Boss situation again
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Boss situation again

I've posted about this a little before, but I need help! I really am having a difficult time with my boss and I need to figure this out. For instance, I got in yesterday morning... Generally I make coffee for the office... I'm the first one there. He gets in and I had not made coffee yet as I had a ton of emails that needed addressing first thing, and it slipped my mind. He sends me an email asking me why "so and so" was making coffee. Really?? This is just a minor attack from him compared to other attacks. Mind me, my position has changed over the years and now I do everything from making coffee to full on audits of our financial process. I went from being hired to assist one person, to taking care of everything in the office. I understand the need has changed over the 5 years I've been there, but how do you continue working for someone who apparently hates you?

I have begun, yesterday in fact, just telling him how I feel. I responded to his coffee email in a matter of fact way and didn't hear a word about the subject again.

Question for bosses out there... Do you try to make a workers life ell instead of just firing them??
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

I am a boss but I am not that kind of boss. I'm as much of a nice guy at work as I am at home. I actually let them take advantage of me sometimes with full knowledge. When I do I also let them know that they didn't pull one over on me rather, I knew they were trying to take care of some personal business on work time. I just remind them to be careful because we all have bosses and that I know we all have things in life that we have to tend to but remember not to do it in a way that I can't defend them to my boss.

I have found that if I treat them this way when the chips are down they will always go the extra mile for me. I am a bottom line kind of boss. I could care less about the process or how you go about doing your job. All I care about is did the critical stuff get handled efficiently and effectively. I never tell them how to do a thing unless they ask. I tell them what I need done and then get out of their way and let them develop the plan that best suits them.

In the case of your boss; their are many bosses around me that are like that. This is the best way I have found to handle them.

When they throw a question at you like that don't respond immediately take a second and think through your answer and then answer them with a question. This rocks them back on their heels and puts them in the position of answering rather than you. They don't like that and if you do that enough just like pavlov's dog, they will learn to stop asking you stupid questions becuase your response places a requirement on them rather than you.

For instance: "Cherry, why did susie make the coffee"?

Cherry: It had to be done why shouldn't she?

Totally logical question that forces him to think of why he asked such a meaningless question. then he feels a little stupid for asking.

Thats just one example but you get the drift. That type of response has worked for me for years. Think of it as a game of chess where your next totally respectful answer is designed to position him in a defensive position. Keep your head and think strategically rather than being angry. You can always be angry after the well calculated move but you can't make a well calculated move while you are angry.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

I like that, but I know what his answer to my question would be to that particular question... "Because its your responsibility!". Our office staff has thinned drastically over the years, and I've picked up their workloads. I haven't gotten any raise for that.... I haven't b!tched about it to him, I'm there to help a struggling company... The pay is decent and he is the only one that treats me this way. I confide in my friend/coworker, and she see's some of it personally. But what can I do? I think I'm preparing myself to start defending myself. At this point, he's such a miserable person to deal with. If everything and everything about your job was perfect except one persons crazy attitude about low level non critical busy work?

I take my beatings like a man when something critical happens... I.e. I screw up on an important task. But the time before this petty incident, last week... I literally was shaking and crying and extremely upset and unloaded on one of his counterparts. I was told that my boss literally drove a subordinate crazy at some point. I don't know who she is/was.... But I see how it could happen!

I need to hang in there... There will be changes made, I just don't know how far out it will happen... By changes, I mean my H will be in a position to support me being a SAHM. I just need a solution until then. My poor H if I've had a worse than average day at the office.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

I'm a boss. Interestingly, I had a situation where an employee got wrapped up in a very significant issue and forgot about our policy where such issues are communicated to our higher level managers immediately. As a result, my boss was called to the carpet for the issue, but had no forewarning at all. If my employee had simply called him, he could've prepared himself with an explanation.

You know what I cared about, and why I have no respect for your boss? I cared that my employee was ADDRESSING the business needs. He was 100% focused on bringing financial value to the enterprise. I thanked him for addressing the situation, and asked him if I could help him in the future with the communication to the division managers, so that he could stay focused on the real problems that impact profitability.

I'd suggest, if applicable, that with your boss, you talk about how you were prioritizing your tasks based on what you believe to be impacting the bottom line (profitability). Ask him if you were wrong in this approach.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

Funny thing is, he only attacks me on email. When I approach him in person (often times directly after he shoots off a foul email) he backs off and alludes that he understands -insert reason here-. How do I stop the email attacks? He will ask me to the impossible on email, he belittles me on email, he chastises me on email, etc. When in respond via email the reason why something something isn't done, apparently I'm "full of excuses" - his words. So if he's asked me to follow up with someone, and all I'm getting is vmail or an unanswered email, anything but the answer he wants, all of a sudden I'm always making excuses for something not getting done .. he's not normal... And I'm his punching bag! Being bullied at work sucks..
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

He sounds like a coward if he can only confront you by email. Reply by email then instead of approaching him with what you want to say.

