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Old 12-15-2009, 09:05 PM   #21
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wouldn't they taste it?

( lice in the coat lining?)

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:06 PM   #22
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brewer, take a little advice and start a journal. Document everything that goes on. Someday you may have to put your complaints up front and when you come out with this log, they will know you were seriously into this problem. If nothing comes of your journal fine, but if something developes you will have your a** covered. People will recognize your input and will be thankful. You've got nothing to lose.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:38 PM   #23
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brewer, take a little advice and start a journal. Document everything that goes on. Someday you may have to put your complaints up front and when you come out with this log, they will know you were seriously into this problem. If nothing comes of your journal fine, but if something developes you will have your a** covered. People will recognize your input and will be thankful. You've got nothing to lose.
I absolutely second this idea. My last boss at MegaCorp was a real piece of work...he single-handedly changed a dream job into a living hell for me and a number of others in his department. However, he had one very high up mentor who turned a blind eye to some very obvious problems.

So I started documenting EVERYTHING. I saved his nasty notes, made copies of pertinent files, forwarded his abusive emails and voicemails to a personal account (not at work), and kept copious notes every time I had any interaction with my boss. Needless to say, I did not keep this information in my office as my boss was known to "browse" through his workers' workspaces after hours.

When I couldn't stand the situation for another minute...and was ready to just walk out, I decided to take action. So (without revealing my documentation) I spoke to a very senior HR person who advised that MegaCorp would take the side of Boss in any situation...that if I wanted to leave, I was free to do so, blah, blah, blah. At that point, I casually mentioned that I had proof and kept contemporaneous notes to document the situation...and allowed the HR guy to think that I had already spoken to an attorney (I had not, but he didn't know that!)

That certainly got his attention! HR referred me to MegaCorp's Legal Counsel and I shared a very small portion of my notes. I really got the impression that they were concerned that I might file suit -- although that never was my desire. In any case, it was enough to secure a very significant financial settlement that really helped finance my early retirement.

It was a highly stressful situation, but the end result was more than worth it. You have to realize that once you commit to this kind of action however, there really is no turning back. In my case, I decided my health was more important than any job and the then-current situation was frankly unbearable. Without my written proof, I probably would have ended up in the hospital...or worse.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:42 PM   #24
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I am in a work situation that has rapidly deteriorated in the last couple months. I will not get into details, but a phenomenally bad manager who will not be removed by his superiors has allowed a hostile situation to develop that just keeps getting worse. I think we are headed to the point of a lawsuit risk (harassment, etc.), but since I know what happens to whistleblowers I will not be sticking my neck out more than I already have. I will be moving on at my earliest convenience, either within or beyond the organization. In the meantime, I have to deal with the exhausting nonsense plus a heavy workload. Any tips for coping? I am trying to just keep my head down and stay engrossed in what I am doing, but the urge to add rat poison to some's drink or bludgeon them with a chair is rapidly increasing.
Wow - what a tough break Brewer! I bet it's tough for you to keep your head down, but I expect best under the circumstances. I don't know if I have any other advice other than "this too shall pass" and I'm sure there are other things outside of work that you can draw positive energy from.

Don't let the b*ds get you down! Make like a duck - let it all roll off your back.

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:56 PM   #25
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I was thinking a little syrup of ipecac in someone's gatorade.
Maybe you could drop a "steamer" in their desk drawer
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:19 PM   #26
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Laxative in the coffee is always good for a laugh.

Viagra might be going a bit too far though.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:58 PM   #27
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Johnnie36 and Achiever51 have a very good point. One of the things I did was document everything. And when the boss told me to do things that were counter to the best interests of the company, which he did often, I would ask that he put the request in writing. Of course, he wouldn't. When he really pushed, I would respond with sending an email saying "as per our phone conversation, this is what I understand you want me to do. Please let me know if I have misunderstood your request". Things like that.

If he's really doing things that could get him disciplined or fired, get yourself a small hd video camera and record things. There's no expectation of privacy in most private companies as long as you aren't endangering corporate secrets.

