I have written quite a few threads on here.

I am middle management, where I am currently working for a tech start up, and I am in charge of all projects and the product we are building. My boss is extremely demanding and constantly putting a lot of pressure on me to make sure everything is running smoothly. Some of the things that he is doing.

a) If other members of the team are not performing, the blame comes onto me for not managing them properly. Recently for example, the person in charge of QA is not performing, and it turns that my boss is not paying him on time which has caused him to become unsettled. Instead of looking at his faults he is finding flaws in my process.

After I found out, I informed my boss but it comes across as though he thinks there is something wrong with my management style. In addition I am now doing duties beyond my job role, I am a project manager, and I am now finding that I am doing support and maintenance duties to make sure everything is working. i.e. servers are up, handling support queries etc double checking that guys work in addition to my own work.

b) He is expecting me to monitor everything constantly, if at some point I miss something important and he spots this before me, he starts giving me a hard time. Today on my lunch break a client sent an email (to him) reporting a bug, instead of respecting the fact that I was on my lunch break and didn't see the email that was forwarded to me, he just told me that I am not checking my emails regularly enough.

c) He is not respecting my work/life balance, we normally have meetings on Monday morning where I come in an hour earlier than everyone else to discuss the product roadmap. This is unpaid overtime, where I am working because of this 45-46 hours a week. I am contracted at 40 hours a week.

My delivery rate is very good, I always deliver whatever has been asked, however he always ends up nit picking. He focuses on issues such as not working on weekends. For example if he finds data that he finds interesting, there have been occasions where he has asked me about it on Monday morning. After telling him that I didn't check the product to find out this data, he then gets upset that I was not checking the platform.

I am starting to get very unsettled and now thinking about leaving my job, because I can't handle the stress and pressure. I feel that:

  • the work I do deliver is not valued. I have recently delivered a newer version of the product which has resulted in the product having it's most sales in a single year ever.

  • I feel that he does not respect my time, he seems to think that I should be working 24/7 because I am the product manager, when I am often already working above my contracted hours - I am also working unpaid overtime.

  • He is making me liable for other people not doing their job correctly they have been hired for, citing mismanagement when I have highlighted resource problems before things get bad.

  • We are under staffed, so our roles are overlapping into roles that we are not trained in. For example a server went down in the middle of the night, I told my boss months ago that we should hire a server admin to monitor the server 24/7. He doesn't want to spend the money. When it finally did go down, his attitude was 'why didn't you check if the web site went down? Why did I find out'. It went down at 2am.

  • My commute is 2 hour and 30 minutes each day, I am dead tired by the end of the day, and he does not seem to respect that I need to switch off. He has got the mentality that because he is constantly working, everyone else in the team should be too.

  • The whole team is unsettled, everyone is complaining that they are underpaid for the amount of responsibility they have, from the technical team to me. Although I have never raised this as an issue.

  • I've made a lot of good decisions about how the company is structured which is now paying off. But it seems as though as soon as I make one wrong decision, he gets on my back.

  • Recently, I was tasked with a project that I could not sign off. Turns out my boss oversold it to the client, without consulting me about the project risks during sales.

I want to tell him that I am at the company to help him grow, but I do not want to treat this job as my whole life. Work/life balance is important to me to prevent get burned out. How do I tell him this gently?

  • 5
    FYI: this is way too long for what you're actually asking, which is in the last two sentences. The rest can be summed up as "My boss has unreasonable demands, doesn't respect my time or the value of the work I do and we're understaffed and underpaid." I'd suggest drastically cutting this down or at least moving the question up. – Lilienthal Dec 1 '16 at 14:35
  • 2
    I am worried that if I tell him, he might just give me the boot from not being committed enough. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 14:42
  • TLDR Edit for brevity please, or this will collect close votes – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Dec 8 '16 at 21:34

How do I tell him this gently?

You've written numerous questions detailing your problems and dislike for this company. You've chronicled issues over a long period of time.

It's time to stop worrying about "gently".

Find a new job, give your notice, then leave.

Work/life balance is important to me to prevent get burned out

As you search for your next job, pay closer attention to the attributes that will impact whatever it is you want for your personal work/life balance.