And keep a record of all the emails in case anything ever happens so you have proof. Send them to your home email address.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

My own opinion of him sinks lower with each new revelation. He's a coward.

But, in my opinion, he's also making a big mistake by making these criticisms in writing. The approach might depend on whether you have any fear that they could ultimately fire you. I'll explain:

If you begin to save these emails, and print a copy to save at home, if you are ever fired, you can use these to build a case that your boss is creating a hostile environment, at least in many states. If you were denied unemployment, most states have a review process for contesting. You just explain your side at the labor board. The decisions often boil down to a short hearing, and if your agent at the labor board brought in your evidence, and this did not match the seriousness of past performance reviews, often unemployment can be awarded. At least in the states where I had such situations.

But, if your goal is just to end the critical emails, another approach might work. Only you would know if it may work with your boss, though. You can save these emails from him, and print a copy. One day, ask if you can speak to the boss about a serious matter. Bring another copy of the emails (an extra copy) with the critical comments highlighted. Have them in a hanging folder, because anyone would make the connection that you are saving them.

You can take the approach of just telling him that you take your job performance very seriously. You want to improve. You want to be able to make sure that he is completely happy with your performance. If he has half a brain, the emails would stop, because he'll realize that emailing those types of comments is stupid. He may ask why you are saving them. You can remind him that you take your performance very seriously, and the only way to do so is to use constructive criticism like this in order to make sure you improve your skills so that it never happens again.

Problem is, if you work in an environment where people have no training in labor laws and best practices, my only fear is that this could escalate into a more serious issue that makes you even more miserable. In many places, however, the supervisor will realize that every email is going into that deep dark hanging folder you maintain. In one location in my past, I was a mentor to the supervisors across the location because they were all relatively new. I met with them weekly and required them to discuss their interactions with their employees. So many times, I saw cases like your boss and warned them that they were hanging themselves by their own ignorance.

Just a few thoughts.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

Yes, bosses will often attemPt to get an employee to quit rather than fire them.

It save cash on unemployment
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

I echo what everybody else here is saying. He is a passive aggressive ass hole who uses the "power of the pen" to mistreat people but cannot sack up to their face.
Respond via email and keep records.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well I'll confess to having encouraged an employee to quit but it's far from my SOP.

I'm with everyone else, or the guy could just have really bad email etiquette. I've seen more than one person who will say damn near anything that goes through their head with a keyboard. Things they would never say in another format. Are they cowards or passive aggressive, or do they simply not have their normal social/business guidelines in place because it's a newer way to communicate? I don't know, and I wouldn't excuse it either way, just an alternate theory.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

He has a small penis.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by that_girl View Post
He has a small penis.
Yes. But that's another story. I think I'm leaning towards the wanting me to quit too... Either that or trying to to convince others I am awful, I.e... See allllll these little mistakes she's making, we have grounds to term her and it be her fault... Off the hook for unemployment if he comes up with enough excuses.

Long story short, I did hook up with him BEFORE I'd ever met my H and BEFORE I was even working there. When I got the job, any kind of fling we had was long gone. It was very professional from the get go. But for about the past two years he's been this way... Ever since I reconciled with my H. My boss and I a friendship type relationship for a few months during our mock divorce and I'm certain he wanted more. But I was at a low and I was in no position to be carrying on any kind of relationship... Drinking, sulking and reading about custody law.. to try and see what would happen to my babies.

Anyway, he's simply not happy I reconciled my marriage. I think he was quietly standing by, waiting for my divorce to be final. It's not, nor will it ever be. I think he's really pissed about that.

I alluded to my feelings about this to one of his counterparts, I just sometimes wonder if I shouldn't tell him the rest of the story.

Am I off my rocker?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

Well, no wonder he's being an ass!

You didn't tell us THAT part of the story.....geez.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

You need to keep a copy of every email he's sending you.

Then you need to start looking for another job.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Boss situation again

But what do I do? I like what I do, I get along with everyone else, I'm very professional, its perfect.. except for him. If I quit, I'm screwed, if I stay, I run the risk of going insane. I could look for another job, but why?? I haven't done anything! It's a lot of work to try and get a job with the same pay, really.. our pay on average dropped. I'm already in bankruptcy. I just want to go to my job, help who I can and come home. Why is that so flipping difficult. By the time I get home, I am so drained... My family is suffering. I don't know, I'm just so worn out right now. I wanted to get a 12 pack yesterday... I hate this! I didn't, and I won't... I just want to know what to do. Ugh.

Thank God my H is not pulling any of his sh!t right now! I think I'd snap!
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