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Shitty Bosses and HR

Primavera

TRIBE Member
setting: I work in an office, 900 employees.
I've been working there for 9 years.

I have a boss that basically hates me and is making my work as difficult and stressful as possible. I think this person just wants me to quit the company or is trying to strongly encourgage me to find another position in the company.

you think there is any point to going to HR and asking to transfer to another department? or just seeing their opinion in the mess? I don't have a lot of senior figures in the company to mentor me on what to do. This is the first time in 9 years and 5 different bosses at my company that I've ever had a shitty boss who just seems intent on busting my ass over every tiny issue.

Will HR basically tell you just to apply for positions yourself in another department or will they try and help you find another home?

thoughts.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
You could just keep an eye out for positions that might work for you and apply internally. It couldn't hurt to involve HR in some way to tell them that you are interested in a change, new experience, broaden your horizons sort of thing. All of this can be achieved without going negative and trashing your boss which might backfire. You never know who knows who.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ya change it up - i've come to believe nothing is more important than having a good boss.

THey can turn your work life into heaven or hell. Serious career damage can happen to you if you languish too long under a bad boss.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
setting: I work in an office, 900 employees.
I've been working there for 9 years.

I have a boss that basically hates me and is making my work as difficult and stressful as possible. I think this person just wants me to quit the company or is trying to strongly encourgage me to find another position in the company.

you think there is any point to going to HR and asking to transfer to another department? or just seeing their opinion in the mess? I don't have a lot of senior figures in the company to mentor me on what to do. This is the first time in 9 years and 5 different bosses at my company that I've ever had a shitty boss who just seems intent on busting my ass over every tiny issue.

Will HR basically tell you just to apply for positions yourself in another department or will they try and help you find another home?

thoughts.
Do not bother with HR.

Remember, HR is there to serve the company, not you. They like to make you feel like they might even a little bit pretend to care, but they do not.

They have nice secret meetings with upper management where they rat you out. Also, it is upper management who signs their paycheque, not you.

In short, they have no reason at all to help you, though they do have fiscal responsibilities to the shareholders. Ie. not you.

If it's a human rights issue, definitely go outside the company, though HR will advise you not to do this. Of course they advise against that because it obviates their job and puts the company at risk. Hedging human risk is the main corporate function of HR.

The sad but probably true reality is that, if your boss hates you, if s/he is making your job rough, to just find another job. Make notes so that you can apply for EI in the interim. Maybe even ask if you can be dismissed without reason ie. lack of work, so that you can move on and get EI for a year while you look for something that's worth your talent.

And be sure to go online and bitch about the company so that other people know exactly what you're dealing with.

-jM
A&D
 
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Primavera

TRIBE Member
Usually here people just apply for jobs internally online and don't meet HR in person until they an interview.

You think if I arrange a meeting with an HR rep to discuss a personal issue and basically say I'm looking for a change they will just say "well monitor the (plenty of) internal job postings like everyone else and apply online".

Like I want out of my team/working with psycho boss now, not in 3 months or not when the ideal position comes up.

I don't think trashing my boss is going to get me fired or anything, but you think any situation in which I tell HR I'm looking for another position specifically because its very difficult to work for my current boss - that's going to come out negatively on me for sure?
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Usually here people just apply for jobs internally online and don't meet HR in person until they an interview.

You think if I arrange a meeting with an HR rep to discuss a personal issue and basically say I'm looking for a change they will just say "well monitor the (plenty of) internal job postings like everyone else and apply online".

Like I want out of my team/working with psycho boss now, not in 3 months or not when the ideal position comes up.

I don't think trashing my boss is going to get me fired or anything, but you think any situation in which I tell HR I'm looking for another position specifically because its very difficult to work for my current boss - that's going to come out negatively on me for sure?
It's my experience with HR, and there are a lot of well qualified individuals on this board who may say otherwise, but my experience is they require a lot of formal, almost-permanent documentation to help you.

So, to me, it sounds like you want HR's help to move you to a different department because your boss is making your job impossible. Correct me if I'm wrong in that interpretation.

HR is not, ultimately, a powerful department and they cannot make any recommendations without hard substance to back it up. But, when they can back it up, it's usually because they have hard proof and things like the LAW are becoming more important than things like a Director of Marketing's opinion.

If you really do want to stay in that company, and you feel you have hard evidence to support the feeling that you are harassed, then yes, by all means, I would say present it on record.

Note that everything you say will be kept on record and so it better be true because, if it's not, they'll just out your butt through the front door.

Or back door. HR likes to fire people inconspicuously.

