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Dealing with moody men in all walks of life

(82 Posts)
BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 22:24:12

Hello, I really hope you'll forgive me for putting this here but even though my topic is work related I think it will make sense to people in this section and all my MN friends are here and and and

Basically I work in a very small team consisting of me, my boss and a part-time person who started in April but has mainly been off sick since then (sounds bitchy but just saying because its true and relevant)

Thing is my boss is a very moody sort of person and if anyone makes a mistake (another department, me, etc) he gets into a really shitty mood and does 'angry typing' for hours,slams his mouse, sighs etc.

If I ask him a question I get a reluctant answer in a 'FFS' tone of voice so I prefer not to ask him anything if I can help it.

Since it's usually really quiet on the floor (7 people in total on big office floor) and in the team, I will occasionally try to make conversation which is mostly met with a puzzled stare and then boss turns back to his monitor without saying anything.

If he is having a conversation with me he makes it perfectly clear when it's over because again he will turn back to his PC while I'm still talking to him and just blank me. Stupid me just shuts up, sits down and feels like a total pain in the arse for having said anything blush

Just to demonstrate what a sap I really am, I tend to work an extra couple of hours each day because boss used to make comments in a really sour tone such as 'must be nice to go home at 4' if I went at my normal time (which he had agreed incidentally) so work 8-5-6 without lunch break. Well lunch is my choice mostly as nothing to do around the area and I am too busy mostly but still, realise it's my choice on that front.

Thing is this I feel really invisible and totally insignificant by now and am seriously considering saying something.

Have put this here because yet again I'm walking on eggshells around a moody bloke, too scared to upset him.

It's a really small company so can't talk to anyone really (HR consists of one elderly bloke who also does the accounts and wages) so can't really turn there.

Really feels like the whole walking on eggshells is an issue haunting me and I need to face it head on once and for all.

Boss is perfectly pleasant to the other people on the floor so I wonder if he is the way he is with me because he knows he can get away with it because I hate feeling like a pain in the arse, can be shut up very easily and can't really take my grievances anywhere?

Just for the record, I do a lot of work and I do it quickly and quietly (well, mostly smile) so it's not like I'm a slacker or anything (in case anyonwe thinks I might be a total dead weight and the boss knows it I mean)

Any ideas on how I can let his moods affect me less and recover a sense of worth here would be very gratefully received smile

tallwivglasses Tue 05-Jul-11 22:47:46

Have I read this right? you work an extra couple of hours a day ?

And your boss is still being a moody fuck?

Cut back your hours and tell him why. He won't have a leg to stand on wink

BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 22:56:25

smile Oh dear god no, I'd never have the guts to actually tell him why I'm cutting back my hours, that would mean having to find my spine where I last saw it (a century ago) smile

Making excuses here tallwivglasses but the guy just really intimated me. Every week I swear i'm going to take my lunch hour and go home on time but weasel out at the last minute.

Boss isn't overly fond of me being away for any length of time (confirmed by colleauges who also think he's a moddy bugger so not just me thankfully) including lunch so I stay put. Fucking idiot that I am.....grrrrrrrrr!

I'm going to be dead one day lovely bones style, sat on a cloud going, oh, I should have gone to find my spine. Sigh.......

BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 22:58:57

sigh sigh sigh double sigh.....colleagues.....and intimates not intimidated.

Excuse spelling, really upset about this tonight. Had company wide monthly meeting full of plans for a bright future and reviews coming up and I've lost all my usual enthusiasm as I feel my work situation is so far removed from the ideals they're trying to get us to achieve sad

Bohica Tue 05-Jul-11 23:07:17

You NEED to find your spine. He is royally taking the piss out of you.

Take your UNPAID for luch breaks & leave on time, you need to stand up to him for yourself.

He doesn't sound very positive!

Finallygotaroundtoit Tue 05-Jul-11 23:12:51

He's already treating you appallingly, how much worse could it get?

Just do your paid hours. You may find he will actually respect you a bit more if you stick up for yourself.

BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 23:13:11

You're right Bohica, just so difficult to do especially when an idiot like me is doing extra work without being asked directly simply because she's scared of someones mood.

That's why I feel like such a collossal idiot since it's all implied. If I said out loud to my boss ' I'm taking my full lunch break and I'm going home at 4' (harrumph smile he would look at me totally puzzled.

<digs out counsellors number>

turquoisetumble Tue 05-Jul-11 23:19:19

Well the problem isn't really him, is it? It's how you respond. Even if you move jobs/get a new boss, there are plenty of other tossers difficult people to encounter. Do you think you will only ever work for nice people?

I think you need to find an assertiveness class or get some therapy. Sadly, if you let people walk all over you they will. I'm going to be a bit crude, but I bet your boss gets a real hard-on thinking about how he dominates you. He has you creeping around him, trying not to offend and working extra hours whilst he cuts you dead.

I hope this isn't too harsh, but really, it's not kindergarten out there. If you don't look after yourself, nobody else is going to do it for you. So why don't you think you can stand up to him? Have you always been like this? Is it a personality trait or work-specific?

Katisha Tue 05-Jul-11 23:21:23

Hi Bibi. You don't have to tell him you are taking a full lunch break - you are legally entitled to it.
It's working fine for him isn't it - why should he change. (Where have we heard that one before??)
So you have to change. Take it a step at a time - either take your lunchbreak or time in lieu. Tell him, don't ask. Ignore sulky remarksand puzzled looks. You need to take some control of the situation - you have done it before when it seemed impossible - you can do it again!

Katisha Tue 05-Jul-11 23:23:08

I second turqouise on trying to find an assertiveness course - where I work has online training, including one on "dealing with difficult people". you may or may not have that sort of resource but I'm sure it's available for a bit of googling somewhere.

Bohica Tue 05-Jul-11 23:26:08

I've recently taken a new role at work, it's a respected position & probably requires more hours than I am contracted to give.

I'm a mother to 3 & work 5 days a week & NEED to leave at 2.30 (contracted finish time) I am confident that I work as hard as I can in my working hours so have no problems ignoring the "full timers" who huff at me leaving on time.

Do it for one day at a time & you will feel empowered to ignore him.

If you had posted about a grumpy toddler you would be advised to ignore the negative & praise the positive!

BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 23:33:42

Quite agree with all of your points Turquoise, which is why I find it so difficult to think of a way to stand up for myself. I mean I know it's work and more so than any other walk of life, people there are not required to hold my hand, ask me how I am or otherwise be overly pleasant to me.

In the current job market I am of course fortunate to have work at all and my job pays a reasonable salary for what I do so am perhaps a bit overly afraid of losing that.

In my mind, anyone in an official capacity to whom I stand up to will turn around, announce 'how dare you, you're fired' and dismiss me instantly blush

I know, stupid twat emoticon and a therapist on speed dial for me!

Usually I am able to just suck it up and get on with it but just reached breaking point much atm and more than likely over tired as don't like taking holidays either since the workload coming back is more exhausting than just staying put.

"You need to take some control of the situation - you have done it before when it seemed impossible - you can do it again!"

grin Thanks for making me laugh there Katisha, that's exactly why I'm putting this recent tale of pathetic woe here. Just when I thought I'd got all strong and 'nobody mess with me' it turns out im still just as weak but in a different area of my life.

Thank you everybody I really was breaking my heart over this tonight having put up with it silently for two years now.

Even though I sound like I'm making weak excuses (cos I am, I know!) I am taking all your good advice on board!!

pickgo Tue 05-Jul-11 23:36:13

I too think you just need to do it - not announce it and make it a big issue - just take a lunch break first, may be not even the whole hour. Then take the whole hour. Then only stay 1 hour after work, then 30 mins etc.

Don't initiate conversation that isn't work related. Don't try to be friendly - just professional. And if you get the chance to be moody yourself do so. Sigh, walk away as he's talking to you. NEVER smile.

Moody bastards just like to get attention/exercise control, but they are bullying cowards at heart. The minute you stand up for yourself he'll back down and then try another method of control. Ignore and keep going with new assertive professional you! Good luck!

