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Death By Micromanagement- Advice Needed

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  • Death By Micromanagement- Advice Needed

    Hey there everyone. Thought I'd stop in and vent. A shame really that this is my first post. But I'm at my wits end. Perhaps you guys could throw some advice my way.

    A little background:
    I've worked with my current employer for a little over a year as a graphic designer. I enjoy who I work with, and what I do. I was hired under the guise that I would be taking over as the team creative. The company was expanding, and didn't have a creative on the team. My boss did the creative in the past, needed to take on a straight marketing role, so she was turning all the creative over to me. Or so I thought....


    Currently:
    Let me be open and honest. My boss is a nice person. She works hard, and we get along for the most part. But over the past few months, she's pretty much taken over all the creative, leaving me sitting at my desk, scratching my head, wondering where I went wrong.

    There are two main problems:
    1) She has zero creative experience & skills. And I don't mean that in a small way either. Were taking "I just installed photoshop, time to bevel and emboss"
    2) She completely micromanages my job.


    Now I know what you might be thinking. "It can't be that bad" or "maybe your work isn't up to par, that's why she's doing it". This is NOT the case, I assure you. I have provided some mock samples below. And believe me when I say, its really that bad. "Designed in publisher" comes to mind. Fake product and info just to get my point across.

    I know that designers sometimes may come off as slightly arrogant or think they know better. I hope that's not at all how I come off here. I only speak up out of concern for the company. If we keep putting out this stuff the way it looks, we'll all be out of a job.

    The President has seen my work, the other employees have seen my work. And they're all in agreement that it looks good. The only person who isn't on board is my boss. I think that my boss really really wants to be a graphic designer, but just doesn't have the time or experience.

    My question being, how does one approach this diplomatically? As I mentioned above, the company has a future, and I'd love to help it succeed.

    At the end of the day, I'm employed and work with great people. So I guess after all, it could be worse.

    Here are some pre and post examples of work. A simple responsive site homepage.

    PRE

    Click image for larger version

Name:	test-site-1.png
Views:	1
Size:	350.0 KB
ID:	18154

    POST
    Click image for larger version

Name:	test-site-2.png
Views:	1
Size:	267.0 KB
ID:	18155

    Thanks!


  • #2
    How about...
    "Hi Amy (or whatever her name is). Do you have time to chat? I have something that's bugging me. (A little small talk, then to the point.) I was hired over a year ago as a designer, and I'm assuming it was because of My XX years of experience, my XX years of education and the creative, professional talent that I'd bring to the company.

    "I know you're concerned about making sure things get done right, which is one of the reasons that I enjoy working with you. Even so, I'm really not doing what I thought that I was hired to do -- it seems as though you keep wanting to do it for me, and I'm wondering why."
    Okay, now that you've politely pointed out the big elephant in the room that everyone's been ignoring, it'll be sort of difficult for her not to address it. She might act baffled, she get mad, she might cry, she might get defensive or she might tell you that she doesn't like your work.

    Whatever it is, you'll find out where you stand with her and whether or not you have the future there that you want to have. She might give you more freedom to do your job or she just might be incapable of not micromanaging. Who knows? You will have crossed the bridge, though, and there'll be no going back.

    For what it's worth, I manage the creative dept. where I work. I'm not a micromanager, but every now and again, someone gets upset about something or other. When that happens, I really do appreciate them telling me what's frustrating them so that I can try to fix it. People do their best work when they're happy and feel in control of what they're doing. If that's not the case where you work after your discussion with your supervisor, well, just maybe it's not the right job for you. If you're ready to quit and feel that you have little to lose, you might even consider jumping a couple of rungs up the ladder and diplomatically express your concerns to her supervisor.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi b-designs797 and welcome to GDF.

      We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
      Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

      Comment


      • #4
        Both attachments are blank pages for me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by B View Post
          For what it's worth, I manage the creative dept. where I work. I'm not a micromanager, but every now and again, someone gets upset about something or other. When that happens, I really do appreciate them telling me what's frustrating them so that I can try to fix it.
          You are a good boss, my boss only gets incredibly upset when I point out things like this, or outright blames me instead.

