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December 14, 2017

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Is Your Boss a Screamer?

My son, who works in the creative department of a global firm, comes home ranting lately about his boss — a woman — who screams at staffers. A few days ago, as he tried to answer her question, she cut him off and snapped, “SHUT UP.”


My son, who works in the creative department of a global firm, comes home ranting lately about his boss — a woman — who screams at staffers. A few days ago, as he tried to answer her question, she cut him off and snapped, “SHUT UP.”
Everyone in the office shortens my son’s name, but the boss calls him by his full name, especially when she’s angry. When she can’t find something — even if it has nothing to do with his work — she’ll demand that he find it. When he says he has no idea what she’s talking about, she says, “If you don’t find this (Full Name) you can forget about everything” – then hangs up.
She is an equal opportunity offender. Everyone, apparently, talks about how rude she is. When she’s nasty via Skype with her team in another state, a designer there pushes away from his monitor and leaves her hanging. Other people walk away when she’s on a tear. Complaints to HR fall on deaf ears, supposedly because she’s loved by the top brass. Sound familiar?
I cringe at the bad name this woman is giving to female bosses. For my son and many of his young colleagues, she is their first boss and what do they get? A boss-from-hell, a la The Devil Wears Prada.
He actually loves his job and says the boss is exceptionally bright. He’s trying to learn from her to overshadow her temperment.
But I’ve advised him to walk away from her when she becomes abusive; he doesn’t have to stand there taking her tirades. But I’m kinda hoping someone catches this bully on a tear – on video. It’s a YouTube sensation in the making.
Normally I don’t condone trash-talking current or former employers, but today let’s get it off your chest. Click here to tell me your horror stories and then breathe a sigh of relief from sharing. Maybe some of the meanies will recognize themselves and change their ways—if only for a minute.

Comments

  1. J.

    Oh yes, I had a boss that screamed and screamed and screamed….everyday.
    This made me physically ill until I learned “her secret”. You know that rhyme about the girl with the curl right in the middle of her forehead, well that was my boss: when she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid!To make my very long story short, my co-workers began believing that she was mentally ill…bipolar to be exact.
    I didn’t believe she was bipolar, but I knew she had a problem and it wasn’t me. So, one day I decided that I had to find a way to survive her very bad behavior. I vowed I would not take her tirades personally and I began to look at her behavior objectively. I FOUND OUT THAT I MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE TARGET BUT I WAS NOT THE REASON! When she went into a tirade it was usually because of some inefficiency she was working through. Or even her way of making people afraid or respect her femaleness. After a few months when she saw that I was not affected by her tirades, but remained my cool, competent self, her tirades almost disappeared. Other co-workers took the lead from me and now her screams and threats fall on deaf ears. We remain respectful and loving but not cowed. Now that little girl with the curl is more good than horrid.
    Oh, we still hear her screaming, but it’s mostly in her office and for very good reasons.

  2. P.

    My co-worker said these accusing and aggressive words to me in the last 2 weeks of working. “You need to shutup and be quiet for the rest of the shift and I want to know what drugs you are on”.”You belong on the street.” “You are a bad operator.” The phrase she blurted out in front of two co-workers, the next two we were the only two working on the shift. I hoped my direct management and human resources would properly assist me in getting the hostile environment under control. Sandra is still working while I have been sent home for two days with one day being paid and the other not paid. When I contacted Human Resources I was told my may cut. I have MS and I really push to perform my job well. I am very distressed and worried at this time.

  3. L.

    A boss-from-hell, a la The Devil Wears Prada, is exactly how I describe a woman who was a partner at a law firm I worked at as a legal assistant. She made me miserable every day with her screaming fits. I spoke to a more senior member of the assistant staff (a man) who had borne her wrath before and it lessened for him as time went by. I ended up just responding to it passively while I was there and sort of withdrew into a shell. They “downsized” my job and also fired two other women over time. Currently only male assistants are employed there. For me – it turned into a positive thing (a better job with better pay and respectful employers), but fail to understand how the other partners allowed her to get away with this kind of behavior.

  4. lucithecat123

    My former manager went through 6 coordinators in 2 yrs; this fact was carefully hidden at the interview. By the 2nd week, she was calling me ‘slow’ and insisted all her other coordinators had certified within 3 days. This was a blatant lie, another pattern of her abuse. We were not allowed to order supplies to minimize expenses, i.e. make her look good. Instead of ordering large envelopes and labels, she demanded 100 small envelopes be handwritten with addresses – a collosal waste of time and money (twice the postage for the 2 mailings). At the same time, she would berate me because all research paperwork was not completed in advance of a patient visit.
    Although she is the target of current legal action (wrongful termination), the department continues to allow her to ruin lives and she is being promoted. The University has a reputation for compliance issues and poor morale (poor management) but continues to sweep as much under the rug as they can get away with.
    She was referred to as a ‘monster’ by the union – I found out that was a rather kind understatement of the truth.

  5. M.

    I worked at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. My boss thought because I have Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder. That I am stupid and lazy. She let every one in the office know that. She also went on with people at the counter know what she though of me. She eventually fired me after 20 years of service because she though I lazy and stupid.

  6. J.B

    It’s not just female bosses. My first job out of college at a large, global financial firm (a firm still standing today) gave me more reason to run (I had already been there two years and counting)when they promoted a talentless and overweight twenty-something brown-noser with man-boobs.
    He was a screamer. He was just as abusive as the female editor in Devil Wears Prada. I walked in one morning literally two minutes after a 7:30 morning meeting (granted I was wrong for running late even by just two minutes) had just started. I could tell he was seething that I was late by a few minutes. After the meeting, he called me into his office, and went on one of his screaming tirades. He was so out-of-control, and in his own element that he only realized he had gone too far when he was about to shout a profanity at me– the F-word– and there was no mistaking it (He started the sentence with “What the f—” and caught himself at “f”. The whole time, I was quiet and just stared at him thinking what a bumbling, immature idiot.
    Needless to say, with verbal abusers like these it’s best to look elsewhere (with the economy like this it is understandably difficult). And, like many others who report to HR, it falls on deaf ears.
    I have to say while resigning in this job market is probably not the wisest thing to do, updating your resume is, so when you finally land that plum job you could give notice rendered effective immediately.

  7. B.

    I think this is something in bad taste to ask of employees today – in this economy, your popularity will draw lots of attention to these posts. We’ve all had hellish supervisors – we need to be firm in not taking the abuse and adamant in exposing it. But to do it here in a message board to vent on behalf of your son who now is exposed, i find in bad taste. Having been in this situation: I hope his supervisor is one who will see herself and change, but if she’s vindictive instead and your son loses his job, that would be unfortunate.

  8. D.

    I have a boss that lets a none trained manager to run the office. She has favorites and makes sure they are taken care of, but the rest of us get the same as your son. Not fair at all. We are all in this together and how can we keep the motivation to work at the best of our abilities, if we are treated like the ugly step child.

  9. N.

    I don’t feel sorry for your son or anyone for that matter who cannot or does not stand up to an abusive boss and at least calmly tell them they are being mistreated and disrespected. Continuting to take their behavior only perpetuates it There is usually someone higher up to speak with. I never had a problem with dealing with nasty bosses and I had a few along the way. I always made up my mind quickly that I wouldn’t allow myself to be treated in a manner that made the workplace uncomfortable.