Katisha Tue 05-Jul-11 23:38:14

Also, join a union - I find that quite an empowering feeling. You woudl have someone behind you then if he tried any funny business.

Katisha Tue 05-Jul-11 23:39:11

Plus teh union may have assertiveness course type resources.

pickgo Tue 05-Jul-11 23:40:28

And for heavens sake take your holidays! Don't ask, or check dates just say I'm booking in two weeks holiday mid-August. I will leave on... and return on.... I will confirm by email (so you've got proof of giving warning when he starts to moan about it).

turquoisetumble Tue 05-Jul-11 23:41:09

How long have you been there? If it's over a year, they can't get rid of you for being a good worker who works her hours (under a year and they can do wtf they like). I understand not wanting to lose your job, but how rational a worry is that?

I agree with everyone else. One thing at a time. Take a lunch break every day next week - even if it's only a 20 minute walk.

DO NOT ENGAGE. Do not try and be pleasant, do not respond to sarcastic comments. You are there to do your job, not deal with this shit.

People like your tosser boss only ever respect people who stand up to them. The more you comply the worse he's going to get.

Try it, and keep us posted, we'll back you up girl.

BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 23:45:46

"Don't initiate conversation that isn't work related. Don't try to be friendly - just professional"

Mmh, I had been thinking of doing that pickgo, just feels so very tight, unfriendly and unnessary in such a tiny team especially when the boss seems able to be perfectly pleasant to everyone other than myself.

Well, no good whining on, I will have to do something. Think I will start by carving out a lunch hour again.

Just so difficult saying 'sod it' to the work when there's only me doing it and taking a break will make it pile up faster and harder.

<smacks self, shuts up> smile

Katisha Tue 05-Jul-11 23:49:41

It does seem necessary though doesn't it. You are letting him treat you differently and badly.

BibiBlocksberg Tue 05-Jul-11 23:53:13

x posted with a couple of you.

No, no union in my area of work (Financial Services)

Don't get me started on holidays - according to everyone else on my floor me going on holiday REALLY puts the boss in a mood with a capital M.

Just realised I've scaled back any holiday ideas because of that as well. Oh god!!!

WHY on gods green earth am I obsessed with saving these types of men from being in a mood?

(rhetorical question)

I mean the ex P was exactly the same and stopping him from getting in a mood with me became my lifes work after a while.


They're going to be in a mood with or without my input aren't they really?

Katisha Tue 05-Jul-11 23:55:04

you're firing on 100 watts Bibi. Yep!
Get a grip girl!

pickgo Tue 05-Jul-11 23:55:13

Well Bibi once you've made your stand and put him in his place you may, in a few weeks time, and if you are feeling in a good mood, deign to recognise him by having a short pleasantry of some sort.

HOWEVER, he has to learn his lesson first doesn't he? Friendliness has to be earned, you only actually owe him professionalism.

Is he married by the way?

BibiBlocksberg Wed 06-Jul-11 00:01:00

"Friendliness has to be earned, you only actually owe him professionalism"

Christ, if that's the case then I've earned the right for him to be friendly to me ten times over!

That's what gets me - without being big headed it would be an inconvenience to the company to have to train someone else to do my job (i mean, I'm a replacable 'chair moistener' at the end of the day to use a quote from the Simpsons but still)

No, interestingly enough he's not married but would desperately like to be. Engaged to a career woman who has refused to set a date or live with him for a considerable number of years.

It's not a subject anyone dares to mention to him tbh!

Katisha Wed 06-Jul-11 00:02:07

You could probably join UNITE - seems to be open to just about anyone in the workplace. You would know you had a lot of legal support behind you then. (Not that it would come to that I'm sure, but it might make you feel more confident.)

BibiBlocksberg Wed 06-Jul-11 00:04:22

I meant, it gets me that he obviously sees no need to be consistently courteous or friendly to me in case I decide I've had enough.

Clearly I've become so reliable that no one thinks there's any danger of me walking away so I get treated accordingly.

<tops up wine, strokes imaginary beard>

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