Dear Evil HR Lady,
I need your advice. I work for a small non-profit performing arts company. I am in an entry level position. My problem is that I share an office with another associate and our manager. 3 people + 1 small space = lots of frustration. My boss tends to micromanage, asking several times a day “what are you working on?” even just after she’s assigned me a project. Her mood tends to set the tone for our office – if she’s sighing a lot, we’d better shut up and fast, even if we are supposed to be on the phone. Her tense moods permeate our office in such a way that co-workers from other departments will ask if everything is okay. It’s that palpable.
Her particular ticks and quirks abound, but my question is, how do I deal? I’ve been here for a year and enjoy many of my other colleagues. I want to improve our working environment. Is there a polite, non-threatening way to tell her to chill out/calm down/give me a little space? I constantly feel like I’m under a microscope and it doesn’t help that she rarely takes breaks or vacations: she is always at work. I want a chance to work independently and sort out an issue, but in this environment I feel totally stifled. What can I do or say towards improvement? Is there a whole new way of approaching my work that will alleviate this frustration?