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  • Boss is a bully

    Let me preface this by saying I (as regulars should know already) suffer from Generalized Anxiety. I also used to struggle with Social Anxiety but I think I've got that largely under control.

    I now work in a very social setting that has me interacting with dozens of people on a daily basis. For the most part, I'm doing well. When people get in my face, I even manage to stand up for myself sometimes. But there's one person I still take shit from - the store manager.

    She's very "fake nice". She can smile really wide and sound sympathetic and crack jokes like a "normal person" but she doesn't mean it. She has an attitude and I sometimes think she's Bipolar...

    At the start, she snipped at me for wearing leggings but it was an honest mistake. Another girl had been wearing them so I was confused. I said as much and her response was a curt, "No." Totally shutting down the notion that someone else in the store was in fact wearing leggings, like I made it up...

    We're supposed to call the MOD (manager on duty) when we get in, go on breaks, etc. so I did. I said, "Dasmi checking in, I'm in the back." Her response was a snarky, "Well I'm not so that's not going to help you." But I was just letting her know where I was in case she wanted me to meet her somewhere else...

    Yesterday she got even nastier with me because I had been teaching a customer how to use our product for an hour or more (which is my job). She had apparently been trying to call me for "25 minutes" but I honestly didn't think to look at the phone. I usually don't get calls, I just get all the calls that come into the store, which I'll sometimes help answer if I'm free. But I wasn't so I didn't look, it didn't even register with me that the phone was buzzing in my sweater pocket.

    But the way she proceeded through interrogating me seemed like she was trying to catch me in a lie. I said, "I didn't know who was calling." "*smart look* Dasmi. You have caller ID, how could you not know?" "Because I didn't think to check the phone at all..." "Well you never ignore the phone, even if it's a customer calling, you drop everything and answer, what if I had been trying to tell you the building was on fire?" <--- I wanted to say something smart to that last one but thought I should probably stay quiet... Mind you, the customer I had been helping liked me so much she repeatedly tried to buy me coffee or tea and even wanted to give me a gift card. Before she left she said my talents were wasted there and I should be a teacher. I don't get this kind of praise from my store manager but I do well enough on the floor that sometimes people even take my name just to remember me later or ask who they can talk me up to because I was so helpful.

    Right after shredding me for not answering the phone, she says I can go home early if I want because our business is slow due to extreme weather conditions. I decide hell yeah and leave. She tells me, "Be sure to drive safe though!"

    Genuine mistakes made due to lack of training or inconsistent training are randomly met with hostility which makes me scared when she's on the premises. At one point, she had me so scared over this whole phone nonsense that I answered one while with a customer and the customer yelled at me. Another manager in the store told me to ignore the store manager and stay with my current customer because they're face to face. But the store manager, if she catches you not answering, snips...

    In addition to this snipping and swiping, she expects way too much. I have yet to complete my training, the other (nicer) managers have even said this. So I forget things, I haven't been keeping up with all my duties, because I haven't been given a chance to breathe. But the store manager snips at me - to which the other mangers say, "Ignore her." But it stings.

    She also seemed mad at me when I was too sick to come into the store, something she seemed to bring up yesterday after yelling at me for the phone incident. She said she needed to check my attendance record to see if I had been late too many times. I hadn't but then she somehow worked her way to , "*valley girl voice* I know the weather is bad and people get sick but like come on people this is adult world." But I was so sick my doctor told me I couldn't go to work and even wrote me a note. I had strain A of the flu and a 103 degree temperature. I was in so much pain and coughing so bad I could barely stand it. And I think she's still pissy over it!

    She's new and the other employees don't seem to like her much, either outright mocking her lack of scheduling abilities or telling me to ignore her orders because she doesn't know what she's doing. Another employee said no one likes her and she's not very nice. At the time I said, "I thought she was." And he said, "....I guess." Now I know what he meant...

    Overall, she's the only thorn in my side but I don't know what to do. Do I even have cause to complain to someone at this point or am I just being oversensitive?
    Last edited by Dasmi; January 8th, 2014, 10:45 AM.
    "Why are you always smiling?"
    "Because it's all so fucking hysterical."


    Hier kommt die Sonne

  • #2
    Re: Boss is a bully

    My advice is to not let it get to you... bullies just want to see you have a reaction. The more she gets under your skin the more she will keep doing it. Unfortunately she is the boss so there's not a lot more you can do. She's really playing on your fears and insecurities... once you show that you are secure with yourself and your job she won't have that ammunition anymore. You do that by ignoring her and doing your job. Next time she says something out of line just laugh it off right in front of her.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Boss is a bully

      I've had my share of horrible bosses.

