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In-house Access Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

So I Married a Micromanager

Posted in ACC Docket

(April 2012)

Some of you may know that my husband runs a business — one that I worked full time in for three years before ACC hired me in 2006. As with most small businesses, I was the jack-of-all-trades: marketing and communications, proofreader, bookkeeper, administration, and yes, human resources. I even got the boss coffee.

My husband and I shared a door between our offices and kept it open most of the time. Open doors, however, can have drawbacks. One day, after I got off the phone, he proceeded to say: “Next time, you should handle it this way … blah, blah, blah.” This wasn’t the first time he had done this, but on that day, I handled it differently.

Since it was time for me to leave anyway, I chose to make a dramatic exit. I shut down my computer, turned off my lights and placed my inbox on his desk. Then I said: “Here is my inbox. Apparently, you can do my job better than I do, so do it.” It was a small victory for all those who suffer from being micromanaged. I left and turned off my Nextel phone so he couldn’t radio me. We discussed it later when he got home for dinner.

Can I pull that stunt now? Not if I want to keep my job.

As the in-house counsel role continues to change, one thing will never change: You will be consulted on employment matters. Luckily, ACC Docket has you covered with our April features:

These days, my exits are far less dramatic, and I know that managing employees can be difficult at times. Managing spouses, on the other hand, is nearly impossible.

At least my husband knows I will get him coffee — at home.

Kim Howard