  10. B.

    My boss is not a woman but sometimes he acts like one. He is so mean no one likes him. A lot of our customers and employees complain about his attitude but because he has been with the company for over 40 years he gets away with the mean things he does. Everyone who works for him end up quitting and the only reason why I still here is because of the economy, as soon as someone hires me I am gone. He hates it when you smile, one day he was talking to me and I had a smile on my face, he got upset and in an angry tone he ask me what am I smiling about? Recently he had the nerve to yell at me “WIPE THAT LOOK OFF YOUR FACE” now I had to really pray that God would hold my tongue and not let me give him a big what for…He goes through my desk when he think I am not around, and he sit and listens to all conversation because he is just that nosy. He had the nerve to ask me one day was it anything personal going on between me and another man in a different department, the man is married!!!!! He tells me that we both goes to lunch at the same time, now how can you determine that a relationship is going on because two people goes to lunch at the same time. No one likes dealing with him and everyone just keep waiting for him to retire, but me I don’t think he ever will because he seems to enjoy being extremely mean to everyone and it seems to give him power. It is so sad that we have people in power like that who makes everyone around them very unhappy just because they can. When I come in contact with people of this nature I feel bad for them for they must be truly unhappy in their personal life so they go around and make others unhappy. No, it’s not right, but until they see themselves for what (unhappy) or who (a beast from the bottomless pit) they are, they are never going to change. And when I come in contact with them, it helps me to always be alert to NEVER BE SO MEAN that no one wants to be around me. It’s a shame when you work for a billion dollar company world wide, and you can’t find not one person an employee or a customer who can say anything good about my manager. I have been working here for a year now, and a lot of people have bets on how long I stay here. I even had one customer to tell me not to leave because he plans on taking my manager job and make him retire. Now this is coming from a VIP with one of our biggest customers.

  11. T.

    I was fired because I didn’t get along with the boss’ girlfriend. Neither did his wife, apparently, because they divorced this past year. In a front office without about 25 people, 17 have been fired or have got out of there on their own. The girlfriend is basically running the place now. Hope she runs it into the ground…

  12. J.

    I have only had one or two GREAT bosses (I REALLY MISS THEM). Typically it’s the same song and dance, the person that doesn’t know the job very well is the boss and or supervisor, they maybe be able to talk the talk but they can’t make the walk. My last job was the worst, they would take turns picking on employees and several others as well as myself witnessed this. My immed. supervisor would suck up to the people that didn’t know the industry very well and would bash most of the people that did really well. She must have seen us as threats, thats the only explanation I can find. I know upper management does this on purpose, but you would think as smart as some people are, they would find a more positive productive way to handle business. I think most think that type of behavior is funny. I find it very stressful and counter-productive.
    Thank you

  13. Pa/ HB0374 Illinios Abusive work enviroment

    This is an abusive workplace environment.
    This is not talking trash about one’s employer,
    This is militant sabatouge, gossip and
    inter personal destructive hostile workplace environments. It screws up the employers business, lost customers, inventory screw-ups very hostile to everyone.
    In fact employers are now starting to realize how serious this problem is.
    Bad behavior /bad management/NO ETHICS or protection for people in the office that just want to go to work and do their job and not be BULLIEDThis is an abusive workplace environment.
    This is not talking trash about one’s employer,
    This is militant sabatouge, gossip and
    inter personal destructive hostile workplace environments. It screws up the employers business, lost customers, inventory screw-ups very hostile to everyone.
    In fact employers are now starting to realize how serious this problem is.
    Bad behavior /bad management/NO ETHICS or protection for people in the office that just want to go to work and do their job and not be BULLIED< MOBBED And verbally abused until you have PTSD. lost wages,SS credits, friends. You have a lot of people in the wrong jobs. If you are a participant in this STOP. Thank God In Illinois they are working on passing a law. HB0374---READ it and if you live in Illinois and it fits your working environment, see that your representative passes it. READ IT for all the workers who have suffered under undo workplace violence, which spoke up and NO ONE LISTENED. Any one in HR any one who thought THIS SOUNDS IMMPOSSIBLE. This kind of out of control behavior cost employers BIG MONEY, constant turn over and ruined working relationship PLEASE PAY ATTENTION when some one is trying to not talk TRASH but bring a problem far more prevalent then sexual harassment out in the open. And outplacement, employment at will and getting rid of the WRONG PERSON has done nothing If employers want the lawsuits and constant turnover to stop PAY MORE ATTENTION Support the anti –bully laws these are not a joke.

  14. K.

    I used to work for someone similar. She would vent uncontrollably, accuse irrationally, deny any legitimate request without skipping a beat. The typical response was to complain about her out of earshot, but I felt there had to be a way around her behavior. Most people, blindsided by attacks out of nowhere were usually stunned and nonplussed, like deer in headlights. I tried a different approach. When she would start to yell at me, and when it was undeserved, I’d evaluate what she was really saying below the words. It was usually stress or insecurity talk so I’d listen attentively until she was through, smile and say, “Let me see what I can do about that,” as if we were having a normal discussion. Of course, the requests were often irrational and there was nothing I could do about the situation, so I’d wait about a half hour, stop by her office and say, “I’m still working on what we discussed. How’s your mom after her surgery last week?” and we’d talk, tensely at first, about concerns she let slip during the week. Then I’d ask for something we needed and she’d get it for us. My rule of thumb was to do exactly the opposite of what would be expected in a rant situation: listen attentively, keep a compassionate expression, and say something noncommittal but team-player sounding with the word ‘we’ in it. “Let me see if we can figure this out”, “What can we do about this?” “I can see why you’re concerned about that -(I couldn’t, of course)- How can we resolve this for you?” and the BEST one liner EVER: “What can we do to make this better?” which forces the accuser to stop yelling and come up with ideas. If the ideas are ridiculous, say something like: “Let me see what I can do to make that work for you.” If it was do-able, I do it, but more often than not the request was outrageous to begin with, but the statements above are vague enough to assuage the fury, give the boss satisfaction that she’d taken control and NOW things were moving along. Later, I’d apologize “the original plan ran into this ‘snag'” (briefly describe the snag but never say, ‘your idea didn’t work’) and then “would you like me to continue pursuing the matter?” Usually, she had forgotten the original request because it was heat of the moment, but she has the satisfaction now of benevolently releasing you from the obligation. The best part is eventually, she stops yelling to you because YOU keep coming back like a bad penny. Seriously, it works!
    My coworker said, “I don’t have time for that psychology b.s.” and I replied, “Well, she’s not going anywhere and we have to live with this until she figures it out for herself. I’d rather run interference than damage control. I can fester over offenses during my lunch hour or manage my boss and have my off time to myself. Suit yourself.”
    I have more trouble with the WEAK boss who wouldn’t authorize regulatory repairs (budget savings increased his bonus) and then blamed me ‘for dropping the ball’ in the meeting when we failed inspections. THAT was a guy boss.
    [I got even at the next meeting following a failed inspection, by pulling out the log book I kept on his evasions and read it aloud with dates and direct quotes and the unauthorized invoice carbons. Of course I lost my bonus – under his control – but I got snickers from the other managers at the table who suspected as much, and got a stellar reputation as a saavy supervisor who gets things done without taking crap, finding myself in demand when the company shifted. :D]

