I am having some trouble with my manager at work, and I am hoping that some people here (particularly those with more extraverted personality types) might be able to help me tactfully broach the subject with her.
The organization I work for has been having some trouble in the last year with losing managers and restructuring. We originally had one manager and two assistant managers across two managers, but the manager quit and was replaced by a regional manager at a branch several hours away. A second assistant manager was hired at my branch who turned out to be a nightmare, but fortunately she only lasted a few months before mysteriously going on 'sick leave' and leaving the organization. The remaining assistant manager had a personality clash with the new regional manager, and has now gone on 'sick leave' as well. The remaining assistant manager was promoted to manager, and that is where we are now.
There is far too much on the manager's plate. She is doing the work of three people, and she is clearly and visibly overwhelmed by her workload. As a result, she is attempting to pass on some management responsibilities to other members of the staff. There have also been two people recently promoted, and a third was hired, and none of these individuals are quite up to speed with their duties yet.
On top of this, both offices are in disarray. Recent compliance audits showed both branches as having major issues that need to be resolved (largely the result of past mismanagement), including some big items that can result in fines and other penalties if they're not brought up to standard. It is extremely likely that we will fail the follow-up audit.
However, I find all of this somewhat manageable; the real issues are with the manager's behaviour. The main issues are as follows:
-she does not seem to realize that she is not the only one with an unmanageable workload, so she keeps passing work off to others that they can't reasonably complete. The workers at the other branch have stopped taking lunch breaks to compensate, and she has strongly implied that we should do the same.
-no one knows where she is or where she will be. She will leave the branch suddenly and not appear at the other for hours, or she we say she is going to be somewhere and not be there
-she seems incapable of scheduling us in a consistent or predictable manner. One day we will be overstaffed, and the next understaffed. Most recently she booked herself for a meeting in another city when doing so would interfere with vacation days (specifically, mine)
-she is constantly implying that I and other staff are not pulling our weight, despite the fact that we have almost no downtime on any given day and that our workload has increased drastically
-she takes suggestions or reminders as insults. Most recently, she decided to go to the other branch and I requested that she leave a key. This resulted in a tirade along the lines of 'why would you possibly need a key?' Without a key, we would be locked in in an emergency, and we couldn't open for the day
-it is impossible to get her undivided attention for more than a couple of minutes at a time
-everything is a crisis. especially minor, everyday inconveniences
Anyway, I am about done with this. I am applying for other jobs, both within and outside the organization. However, I would prefer to address these issues in such a way that going to work is not a painful experience, both for me and for my coworkers, and without alienating my boss. I am more the type to quietly avoid conflict, so this is kind of new to me. Can anyone suggest a way to do this?