      At the start, she snipped at me for wearing leggings but it was an honest mistake. Another girl had been wearing them so I was confused. I said as much and her response was a curt, "No." Totally shutting down the notion that someone else in the store was in fact wearing leggings, like I made it up...
      You have to pick and choose your battles. In this case, I would've acknowledged it and moved on (yes, even tho someone was wearing leggings) A coworker gave me a good advice once; sometimes you have to swallow your pride with your and tell them they're right.

      Are there store rules/guidelines you can ask for so you could follow them? for example, ask them what you need to do when a phone rings and you're with a customer? They should have some guidelines for employees.

      Another thing that helped me in the past is to improve on my communication with my managers. There are books you can read. One is Toxic Coworkers. Another is Working with People You Can't stand.
      Difficult Conversations is a good one too.

      She's trying to get to you and if you learn how to deal with difficult people, you can protect your sanity.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Boss is a bully

        ^^^^ Agree, muchly.

        "No." Totally shutting down the notion that someone else in the store was in fact wearing leggings, like I made it up...
        You are assuming that's what that "No" meant. Did she actually tell you that no one else was wearing leggings or was it a "No" that meant she didn't want your excuses for wearing them?

        That question may sound trivial but I've found (with age) that if you want to be happy where you have to go everyday, then you try your best to communicate and when you don't understand, to ask questions. That balking or trying to justify why you have broken a rule is futile and a waste of positive energy.

        If you don't know all the rules, if you feel you've lacked training on what is and isn't acceptable, then common sense must prevail. Taking your cue from who runs the place (in dress and professionalism) usually never steers you wrong.

        Unless you become your own boss (which I ended up doing), you might as well learn to take direction as well as learning to take any tones of supriority with a grain of salt.

        You'll learn the hardway that arguing with someone who doesn't want to be argued with will get you no where fast.

        Watch The Devil Wears Prada.

        Adding:
        either outright mocking her lack of scheduling abilities or telling me to ignore her orders because she doesn't know what she's doing.
        If you listen to that advice, I expect your soon to be next Op will be about how you're looking for new work. I suggest you pay attention to your superior and if its just too hard for you to aquiesce to her, or if you don't have the patience for her to hang own self due to her "not knowing what she's doing" then keep looking for something else that you can tolerate everyday for the next 40 years or so

        Next time she says something out of line just laugh it off right in front of her.
        Don't do that either. It's disrespectful and unprofessional and it will only make her want to make things even worse for you if she doesn't outright fire you.
        Last edited by phasesofthemoon; January 8th, 2014, 01:35 PM.
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Boss is a bully

          The no was to someone else wearing leggings, as though I was lying. She said another department has different rules but this girl isn't in that department. She's a friend so I let it drop because I wasn't trying to cause issues for anyone but rather indicate that inconsistent management (not the term I used, mind you) was the culprit, not a rebellious attitude. I don't rebel, I just don't.

          I don't know what it's like where you are but here, people don't end up looking for new work because of a bullying manager. That's why those other managers exist and why there is a chain of command. I just don't want to have to use it unless definitely called for. She hasn't been here much longer than I have and she's not a favorite.

          Regarding "acquiescing" to her... It's bad practice to drop a customer for a phone call unless very short. It just is. And there is no "common sense" where my job is concerned. I troubleshoot tech problems, if it were "common sense" no one would be calling me for help and training wouldn't exist at all. A month in I'm still missing training that let's me do my job efficiently which leads to further snippy comments.
          "Why are you always smiling?"
          "Because it's all so fucking hysterical."


          Hier kommt die Sonne

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Boss is a bully

            Originally posted by Dasmi View Post
            The no was to someone else wearing leggings, as though I was lying. She said another department has different rules but this girl isn't in that department. She's a friend so I let it drop because I wasn't trying to cause issues for anyone but rather indicate that inconsistent management (not the term I used, mind you) was the culprit, not a rebellious attitude. I don't rebel, I just don't.

            I don't know what it's like where you are but here, people don't end up looking for new work because of a bullying manager. That's why those other managers exist and why there is a chain of command. I just don't want to have to use it unless definitely called for. She hasn't been here much longer than I have and she's not a favorite.