-jM
A&D
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
Well it's going to be difficult for HR to find you a position you are suited for if there isnt anything available, no? Might take the same three months it would take you to wait for an internal posting to come up that you're interested in.

As far as trashing your boss is concerned, well - without anything actionable legally, is there any point in going negative on a coworker? When I say it could backfire, it's in the sense that now it's a question of your word vs. the boss's, etc etc ... no telling how it could go, really.
 

deep

TRIBE Member
As the saying goes people join companies but leave bosses. Your circumstances may vary, but it's almost never worth sticking it out and easier to reboot / start fresh someplace else than turn around a sour situation through rationalization / negotiation / performance / blowies / whatever.
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Yep. Leave. HR is not the right route, unless you approach it from a constructive point of view that you are interested in going elsewhere internally...and completely ignore the glaring issue that plagues you.

Depends how invested you are in the company I guess.

But by far...leaving for greener pastures is easier...most of the time.
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
As the saying goes people join companies but leave bosses. Your circumstances may vary, but it's almost never worth sticking it out and easier to reboot / start fresh someplace else than turn around a sour situation through rationalization / negotiation / performance / blowies / whatever.
There are those that will give you the textbook answer which they will say contradicts everything in his thread. What Deep speaks is sage advice, take it and move on

Jeffus is right, HR is duplicit and will never side with you unless the documentation is so compelling it puts the company at risk. Being at odds with your boss if you pursue will likely end up labeling you and tarnish the good rep you've deserved for the work you've done over 9 years.

Leave, start fresh if you're smart you can do it in such a way that you leave with a parachute
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
Are you going to stop doing what you like and/or are good at because of your boss? Why not resolve this? You have been there for 9 years... that must say something good about you, no?
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
Can't just call your boss out on it in a friendly and private setting?

e.g. in the boss' office, just say, "Can I speak candidly with you for a moment? So, I gotta ask, what's going on? I've been here for 9 years, have a great rapport with my colleagues, etc., but I'm getting the impression that I've somehow insulted you in one way or another? Did I do or say something? Is my work lacking in any way that I can improve on?"

Can't just call a spade a spade instead of guessing?
 

Primavera

TRIBE Member
I went to HR.

HR basically told me there are job postings I could apply for all the time. She advised me to talk to the VP of my department and find out if they know of any other roles (under different managers) that might suit me. I also have some contacts here I know who oversee large groups I could ask.

HR said their ability to just move me into another group is limited. I've just got to basically stick it out with my boss, apply for another job internally or quit.

She was sympathetic and agreed shitty bosses are a tough situation. I think I managed to talk frankly without throwing my boss under the bus too much.

I've been in the same role/team for 7 years (with 2 great managers previous to my current one) so this just means I've got to dust off the ol resume and start applying for other jobs internally because clearly I'm not happy with the current situation.

Thanks for the advice boys and girls.
 

Ms. Fit

TRIBE Member
There are those that will give you the textbook answer which they will say contradicts everything in his thread. What Deep speaks is sage advice, take it and move on

Jeffus is right, HR is duplicit and will never side with you unless the documentation is so compelling it puts the company at risk. Being at odds with your boss if you pursue will likely end up labeling you and tarnish the good rep you've deserved for the work you've done over 9 years.

Leave, start fresh if you're smart you can do it in such a way that you leave with a parachute
Yeah been there and I flipped it to my favour.

So here's the thing. Determine if you're experiencing constructive dismissal (forcing you to quit so they don't have to lay you off and pay severance).

If it IS constructive dismissal:

I was in this position a few years ago, and once I realized I was, I had some major fun with it (don't get me wrong, I was still bitter):

  • Don't quit
  • Keep trying to do great work
  • Reconnect with former bosses you liked and make some new allies within the company that don't know about your situation - laterally and higher up. You'll need them for references later on
  • Document praise/kudos from colleagues
  • Document inconsistencies in your boss's criticisms (i.e. you supposedly hand stuff in late...start recording your project delivery dates. you have a bad attitude, print and save emails where people comment on your great attitude...even if you have to force work friends to write those emails for you).
  • Every Friday, send a summary email to your boss stating what you worked on, your wins, and how you've improved, based on any feedback they've given you.
  • START LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB. Start now, and in 3 to 6 months when you're let go, you'll have a juicy severance AND a new job lined up...hopefully with a vacation in between.

Worked for me.

Good luck!
 
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Ms. Fit

TRIBE Member
I went to HR.

HR basically told me there are job postings I could apply for all the time. She advised me to talk to the VP of my department and find out if they know of any other roles (under different managers) that might suit me. I also have some contacts here I know who oversee large groups I could ask.

