How to work effectively with a difficult boss


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    Key Books

    The Boss's Survival Guide

    Nasty People

    Tongue Fu! : How to Deflect, Disarm, & Difuse Any Verbal Conflict

    Beastly Bosses

    "Having a demanding boss is one thing - having a bully boss is something else. Some office bullies have been known to ask workers to listen in on a conference call during a holiday dinner. Others point out a worker's weaknesses during staff meetings and reprimand them in front of colleagues. With others, a simple discussion turns into a screaming match."

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    Comments: [add a comment]

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/3/2005 10:54:00 AM

    I work in the healthcare setting and I have a boss who is trying to fire me. she cuts me down when my co-workers are around. I have diabetes very badley and I am pregnant. I am truley worried that her stressing me out will cause me to misscarry, I can't quit because I need the money so bad, any advise would help. thank you

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/22/2005 12:14:00 PM

    Go to a higher up and present your worries to any type of Human Resources or Employee Assistance program. It is illegal for someone to slander and bully you. Maybe consult an attorney. Don't take it lying down!

    User: Polly
    Date: 5/7/2006 6:51:00 PM

    Be prepared to that there is a possibility no one will listen to you. In environments where bullies manage to climb up the ladder, their tactics are often looked at as management style. I would recommend you see an attorney at this point. I waited until I completely broke down from the stress of it and really inhibited my ability to make a good deal even with an attorney. I didn't know the right things to say which were important to the attorney to get me the right settlement for the crap I'd been through. Research, document and make sure you follow-up meetings with written correspondence to clarify what was discussed at the meeting. Remember, if these people screw up they are not going to help you get them.

    User: kevinsgirl
    Date: 8/13/2006 7:14:00 AM

    I work for a british bank in the uk. On friday we had a meeting with everyone in my department about changing something to make it easier for people working in the back office. Because I voiced my opnion negatively my boss yelled at me in front of other co workers so I became dispondent during the rest of the discussion because I was embarrassed. She then came into my office which is located in the lobby of the banking center and confronted me. She asked what my problem was so I explained it to her telling her that I didn't appreciate her yelling at me infront of everyone and that I'm stressed. She asked why so I told her about another employee who didn't want to wait on customers and who would make comments about having to help customers. I made the mistake of telling her something that was said to me outside of the office from another co-worker and she said that we were going to have a meeting after work she told me that I am not the boss of the department that she is and that I will never be promoted because I am friends with other employees and that I need to leave my friendship with my co-worker out of her department. At the meeting at the end of the day she called me, the person that i said was negative about helping the customers, and my co-worker friend into her office. She asked me and my friend to tell the girl what our problem was with her so we did and immediately the she started to cry and then my boss looked at both me and my co-worker and said that "this is what you two did to her" She didn't even address the problem that was at hand about the other girl not waiting on the customers or about the other girl making rude comments about us. She stuck up for the girl who was the casue of the problem and basiclly said if she doesn't want to wait on the customers then she doesn't need to. I want to quit but I like my job and I don't know what to do. Any advice?

    User: gary
    Date: 8/13/2006 8:50:00 AM

    I suggest that you start looking at a position in another organization or perhaps a transfer within your current organization. Also be assertive not aggressive with your boss. Gary - Co-Founder

    User: anonymous
    Date: 11/30/2006 6:23:00 PM

    I too am pregnant, and my boss just reprimanded me in front of my co-worker. In addition to my own embarrassment - my co-worker was embarrassed (to witness it). At this point, I would be completely satisfied if she fired me...I would then receive unemployment benefits, and have a more consistent income while taking care of a newborn & job hunting. Thankfully I am on my husband's insurance plan. Good luck to all of you, I am going to try my best to get fired, ha!

    User: anonymous
    Date: 12/6/2006 12:43:00 AM

    I just found out my "boss" has been reading my e-mails and printing off copies of e-mails that are negative about him. He quit but on his last day he actually had the balls to force me to do a performance review and gave me the worst ratings in the history of working. I have been working for 17 years and never once had a terrible review....I am the dream employee who is very hardworking!!!! Anyways, on his last day he gave head office copies of the e-mails that slander him and only mentioned that he saw them and that I have a right to my opinion but I should never have e-mailed it to a co-worker. Granted I used the wrong medium but if it wasn't for the co-worker and my e-mails I would have quit a long time ago.... I am scared of loosing my job because of the spineless twerp....any advice?

    User: anonymous
    Date: 5/23/2007 4:48:00 PM

    My boss has a double personality he starts off by being so nice and trying to be friendly and then you start to relax and that is when he has you. He then makes an agressive attack at you out of nowhere. I have been trying to have my appraisal which needs to be done this week with him since first of April and he keeps verbaly attacking me. It gets me so upset I need to leave but I like my job and as the saying goes when he is nice he is very very nice but when he is a shit he is a shit. I am at a loss what to do the more work I do and the more I try to help by doing extra duties etc. the worse his attacks get. Slowly but surely he is breaking my confidence and the thing is I reckon he gets a kick out of it. I have never had a boss like this before and am at a total loss. I feel like I am failing as I can't turn this situation around. Can there be many boss's out there like this? and has anybody ever broke his system?

    User: anonymous
    Date: 4/1/2008 10:46:00 PM

    I'm a 22 year old student who is a dentist assistant and is also going back to school. I have two bosses. One is mr.nice and when you do something he explains what you did wrong and how you can do it the right way and well the other is ms.witch with a b. If you do something wrong she will criticize you in fronts of patients and just walks away. One time i did something wrong and she called me stupid and started yelling at me. I've been on this job since april 06 and my first real job. But i have never had my feelings crushed like that in my life. I love my job and co-workers but if she does it one more time, i'm going to curse her out an that will be the day i quit. if anyone hs any advice i'm willing to take any suggestions.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/11/2009 12:21:00 PM

    Work has made me so ill that I have been signed off for a month with workplace stress. I raise a matter regarding people not doing their work in confidence to my boss and he told the people who I was talking about. The two people and my boss made my life hell by bullying me. I informed HR and I am going through the first step of the grievance procedure. My boss is a vile man, who started of charming me and pretending to be my friend just to get me to do his work for him and be his general dog’s body. This is my first job, so I did not know what to expect. After about 4 months he changed and began intimidating me and questioning my job security. I have a informal meeting with him soon and I will have my trade union rep with me, but I’m so scared off being made to feel stupid and shown up because in the past he has done that in front of others to me. I just wish I can win, as I love my job, but hate the people. Any advice on how to be best prepared? And how to not be intimidated by him?

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