My behaviour at work is unacceptable ( I agree), but my boss has told me he won't change

(10 Posts)
pinktransit Wed 23-Oct-13 20:54:51

For the past few months, the relationship between my boss and myself has (in my opinion) been deteriorating. I haven't said or done anything about this - I know that I should have, but it was easier in many ways not to.
I know that my behaviour hasn't been great - I snap at him, and react badly. I can feel myself getting really angry, and can't quite put my finger on why, other than I feel his tone of voice and language is patronising, he asks the same question several ways, and is actually quite rude to me.
An example - he asked in a meeting today whether the new stats I'm doing will be done on Monday. Yes.
Are there any extra bits that are specifically done weekly rather than daily?. Yes, and that's fine.
Do I know whether the weekly bits will be done. Yes, my team do them over the weekend, and they will be ready for Monday.
Can you collate them on Monday? Yes, the team will do them, as I said, and it's not problem.
Can you handle the extra work on Monday morning? Yes, as I've said already, it is fine. The team do it, it will be ready, and I am fine with it. (I may have rolled my eyes at this point).
And then I get told off for rolling my eyes.
I don't know how many times I can answer the same question - the stats will be done, the weekend doesn't make a difference, the team do them over the weekend, and Monday will be fine.

I got pulled up over this in a one to one meeting. I know that I shouldn't have rolled my eyes, and told him in an impatient tone that it would be fine. But really?
This is repeated in many small ways, over and over again.
I find it so hard. I'm now being put on a personal improvement plan, which I don't have an issue with in principle. But when I said that I know I'm reacting badly, but I do feel that he's patronising me, and I react to that, he said that he won't change his style of communicating with me.
So I just have to suck it up and deal with it? I have to change, and he won't.
Reading this, I'm aware that I'm sounding like a petulant teenager, but I'm actually in my forties, work hard, and have never had a problem like this before.
We've worked together for the past 4 years, but it's escalated in the past 6 months to the point that I dread going to work, he made me cry in today's meeting (and I NEVER cry), and I have no idea how to get past this and regain our working relationship.
Sorry, this is long and rambling and I have no idea what I actually want to get out of it, but I needed to get it out somewhere.
I have been told that I can talk to our HR dept (but they're all being made redundant next Friday), or his line manager (who is very rarely in the office).

Somebody slap me with a wet kipper please, tell me to pull my socks up and just fucking grow a pair and deal with it......

hermioneweasley Wed 23-Oct-13 21:00:36

If you've worked together for 4 years with no problem, what's changed in the last few months?

pinktransit Wed 23-Oct-13 21:15:24

I don't know...
communication has stopped - at one point he would let me know in advance of the rest of our team (he's manager, I'm junior manager, then we have 10 other people in the next tier down) of any major changes/issues. Now he doesn't. This is a recent change. He didn't tell me who had applied for a promotion within the team, or who had been successful. I'm supposed to be in control of recruitment, and have interviewed/employed the last 3 new team members.
Suddenly, it's as if I don't exist. I guess that I did something to upset him?
I don't know what though. And now I'm reacting badly to being ignored, patronised, not included in conversations. I need to change my reaction, and try and get back to a reasonable working relationship.

Or take valium. Actually, that is the only way I can see this working.

Choos123 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:22:43

You know what you need to do, unfortunately he is your boss and reacting emotionally always gets you a bad rep whatever the provocation (I've had this), meanwhile can you look for a new job either internally or externally? No idea what's changed but you have to move forward...

Hassled Wed 23-Oct-13 21:22:51

No proper advice, except that if I were you I would be doing some serious job-hunting. The lack of communication re the recruitment coupled with the persistent questioning shows that for whatever reason, he's undermining you or he doesn't trust your judgement anymore; time to move on. And sympathies - it sounds really awful.

bookishandblondish Thu 24-Oct-13 18:56:56

Is he panicking ?

If your entire HR department is being made redundant, presumably there are big changes being made above his level and he is in a similar position to you - and in typical corporate world - treating you the same way that he is being treated. And also typically, trying to avoid communicating uncertainty with the result there is no or bad communication.

It's just really odd that it's after 4 yrs.

bookishandblondish Thu 24-Oct-13 18:57:27

By the way, I agree with the others about start job hunting.

pinktransit Thu 24-Oct-13 19:03:20

I will be job hunting - my cv is ready to be updated.
Today has been good - he's on holiday for a couple of days and I feel confident and happy.
I can trust my own judgement, I'm in meetings with directors and handle the questions on my department well.
So - job hunting here I come before I lose that confidence entirely.

Thank you for the comments, I really needed to get it out somewhere rather than just drowning it in gin smile

BettyBotter Thu 24-Oct-13 19:21:20

Sounds to me like he's lost trust in you. (Not telling you things, asking you repeatedly for reassurance on work being doing etc). You may have completed all your tasks professionally but by behaving in a bit of a stroppy way in meetings you are openly undermining him and his authority. Personally I wouldn't have confidence in a colleague that openly displayed hostility or irritation with me in a meeting.

So, what to do? Options are 1. Do nothing. 2. Get out. 3. Try and sort it. Me, I'm a tackle it head on sort of person so I'd probably try a cards on the table discussion. Admit your mistakes, explain that you feel relationships and communication are deteriorating and see if you can get things back on track with him. Ask him to be honest about his concerns and try to reach a place of respect for each other.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 25-Oct-13 21:56:41

I absolutely understand your frustration both with your boss and possibly with yourself (?) - why am I letting him wind me up?

As an intellectual exercise could you step back? Retire within yourself. Refuse to be wound up by anything he says. Step back and take notes - when is he attempting to undermine you? Is there a pattern, is it certain settings or in front of certain people?

I was in a similar position a year ago, a colleague was undermining me in a very passive aggressive way. She would gainsay everything I said. She also did this with another colleague. I too reached eye-rolling stage!

The person who was not subjected to this was someone I can only describe as her little friend (that was the nature of the relationship).

Now with hindsight I can see that she was deeply insecure. She was unqualified and not studying in a role where study or qualification would be normal. The two of us subjected to her undermining were either qualified or studying.

The solution was that I left. In reality her power base was her knowledge of one company.

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