and now that we're past the really rocky early teen years, I think she realizes she can trust me to have her back. I mention this as a way of indicating that I'm not the sort of person who can't adapt to or help navigate the personality of someone with ADD. Granted, my boss is not my child. :p

(2) I've been working in this position for 3.5 years. In that time, I've seen 4 other office assistants come and go. One was on her way out when I came in and had become, after just under 3 years there, openly hostile about the work environment. One left after 18 months. Two left after 4 months of employment. The newest hire has been there 4 months now and admitted to me last week that she wonders, a couple of times per week, if she made the right decision in coming to work there.

In truth, I'd be gone already, too, if I'd found another opportunity. I can't afford to leave until I have something else lined up. Until then, I have to "tough it out." But, my resentment toward my employer has grown to the point that I'm reaching out here in hopes of finding some new ideas to help me manage this very difficult situation.

Among the MOST CHALLENGING aspects of working for this person is that she has *no idea* she's at the root of the office mania. She could be the spokesperson for an ADHD awareness campaign, but if her face showed up on a poster she'd swear it wasn't her. It would be one thing if I could look her in the eye and say, "Person, this is your ADHD talking. I need a minute to get myself collected, and so do you."

One of the employees who left pointed out to her, in a direct, professional,"exit-conversation", that she should find ways to manage her ADD. Some time later, I sat and listened to my boss tell me all the reasons she clearly does NOT have ADHD, and how her brother and father, both of whom are doctors, agree.

Another very difficult component is that this woman is one of the most self-absorbed people I've ever met. EVERYTHING is about her. Perhaps that is another symptom of the condition? Regardless, it is one of the more frustrating components of the office environment. Example: Me - "Oof, I came down with a cold over the weekend. Glad I'm better today so I can get some work done." Her - "Oh, gosh. Whatever you do, don't you dare get me sick. I do not have time to be sick." Um...really?!

So there it is. Forgive the long post, and apologies in advance if any of this is offensive to those of you who also struggle with these symptoms. Like I said, I do understand how complicated your lives can be, and how hard it can be to "get along" with the demands of the work world. But, at least you acknowledge that you have issues and are here attempting to find ways to deal with them. In the case of my boss, it's a matter of utter denial.

What can I do to keep myself from growing increasingly frustrated? What would YOU recommend one of your employees do? Are there resources for people like me who can't afford to walk away from a job but might not be able to afford not to?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I'm ready to "listen." :confused:

So she is either REALLY difficult or has ADHD. If it's the latter I still have no sympathy for her because she won't come to terms with what she experiences. The "all about me" in my experience is a cover for something else, like using a big bandage to cover a little wound. Unlike the wound though this doesn't heal like that.

Have you tried going to HR and making complaints? If enough people do it then she will either have to seriously look at her issues and go speak with a doctor or the company can fire her. In either case you'll be doing her a favor.

Now if she ever does confide in you that you she is seeking the counsel of a medical professional then go out of your way to express your support.

seemingly
04-30-16, 02:18 PM
Very well put by peripatetic.
Whether we think she has ADD, PMS, or thyroid problems is irrelevant in this (non-medical) setting. What we care about are the behaviours. I would stay on track and deal with her actions - keeping in mind that you won't be able to change her behaviour (most likely!) - the only behaviour you can change is yours.
I would make a list of the things that she does that drive you crazy, and then think about how you could deal with each one better.

Little Nut
04-30-16, 02:54 PM
Dora, All you can do is keep it extremely objective and deal with the specific duties of your job that you are unable to perform to you or your bosses satisfaction. The causes (bosses ADHD, your ADHD, my ADHD, whaeva) comes later. I assume you have ongoing assigned duties (both task and goal oriented) to successfully perform your job. Prepare yourself for a meeting with your boss to discuss. Start with listing which duties you are unable to perform to your bosses satisfaction or to your satisfaction. Then take the next step and figure out what you "need" to be able to complete each duty. My guess there will be some duties you think should be changed or transferred to others. For these you will need to be prepared to defend why your change is better for your boss or the business to do it your way. Bundle this all up in an e-mail, send it to your boss and ask to schedule a time to discuss (maybe over a cup of coffee). At the discussion be prepared to sell your boss on your changes. At the end if there are any items not resolved to your satisfaction, say so and ask for input on specifics to resolve. -LN

PS - I read your OP and first coupla responses. If you've already developed a path forward, pls ignore my response.

Pilgrim
05-05-16, 10:50 AM
I thought I'd throw something in regarding this situation. Don't confront keep yourself calm and do your best.
If you start to feel resentful about what she creates you've already lost. There are heaps of people in the world like this. My boss is add if I caress him the right way it will be sweet. There is usually a lot of chaos and obstinacy about them, that's normally the deal. I can understand your confusion if you don't understand the behaviours. Goodluck