Boss: Something urgent has come up, can you take care of this.

Me: Okay.... But I am already working on X and it's a critical thing.

Boss: No, X is no longer of priority. You need to now pick up Y.

Me: But I was already........ Never mind. Yeah sure I will start working on Y.

Next day

Boss : What is the update on X?

Me: I was working on Y, also wasn't it de prioritized.

Boss : I think I was very clear when I communicated to you that X is very critical. Also you need to learn to manage your time.


  • 1
    yah, always
  • 17
    I don't know how you are working, we are using scrum and by supporting it with some tools the priority and status are always (or most of the time) visible and can be tracked back.

    Maybe you can find some lightweight tool to work with your boss to manage tasks you should be doing. And with that whenever he gets to you to change the priority he will do it which then later could be looked into.

    Next time you could be saying: see the other task was moved by you to the top. You also should make clear that you don't want /can/should multi-task since it takes away from your productivity.

    Gl with working that out
  • 5
    @M0dev How about Trello?
  • 2
    @AL1L just used it personally (to support myself a bit). Think it should log the movement and tracking of tasks. And therefore work quite well. I just didn't want to start with tools in my first post.

    Maybe it would be worth for OP to read into kanban.
  • 3
    Holy crap, this is literally my job & internal conversations every single week.
  • 1
    We use jira, but it's quite common that he would come up with an ad hoc task justifying that it is an ask from the business or clients and thus needs to be implemented urgently.

    It's lack of planning on his part where he should have a scheduled meeting with the business folks and get their requirements. He must also convey to them the SLA.
    Sad planning on his part and insensitive attitude towards his developers leads to these situations.
  • 1
    Doesn't help.
    He would start random email threads and start writing shit and forward it to other people making me the owner of that feature.
    Delegating everything upon his developers holding no responsibility at all.
  • 2
    That's what I call an incapable boss. What a dip shit.
  • 4
    For me, if I ain't working at Microsoft , Apple or any of those large companies I won't accept what boss said and I'll reply even if it is going to cost me my job. If he was good at managing work this shit wouldn't happen in the first place. You obviously know time management since you mentioned x and how critical it is, but someone needs to know how the fuck to manage a dev team 😒
  • 4
    !rant means not a rant
  • 1
    Yeah sorry
    It was so obvious, still missed it.
    Will edit it.
  • 0
    @taylan can't edit it now
  • 0
    Totally feel your pain!

    Everything's always a high priority and needed to be done NOW.
  • 4
    If everything is important, then nothing is important.
  • 4
    As @jschmold said, this is the most important thing everyone should learn in their job.

    Our boss forces us to write EVERYTHING into an email. People lie and forget things, emails don't. This has saved us many times as well as doomed us others.
  • 1
    Why is this !rant ?
  • 2
    Same things here.
    Sometimes its projects x, y and z. And once i finish x...
    Boss: "Cool,now recode X by changing this that will have you rewrite everything. And you are late for Y and Z"

    Me: "but this change will only make it instable and insecure."

    Boss: "humm, you didn't convince me. Just do it."

    Labba dabba dud dud
  • 2
    Yeah you need send an ACE (ass covering email).

    It's shit that you have to do that, but in many places you just do need to.

    "As per our your directive I am stopping work on x and commencing work on y.

    If this isn't your understanding please let me know"
  • 0
    Make your boss start writing things down and signing them.
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