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Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" style of presentations and writing will make you smile or just shock you into taking some action. Either way, she is very effective at empowering others to reach their goals and feel better about themselves. Her entertaining workshops are available for national and international audiences. Writing for the dental industry since 2010, she uses an alterego (Diana Directive) to illustrate her points in a sarcastic but effective way. Presentations can be scheduled by contacting Lisa at www.discussdirectives.com/dental.html.
What do you do when the person in charge is the one you can't stand the most?
Last month, you may have read an article called, “How to manage an employee you hate.” Some readers wrote in saying, “I have a boss I can’t stand. Why do I do about that?” You are absolutely right. Here is a voice for those who cannot, for political reasons, speak up.
Let me tell you about one of my nightmare bosses. Let’s call her Corina. She was a piece of work. From my first interview, I could tell she couldn’t stand me. She knew I was a family friend of the periodontist though, which apparently made me untouchable, and she really didn’t have a choice about hiring me. Corina was irate that she had to be my direct supervisor. She turned being nasty into an art form.
I did what I could to win her over, but it wasn’t happening. There was nothing I could do to make her happy. She wanted me to quit but didn’t know how to make that happen. My co-workers would notice that she shot down every single brilliant idea I had to improve patient care. In her book, any idea I had must be horrible. (So much for feeling like I was a part of the team!)
It all culminated with a breakfast party we were throwing for a new peridontist who joined the practice. I offered to make my famous noodle kugel. No problem. The week before the breakfast, she started in on me.” Noodle kugel is overkill and completely unnecessary” I mean, really? She is going to shoot me down over that? It was laughable. But, on some deep psychological level, it hurt. Why couldn’t she be nice to me like she is to everyone else? That mystery will never be answered.
Why am I writing about this? I hated her, plain and simple. This kind of experience grinds away at the self esteem of most employees. It grinds away at staff morale and makes for a hostile work environment. I tried very hard to win her over, but I couldn’t. She was always going after me. Have you ever felt this way with one of your bosses?
What do you do when you have a boss you really hate?
1. Do you look for another job and jump ship?
2. Do you vent to other co-workers over and over again?
3. Do you take out your pain and hurt feelings on your family?
4. Do you lash out and do things to provoke your boss?
5. Do you make a voodoo doll and stab her with pins? (Hey, you were thinking it. I just said it out loud.)
Call me naïve, but what is wrong with so-called professionals who are just plain mean to their employees? Why do they think that humiliating someone in the office is acceptable behavior? Let’s call it what it really is: abuse.
So, what can you do in the face of such abuse?
Continue to page two to see what you should do...
Here are seven things you can do:
1. Stay calm. Getting upsetting will just cause you to make mistakes. (As tempting as it is to scream or yell, don’t. You don’t have any power here.).
2. Make a paper trail. Do this right back at the boss. You need to document each incident with date, time, who was present and what happened. The most important part of any paper trail is the facts. (It is evidence that this isn’t in your head, and that it really happened.)
3. Figure out a strategy. Do you want to stay at this job or start looking elsewhere? (If you are out the door anyway, why bother addressing the situation? Don’t burn bridges.)
4. Meet with your boss and feel out whether you can share the paper trail. Use, “I felt…” statements when describing what happened. You will not get anywhere with attacks on the boss.
5. Go higher up the food chain to someone he/she reports to. (Unfortunately, you are out of luck if it is the dentist or specialist.)
6. Quit. Sometime that is the only sane idea. But, if you need the paycheck, don’t quit unless you have something else lined up.
7. Detach. Learn how to deal with this kind of behavior. Bullies need to get something out of tormenting their victims. If you are detached, it is going to really tick him/her off-and help you be able to separate their abuse from your own self worth.
My suggestion is to put some serious thought as to what you want to do about this situation. Don’t act rashly. Plan out your strategy. That is the sensible thing to do in a crazy situation.
If you have had some experiences with a boss you hate, shoot me an email at email@example.com.