Other than that, you're right. Move on. Sometimes the threat (with intent to follow through) can break open some new options. Best of luck.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:58 PM   #28
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Losing my job is not even a remote possibility, esepcailly since senior management knows full well they desparately need me. In fact, I expect a lot of pushback when I tell them I am departing, and they may even try to keep me from going if it is to another department. In that case, either they sort out the mess, or I leave the organization.
Sounds to me like you have some 'pull' in this situation. Management starts listening when key people start talking of leaving. Go ahead and have another gig lined up before you break the news. You've got the right idea though....let them know what it's going to take to keep you're talent.

This kinda stuff is a bummer, but it happens to all of us.
Good luck to you Brewer.....I'm pullin' for ya.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:31 AM   #29
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I feel for you, brewer. I went through this a few years before I retired. I had a stupid, foul-mouthed, non-PC A-H for a (VP level) boss. I wasn't prepared to change cities for an equivalent position so I just sucked it up. After a few years he retired, probably at the CEO's "suggestion", since his idiocy was well known.

When he came to my office and told me he was going my reply was, literally, "about F...ing time". He thought I was kidding. You can't fix stupid.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:27 AM   #30
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The miscreants in this case have not (AFAIK) done anything shady with money, since small transgressions would be cause for spending some time in the big house. But we have inappropriate remarks about the opposite sex, obscenity laced tirades directed at specific people in meetings, etc. going on. Considering that the bad actors are all white men and some of the targets are people of color and women, I would say they are getting to the point of begging for a lawsuit. I want to be over the horizon before anything like that goes down.
Similar to my 2008/2009 experience. I took all of the slings and arrows while documenting specifics. Eventually the other party decided it was time to bring me down with an HR case, but did not succeed. I think that some people who are reluctant to take a position in the office, are very willing to corroborate facts when in HR. Unfortunately we are still stuck with him, so I understand your plight. I don't recommend you hang in as I have done.

What helps? iPod, doctor visits, long walks at lunch. Sounds like a newer version of tune in, turn on, drop out?
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:10 AM   #31
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Brewer: I agree with all the above posts, but most of all with Traineeinvestorīs. My wife is in a similar situation. Iīve been a HR manager of a large company and I can assure you that, save a major catastrophe, bosses protect each other, most of all when we are dealing with the senior ones. The unions would do the same. They too owe favors. All this is sadly true for the middle ranking employee, who as the name implies are always in the middle, and nobody gives a **** to their complaints.
I, too, suffered form the same situation, and when I complained to the top dog I only got a pat on my shoulder, and was told -to my indignity-, that everybody knew what my supervisor was like...and to keep on with the good work... The top dog was cheeky enough to say that I had to put up with the situation for the good of the company, that I was a very valuable employee bla bla bla. When there was a f**k up due to my supervisor, top dog said I was to blame for not reacting adequately, never mind my supervisor, that I knew better etc etc.
Bottom line: tough it out, move on or...set your ass***e boss up. Not an easy thing but I trust your cleverness, common sense and ...spitefulness.
Take care.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:10 AM   #32
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I appreciate all the suggestions. I will start documenting things, although anyone with a pulse knows what is going on. In fact, when I mention who I work for to people in unrelated departments they immediately ask if things are as bad as they have heard.

I need to vote with my feet to solve the problem. Aggravating, but not the end of the world.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:39 AM   #33
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I appreciate all the suggestions. I will start documenting things, although anyone with a pulse knows what is going on. In fact, when I mention who I work for to people in unrelated departments they immediately ask if things are as bad as they have heard.
That was the case with me when I was in the situation I described earlier. Still, documenting not only protected me but also was a big psychological help.

I saved every non-trivial e-mail and that came in handy countless times until the supervisor left. It sure gave me a lot to go through before ER, though!

