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<学英语>对付年轻的上司

(2006-11-06 10:22:45)
分类: 英语学习
HOW DO I MANAGE THIS YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPER?
 
 
By Lucy Kellaway
Monday, November 06, 2006
 
 
(The Problem)
  I have recently acquired a new boss who is 32. I am 20 years older and consider myself more experienced, better educated and more intelligent than him. He has hare-brained ideas and to my disgust all my colleagues are kowtowing to him. I fear I may already have alienated him by pointing out that some of his schemes won't fly. How can I manage this whippersnapper?
                         Manager, male, 51
 
(THE ANSWER)
 

    Before I tell you what I think of your problem, I should warn you that most FT readers under 40 (a few over 40) hold you in contempt. According to their e-mails, you are a ghastly old git in denial that someone better than you is now your boss.
    Like most of the FT's older readers, I don't think you are a ghastly git at all. In fact, I can easily imagine feeling the same way myself.
    Having someone 20 years younger as a boss is hard – it is the final confirmation that you are way over the hill, and it is quite reasonable that one should mind about that. In a politically correct office we are expected to be age-blind, but age remains a big part of where we feel we fit into a hierarchy and it is silly to pretend otherwise. What is happening to you will come to us all, and we will all have to learn to put up with it – but that doesn't make it pleasant.
    As for the supposed uselessness of your young boss, I can believe he is less experienced and more ignorant than you. Many of his generation are. However, he may have other qualities that make him a better manager – or he may not. It wouldn't be the first time a fool got over-promoted.
    Still, whether or not he actually deserves the job is beside the point. You have been foolish to offend him, and you must row back sharpish.
    As I can't see you landing a peachy job outside, you can either stick it out gracefully or become a grumpy nuisance. The latter would be silly because it will put your job at risk, and because by obsessing about him you'll end up bitter and boring – an old git, in fact.
    Without kowtowing, you should concentrate on doing your own job well. The passing of time will help, and not just because it will get you nearer to a pension, which I assume is your end game. His schemes may get less hare-brained, and you will slowly get used to the shocking sight of his fresh face.
    A final point: the word whippersnapper is a favourite of mine. It is deliciously evocative. My advice that I give with lingering regret: avoid.
 
OLD GIT 1
    It seems to me you're just jealous of his success. I'm young myself and very intelligent, but have already learnt that there will always be someone brighter and younger than me. I can live with that and I'm surprised that you, in your 50s, cannot.
            Banker, male, 23
OLD GIT 2
    Every word you use screams “obnoxious, negative employee with no contribution to offer”. Your company clearly has good reason to promote someone 20 years younger over you. Either you change your attitude and contribute to the success of your team by humbly offering any wisdom your extra 20 years have given you, or get out before you are fired for your shockingly negative attitude.
           CIO, male, 40s
AGEIST GIT
    Imagine if your boss was someone of a sex, race or religion for whom you found it difficult to work. Substitute “whippersnapper” for your chosen sexist or racist epithet and then imagine how many job interviews you can cram into your sudden abundance of free time.
          Banker, male, 43
HELP HIM SUCCEED
    You are not a team player, you are difficult to manage and you have a bad attitude. Either give your boss the benefit of the doubt or find a new job.
          Manager, female, 27
HELP HIM FAIL
    Support all his ideas to the hilt. That way he'll come a cropper sooner. The more unobtrusively you do it, the better – you won't be implicated when he finally overreaches, but will be better placed when he goes down.
          Academic, female, 40s
MAKE THE BEST OF IT
    I am the same age as you and in a similar situation. Our promotion prospects are finished, so we must swallow our pride and defuse our ambition. Tell your boss you'll be loyal. Work for him in areas where he is weak – he'll take the credit, but he'll defend you as he needs you. You can enjoy your life without the stress of managerial bureaucracy.
          Banker, male, 52
THE LAST LAUGH
    Remember: cunning and treachery vanquish youth and enthusiasm.
          Manager, male, 55
THE NEXT PROBLEM
    Somebody who works on the same floor as me has got cancer, and I think it is bad. I don't work directly with him or even know him terribly well, but I like him and quite often share a joke with him if I meet him by the coffee machine. I know about his illness because someone else told me. I feel very awkward when I see him because I would like to say something but don't know how to bring it up. So far I have said nothing, but that feels wrong. But I can't say “I hope you don't die” – or can I?
 