HR said their ability to just move me into another group is limited. I've just got to basically stick it out with my boss, apply for another job internally or quit.

She was sympathetic and agreed shitty bosses are a tough situation. I think I managed to talk frankly without throwing my boss under the bus too much.

I've been in the same role/team for 7 years (with 2 great managers previous to my current one) so this just means I've got to dust off the ol resume and start applying for other jobs internally because clearly I'm not happy with the current situation.

Thanks for the advice boys and girls.
Btw, good for you! Hang in there.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
Yeah been there and I flipped it to my favour.

So here's the thing. Determine if you're experiencing constructive dismissal (forcing you to quit so they don't have to lay you off and pay severance).

If it IS constructive dismissal:

I was in this position a few years ago, and once I realized I was, I had some major fun with it (don't get me wrong, I was still bitter):

  • Don't quit
  • Keep trying to do great work
  • Reconnect with former bosses you liked and make some new allies within the company that don't know about your situation - laterally and higher up. You'll need them for references later on
  • Document praise/kudos from colleagues
  • Document inconsistencies in your boss's criticisms (i.e. you supposedly hand stuff in late...start recording your project delivery dates. you have a bad attitude, print and save emails where people comment on your great attitude...even if you have to force work friends to write those emails for you).
  • Every Friday, send a summary email to your boss stating what you worked on, your wins, and how you've improved, based on any feedback they've given you.
  • START LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB. Start now, and in 3 to 6 months when you're let go, you'll have a juicy severance AND a new job lined up...hopefully with a vacation in between.

Worked for me.

Good luck!
Am I mis-reading this? To me, it sounds like you should keep taking the deep throats until you're canned.

Why on earth would you do that vs just keep working until you're canned because you'll get the severance anyway? The severance is usually determined by HR and is unaffected by those whose dick you've sucked.

Not "you" sucked dick, but you know what I mean. The figurative dick :p

The last job I was at, I was there for 9 years before I was laid off. They said if I worked 4 months, I would get 4 months of severance (technically, that 4 months of working is notice so it's part of your severance -i.e. work half your severance to collect the other half). I quit two days after I was offered the package solely as a big ol "fuck you".
 

mandapanda

TRIBE Member
this was my situation last summer. never before have i experienced that kind of harassment at work and the resulting anxiety and stress was making me not enjoy my life. the worst.

as others have said, HR is useless. get the fuck out. i am so much happier now that i'm away from that toxic situation.
 

Ms. Fit

TRIBE Member
Am I mis-reading this? To me, it sounds like you should keep taking the deep throats until you're canned.

Why on earth would you do that vs just keep working until you're canned because you'll get the severance anyway? The severance is usually determined by HR and is unaffected by those whose dick you've sucked.

Not "you" sucked dick, but you know what I mean. The figurative dick :p

The last job I was at, I was there for 9 years before I was laid off. They said if I worked 4 months, I would get 4 months of severance (technically, that 4 months of working is notice so it's part of your severance -i.e. work half your severance to collect the other half). I quit two days after I was offered the package solely as a big ol "fuck you".
hehe!

you say "suck d*ck" I say "compartmentalizing" :p

but you're right...everyone has a threshold for bullshit tolerance. I guess the key is being honest with what yours is.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
Yeesh, you should hear about the situation one of my friends is in. She's IN HR and she can't do shit about her co-worker in HR.

Her co-worker, we'll call her Jane, is the big-boss' best friend. Every couple of days, Jane throws out really racist comments at my friend apparently for no good reason. In-explainable as I think my friend is a person everybody loves. Just friendly and doesn't take work too seriously.

The other month, my friend threw something in the garbage. Jane comes along and SHOVES my friend (two-handed chest push) to the point where my friend fell on the ground. Jane then picks whatever up from the garbage and puts it in the recycle bin.

The thing is, the thing that Jane picked up was not recyclable.

So fucking weird. Cant' say anything because Jane is besties with the big-boss. 3 other people before in my friend's position quit because of Jane and the big-boss' relationship.
 
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djfear

TRIBE Member
Yeesh, you should hear about the situation one of my friends is in. She's IN HR and she can't do shit about her co-worker in HR.

Her co-worker, we'll call her Jane, is the big-boss' best friend. Every couple of days, Jane throws out really racist comments at my friend apparently for no good reason. In-explainable as I think my friend is a person everybody loves. Just friendly and doesn't take work too seriously.

