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Save me from my workaholic boss

Friday June 8 2018

As long as he is awake working, he expects me as his secretary to be awake too. PHOTO | FILE

As long as he is awake working, he expects me as his secretary to be awake too. PHOTO | FILE 

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I work for a PR firm within the city and while I find my job interesting, my boss is starting to drain me. He is the type that will call anytime of the night.

As long as he is awake working, he expects me as his secretary to be awake too. I try my best to do all that I am expected during the day yet the night calls don't stop. If I don't pick up, it becomes an issue. What should I do?

Bosses come in all shapes and sizes. While many are mindful of their team’s welfare, others take pleasure in draining every energy from their subordinates. The latter are bosses to avoid at all cost, but when you are already in and like your job, you have to be the boss of your time. Start by letting him know that you find his after-work calls intrusive to your personal time. You can judge by the nature of his calls if there is more to them than just work and when he calls assure him that you can only do what he is assigning in the office.

It may be difficult to start a conversation like this but remember you are the one on the receiving end and if your boss does not feel your frustration, he will remain insensitive. Look for an appropriate time to speak to him about his intrusiveness.

A good timing would be during you work review discussions, you could bring this up as an issue affecting your work that requires his support and action.

Remind him that when you leave work, you have other duties that require your full attention. You do not have to go to details of what you do, and if he tries to probe, just say you consider that private and would rather not share.


Start a habit of checking with him at the end each working day, if he has any urgent tasks that may not wait until the next day. If there is, put in a few minutes to finalise before you leave. Otherwise assure him all else will be delivered the next day and use this opportunity to emphasise on your personal space boundary.

Find out how your colleagues have handled such cases since this maybe be an acceptable culture. If they are facing similar challenges, consider bringing it up corporately through the right channels of raising a grievance like through the HR office, or his line manager or a trusted person he listens to.

If you are a workaholic manager reading this, please  note there is more to life than work and balance is key for everyone.