That might mean not accepting a job so far away from home. It might mean not accepting a job where you might be expected to work more than 40 hours. It might mean not accepting a job where you have this much responsibility. It might mean all of these factors and more.

I get that you use your posts here to vent. But it's time to stop complaining. It's time to start acting. Otherwise you'll only have yourself to blame.

  • I feel daunted Joe in case my boss finds out, how do I get time off without raising suspicion? – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 15:18
  • 1
    @bobo2000 there's a number of questions on the site for how to look for a job while still employed, they'll likely have valuable info. – Erik Dec 1 '16 at 15:20
  • @Erik I read some of them, and I can see how they would work in larger companies, but in smaller companies it's more difficult to conceal if you keep on taking days off. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 15:22
  • 1
    @bobo2000 if you have concrete problems because of difference in company size, consider asking a new, more specific question for it :) – Erik Dec 1 '16 at 15:24
  • Upvoted that comment @TheMuffinMan . Joe you are right, deep down I know this isn't a long term gig, I guess that I am worried that the grass won't be greener on the other side - it is just an insecurity of mine I have right now. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 15:53

How do I tell him this gently?

Hi Boss,

I am sending this mail to give you notice of my resignation. 

My completion date will be the [X]th of [Y], 20[ZZ]. Between now and then
I will focus on completing my outstanding tasks and handing over my workload
& knowledge to my replacement.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity [blah blah blah], 
and I have enjoyed my time here.

Kind Regards

Make sure you've another job lined up first!


It does sound as though you need more people in order for the company to work more efficiently.

I'd advise you to present a proposal to recruit one or two more people.

Run through the recent batch of issues and use this to highlight how using more resources would have prevented those problems from occurring.

You can pitch this as recruiting a couple of people on a contract basis to see how more people affect the running of the company. When things turn around, swap those contractors to permanent staff.

You might also want to invest in some server monitoring software, if 24/7 website uptime is mission critical.

If you can't get this proposal passed, then consider looking elsewhere.

  • We use something called uptime robot which is what I introduced to the company. The problem is that there is nobody to react quickly enough when the servers go down. I know that we need a server administrator, but he will just tell me that he can't afford it. The guy doing support should be monitoring the servers, but now I am having to double check his work and getting blamed for it when he screws up. It is really frustrating. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 14:41
  • 2
    @bobo2000 simple math: is the cost of server downtime greater than or less than the cost of a competent sysadmin team that can respond when things go down? He has to decide if he's willing to pay for the level of service he's demanding. Thus far, it sounds like the answer is "no." Give him the level of service he is willing to pay for. – alroc Dec 1 '16 at 14:47
  • His attitude is 'well it doesn't happen very often' so it is not worth the expense, but as you have pointed out, when it does happen things become chaotic. I am giving him that level of service, but it is really irritating me that he feels he can hold me liable for it. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 14:50
  • 2
    It sounds like your boss is milking the company for worth before cashing out and dumping you all on the street. – Erik Dec 1 '16 at 15:22
  • 1
    The whole problem is basically cashflow, so we are cutting corners because even if he can afford an additional resource for 1 month, he cannot afford to maintain them for months on end. Yes - sales have increased but it is not consistent enough at this stage i.e. x amount every month. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 15:52

If you have time to write a short story on StackExchange then you have time to get your resume out and look for another job. It sounds like you're a good employee and good at what you do. I have no doubt there are employers out there who wish they had an employee with your commitment and talent. Take your work ethic and skills to an employer that will appreciate them.

  • As I said to Joe, just a bit daunted by the prospect of leaving. Worried that I might end up getting a bad reference or lose my job once boss finds out. – bobo2000 Dec 1 '16 at 15:24
  • You have a job now. Take your time, go to some interviews and feel things out. – BradP Dec 1 '16 at 15:28
  • 1
    I completely agree with @Erik's comment in the answer below this one. "It sounds like your boss is milking the company for worth before cashing out and dumping you all on the street. – Erik – BradP Dec 1 '16 at 15:30
  • Link to Erik's comment is [Here] (workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/80722/…) – BradP Dec 1 '16 at 15:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.