The other month, my friend threw something in the garbage. Jane comes along and SHOVES my friend (two-handed chest push) to the point where my friend fell on the ground. Jane then picks whatever up from the garbage and puts it in the recycle bin.

The thing is, the thing that Jane picked up was not recyclable.

So fucking weird. Cant' say anything because Jane is besties with the big-boss. 3 other people before in my friend's position quit because of Jane and the big-boss' relationship.
Your friend should secretly record all the racist shit, and just straight up blackmail the big boss' friend, or just post it anonymously in the office for all to see.

By the way, a friend of mine who lives in Calgary also told me how he had to deal with racial shit (he's Korean) when he worked at a certain company. It could just be anecdotal evidence, but I know that Alberta is predominantly white so maybe there is more overt racism going on there, vs here where people aren't as expressive with it?

Also, shoving someone to the ground is physical assault and your friend should have called the police. That would (1) send a strong message about work place harassment, (2) cover her ass if she gets fired for it because any lawyer would see dollar signs in their eyes as they see a winning case.
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
I've told my friend to charge Jane, but my friend is stupid. There were no witnesses either so it'll be one person's word against another's. Jane is not below lying through her teeth from the sounds of it.

Weird. It's rare these days that racism in Alberta will be up front and in your face. All of the caucasian friends that I have think racism is a big no-no and never to say anything to offend someone via skin color/cultural anything. That's in my little bubble, though. That's insane that your friend is encountering racism in a work environment.

I live in Edmonton so that's the blue-collar part of Alberta and randoms are pretty nice, imo. From what I hear, the more south you go is when you start encountering more racism. A city named Provost is apparently the racism capital of Alberta. I guess it's downright Alabama down there. I've never been.

Though, I imagine if you go out far enough in the sticks in any province, you'll come across people that aren't exposed to much of the world so their views might be a little more narrow.
 

Maui

TRIBE Member
The manager at my last job of 5 years was one of the worst people I've met in life. A conniving, micro managing, lying and dumb douchebag. I barely had to deal with the guy on a day to day basis but it was still too much. How can you be productive around someone like that? I worked my ass off 60 to 80 hours a week for that time there. He was one of the main reasons I moved to London for 2 years, but London sucked so I moved back. Within 4 months he fired me on December 23 2012. I'd been having some problems, but with valid reasons. He had no sympathy and he lied about talking to HR about my concerns. They were clueless when I talked to them, but it was too late. They did not seem to care much either even though I could have sent them emails proving what an ass this guy was. Not that they didn't know already. My co workers complained to them on the regular. HR made our whole team sit down with him and voice our concerns with the manager. We had a fairly high turnover ratio.

Anyway, I rode out EI for the full almost year as to say I was exhausted from those work weeks (while still maintaining my single rock star lifestyle ;), Then I chilled a few more months, took a course and just started a new job a month ago.

This new company is....well let's say I can't imagine a company being run more horribly. This I have gleaned in the short time I've been there. I won't go into detail, as when I leave I may write a whole post about the experience. And the manager of the team I ended up on....Yup, I can already tell he is an asshole. Big time. Imagine being insulted multiple times in the first 4 day's of training. wtf lol. I was the best of the 7 people in my orientation and I know they are doing as well on the job, yet their managers are chill. So I'm looking for a new job already. HR trained us at this job (which actually was no training whatsoever--no seriously), so I already know they are useless.

I've got some prospects and will find the right place. I have no time to waste on working in a negative environment regardless of job enjoyment or the pay.
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
I feel the pain...working at a fishing camp this summer, remote, so no getaway, no one to vent to, and a boss that no one seems to get along with all that well, on a staff of 4 including me and the husband. very passive aggressive, either jobs arent done fast enough if you take the time to do a meticulous job, or if fast enough, not done properly. lots of sighing, and mumbling, talking behind ppls back. it hasnt been to busy, so when I ask what would you like me to accomplish today/this afternoon, I get a big huhhhhhhhhhhh come on just find somthing to do, and if I go ahead and do something on my own, it is something that didnt need to be done, or whatever. we have a bunch of heavy lifting jobs that need to be done, and shes on the only 2 of us that can do them to get er done, but I have to spend half my day vacuuming the same area, that no one has used, and cleaning things that arent really dirty, so she can do social media stuff. and I'm getting paid for 8 hrs a day, but my day is 7am-8pm with a half hour lunch, 45 mins for dinner and sometimes a break from 4-5, so I dont feel to compelled to 'go the extra mile' and take some time to breath whenever I can. I'm done in 3 weeks so whatever. waiting till the exact 2 week notice deadline to put in notice, just to stickit to the (wo)man.
 
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