Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, September 18, 2008

There's definitely a shadow of a doubt

I'm having some second thoughts about my choice for Assistant Editor.

Though she does what I ask with speed and gusto, it's her conduct that is making me doubt my decision. With the exception of one writer leaving us, it's becoming clear to me that this person I've chosen for my assistant is the cause of our staff retention problem. We lost yet another writer today, who seemed just fine at yesterday's meeting, but ended up emailing me this morning to say he was quitting without reason.

I'm not officially Editor yet, which means she's not officially my assistant yet. I suppose it's not too late to change my mind, but that doesn't make it any easier on me. I've had several people come to me and express their less than good feelings toward this person, and though at first I chose to just ignore it all, and focused on what she could bring to the job, it's getting harder to ignore people's comments. This is mostly because EVERYONE has something to say about her that is less than flattering. The males and females on the staff of all ages and walks of life all either hate her, or have heard that everyone hates her.

This is problematic for me, because with such a hated individual as my right-hand person, it's going to be difficult to keep the staff happy. In the meantime, I've been sitting back and watching her conduct, and at the very least we have different management styles. She wants to "command authority" and basically rule with an iron fist everything from the work that's turned in, to making sure that staff don't breathe wrong during "newspaper time". She lacks diplomacy, BIG TIME, and has a tendency to alienate people. She's loud and talks over people. She'll ask a question, I start to answer, and before I've even answered completely, she'll start the next question. This irritates me to no end, and I imagine everyone else who deals with her.

This is not including this habit she has of taking her shoes off and putting her bare feet up on a chair while we're trying to "command authority" and be professional (I put things in quotation marks that she has actually said herself). Call me old-fashioned, but at least when a professor is speaking in front of the class, it's inappropriate to have your feet up, facing him or her. It's unprofessional, disgusting and totally poor in taste.

I hope I can deal with all of this in a professional way that leaves everyone happy.

Meanwhile, yesterday I found out that I no longer have a Copy Editor, have no ad space sold yet, and am in desperate need for writers and an ad sales rep. I went and spoke to a business class trying to recruit an ad sales rep and a business writer, expecting it to be big, but found that it was a puny class of just barely 10 people, all who didn't seem interested at all in anything I had to say.

Issue One is going to look absolutely pathetic, and I'm in deep doodoo, and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it, because it all depends on PEOPLE.

Which brings me back to my original statement that people... suck... the... life... out... of... me!

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