It's quite the step for me. He asked me to do yet another big, formless task and I said, flat out, "I can't do that."
"I don't have the time. I'm already behind on a, b, and c, and I've dropped d to get e and f done that you asked for last week, and I haven't even looked at g, which you've made a top priority for me this week. I have half my time in meetings, so you're asking a person that's only working a quarter time to do all that and this brand, spankin' new q. I can't do it."
A look of consternation, "List your meetings for me."
I list them. Eight hours of meetings in a 20 hour work week. It's ridiculous. I've told him it's ridiculous many times, he usually blows it off with a 'well you should see *my* meeting schedule' but this is the first time I actually list everything and he sees it right in front of him. What meetings I have to attend versus what he wants me to do. I see him get it. We don't have a constructive, useful solution to the problem, yet, but I can see he finally *GETS* it.
I was shaking afterwards. Just reaction. Old emotions. Old emotions of fear and doubt and uncertainty and god, he's going to fire me because I can't do what he wants me to do. I can't take all the responsibilities he wants to heap on me. I can't are the worst words I could say to a boss.
Stomp on the old things with hobnail boots. He doesn't want shit dropped. Better to tell him that things are going to get dropped if I keep saying Yes. It'll be better this way.