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I need to vote with my feet to solve the problem. Aggravating, but not the end of the world.
Yes, and go at YOUR convenience when things are lined up right for you to get a decent job, not at their convenience when you might end up making a bad move.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #34
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Brewer: I agree with all the above posts, but most of all with Traineeinvestorīs. My wife is in a similar situation. Iīve been a HR manager of a large company and I can assure you that, save a major catastrophe, bosses protect each other, most of all when we are dealing with the senior ones. The unions would do the same. They too owe favors. All this is sadly true for the middle ranking employee, who as the name implies are always in the middle, and nobody gives a **** to their complaints.
I, too, suffered form the same situation, and when I complained to the top dog I only got a pat on my shoulder, and was told -to my indignity-, that everybody knew what my supervisor was like...and to keep on with the good work... The top dog was cheeky enough to say that I had to put up with the situation for the good of the company, that I was a very valuable employee bla bla bla. When there was a f**k up due to my supervisor, top dog said I was to blame for not reacting adequately, never mind my supervisor, that I knew better etc etc.
Bottom line: tough it out, move on or...set your ass***e boss up. Not an easy thing but I trust your cleverness, common sense and ...spitefulness.
Take care.
Vincente, I remember when you first started posting you said part of the reason was to practice your English. Judging by the above post, I'd say you've got it down pretty well now.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #35
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Yep - out A##hole the A33holes. I wasn't one to take crap lightly.

How did that work out for me? Well unfortunately - sometimes I was the one who was moved on - not being a team player and all.

Good luck - and whatever happens - don't listen to me.

heh heh heh - unemployed at 49 and so pissed off, I ER'd.

P.S. Did I fail to mention - Leo, lefthanded, INTJ - what can I say.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #36
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I've worked for some real jerks both in civil service and the military. At least in the military you knew they were only there for 2 years until they were rotated to their next assignment.

In civil service you could be stuck with them for a long time. What helped me was to determine what was the worst thing they could to do to me if I didn't play their game.

In all cases it was: Nothing.

So, I concentrated on doing a good job at work and avoiding all the BS. AND looking for a transfer.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:22 PM   #37
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It was a HUGE surprise to me when my phenomenally bad supervisor was eventually promoted and gone. W*rk was a bowl of cherries after that. This does seem to happen to bad management often, since it is the easiest way for their management to cope with a bad situation.
A well-known and documented situation:

Peter Principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:47 PM   #38
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Until the situation changes, you're going to be stressed. Consider stress relieving activities like exercise and meditation. Spending a couple of minutes each night acknowledging all the good things in your life helps. (I've been trying to make this a habit, but keep forgetting.)

I wish you all the best in your search for a new position. Budgets open up in Jan, so the timing is on your side.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:15 PM   #39
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Sorry about your situation Brewer. In my 30 years @ megacorp, I can remember 2 real bad managers, a few great managers and a bunch of forgettable ones (actually can't remember some of them).

Out of the 2 terrible managers, the worse one had the affect of increasing my scotch purchases. Luckily my intake did not turn into a health issue. My focus was to 'outlive her'. I eventually did so. I actually got her to promote me out, although part of her motivation was to get rid of me. She was a petty, vindictive person. When she got it into her head that she didn't like you, you felt the wrath of her insanity.
To get promoted out, I basically worked my ass off. I focused on doing everything I could to deserve whatever I asked for and eventually got it.

My recommendation is to never mind whatever is causing the stress and strain and to focus on doing the best job you can to make your boss look good. You will 'out live' the bad manager.
Plan B would be to look for another job ASAP and get out of the firing line, but to do so you have to be working at your best.

postscript: years later when she was 'promoted' back to HQ, I was at a conference with people from all over the company. We were at dinner and a bunch of people from one part of the corp. started talking about one of their crazy colleagues. It turns out it was my 'favorite' manager. She was still crazy, but now pushed to the side, where she could do no harm.
A year after that, I was up for a promotion. My hiring manager told me the story of local HR questioning his choice of me for the job due to some issue that I had a few years ago (yep, crazy manager). My new manager pointed out that the person raising issues with me was 'crazy'. The HR director said 'oh yeah', ... go ahead with the hire.
... karma ... and vindication

go forth and do good
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:37 PM   #40
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Escaping from a crazy situation of duress, I think about the scene in the movie "Cool Hand Luke" when after the warden thinks they've "broken" Cool Hand (played by Paul Newman). Cool Hand plays possum going like "Okay, boss..yes, boss..I'll do that boss..." then he fools the guards by pretending to obey the boss but takes the truck and tries to make a get away.

Of course, the end of the movie isn't an escape, but the part when the takes the jeep is what I felt like when I left where I w*rked.
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