  15. J.

    My former boss fired me in the midst of a rant. She literally yelled so loud and long that the folks in the next office commented to me on the situation the next day. The real kicker was that she was the one who had erred, but – being the “one who never makes any mistakes” – even when the error was pointed out to her, she went ahead and fired me saying that I didn’t know how to do my job (one I had been doing for seven years – as opposed to her doing her job for seven months!). There were actually two occasions in which she carried on with her yelling, the first when she notified me that she was terminating my position and the second when we met so that I could dispute her charges. Apparently finding out she was wrong incited her even more. I finally yelled at her and told her to stop treating me like a six year old. She got her way. I’m out of a job that I had envisioined having for years and she is still wondering what her job suties actually are. She talks up a good game, but delivering has yet to appear. I was told by upper management that since she was a VP she could get away with what she did.
    Totally the pits.

  16. D.

    I worked for a wealthy family and received the blunt of abuse from a woman who’s husband needed care. I was yelled at when she couldn’t remember where she had placed her husband’s medication. I was also fired from her employment. And even though I am not employed by this family, I couldn’t be happier. When someone like this is abusing the person who takes care of their spouse you can count on the spouse taking this abuse when I wasn’t working. She is the second one that I have worked for and kept screaming on a daily basis.

  17. C.

    Tory,
    I doubt the meanies will ever see themselves as the are. I have worked in the “genteel” & “glamorous” art auction world and know people who have actually been diagnosed with PTSD. Heaven knows why the meanies/sociopaths get away with it. When one supervisor was severely damaged during a surgical procedure I heard someone say what many were thinking, “what goes around comes around.” Normally I would think how unkind and cruel but I understood from whence the sentiment was came. Working for unstable people can be very damaging to some individuals (self-esteem & reputation). This woman might consider telling her son to go to website called http://www.bullyoffline.org/workbully/defns.htm. The only solution I have seen & experienced is to get a new job. Good luck. I hope he tries because even in this job hunting climate he might find something and even just looking could work as a coping skill.

  18. Uplandermom

    After enduring two horrific female bosses in my career, I now shy away from them. I literally lost my hair due to stress after one female boss made my life a living hell for close to a year.
    After that, if I found out my boss is going to be a woman during a job interview, I politely withdraw my name from consideration after it’s over. For some reason, some women in power see other women as competition – someone to be squashed. They have to prove they have the worst attributes of men to succeed.
    As a female boss myself now, I support flexible schedules and allow my staff to bring their kids into the office when school is out (I set up a TV/playroom in an unused conference area on school’s out days) and I strive to be NOTHING like the two hellions I had to deal with. As a result I have the most productive staff in the company with virtually no turnover.

  19. L.

    I also used to have a boss from Hell. Not only did she scream but what I really found offensive is that she would stick her finger in my face while screaming. And that was totally not acceptable. Unlike some of the other postings, I would answer her back in a soft voice but let her know in no uncertain terms that she has absolutely no right to stick her finger in my face. And like the other postings, any complaint to Human Resources went on deaf ears. Luckily, I am no longer employed there (quit about 3-4 years ago) but will always remember her as the “Boss from Hell.”

  20. P.

    Check into your state’s ANTI BULLY LAWS
    see if you can help STOP THIS.
    Most people want to go to work in Peace.
    The bad economic enviroment is part of this
    Managment needs to PAY MORE ATTENTION.

  21. S.

    My supervisor from hell was from a hairdresser whom almost everyday would complain in front of a customer about how I wasn’t doing a good job on their hair. She would write me up for anything she could grasp at and her continual berating took quite a toll on me every day. I was trying to be objective and not get ruffled and take it calmy like a previous writer said they did, but she would be angrier because she could not get me to say something wrong back to her. She hit me on the arm very hard one day (in a back room where no one could see). She also put hair dye on my winter coat, (we were the only two working that day.) She also ordered me to do something any hairdresser would get in trouble for–to put a mixture of chemicals brought in to the salon by a customer on the customer’s hair. I had no way of knowing what it really was. I did refuse.
    The worst thing she did was to try to frame me and say that I messed up a credit card transaction and took the money instead. I let her supervisors know and gave them the toll free number I called and that they could verify that I was told what to do. I quit two times and was hired back by her supervisors. She told me that she couldn’t imagine how I got hired back. She also made me work one evening after the sewer had backed up in the whole large building and I had to walk around in it. Believe me, I’ve told her supervisors all of this. I finally quit for the last time and haven’t been back. I have had a license for 28 years and have won awards and have usually been one of the higher earners where ever I have worked. There are just some people that are just mean and want to be you down and I think they actually enjoy it.

  22. Monica

    So … what do YOU propose? Maybe your son can use a mini-recorder to catch the screamer. Maybe such abuse is tolerated if not encouraged in the “creative arts” but abuse is abuse is abuse.

  23. Former GE employee

    I worked for a large corporation (think energy, finance, medical, real estate) who continually buys other companies that never get fully acclimated to “their way” so several issues “fall through the cracks.”
    I worked for a manager that was hired by the previous manager(who sucked and tried to rule the office with fear and by getting other employees to eavesdrop and tell him everything) because she sucked up to him so much.
    The signs were evident prior to her promotion that she was not ready to manage people (she already had several complaints from co-workers about her behavior)yet he still chose her knowing this….and get this; I was told she didn’t even have to interview with HR; so this previous unqualified manager had the sole discretion to hire another unqualified manager…..go FIGURE!
    I held out as long as I could but it got worse weekly and I could not fight it alone. I spoke with our Ombudsman to see if there was any way I could get some assistance on how to best handle the matter…..they failed me even worse. They should just eliminate GE’s ombudsman department all togehter!
    Now I am unemployed and they are still employed, yet GE doesn’t see the writing on the wall. Neither one of these managers can keep a staff; everyone leaves that department as soon as they are able because they do not want to work for Ms. Teal.
    When will these companies get it?
    1. People are more productive when they work in an enviroment that is not hostile and where they are treated with the respect they deserve.
    2. We are adults…treats us like adults. We are educated, experienced..some are mothers, fathers, respected members of our communities why should we be treated like anything less when we get to work.
    3. If someone is not doing what they should be doing–address it on an individual basis.
    Whew…I feel better now, been holding that in for awhile (ha ha :)…thanks!

  24. S.

    I went to the URL that a previous writer said to try but it is for Great Britain employees. Can someone please give me a URL for Americans who need advice? This problem is going to get a lot worse since people are afraid of being unemployed!

