For over a year now, I'm working at a small company with 3 other guys. One of them is my boss with whom I regularly have problems getting along. A type of situation that has crept up a lot, more so recently, explains that well:
Each day we hold a short meeting to bring everyone up to date. We all work in the same office with desks arranged against each other. The meeting takes place at the desk of my boss, who is sitting about 2.5 meters away from me. I have to walk 6 meters (about 8 seconds) to attend the meeting once I notice that people are getting ready.
To my boss, it is very important that the meeting start at the same time each day and that everyone is prepared and ready to start at that exact time. There are many reasons that this is currently not working: Sometimes someone is on the phone. Or one of us isn't keeping track of time with the same precision and may happen to be visiting the toilet or getting something to drink and return to the office 2 minutes late. Or I may just not notice that the time has arrived because I'm absorbed in some complex problem.
I agree that there is value in a regular and exact schedule and it allows people to allot their time more effectively. But I don't think the issue lies here.
My boss told me that whenever the time to start the meeting arrives while not everyone is standing by his desk ready, anger is starting to building up in him. This is also very evident to me during the meeting that follows. In that case, the meeting is often unproductive and subject to negative comments, not just from my Boss but from everyone affected by the bad mood.
I suggested to my boss, to prevent this kind of situation, that he could announce the start of the meeting 2 minutes before time so that we still have time to prepare and gather around his desk. He told me very clearly that he does not want to do that. He expects that everyone be ready on time and that it's not his responsibility to remind people of it.
These kinds of situations, where expectations and reality are at odds, are very tiring to me. I can see the logic and/or human fallibility behind most of what's happening here. But the last paragraph in the above description depicts a kind of decision I cannot understand. I know that everyone has a hard time changing their behaviour but my understanding is that my boss does not want to change in this regard. He is knowingly ignoring that the people around him have conflicting interests and needs and acts in a way that is detrimental to everyone. I really have trouble accepting this behaviour. So much so that my objections have lead to him stating that I'm trying to force him to change.
I have noticed aspects of this behaviour for the past year but only now I'm getting the feeling that it is something that is not going to change. I feel let down by my gut instinct and naïve in how I was trying to handle the situation in the past year by looking for a way to find common ground.
This question is not about whether it is OK what he is doing in his position. He can do whatever he wants to, and so do I. I'm not working at that company because I have to, but because I want to.
Instead, I have a very specific question: Was it reasonable from me to expect my boss' behaviour to substantially change in this regard over the period of a year or should I just have assumed this to never change and make my decisions based on that?
Update: It seems there is some confusion about the location of the meeting. That part of the question got lost while editing it. I added a remark that the meeting is located in the same room.
Update 2, one month later: After posting this question here, I pondered the more pressing question, Am I, with my current state of mind, able to work in this environemnt? and came to the conclusion that _No, I'm not. Thus, I've quit the job.
Thank you very much to everyone who chimed in to this lively discussion which showed me that the problem I actually needed to solve was not about whether the people involved are doing right or wrong, but about how my situation sucked and what options I had to make it not suck anymore.