In her BNET column today, she answers a question from someone frustrated that she keeps getting poor performance evaluations and can't get promoted. The entire thing is excellent, but one piece jumped out to me in particular. In response to the letter-writer's mention that she trained her bosses when they started (which she was citing as evidence that she's doing a good job), Evil HR Lady wrote:
"I’ve never had a job where I didn’t know more about my area of focus than my boss did. Even back when my summer job was to stick pictures onto real estate appraisal reports with two sided tape, I knew more about how the pictures were organized than my bosses did. Why? Because that wasn’t their job, it was mine. I’m not trying to brag. As a general rule, this is how it should be. You should be the subject matter expert in your job. Your boss should understand your job enough to do his job, but he’s got a different job to do."
Yes, yes, yes! I have frequently heard people cite this kind of thing -- "I know subject X better than he does!" -- as part of their litany of complaints about their boss. I even once heard someone who was complaining about the head of the organization mention that he had never taught her anything about how to use the organization's database, whereas her coworkers had. (The obvious response to that is, "Good. The problem would be if the CEO was going around teaching people to use a database.")
There are lots of legitimate reasons to complain about a boss. But this is not one of them.