My boss has asked me for feedback.
He really, really needs some feedback. A good, healthy dose of honest feedback, and I reckon I might be just the man to supply it. It's probably my responsibility, right? My duty to everyone: him, me... perhaps even you.
The trouble is that I don't think I can really win here: I can't help but think that any feedback I give, no matter how carefully and positively phrased it is, no matter how many examples I give or how much I emphasise how this made me feel... any feedback that tells him things he doesn't want to hear is likely to be marked against me in some way. I am, in his head, the guy who brings problems but not solutions. (Even when, I found out by accident, he actually has taken several of my solutions and presented them to his superiors as his own work). He's exactly the kind of guy who is unaware enough of what people really think of him to ask for feedback and then be surprised and wounded by the results.
With that in mind, maybe the sensible option would either be to accidentally miss the deadline, or to submit a few empty platitudes that won't get me into any trouble. Better to keep my head down than to antagonise someone who could make my working life more difficult if I upset him. Yeah, that would likely be the sensible thing to do. Stick your head above the parapet and you're only asking for trouble.
So, obviously, I won't be doing the sensible thing: I will be giving the man some candid feedback tomorrow as soon as I get into the office and after I've had a cup of really, really strong coffee. Of course, I'll think it all through and word it as carefully as I can... but I realise that, if I have any talent at work at all, it's that I seem to have a real gift for antagonising the people who have an immediate influence over my career. I'm imagining that whatever I say, and however carefully I say it, I'll end up pissing him off.
Ah. What the hell. My career is pretty much stillborn anyway, and if I can't tell the truth about something like this, what's the point in bothering to turn up at all?*
* don't answer that.