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What do I do if my boss is not good at communicating with me?

Dear Ed,

I have a huge problem: My boss sucks at communicating. I’m the music editor at a national magazine and report straight to the EIC, but she doesn’t respond to my emails. We currently work remotely so I can’t confront her face to face, and she doesn’t believe in phone calls. At first, I just ignored the problem, but now her lack of communication, which sometimes jeopardized my reputation, is making me seriously consider quitting. Recently she approved a band I selected for a feature and told me the art editor would set up the photo shoot. A week later the agent still hadn’t heard from our art editor and when I asked my boss she said that the photographer dropped out—but she didn’t tell me if this was now my responsibility. I’ve emailed her three times asking what’s going on and she won’t respond. What am I supposed to do?

Dazed and Confused


Dear Dazed and Confused,

I’m afraid that this situation isn’t going to get any better. There’s no reason to quit tomorrow, but I think you should start looking for another job right now. Then, when you get one, leave! It sounds like it’s not just your boss who has a problem with communication, but the whole magazine suffers from a case of terrible management. Ed can feel your frustration, but he does think you are taking on too much of the burden. Next time you have to be the go-between setting up a shoot or interview, Ed recommends that you send the publicist or agent straight to the art director from the get-go. When they follow up, say, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know why Art Director’s Name isn’t getting in touch, but you’ll have to get follow up with her. We work in different locations.” And if the shoot falls through, it’s not your fault, it’s the art director’s. If they blame it on you anyway, all the better. They’ll fire you and then you can be relieved of this hell!


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