  25. K.

    Like the author of this article I have never felt the need too “trash talk” management. I am a firm believer if one does not like their position suffer through or find another! I do my job well and have been blessed with managers who saw in my particular personality if I did something incorrectly I was so hard on myself they needn’t add anything further. I am also blessed with an extreme level of confidence so the managers I worked with knew they could not get a rise out of me so they chose to pick on my less confident peers. Until recently; I was employed in a family owned situation where the youngest son had decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. I have 20 years experience in my industry; the son ZERO. A commissioned position (love making what I am worth)he pulled something no one had ever done to me; he stole a client. The night before the incident; as I was leaving I said to him, “I am taking tomorrow off but just so you know my clients are ready to write. I will be in the area all day running errands so call me on my cell and I will come in to write them.” You guessed it he did not call me; he even attempted to get them to contract on a different property. This tactic did not work they purchased the lot I had diligently worked to find them pursuant to their initial requests. I did my due diligence and was the procuring cause therefore on an ethical scale there was no doubt to whom credit should have gone. When I returned to the office the following morning I suggested we should talk and without so much as a warning he began a screaming tirade focused directly at me. No one had ever done this to me I am more familiar with having calm adult discussions. I quickly decided to allow him to rant and vent as I would have done for a client. I listened carefully to ascertain if I had possibly done something to warrant this verbal attack. He unloaded personal family issues on me, including but not limited to how he relocated to the area which was highly confusing for me as to why he was even bringing this into the conversation. Then he made a fatal mistake during his rantings he said, “You are too happy; and there are times when you are too much to take.” WHAT? hahaha I could see where having a happy employee would set a manager completely on edge; at that moment I knew if I stayed the yelling would continue and taking merit for my sales (to appease his father) would also continue. A lesson to all “YOU WERE LOOKING FOR A JOB WHEN YOU FOUND THE ONE YOU HAVE”. Do not suffer the insults of people who have issues and baggage. Do not bad mouth your employer or your company; if you are appalled with the treatment you receive from management go find another job….I did! Oh and I am still VERY HAPPY!

  26. K.

    I have had two bosses that I cannot believe retain their jobs and keep getting promoted!
    One boss was very controlling and wouldn’t let people work from home anymore. I wasn’t too upset with that because it was certainly a privelege that can be misused. Problem was, I dreaded seeing him at work because he never said hello and in meetings, he would insult you in front of everyone. “Did you REALLY get it done? I don’t want to find out in a month that it’s still not done”. I never EVER lied and never gave him reason to think it wasn’t done. He once told me during layoffs, “Just because you’re nice doesn’t mean you won’t be affected”. Yea? So? People would send him email with status or questions (because he was so unapproachable) and it went to junk mail! He was always mean and never encouraging. Later, I found out that my old boss had told him that I’m sometimes late on assignments and that was why he couldn’t believe I was done!
    Another boss was nice to me until I started working for him (a promotion to manager of the team he was managing previously and he became my boss). Once I started working for him, he treated me as badly as he treated another woman that he didn’t respect. I became the manager of the people he had been managing. He became my boss – therefore, promoted. When I asked him questions (who he contacted for this or that because he used to do it), he would say it would take him all day to tell me what he did and blew me off. When something happened in production, my guys that work for me should have been able to fix it. But, when they worked for my boss, he had done it and they never learned it. So, my boss got mad at ME for it. And yelled at ME for it in front of my guys. He was always reprimanding me in front of my team that worked for me, instead of in private. When I had my annual review, I only got reviewed for the 4 months I was working for him, and not for the other 8 months. I mentioned that and he said, “Well, frankly, I don’t think you did that well the other months”. I was so shocked because I felt that I had done a great job. A month later, I was let go. All the stress of the last 4 months took over and I cried my eyes out. I was glad. But, I felt so hurt by the events leading up to it. I told HR about it and she was so shocked and said I should have come to her. My boss was out of town when I got let go. He didn’t call me to say “Go home” or “I hope you’re okay”. I had to stay on another 2 weeks to finish up projects. When he got back, he had a smirk on his face and said, “We have something to talk about don’t we?”. By, my last day, he had heard what I said to HR and when he called me to his office to say goodbye, he said, “I’m going to take the high road and not say what I would really like to say”. I said nothing and just said goodbye and good luck and walked out. I still feel really hurt when I think of that time in my life. I worked so hard. Yet, they didn’t like what I did and they never tried to help me to develop into a better manager, even when I asked for help to be better. And guess what? That last manager was promoted to Director! Thanks for letting me vent.

  27. Rachel

    The comments about this post seem to be a bit sexist. Women aren’t the only bosses who scream and intimidate their employees or coworkers. Men are just as capable of ranting and putting people down. The person who has sworn off ALL jobs wherein she would report to a female is probably missing some great opportunities.
    Furthermore, I’m sure Tory Johnson didn’t mean to imply that all screaming bosses are women.
    I’ve had the annoying opposite too: bosses who don’t talk to me at all. I would find out indirectly, through colleagues, that they were unhappy with my work, and that made me feel worse than if they’d yelled at me – everyone else knew before I did! (In the specific cases I’m referring to, the silent-to-me bosses were men – though I don’t expect that type of boss to always be male.)
    It’s important to remember that a “type” of boss is not sex-specific.

  28. S.

    I was an office worker and had a boss who admittedly was a certified borderline psychotic. My life had even been threatened a few times. Even after working there several years, I felt that they (I worked for his family also) might fire me at any time. Several times I tried to become promoted to doing more technical work and was kept doing tons of menial things. I can tell you that after years of this treatment, it had such a bad effect on me that it is not worth the higher pay that most people in my position did not have. It was such a set back that most people would have to use the extra pay on counseling. Unless you can truthfully say all the beratement and harrassment doesn’t affect you personally and that you will get over it and never have hard feelings carried over into your future, it really isn’t worth it. We are not robots, but living souls with feelings. These people should realize that they themselves need counseling and they may be making a lot of their own loved ones sick, not to mention their own employees.

  29. S.

    I was an office worker and had a boss who admittedly was a certified borderline psychotic. My life had even been threatened a few times. Even after working there several years, I felt that they (I worked for his family also) might fire me at any time. Several times I tried to become promoted to doing more technical work and was kept doing tons of menial things. I can tell you that after years of this treatment, it had such a bad effect on me that it is not worth the higher pay that most people in my position did not have. It was such a set back that most people would have to use the extra pay on counseling. Unless you can truthfully say all the beratement and harrassment doesn’t affect you personally and that you will get over it and never have hard feelings carried over into your future, it really isn’t worth it. We are not robots, but living souls with feelings. These people should realize that they themselves need counseling and they may be making a lot of their own loved ones sick, not to mention their own employees.

  30. Anonymous

    I had a boss that would stamp around the office when things didn’t go his way. The floor would shake and instead of inspiring fear we all snickered behind his back. His end came when he had a screaming outburst and demanded that no one speak to me – I had refused to do something that was blatantly unethical and outside the scope of my title. I must admit that I shed tears when he left my desk, I felt so violated and angry. But I did not buy into his behavior and decided to respond professionally. I composed myself and sent emails to upper management and HR stating what he wanted me to do and his reaction to my response. His fellow managers who did not care for him – they too were suffering from his anger management dropout ways – reported him to his boss and I was given many apologies. Needless to say he was out the door within the week. I kept my job without any repercussions. Hey, who needs unnecessary lawsuits for discriminatory practices in the work place?