            Regarding "acquiescing" to her... It's bad practice to drop a customer for a phone call unless very short. It just is. And there is no "common sense" where my job is concerned. I troubleshoot tech problems, if it were "common sense" no one would be calling me for help and training wouldn't exist at all. A month in I'm still missing training that let's me do my job efficiently which leads to further snippy comments.
            Common sense says: Answer the phone quickly, tell the boss that you are with a client and you will call her back when you are finished. If she balks, you tell the customer that you're sorry, but this is important can you give a few minutes. If the customer says, no I don't have the time/patience to wait, then you go back to the phone and you make the manager make the decision to either talk to her immediately or lose a customer.

            She's stupid and rigid. We get that but she's also your superior so let her lead and then you can go home and leave your job there at work where it belongs and not in your head.

            You're head strong if you're anything like you are in here. That's clear. You have to make things work that sit well with you. Figure out what it is that will allow her supervising to sit well with you.
            Last edited by phasesofthemoon; January 8th, 2014, 02:27 PM. Reason: changed the word "hope" to "home" O.o
            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Boss is a bully

              There's no point in discussing the phone because it's the equivalent of lecturing someone on spilling the milk. That was the point I was making there. It was a mistake - why is that worth a dressing down? Lacking as much TECHNICAL training as I do, it makes all other aspects of my job nerve wracking. Answering the phone accounts for less than 10% of my job.

              The fact that she held me back to check my attendance record - which was fine - tells me she's looking for shit. Either way, it needs to be understood that at least in the US, managers do not have free run over people when their behavior gets ridiculous.

              It's easy to ignore anxiety online, not as easy offline. I really wish I could just be like whatever, I'm doing my best, you wanna bitch I don't care. But she really ruins my day, I just hope I don't show it.


              Let me give you an example of just how uncomfortable she makes me...I check the schedule for my hours. Then I check for hers hoping they don't overlap.

              I'm seeing my doctor about medication and/or therapy in February. :/
              Last edited by Dasmi; January 8th, 2014, 04:39 PM.
              "Why are you always smiling?"
              "Because it's all so fucking hysterical."


              Hier kommt die Sonne

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Boss is a bully

                I would let it all float over my head. I go there, do my job, and go home. If my boss decides to be douchy that is their prerogative.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Boss is a bully

                  I'm going to try to be less sensitive to it. I think part of my problem is I think I'm depressed. I wonder if it's Seasonal Affective Disorder because I seem to remember having this issue every year during the winter.
                  "Why are you always smiling?"
                  "Because it's all so fucking hysterical."


                  Hier kommt die Sonne

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Boss is a bully

                    Originally posted by Dasmi View Post
                    The no was to someone else wearing leggings, as though I was lying. She said another department has different rules but this girl isn't in that department. She's a friend so I let it drop because I wasn't trying to cause issues for anyone but rather indicate that inconsistent management (not the term I used, mind you) was the culprit, not a rebellious attitude. I don't rebel, I just don't.
                    Das,

                    I got measured by a different yardstick while working for my brother too. Example: I was let go during a little breakup thing that took my mind off my work for a month. Another employee was given nine months whole he wallowed in "I don't give a shit" and they still didn't fire him, rather he quit. Bullies seek targets. It's usually the empathic, and value based people that get targeted.

                    I don't know what it's like where you are but here, people don't end up looking for new work because of a bullying manager. That's why those other managers exist and why there is a chain of command. I just don't want to have to use it unless definitely called for. She hasn't been here much longer than I have and she's not a favorite.
                    Careful here. Managers and especially human resources departments will operate they under the guise to help employees and their real concerns are protecting the mangers and employer.

                    Regarding "acquiescing" to her... It's bad practice to drop a customer for a phone call unless very short. It just is. And there is no "common sense" where my job is concerned. I troubleshoot tech problems, if it were "common sense" no one would be calling me for help and training wouldn't exist at all. A month in I'm still missing training that let's me do my job efficiently which leads to further snippy comments.
                    I would definitely ask that my training be completed and that you haven't been fully trained yet. Is there a reason why? Because if I am acting on common sense when there are other protocols involved, then how would I know that unless I was trained?
                    There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Boss is a bully

                      You think I would have no representation even at a large, well-known chain?

                      When I started, it was really busy and they needed someone right away. So I was thrown on the floor and I just had to hope I could help. Cashier training was rushed so I knew the basics from past experience but detailed instructions weren't provided. So I just had to ask for help as I went.

                      The technical stuff actually pertaining to my work was supposedly going to be handled at another location after Christmas. I asked about training today and my MOD said the store manager seemed reluctant to send me to the location I've been wanting to train at and was told I would train at a month ago. So it's up in the air again.

