(originally published March 17th, 2005)

I was talking to a supervisor today who told me that she almost walked out of her place of employment yesterday because she was really frustrated and upset. She said that the manager kept giving her more and more things to do during the day, and was snapping at her when they weren’t all done when the manager went back to her. She felt unappreciated and put upon, because there’s another supervisor who hadn’t been asked to work on this project at all.

I told her a few things. First, I told her that you never allow someone else to dictate your mood, even under undue stress. Second, I told her that if the manager kept giving her other things to do, that unless she physically couldn’t do them that she should have just done them. Third, I told her that she should have started documenting all the things she was being asked to do, especially if suddenly her workload was becoming overwhelming, and to keep making out that list and keep it updated.

By doing this, she achieves many things. One, she knows everything she has to do. Two, if the manager comes to her and asks why other things aren’t done, she’s got a list to show of everything she needs to get completed, including all the things the manager gave her that took her away from her normal work. Three, she now has proof of everything that’s on her plate if the manager gets upset, and she can take it to personnel and have a legitimate grievance, if it needed to go that far.

Judge Judy always says if you don’t have it written down, it didn’t happen. She was absolutely correct. If you don’t take this relatively easy step to protect yourself, you have nothing to complain about later on.