  31. T.

    My sister used to work in an insurance agency for a woman who would scream at her using vulgar language and even throw file folders at her when she got mad. She also treated the customers like crap, by making my sister leave them on hold for an unusually long time because she didn’t want to rush to the phone to talk to them. She would talk trash about the customers after she would hang up. Luckily, my sister was a temporary employee and was only there a few months. She was glad to go when the time came!!

  32. leep

    Bosses who yell are terrorists in their own way. I have now worked for two of them. The first ALWAYS jumped to conclusions without asking questions. It was such a stressful environment I ended up on anti-depressants and on a psychiatrist’s office. One day after one of his tirades I suggested he should try listening sometime. The next day I was fired. Talk to HR – right! He was a VP aka God and that made him right. The next person lasted 3 months before she was fired. The last jerk was also verbally abusive. His ego made everyone else including his customers stupid. His vocab consisted of GD, F , sh and stupid. I was the l6th person in 3 years. My spirit has been wounded and although I need and want a job it makes me wonder if a harmonious environment is out there. While employers want to know every detail about you they never tell you their dirt, i. e. I’ve had 15 people before you that couldn’t please me! I’m neurotic and psychotic and will treat you badly.

  33. C.

    My old boss was very hard to work for. When I interviewed for the position, I was told I would manage two of his companies. I had know idea what I was getting into. First of all he would scream in my face about things that had nothing to do with me. He would scream from his office, he would scream at me from his cell phone or at home. He would scream at me in front of other people and then when know one was around he would apologize and blame his behavior on stress or his superior. It was totally insane! He was my first employer, I eventually had to leave the company because of him. He finally hired another person to “fill” my shoes and he is doing it to her. I thought he would learn – but nope, still at it.

  34. V.

    No one needs to work with an abusive/harassing employer. I don’t think anyone from this website has either formally charged the employer (ie: EEOC, lawsuit, etc.)- the only thing I am hearing is alot of chronic complaining. Job harassment is illegal. You can journalize what is going on in the job – and file charges. You can also speak with an attorney about employment discrimination.

  35. E

    To P. – I feel so badly for you. Be sure to record when you are abused. Have you spoken to a lawyer, human resources, the labor dept., health dept., the MS Society about this? Are your civil liberties being violated? As a very last resort, you might talk to the media about this. Talk to a lawyer before you do that. Someone needs to be your advocate. What you’re dealing with really has to be taken care of. On so many levels, it’s so wrong. I’m a career consultant and resume writer. I’d be happy to develop a resume for you for free, if there’s no other way of dealing with your situation than to get another job. I don’t know if that’s allowed, but see if Woman for Hire can put you in touch with me. I’ve become a kind of consumer and disabilities advocate. I have a sister with learning disabilities, so I’ve learned to get things done and fight for people who are in unfair situations. Another thing you might think about doing is taking an assertiveness training class or reading the book How to be an assertive (not aggressive) woman, by Jean Baer. We do have a lot more control over what we can accept at work than we think we do. It’s a super book, and I highly recommend it. It has great examples and skills to deal with lots of life situations where we don’t think we can speak up. It shows us how to say the most effective thing in a given situation. Try to get it at a library or at a second hand book store.
    Regarding having bad bosses,
    I can’t begin to tell you how many bad bosses I’ve had, and unfortunately, most of them have been women. I don’t recall ever having a bad male boss, and I’ve have a lot of jobs. One boss I had was nasty, manipulative, controlling and micromanaging. (I was an assistant manager in a small retail store, and she was the store manager) One day, she had my co-worker (who had the same job as I did) redoing a complex display wall. At the same time, she told her to redress a dummy and take care of the customers. She stood right next to my co-worker and barked numerous orders at breakneck speed. I wondered if she wanted us to do cartwheels and fly to the moon at the same time! Everyone in our store and two other stores knew how awful she was. The district manager was a horrible people manager as well, so they were peas in a pod. Bad managers are very hard to deal with. You can’t reason with them, and you can’t go over their head, because then they’ll retaliate. A lot of them need a good shrink! Bad managers are a serious problem that need to be addressed. We’re on this planet for a short time. There’s no reason to rule with an evil fist. Good managers are like gold – if you get one, hang on to them for dear life! Thank you.

  36. L

    I have that yells like she is out in the cornfield 30 houses down. She yells for you when you are on the phone from her desk. Too lazy to get up or even dial your number.

  37. b

    A co-worker constantly vomited in her trash can at her desk.
    Yes, you read that statement correctly.
    We did not have cubicles or walls to separate us from each other. She would leave the vomit there, not cleaning it up, or even going to the restroom for the next wave of vomiting.
    I found out she constantly overate, (even after her Lapband surgery), and hence, she would vomit at her desk on a regular basis.
    No one in Management or HR would address the situation, make her go home, or make her stop.
    I quit the job. No amount of money is worth THAT.

  38. N.

    Until I read the article and comments, I felt as though my issues with the topsy-turvy, mood swings of my boss were the ultimate. It’s sad to know that there are many others living with issues such as these and worse on a daily basis like me. I think work should not be this way considering more hours are spent with bosses and co-workers than with family in most cases.
    As for my office, from the moment my boss steps into the office everyone is on egg shells in order to see the mood he’s in which is still not a clear indicator considering how many times the days have deteriorated in front of our eyes. He is not discriminating in his tirades as the entire office staff gets it when unfortunate things are going on in his life which happens to spill over into his work and our lives. I have been working for this person for over 4 years and his ability to light up and kill the mood in a room is amazing. I never thought that I would last beyond a year as I became victim to public disdain, yelling, mico-managing, throwing papers, humiliation in front of public, attorneys and co-workers. Yet, he frequently receives constant praises for my work(because I am a hard worker), professionalism and pleasant attitude. Believe me it is and has been hard to even have a pleasant attitude when my days would revolve around whether this person was happy or not. To say the least, it had impacted my life with my family, friends, etc. I realized this after my mother observed and noticed more negative things that I would say. This really hit home as I have strived to be a positive person and on that day I decided that he would not, NOT impact my life so that I change as a person, allow the mood of my days to revolve around his, and become unhappy with myself as he apparently is from time to time.
    Everyday is not a horror story. Nor is he a complete ogre everyday and can be quite pleasant at times. By me having peaceful days and him acting like a decent person has bought more time of my services, an additional three years. Things can’t stay this way forever and I will move on. I feel quite sad when think about how unprofessional and callus others can be and how the next person in my position will handle the task of becoming the “whipping boy or girl”.

  39. P.

    Not a boss from hell, but I have a teacher from hell. She walks in front of me when she sees me coming just so I have to stop and wait for her. Its as if she wants me to make contact w/ her, but I’m too fast for that. Once she was talking loud (her usual) and she shot her arm out as I was walking by, but somehow I just knew she would pull that trick and I stopped short so she would not hit me. She never apologizes or excuses herself from this ill-mannered upbringing she was probably raised w/. Oh well, I only have 4 months of her wicked witch behavior. Oh, did I mention she loves to cough on me? How wrong is that?