                      What is important to understand is I'm basically in charge of the entire department. So I'm the one people come to. And I'm operating at half steam. So when I've got a manager breathing down my neck over the PHONE, I worry about the stuff that actually matters.
                      "Why are you always smiling?"
                      "Because it's all so fucking hysterical."


                      Hier kommt die Sonne

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Boss is a bully

                        Originally posted by Dasmi View Post
                        You think I would have no representation even at a large, well-known chain?
                        I'm not saying you wouldn't get ANY representation, what i am saying is that when push comes to shove HR is there to protect the employer. That's because we live in a different time. In the 50's unions were strong. After WWII and the emphasis was on workers rights. Not so anymore.

                        HR Departments are there yes for the employee to air grievances and they will take up what they can if it doesn't jeopardize their own standing or job. In todays corporate America not so much.

                        I just lost an unemployment case against a former employer. I had a letter dated on Nov 23, 2011. I was released Nov 15, 2011. The letter stated that as of some earlier date that ADP had been brought in to administer payroll and deal with human resources concerns including employee issues. Even after stating that I did not have representation of HR because of the convoluted introduction but notification after the fact, I still lost.

                        When I started, it was really busy and they needed someone right away. So I was thrown on the floor and I just had to hope I could help. Cashier training was rushed so I knew the basics from past experience but detailed instructions weren't provided. So I just had to ask for help as I went.
                        Then ask when your training will be complete because your not up to speed on protocols and policies.

                        The technical stuff actually pertaining to my work was supposedly going to be handled at another location after Christmas. I asked about training today and my MOD said the store manager seemed reluctant to send me to the location I've been wanting to train at and was told I would train at a month ago. So it's up in the air again.
                        Then ask why the reluctance or when it can get scheduled.

                        What is important to understand is I'm basically in charge of the entire department. So I'm the one people come to. And I'm operating at half steam. So when I've got a manager breathing down my neck over the PHONE, I worry about the stuff that actually matters.
                        Understood, but without training, and especially if you're in charge you should know the policies and protocols so in dealing with subordinates you're not flying by the seat of your pants. if it blows up in your face the Department of Labor could get involved, if you suffer economic losses because of their disregard to properly train and implement said training and then releasing you over something your ignorant of because you didn't receive said training is most likely part of their hiring and recruitment process is it not?

                        The Department of Labor is the best bet (only if you suffer loss such as firing, loss of wages etc) rather than any attorney. They fight for the employee. You have no union correct? You have no one there at the company who's the employee advocate. Don't trust an HR department they are paid by the employer.
                        Last edited by foh4k; January 8th, 2014, 10:41 PM.
                        There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Boss is a bully

                          I may have asked her about training back before I developed this issue with her. And I've asked my managers twice recently and they asked her themselves. I wonder if she's reluctant to send me to another store for training because of the store...or because she wants me gone...

                          I'm not sure if I'm being paranoid or if she really is trying to find a way to get rid of me... If the latter, I wonder what made me a target, both here and at my other job. I'd like to you know...change that about myself... I do what I'm asked, I strive to do a great job, I'm nice to everyone, I learn relatively quick, etc. But it seems like every so often, I run into someone who just really doesn't like me and I can't figure out why. I don't like to fight, I don't gossip, I come to work, do my job, play nice with everyone around me, and then go home. I don't know where in there I make my mistake...

                          Mind you, none of my supervisors have an issue with me and I get along well with all of my co-workers. I'd say I even have a shot at making some cool friends outside store hours. So it's not like I'm terrible to be around.

                          And yeah, no union...
                          Last edited by Dasmi; January 9th, 2014, 12:02 PM.
                          "Why are you always smiling?"
                          "Because it's all so fucking hysterical."


                          Hier kommt die Sonne

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Boss is a bully

                            Das,

                            The number one motivation for bullies is:

                            Jealousy
                            There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Boss is a bully

                              Originally posted by foh4k View Post
                              Das,

                              The number one motivation for bullies is:

                              Jealousy
                              I never looked at it as jealousy. Now it makes sense. I got bullied by a female on my previous team. I kinda knew she's jealous but I tried to reach out to her. I would have lunch with her, be supportive. But it got worse and worse. Unbearable at times.

                              My manager kept saying to be patient and that she's had a difficult childhood, she was homeschooled, her father is mean, on and on on. All sorts of excuses.

                              I read the books I've mentioned above to help myself. I eventually went to HR. HR said they know about it, someone else has also reported her, they have a file on her but "maybe it's a misunderstanding". I still get upset when I think about it.

                              I ended up moving to another team when an opportunity came along. This goes back to what foh is saying above; HR is there to protect the employer, not the employee.

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