对付年轻的上司
 
 
作者:英国《金融时报》专栏作家露西"凯拉韦(Lucy Kellaway)
2006年11月6日 星期一
 
 

问题)
我最近有了一个年仅32岁的新上司。我比他大20岁,而且自认为比他更有经验、教育背景更好,也更有才智。他的想法轻率浮躁,而且令我厌恶的是,我所有的同事都拍他马屁。我担心,由于我曾直言指出他的某些计划不会奏效,我可能已经和他疏远了。我如何对付这个自以为是的年轻人呢?
经理,男,51岁
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(回答)
在回答你的问题之前,我应该提醒你,本报大多数40岁以下的读者(和少数超过40岁的读者)都很鄙视你。他们的电子邮件称,你是个可怕的老蠢货,不愿承认你现在的上司比你优秀。
和大多数年纪较大的读者一样,我一点儿也不认为你是个可怕的蠢货。事实上,我很容易想象自己产生同感。
有一个比自己年轻20岁的上司,这件事很是麻烦——这最终证明,你已经上年纪了,对此耿耿于怀也是合理的。在政治正确的办公室中,人们期望我们忽略年龄问题,但事实上,年龄问题仍是办公室里的一个重要因素,我们会根据它来论资排辈,确定自己的等级层次,而且,假装忽略这个问题是很蠢的。你目前遇到的问题,将会发生在我们所有人身上,而我们所有人都必须学会如何处理它——但这并不会让问题变得令人愉快。
至于你认为这位年轻上司没本事,我相信他的经验没你丰富,见识比你更少。他们这代人许多都这样。然而,他可能有其它方面的素质,能让其成为一名更优秀的经理——当然,也可能没有。蠢才官运亨通并非没有先例。
但是,问题并不在于他是否配坐这个位子。你冒犯他是愚蠢的,你必须立刻悬崖勒马。
我估计,你在外面也找不到一份很好的工作,因此,你要么体面地做好这份工作,要么做一个脾气暴躁的讨厌鬼。选择后者是愚蠢的,因为这将使你面临失业的危险,同时,由于你整天思考他的问题,你最终将变得尖刻、令人厌烦——成为一个真正的老蠢货。
不用拍马屁,你应该专心把自己的工作做好。时间的流逝会有所帮助,部分因为你离退休越来越近——我想,退休养老应该是你的最终目标。随着时间推移,他的想法可能会变得不那么轻率,而你,也将慢慢习惯他那令人憎恶的年轻脸庞。
最后一点:“自以为是的年轻人”这个字眼我很喜欢。它很容易引起共鸣。但我不得不遗憾地建议:避免用它。
老蠢货之一
在我看来,你似乎只是嫉妒他的成功。我自己也年轻而且很聪明,但我已经知道,总会有比我更聪明、更年轻的人出现。我能容忍这种情况,但令我惊讶的是,你已经50多岁了,却不能做到这一点。
银行家,男,23岁
老蠢货之二
你使用的每个词,都尖锐地刻画出一个“讨厌的、消极的、没有贡献的员工”形象。你们公司显然有充分理由,将一个比你年轻20岁的人提升到比你高的职位上。你要么改变态度,谦虚地将这20年光阴赋予你的智慧贡献出来,为你们团队的成功贡献力量;要么,在你因为自己非常严重的消极态度而被解雇之前,主动辞职离开。
首席信息官,男,40多岁
倚老卖老的蠢货
设想一下,如果因为上司的性别、种族或宗教信仰问题,你发现自己很难为其工作,结果会怎样。用“自以为是的年轻人”,来代替你选择的带有性别歧视或种族歧视的蔑称,然后设想一下,在你陡然充裕的闲暇时间里,能参加多少工作面试。
银行家,男,43岁
助他成功
你不是一个有团队精神的人,你很难处理这种情况,而且你的态度不好。要么往好处想象你的上司,要么找份新工作。
经理,女,27岁
助他失败
你要完全支持上司的想法。这样的话,他彻底失败的时间更快。你做得越不显眼,效果越好——当他最终弄巧成拙时,你不会受到牵连;但当他降职时,你就会得到更好的职位。
学者,女,40多岁
随遇而安
我和你同龄,而且有同样的处境。我们已经没有升迁的希望,因此,我们必须吞下自己的骄傲自尊,平息自己的雄心壮志。告诉你的上司,你将会很忠心。在他的弱项上帮助他——他会得到荣誉,但他将维护你,因为他需要你。你可以在没有管理系统官僚主义压力的情况下享受生活。
银行家,男,52岁
最后一搏
记住:狡猾和背叛,胜过年轻和热情。
经理,男,55岁
下一期的问题
和我在同一层楼工作的一个同事得了癌症,我觉得糟糕透了。我和他没有直接的工作往来,甚至并不十分了解他,但我喜欢他,如果我在咖啡机旁遇到他,经常会和他开玩笑。我是从别人那儿知道他的病情的。当我见到他时,我觉得非常尴尬,因为我想说点儿什么,但我不知道如何开口。到目前为止,我什么都没说,但我感觉这是不对的。但我总不能说“我希望你不会死”吧——能这么说吗?
译者/梁鸥
 

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