Q: “My boss thinks there is only one way to do things — her way. We don’t get to try any of our ideas, and she never gives us a chance to do something different from the way that it has been done in the past. Production is going really well, so why can’t we try our hand at something a little different?”

A: Several years ago, one of my friends, who was managing a large hog unit in the area, had the worst boss in the neighborhood. It was no secret. He was known as a difficult person and even bragged about having that reputation. 

I asked my friend why he had stayed longer than anyone else ever had. His answer was simple: “This guy knows how to raise pigs, and I’m learning everything I can.” 

He was willing to overlook some poor people skills to learn as much as he could, in spite of the difficult working environment.

You said that the operation’s production is good, and I would bet that it’s largely because your boss knows what she is doing. You know, if it isn’t broken, why make changes or experiment with something new?

The best thing you can do at this point (and this is very much to your advantage) is to adjust your perspective a little. Instead of trying to be creative, show that you can be a committed student.  Whatever you learn you can apply to this job or any other job in the future. The lessons that you learn are yours to keep.

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler, P.O. Box 67, Stockwell, IN47983or e-mail to don@dontyler.com.

Your letter will remain confidential, and may or may not get an individual reply.