Unrealistic Expectations – Lighthearted Look at a Serious Situation

If you encounter the specter of unrealistic expectations in your work environment–from your boss or others–you might wonder how it’s possible to take a lighthearted look at that potentially serious situation. However, I believe a little levity isn’t out of line and could help you navigate such a situation if (or when) you do encounter it.

I’m happy to share a few that have occurred to me; feel free to add yours to the list by commenting on this post.

Unrealistic Boss Who Expects You to Work Miracles

Depositphotos_38900493_m-2015“Specific unknown problems”: Fulfilling the unrealistic expectation this boss has would take a miracle worker, and you might be excused for thinking that designation doesn’t describe you!

That said, do you have any options that won’t drive you crazy? Here are a few tongue-in-cheek possibilities:

  1. “Fire” your boss by immediately looking for and finding a new job elsewhere.
  2. Make a list of highly unlikely problems and create potential solutions that bear at least a remote resemblance to what’s possible.
  3. Conduct a survey of your peers (especially anyone who has worked for this boss in the past) and come up with approaches they’ve thought of taking but haven’t had the nerve to try.
  4. If you choose #3, take another look at #1!

Super-Power Employees Wanted

This sounds a lot like the situation above! Whether you’re in IT or some other department of your company–and regardless of the level you’re at–those above you might be wishing they had people who possessed super powers. We've decided to downsize IT

Unfortunately, unless you’ve recently joined the ranks of Superman, Wonder Woman, or other world-saving figures, you’re probably not the solution to management’s wish-fulfillment.

Of course, you don’t need to let that stop you in your tracks. Instead, try to figure out how you can become much more effective at what you do, so you’ll be far enough ahead of your competition to look like a super-power holder.

Do Nothing and Hope for the Best

Executives would prefer to not changeIf you’re unlucky enough to work under a management team that consciously or unconsciously hopes they can postpone action on a problem (especially if the action would be unpopular or otherwise difficult to implement), you might be facing a “do nothing and hope for the best” situation.

Unless you’re in a position to exert some pressure (or at least influence) on the management team, the most you can hope for is to make smaller-scale improvements in the area under your direct control.

Overall, that action probably won’t tip the company scales in the right direction, but it might buy you some time and help you build credibility, which could come in handy when you start looking for a new job outside the company!


Life can’t be predicted with certainty, of course, and you might actually find a solution that works in one of these situations (or others just as bad). Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

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