  40. XMployee

    I used to work @ several companies, most of them no more, where there was usually an a—ole boss of either gender I’d work under. Me being an AA woman, there was also a little dicrimination mixed in with the screaming and intimidation that many a boss would inflict on me as well as other co-workers. On a couple of occasions, I’d report it to their superiors. And of course, my complaints would fall on deaf ears, simply b/c the offenders wormed their way around it. So I’ve come up with a very nifty solution for all my past work environment hell–I’m currently writing a fictional novel that will have some elements of workplace abuse throughout it, and hopefully I will make enough money to make an independent film based on that novel. The way I figure, if nothing can be done about this atrocity @ the time one suffers it, then find your time to expose it for all the world to see later on in life. That will more than likely make those jerks look and feel really bad for their evil ways. Wish me luck!

  41. V

    My current boss is HORRIBLE!!! She is so bad that entire clinics are going to the new VP (her boss) before that we had no one to go to. HR can only do so much but now with the new VP hopefully things will improve. She is equated to The Donald (you are fired). That is her phrase and she likes it. She accuses us of cheating on our time cards, not doing our work to the point of badgering us so we have started keeping logs and a paper trail to prove otherwise, she made one lady have heart palpitations and was carried out via ambulance,I am on meds because of her stress. she will yell, rant, rave, cause all kinds of upset and is otherwise a HORRIBLE PERSON!! I hope the new VP stays true to his word and gets her OUT.
    thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

  42. V

    You are absolutely right. I had a rude obnoxious female boss who would use profanity such as, f— you, motherf—-, sh@t, you name it, she used it. When I complained to the VP, CFO and the HR dept about her behavior it went on deaf ears and I became a target and they ended up firing me. It is very unfair to employees working in the same company with this type of idiot for a supervisor. She (my former idiot supervisor) was not qualified to have the position she had and it showed. Of course, she must of used other means to get her job…I would’nt doubt it.

  43. B

    Thank you for this outlet, everything written sounds so familiar and being a former Store Mgr/HR manager who joined a larger company I can say I am appalled at the behavior of the DMs in this company. She manages through fear and humiliation and then writes quotes about being positive on her door for everyone to see. Apparently she thinks that you don’t have to walk the walk. I have complained to HR on behalf of myself and my staff and nothing is done.She is the worst manager I have encountered and she literally is making everyone sick around her. I have decided to maintain as positive an outlook with my staff and do yoga at home and build my home based business untill I can say good bye. I just wish I could change it for the folks that will be left behind.

  44. z

    Life is too short to allow employers to treat you badly. Start a new business, a new job, a new life without the drama.
    I did it, and I am now a boss who is nice to my employees. I appreciate their work and tell them so. It is good to be a happy Boss!

  45. Anonymous

    I’m a bit miffed about this discussion — is this opened by the owner of this site? On behalf of her (adult) son, really?
    I’ve worked in law, as legal secty & word processor on all 3 shifts at law firms large & small all over NYC. Bosses get away w/ being abusive because they CAN. There are far more of us then there are of them; employment at law firms is at will i.e., they can do whatever they want. They need not have or give reason to fire us. They can just fire us & move on to the next person. I have seen it time & again, though I will personally attest to women being by far the worst offenders through the manner of their behavior.
    My own experience has generally been that w/ an abusive male boss, if you take them behind a closed door, point out the problem w/out embarrassing them in front of their colleagues, being disrespectful or insubordinate, they’ll usually be OK about it & even straighten out & still treat you w/ respect afterwards.
    With women bosses on the other hand, I don’t even try this w/ because their offenses are often to become personal in their attacks, name calling, etc. I’ve rarely seen men do this — I think it’s something about how SOME powerful women fight &/or maybe about them trying to be macho enough or that they think this is how to win respect & be on a par w/their male colleagues.
    At a large, prestigious NYC law firm (very white shoe) I came in as a temp & was invited to be hired (temp to perm). The boss wasn’t a screamer but sarcastic & nasty, but I didn’t know it, nor did anyone tell me. But I later learned that’s why I was hired from the outside, where at an office of 400 people, she couldn’t keep a secretary. She was demanding work-wise, which was a big deal for everyone except me, I didn’t mind, am OK w/ hard work, so she really liked me & had me hired. We had a 6 month honeymoon period wherein she was fine, but over time I noticed people (her underling associates) would cringe when they saw me coming. Folks who knew me to be friendly & otherwise fine, but I realized later it was about they were leery of what nightmare I, as her messenger, was bringing them. After a time it got bad between us & we had a couple of glaring at each other matches, after which I asked management for a transfer & while that was in the works w/ her boss, she went above his head (as we say, to her Rabbi, someone who must have been very high up) & had me fired. When I went to her boss in tears from anger, he didn’t know anything about it. She never did make Partner (gee, I wonder why) & was apparently made to move on later herself having failed to do so.
    My most recent boss (I was out of work 1.5 yrs. before him, so I couldn’t just get up & leave) was a horrendous screamer, a matrimonial attorney & Rabbi as it happens. Yelled at everyone, me, clients, opposing counsel, everyone but the Judges. At one point he screamed at me so badly that another partner in a different practice who had nothing to do w/ any of this, came across the whole office from his desk to mine to apologize for his partner’s behavior, ‘cause he couldn’t bear what he’d been hearing. An opposing counsel Partner unsolicitedly TOLD ME about the partner’s screaming & how he handled it. He volunteered that he’d warned my partner that if they were to do business together he’d have to stop the screaming as it simply causes the opposing counsel’s brain to shut down & they would not proceed further. Fine for him, but I couldn’t do that. The man threatened to fire me for 2 of the 2.25 yrs. I worked for him. I didn’t believe him after a while & also didn’t have a chance to look elsewhere (I was so stressed from the screaming). When he told me they were letting me go, I was so relieved I actually started smiling. I was so relieved to be leaving there I kept smiling especially, when told it was being termed a lay off & that I could collect UI.
    My solace was that in their eagerness to get rid of me, they made a really bad hire; her credentials looked great on paper, but apparently no one thought to ask if she could word process & guess what, she couldn’t & couldn’t get out a single letter in 4 hrs. time – brilliant! He ended up swiping his Jr. partner’s secretary, who maybe be technically a good secretary & procedurally knows more than I, but is nasty to clients, takes no pride in his work, is not loyal & can’t come to work on time if his life depended on it; yet who can’t stop crying for the raise he doesn’t deserve since he doesn’t get that being late 30 minutes every day matters. I’m convinced if they’d dock him just ONCE, it’d stop, but they never do & see, he’s still on the job & I’m not.
    I still can’t find work & have been working hard to get out of legal (20 yrs. experience, 15 of them in law & a BS degree & I’m still out of work 15 months later in NYC).
    Anti-bullying laws are a nice idea, but I expect largely unenforceable. Unless it’s a legal liability, law firms don’t care, they know they don’t have to. I suggest you folks are a bit naïve to think that standing up to it is the answer – in actuality it’s the quickest way to be shown the door. This man called me both stupid & a liar, I’m neither; at age 50 I’d never been called either of those before, EVER, but I couldn’t’ walk off the job not having another one. I may have nothing, but I do have my personal integrity & my brains; unfortunately I haven’t yet figured out how to get them to pay the rent.
    Also PLEASE DO NOT RECORD PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE without first checking your local laws; in many states it’s illegal to do w/out the other person’s knowledge.
    Remember Monica Lewinsky & Linda Tripp – it was a question of jurisdiction, something like it was legal in D.C., but not in the Commonwealth of Virginia; you’ll recall Linda Tripp had legal trouble & consequences, though I don’t recall what they were. Please be forewarned.
    I suggest you folks wake up to reality; it’s pie in the sky to think this will get fixed. I’m working on other avenues of employment, I do have my art training & BS, I’ve been a quilter for 15 yrs. & am in the process of trying to start selling my Art Quilts. I’ve had my Quilts in 2 different Quilt Shows over the last 12 months, so I’m hoping that’s a better prospect. Thank G_d for emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits extensions).
    KRS in NYC