          I guess what I am trying to say, is you have to weight the person first, some people wont take it the right way no matter how tactful or diplomatic you are, be careful with these things.
          Last edited by Momoshy; 04-21-2015, 09:37 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Attached Files Which is supposed to be good and bad? Am not a designer, so I cant tell. Lol

            Comment


            • Momoshy
              Momoshy commented
              Editing a comment
              Well, while the first design lacks the "macho men" personality i would associate better with Trucks, specially farm trucks. The Second design hurts my brain and eyes, way too much text, I doubt anyone would be reading that wall of text in a main web page, the red text strains my sight, the gradient of the buttons make it both hard to read and look super outdated.

          • #7
            I am always being urged to create "CLICK HERE NOW!" graphics and big star bursts.
            That type of thing almost never helps to work with a hierarchy.

            The thing I always find is that the starburst is always containing text that was thought vitally important at the 11th hour.
            If it was really important it should have been part of the original text/brief and made to be an integral focal point.

            I work for a fairly high end service company. When I am asked to do these things I usually show whoever is asking a couple select ads.
            One group of ads for companies that sells items to our clients: Luxury car ads, ads for Apple, ads for select jewlers. ads you find in the NYT magazine, etc These ads are clean and impressionist. No call-outs, no star bursts.

            Then I show them ads directed at the demographic of the not-too well off: Walmart, The Dollar Store, etc, supermarket circular, direct mail
            (these ads have all the call-outs and star-bursts, etc).



            That said, I would say that the market for your product is somewhere in the middle. I am assuming you created the more elegant ad, but to my eyes, you went a little too elegant and soft. It is certainly nicely executed, but could stand for a little more boldness. I mean you are selling kickass riding lawnmowers GRRRRR!!! Not flower arrangements.

            The other ad just screams desperation. This is what "marketing professionals" do. They are in a constant state of half-panic and total urgency. They generally don't have vision and only rarely can restrain themselves from making a thousand (black & white) photocopies of the ad and place them on car windshields in the mall parking lot. This is I assume what they are taught to do by whatever it is that teaches marketing.
            Keep Saturn in Saturnalia.

            Comment


            • #8
              Fifteen years of experience and this is exactly what is happening to me. My department is only two people, my supervisor, a who is works as a Public Relations Officer, and myself, who has years of experience in art direction, branding, graphic design, and more. At first I was the creative & art director (not by title, but by duties), and had a huge input in creative and innovative ideas. People of all levels loved it. Now she is turning into a huge micromanager. Change this font size, move this here, etc. A lot of times it has gone from one design that I create, into a series of changes that she wants, and finally going back to the original concept. It's annoying and stressful. And the icing on the cake, she mentions we are trying to work smarter not harder.

              The more I have mentioned it, as cordial as possible, the more it seems like she is micromanaging more. Don't get me wrong, I love having dialogue between the both of us to discuss ideas and strategies... but that seems like it's out the window.

              So naturally, I'm looked for employment elsewhere and have a handful of interviews lined up.. albeit, this is an extreme to do for a company you really like.

              Comment


              • #9
                Hi M2life and welcome to GDF.

                We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
                Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Marketing managers just do this, they make suggestions and changes to make themselves feel relevant. They have no graphic design ability at all and no classes to have developed that. But they usually make more money than the designer does and feels like they are the boss. It's maddening and just keeps happening more and more in bigger corporations. Graphic Design studies haven't done enough to teach marketing to the designers so corporations feel more comfortable with a Marketing major in charge. The ones I have work with have pretty lose ethics as well, "using" found images etc.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Just an update.

                    I appreciate all the feedback. Its good to know I'm not alone on this.

                    It keeps happening, and has gotten worse. Its now to the point where she will actually edit the files herself. Resulting in some pretty tragic outcomes. I don't understand why people feel the need to control EVERY little thing. What's the mentality of someone like this? I was hired to do a job! /end rant

                    At the end of the day, I enjoy where I work and its pretty relaxed for the most part. Hey, you can't have it all

                    Comment


                    • Kayekaye
                      Kayekaye commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah she needs to feel relevant, and she needs to be able to say she controlled it. Whether it was a disaster or not. Looks to me like she might be a "scrapbooker" in her off time.

                  • #12
                    From your example I think your first is off-target (unless the clientele is the same as Martha Stewart's or Debbie Travis') but well layed out and the second is on-target but a mess.

                    From your update, it sounds like you a) need to get a new job, b) need to discuss this with your boss or c) need to discuss this with your boss's boss. Personally I'd go with option "a" leave on good terms and move on.
                    Design is not decoration.

                    Comment

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