How to work effectively with a difficult boss


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    Key Books

    Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 2002 Revised Edition

    Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up

    Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You

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    Performance Evaluation Woes

    Posted by: factorydiva
    Date: 12/27/2008 11:25:18 PM

    For the first time in 30 years, I got a performance evaluation that was so humiliating I don't know if I can face going back to work. I have worked at this job for 12 years and for this particular boss for about 4. He is a lot younger than I am and despite being a father, not all that mature when the chips are down. Basically the issue was, he, I, and some other people were responsible for a large mistake that cost the company money and embarrassment. There were a LOT of mitigating circumstances, however I will take partial responsibility for the problem and if he had mentioned it in PROFESSIONAL AND LOW KEY language in the evaluation, even if it meant giving me a poor rating, I could have lived with it (I've written dozens of evaluations myself, after all). But he not only gave me a poor rating, he also used insulting language, referring to me as "complacent", "having a superior attitude", and thinking I was "too good to learn [various computer programs that bore me witless". This latter was because I made several passing remarks to the effect that we needed a good administrative assistant. I did write a rebuttal to the evaluation and included the fact that I thought the language he used was inappropriate and didn't belong in a performance evaluation. But I am still extremely angry at him and feel I was dragged through the mud, that he dumped every resentment he's had about me for the past four years into that evaluation, sort of like a little boy finally having a chance to dump on his mother. I just don't know what to do. I feel utterly powerless. This was just the last straw. I have hated this job at least for the past three years (it started out as an Managing Editorial job - which is my background - and now has morphed into an IT job - NOT my background, not to mention that I am one of the only people at my level at this company who has no contact with the outside world, am deprived of all right brain sensory stimulation, and feel like I'm trapped in an Excel spreadsheet and don't quite know how I got there) and have had to deal with major abuse from the company's Chief Financial Officer (who is bipolar and a serial bully). But I always thought my immediate boss was my ally. I don't want to discuss the evaluation with him again, but I want REVENGE. I am doing what I can to find another job but at my age it is not easy, despite my being willing to take a considerably lower salary. I just am at my wits end because now in addition to this job's being bad for my mental health it is also bad for my self esteem and I just can't face going in there. I have no ally. The HR director is a pawn of the CFO and being in a high level job and close to 60, I have no friends or buddies there to commiserate with either. (And all socializing is discouraged, anyhow.) So how do I cope until I find another job? And do I have any recourse OUTSIDE the company if I think the evaluation used language that was libelous?

    Reply from: boss_sucks_dung
    Date: 1/7/2009 1:20:00 PM
    Reply: I enjoyed reading your intelligent and well written post. You articulated your isolation at work so well I feel like I'm there. I feel bad for you. I have no great solutions to offer but keep chatting with others here and elswhere online to avoid feeling too isolated. Go to a bookstore and check out some books on dealing with others at work (there are oodles available.) I hope some solid advice comes your way. Oh, and Google "Undercover Lawyer" for legal advice regarding the workplace.

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