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how best to handle my boss?(12 Posts)
I enjoy my job, it's not perfect as I got demoted last year due to a team restructure. I loved my old role and this role is similar but not exactly the same.
Anyway I'm in the public sector and have been in this company for 15 years. It would be difficult to leave because my job is very specialised, this organisation pays more than other organisations do for similar work, there are too few employers of my specialism and I guess I'm a bit institutionalised.
In the restructure, my former colleague became my boss (although got no extra pay for suddenly becoming a manager to 4 people, she's not happy about it but not my fault)
She's nice to my face and supportive to my face, but her emails can be critical and shouty. For example, she will write things like I TOTALLY DISAGREE AND YOU MUST NOT DO XYZ UNTIL I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU FURTHER ccing in the whole team and her manager too. It's usually a minor thing but these caps locks and bold and underline makes me feel pretty shit. it's like she's afraid to give criticism face to face and would rather do it by email but it just comes across wrong. Everything is made a bigger deal than it really is.
Our old manager left in the restructure. He was so lovely and would describe her as a PITA who should never be made manager.
I have mental health problems and so does she. I try not to respond or get upset as I know it may be related to her mental health, but I'm afraid I do get upset and panicky when an email like that comes in. You'd think she'd be a bit more aware of how it could affect me but when I try to talk to her about my feelings her response is always to go back and see the doctor.
Her new manager (who replaced our old manager) is a bit boring and very 'by the book'. I don't know him well enough to think he could resolve the matter like our old boss could. Plus she's very emotional and would not handle any complaints well. The last time I complained about her, she sent me loads of emails saying things like "ooooh I'd better be careful what I say"
My new manager annoyed a lot of people when she was just my colleague because she liked to have control and I think that's what she is doing now.
I am doing a course sponsored by my employer (probably outing myself now) and she's trying to take control over the topic of my essays and putting up barriers to study time I'm entitled too and resources I'm entitled to access from the company. No matter how many times I say I need to follow the university's advice/guidelines she comes back and says "but we are paying you do it". It is super stressing me out and I feel torn between wanting to pass this qualification and trying to keep my employer happy.
How can I handle such a boss? I don't really want to do another job as I like this area of work but I'm miserable working for her. My union rep is as useless as a chocolate teapot and my family are like "go in, do your job, get paid".
Those emails would really piss me off, big time.
Can you speak to someone else about the resources for your course?
The worst type of management is being micro-managed, this person is being a bully to you, showing no confidence in you being able to manage your own study time.
As for the aggressive emails with capitals, she clearly doesn't know the first thing about email etiquette and how to treat employees respectfully.
I'd keep a filenote of everything, including examples and frequency of the emails and her interference in your study time. If you feel it is getting intolerable then you may have to escalate the matter. Do you feel if you took the situation to her in a 1x1 meeting that she would be any way receptive to changing he treatment of you?
I know it's easier said than done, but sometimes facing the bully with facts and data can be the jolt they need to step out of their power trip.
No, talking to her in a meeting would lead to defensiveness and criticism of me. I'm reluctant to go above her. Her new manager has been in post for about 4 months which I think is ample time to see how she behaves but nothing done yet.
Boss or not, I would email her back and cc others including her boss and say something like happy to wait till i meet you but can you avoid using capitals for whole sentences as I find this unnerving. I wouldn't over elaborate , just make that one point.
I agree with daisychan to keep a record conversations that show her attitude and emails ec. This will help you feel in control and be useful if you uave to go to your bosses boss or hr later.
The reality in these cases is that a new manager will be reluctant to make any changes in such a short time in post.
If from what you're saying, you sort directly with your manager because they aren't receptive, and you can't go to their manager because they are new, then your options are: either
- keep your head down, don't lock horns, get your qualification then consider your options in terms of new job role either internally or outside. Or,
- bide your time, see if things improve and possibly take out a grievance, by which time maybe their manager will have formed their own opinion. Try to keep on side with the new manager!
thanks Daisy, I think it's going to be option 1.
I would like to say the email format makes me uncomfortable but I am very sure it would lead to a defensive response.
Sorry to hear you have a rubbish manager.
Personally (but I am at times told I'm too assertive 😳 so feel free to ignore me) I would reply to her email, just copying in her manager (assuming they were copied in in the first place) with a passive aggressive email along the lines of being sorry that your work apparently causes her so much stress that she feels she need to reply in such a way, but you would rather she addressed any concerns to you in person so you can better understand them, as you're aware emails can sometimes be misinterpreted, and can work together to improve the working relationship. Also mention that you find being criticised by email, with so many people copied in, is both demotivating and demoralising. Finish with some comment about you are obviously committed both to your career and the company otherwise you wouldn't be doing this additional qualification despite not being allowed the time and resources you are entitled to.
If she sends a private email again along the lines of "oooh I'd better watch what I say" I'd reply, again copying in the manager, reiterating your first email about addressing concerns in person and that you hope you've misinterpreted the tone of her email.
I'm guessing your manager is a bit of a wuss in person so goes overboard via email and wouldn't have the guts to say anything to you in person.
Please don't use email for any of this, even if it feels like you want to vent at them. It will play right into their hands and they'll be rubbing their hands with glee. They are in a position of authority and could turn it into a disciplinary matter which will sit on your record (inappropriate use of electronic communication)
Sounds like she needs to go on a few How to be a Manager training courses, How to get the best out of your colleagues etc.