I've been at this job (as a contractor) since early September. My supervisor and I have a major communications issue: I do not understand what she says, and she does not understand what I say. I know I'm not going to change the way she speaks, so I continue to ask clarifying questions and ask for feedback about what I turn in - I do my best to understand what she's asking for.
But I'm really frustrated about this: When I point out something:
- that needs attention, her response is about something
- When I ask a question, she provides an answer to something I didn't ask. For example: Today I emailed her asking if our boss was planning to provide the feedback we are waiting for on paper (rather than online), and said that if she was going to do that, I would go in to the office (I'm working from home).
My supervisor's answer:
Boss is going to be in meetings all day. She won't be available.
That's fine, I don't need to meet with her. I'm just saying that if I need to go in, which I will if the feedback is coming in that form, I'd like to know now [you know - so I can shower, change clothes, etc.]
Boss is not available and will not be at all today. You will not need to come in… I have nothing yet AND she has not provided anything as of yet. She will not be in the office…you won’t meet with her…
This kind of exchange happens all the time - face to face, on the phone, on email. I don't know exactly what's going on in her mind, but it seems that she leaps over my question and draws a conclusion that has nothing to do with what I want to know. The more I try to clarify, the more insistent she becomes, providing the same answer over and over. So not only do I not get the information I'm seeking, but I end up frustrated and annoyed.
I think I'd like to suggest to her that we do something to work together on our mutual communication issues. Recent experience suggests that she might be open to that.
So my question is: What's out there (book, CDs, whatever) that is inexpensive and easy to use that she and I might be able to do during lunch times?
Sub-question: Any of you ever had this kind of situation? If so, how did you deal?