Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’ve been in my job for almost ten years. I’ve outlived two directors,
three comptrollers, two secretaries, and a host of interns, project
managers, and other technical types. But now I have a new boss who’s
from a different kettle of fish. She’s the type who really wants to
understand how everything is done, down to the micro-nano detail of
everything I do. She’s told me she wants to understand every job in
the organization so that she can figure out how to reorganize the
whole place, change procedures, and generally turn upside down what
has been a pretty well-ordered universe, at least for me. I know I
should cooperate with her, and to tell the truth she scares me a little.
How can I make sure I keep my job in the shakeup that even a blind
woman can see coming?


Dear Dodgeball:

Nothing can truly protect you from a vindictive boss who has it in for
you and has the goal of firing you. But nothing in what you’ve said
leads me to believe that your name would be on anyone’s list to get
rid of. If you’ve truly survived so many other managers, you are
probably good at what you do as well as very good at surviving the
often treacherous and unpredictable vicissitudes of organizational
politics. In addition to longevity, you have a lot of corporate history
parked between your ears, all of which can help make you
indispensible to a boss who wants to do a good job for herself and
impress her own new bosses.

Tell your boss you’d like to meet to discuss how you can best help her.
When you get together, explain that you want to survive whatever
shakeup you and virtually everyone else believe is coming. Tell her
that you’ve lasted this long in the organization by being loyal to your
superiors and by doing an excellent job. Then offer to assist her in any
way you can. Tell her you can do anything and everything from
walking her through every cell of every spreadsheet to explaining the
history of all current programs and policies. Ask what work style works
best for her, and then endeavor to meet it. Be sure to be formal and
polite, not overly friendly. Don’t rat out colleagues with whatever
you’ve got in your files. But do continue to act supportive, helpful, and


PS – It never hurts to keep your resume current because no
matter how loyal you may want to be, her agenda may simply not
match yours.