  46. P.

    Not only did I once have a “CEO” boss who was a screamer – the rest of his staff was just as abusive!
    Also, I had never been given a straight answer EVER when I asked, “Okay, I’m hired! Great! What gig did I get? What do you want me to do?”
    I had been under the impression that I’d been hired as a staff writer; but, later discovered via the (hourly wage) payment I received for my two weeks of (salaried effort) work there – that I’d been a “temp ‘general office staff’ hire”!
    So, they were insulting as well as injurious.
    It’s not just the “screaming” that turns people deaf to the real problems in an office – it’s the CONSTANT threats of loss of employment – it’s the “drama” of being “made” to be their “emo slave” – ie. You HAVE to care more about the infinite petty details of their life than doing your job!
    There are a lot of people who are on ego trips that have no right to do so. Hey, if you discovered a new vaccine that you’re going to be GIVING away to EVERYONE – then, you’ve got my vote for Humanitarian of the Year, other than that – I’m not going to really be able to work up a sweat over whether or not your manicurist
    “listened” when you said you wanted “silk wrap” as opposed to “just” Acrylic fills!
    (I was working for two hellish weeks at the home base of a company that puts out a “skin mag” as well as has more than six “adult book stores”! NOT my “hoped for dream job”, but, I thought I was going to be given a “chance” to write about important issues as they liked the ideas I’d pitched them!)

  47. P.

    By the way, there was a LOT of journalling of events, and those were seized – “confidentiality agreements” put the brakes on ANYONE suing these abusers! It’s called a “pre-emptive strike” – and in these stressed economic times, there are some people who seek to take illegal advantage, and because government gets bigger tax payouts from businesses, it’s entirely possible that the tiny voices of those who have been abused are “too small in number” to be heard accurately by those who couldn’t really care to do anything about it; and yet, have taken oaths of offices to insure that such hardships NEVER befall the “little person”!

  48. J.

    I was working for 2 brothers starting a new business, they seemed so nice in the interview. Within 2 weeks they were tag teaming me, screaming, throwing things, it was a constant game of good cop, bad cop. I was told I was on salary and expected to work 6 days a week, 50-60 hours a week. My brother died and they wanted me back the day after the funeral. When I tried to defend myself, they would tell me that they did not want to hear my excuses, and that I did not know who I was dealing with. A few months ago they tried to make me take a 30% pay cut, when I refused they laid me off. What a relief…. never thought that I would look forward to unemployment. I am now a happy unemployed, well balanced woman!

  49. R

    I worked for a woman who had built a successful small business. When I began working for her, she was in dire need of restructuring the businsess. It just wasn’t producing so she brought me on boaard to help with a new venture. After three days, I realized that all was not well and that she and I were on a collision course.
    My boss wanted complete control. Therefore, she would give me just enough details to start a project but not enough to do so effectively. Then she would yell because there were mistakes or projects weren’t completed in what she considered a timely manner. The new venture was a hughe stretch for her and she was afraid that someone else was going to give her company what it needed. Though I understood that she yelled because she was terrified that her company would fail, it was stil something that I believe no one should have to endure.

  50. A.

    My previous boss was not typically a screamer – she would just nitpick every assignment I ever worked on. It didn’t matter that I cut and paste her previous work (at her request) or even if I used her wording verbatim on certain documents. It seemed like nothing was ever good enough, that I would never get past this steep “learning curve” she kept on referring to during our one-on-one meetings. I would come in early, stay late and come in on the occasional weekends so I could try to write reports that she would approve. I was an hourly employee who was not given overtime at any point. It became my mission to please this woman.
    Then it happened. One day, after hours, she called me in to discuss a proposal I had worked on and she, in all seriousness, asked me if English was my first language. As my jaw hit her desk, she went on to explain that if this was the case, then she could understand why my writing was bad. Now, this is coming from a woman who only has her BA in chemistry (not ENGLISH) to someone like me who has her MS from an Ivy League university. I was stunned! I couldn’t believe she would actually ask such a question. It was all I could do to not shed the tears that were welling up in my eyes – I would NOT give her that satisfaction.
    I went to HR who immediately passed the buck back to me saying that I had to speak my boss and let her know that her conversation with me was unacceptable. So the next time we met, I did just that and this woman completely denied asking me that question – as a matter of fact, she screamed her denial at me.
    As I found out afterward, HR had received complaints of a similar nature in the past and was powerless to do anything because the execs loved her. Her eventual “apology” to me was something along the lines of “…I’m sorry that you think I did something I didn’t do.”
    The sweetest revenge was that I was recruited by another department in the company where I am now at the same management level as her and my “sub-par” writing has directly led to raising funds for her department. Sweeter yet is that since I left, several others have also left and she is running a bare bones department where she has to do all of the work.

  51. m

    Actually, I was never yelled at, just being forced to take the “heat”.
    I had such bosses at my last job. In fact these were women. I was always blamed for things that absolute nothing to do with me. If they didn’t like someone, they found ways to blame others for their problems.
    The best part was especially, if they were told that I had absolutely nothing to do with the incident. That bothered them even more.
    Now for the male bosses. They all had tempers. Again, they would never listen to what people had to say, they only heard what they wanted to hear. They had to be right. Everyone else was wrong.
    Then these people would wonder why productivity and morale was always down in the office.

  52. While working retail in the cosmetic department, my regional trainer recommended to me and my immediate boss that I should interview for her position since she would soon be leaving the company. I was so excited to get her approval and endorsement for a position that I wanted to obtain. I went on the interview and felt pretty good about my ability to do the job well. A few days later, the manager of retail operations (MRO) for metro area came to the store to pay me a visit. She told me in the middle of the mall, that I had, “No business interviewing for that position.” She also said, “You are totally unqualified and have none of the skills required to be successful in that position.”
    After spending the rest of the shift crying my eyes out while selling lipsticks, I had to wonder why upper management called me in for an interview if I was so “unqualified.”
    A few years later, I did get a position as a trainer with a different company. I was paid more money, and had an international territory with a more exclusive company. One day while doing a training, I found out that the mean MRO was with yet another company and was demoted to the same position to which I was recently promoted.
    I love karma. My mom always says, “Just kill them with kindness.” I think it’s just the universe testing us to see if we are mature enough to take the next step in the ladder to success.

