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Who’s the boss?

The Rev Richard Baxter considers the conflict that arises from competing demands.

A YOUNG friend – let’s call her Ellen – shared with me her deep frustrations about her job.

In the office where she worked, there were two independent companies, and Ellen was partly employed by one and partly by the other. She was involved in two separate teams, unconnected to each other, carrying out diff erent projects and with diff erent managers. Constantly, Ellen found herself faced by impossible demands from both bosses. Neither knew or cared about the work and the needs of the other team, or the time pressures Ellen was expected to juggle. They were only interested in their own work, all of which they saw as urgent and immediate and to be given the highest priority. It was an impossible situation. There were daily clashes over deadlines and unreasonable expectations. Eventually, fearing the constant conflict would damage her health, Ellen walked away. It was the best decision she ever made, and the feeling of release was immediate.

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