I’m currently a UX Researcher at a mid-sized company. My manager takes all of the requests from stakeholders and delegates the tasks to the team, including myself. Here’s the problem:
1. He *always* says yes to their timelines even if the ask is unrealistic (e.g. yes we can launch this survey tomorrow)
2. He *always* says yes even if the ask cannot be successfully answered through research (e.g. yes we can have a survey with 15 open text questions even though that’s a terrible survey approach and will take forever on the backend to analyze. But we can’t do interviews because that stakeholder doesn’t “trust” qualitative research)
3. Stakeholders are fickle and constantly change their minds. My boss *always* says yes to these last hour changes.
4. I am never in the room for these conversations, so I don’t have the opportunity to say no or come to a compromise with the stakeholders. When I speak directly to my boss, he says it’s our job to serve our stakeholder needs.
I’m tired and overwhelmed. How can I speak to my boss about this?
**EDIT:** Thanks for everyone’s advice. I met with my boss and one of the stakeholders today. I originally just scheduled a time for me and the stakeholder but my boss requested to be present. At the meeting, I talked about what was on my plate and requested what to de-prioritize. I also talked about some of the more nuanced desires the stakeholder had for the survey and why that wasn’t the best approach according to survey science. What happened was shocking. The stakeholder was very calm and went with my approach and also apologized for putting too much work on my plate (it wasn’t his fault). My BOSS was such an asshole, though. I never saw this side of him. He condescendingly said my approach was “creative” and doing my job “should” be easy and not a big lift at all. At the end of the meeting, the stakeholder thanked me for my hard work and for steering this work in the right direction. My boss said that I “tried” and am getting better.
In other news, my resume is up to date. This job market is crazy but I have friends at other companies that I can ask for a referral. Thanks, everyone.