  53. E.

    As a woman and a professional, currently working for a woman who feels threatended and insecure is the worse job experiene there is. I was hired for a job that I will never effectively be able to do as she retains control and bottlenecks all efforts for progress. Areas pertaining to my job responsibilities are done by her poorly and others are led to believe it is me. This organization is consistently in the red by her poor leadership and financial decisions. All I can say is what goes around WILL COME AROUND. The poor, biased and unprofessional treatment that one recieves will surely fall on the generations of those to give it.

  54. r

    A few weeks ago, one of the jr. executives announced to the office that he has smellled the aroma of pot in the office & would, at that moment, begin to search everyone’s bags & desks to determine who was the guilty party. As you might expect, there were loud protests to this threat, to which he replied, “If you all refuse to allow the search, then I’ll call the police & have them perform the search.”
    This is a man who speaks disrespectfully to nearly everyone in the office, demanding supervisors to grab a mop or broom or vacuum cleaner & clean up the area he wants to work in, even though there is a porter making nearly twice the money an hour than almost everyone else in the office. This man will pound on a desk to get the attention of the people around him just so he can tell them he wants the area quiet so he can take his phone call in peace. He has reduced some of nthe young ladies in the office to tears because he goes out of his way to make disparaging remarks about their competance to their faces & when someone calls him on his behavior, he simply says, “This is an ‘at-will’ work environment; if you are not happy here, you are free to leave.”
    Now, I’m against “political correctness” & have a reputation in the office for speaking my mind & asking the questions no one else has the heart to ask whenever management presents some ridiculously micro-managed office policy (such as requiring the staff to sign out of the timeclock whenever we go to the bathroom or forbidding the staff to have opaque spill-proof cups to drink from, because we may be tempted to place alcohol in them instead of water & drink on the job), but I also know when to pick my fights, having been the president of office’s Employee-Management Interaction Team which acted as a buffer between staff & management on office issues, so I said to him, “Then call the police, don’t just try to scare us into compliance. Management should be ready to follow-through on its announcements.” And in front of everyone there, he said to me, “Shut up, Robin, you always have something to say.”
    In over 35 years in the workforce, I have never had a boss tell me to shut up under any circumstance, and to say I was offended would be an understatement. You could have hear a feather crash to the floor after he said that. To add insult to injury, his 2nd level assistant pulls me off the phone to accuse me of having been sarcastic just to be in the middle of the situation. I told her no one has the right to level a blanket indictment against the entire office if they had proof of the identity of the guilty party, so why didn’t they yank that person off the floor instead of insulting the rest of us? I went back to taking calls & 15 minutes later I was pulled off the phone to a meeting in the conference room w/ my immediate supervisor, that 2nd level assistant & this jr. exec. He immediately told me he was sorry about what he said. I told him no, he wasn’t. He said that he sometimes forgets that he has to approach American workers in a different manner than he does with his staff in the owners offices in Bophal. But, he felt that I was being very political (yes, I know: That word was used entirely out of context)& that I didn’t have all the facts. And then, in the privacy of the conference room, away from all the people who witnessed his outburst, he apologized to me.
    Then, a funny thing happened after that. People stopped speaking to this guy. They stopped volunteering for his “special projects” that would get them off the phones for a few hours. More people started to speak up & speak out about the ridiculous micro-managing going on in the office. I’ve actually had people come up to me & tell me they thought he was out of line for the way he spoke to me. I mean, I certainly don’t think of myself as a “Norma Rae” type, but I must say it feels good to see a few more backbones grow in that office. It has a really long way to go, but at least this is a start toward being treated a little better.

  55. I

    I worked for an attorney for 3 years in an office where several attorneys shared office space together. Working part time, he would show up almost at quitting time and would start delving out work. I worked overtime often and never got paid for it. I occasionally worked for other attorneys in the office, periodically covering for staff that were on vacation. One time, he went to the office manager and told her she had to ask his permission for me to work for them! This was during my time (mornings), as I worked for him in the afternoons! I was nothing more than a “possession”! I had a housing voucher and because I did not receive a paystub (but a corp. check), they sent my boss letters every other month, confirming my hours and pay! He would come out in the office in front of other workers and clients and start yelling, using profanity, embarassing me in front of everyone! When I left to get a full time job, I told him I had to focus on a full time position with benefits and it wasn’t personal. I worked at my full-time job for 6 months and was laid off after the business was sold. I immediately obtained a position for the local county DA’s office as a provisional employee and worked there for 5 months. When I applied for unemployment insurance, this very attorney, who should know better because he has a NY State License and is of higher standards, proceeded to try and stop me from collecting unemployment because he claimed (to the state) that I had not been let go by him, but quit and, therefore, was not entitled to unemployment. This delayed my receiving my checks where I almost had to apply for Welfare!! I had a very difficult time finding employment and could not understand why. After I had found a position in non-profit (as I could not find a job in the legal industry), I had a friend call him for a job reference to find out what he was saying about me. It turns out that he was so mad that I did, in fact, qualify for unemployment insurance, that he lied about my term of employment (I worked for him for 3 years and he said I worked for him for about a year), claimed I wrote legal documents and stated that my work was so bad, that he would not sign off on any of my work (which was incorrect because I was only a legal secretary and did not write legal documents), and stated he would not recommend me as a potential employee!! I was going to report him to the Grievance Committee, but I am so afraid of what he could potentially do to me, that I had to take him off my resume. I graduated in 2003 with a pre-law degree and cannot use my work experience with him because he blatantly lies about me, all because his Unemployment Insurance went up!! So, my advice is: if you go on an interview and the employer spends the entire time talking about himself and his own credentials, please . . . run in the opposite direction!!

  56. R.

    It is amazing how nice and professional prospective employers can be when you are there for the final interview. My encounter lasted for five years because it took that long or me to realize that almost all the good things I was trying to keep in focus about my employer were all used up. Yell, scream, down-grade, embarrass, throw things, you name it; it was done.
    An answer when mild, turns away rage (sometimes)!
    We tried to keep positive, but when it does not work, it does not work.
    The day I gave my two weeks notice, I was begged to stay. Between that time and the actual day of departure, I was hospitalized with a blood pressure reading of 102/220, stroke material, that was the LAST STRAW ! I went back to work
    two days before my last day and the begging continued, there were 7 more positions opened in which I would have comfortably fit, but NO I COULD NOT HAVE ONE OF THOSE. Up to the last day
    the begging continued, I was called into the office and stood my ground. “TODAY IS MY LAST DAY, IT’s BEEN REAL….”
    When I walked out the door, it was as if boulders were lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe
    a sigh of relief. At 55 years of age, close to retirement, where would I go ??? The following
    Monday I was called to another job, hired on the spot and making more money, working less hours, with the REALLY sweetest boss I have ever had in my working experience. Moral of the story: WHEN YOUR HEART AND MIND (and especially your body) TELL YOU TO LEAVE, LEAVE ! IT’s NOT WORTH IT.

  57. I believe there can be a lot more that may be included in this write-up. Expecting a subsequent post on the very same topic.

  58. What you write plus the great observations already made before I get around to reading not to mention commenting, result in me feeling like I need to say something profound.

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