Horrible Bosses: How To Deal With A Supervisor Who Has It Out For You
I won’t be a lifer, and I’m not making a career out of my current 9 to 5. That’s fine, considering that some jobs we take en route to pursuing our passions really are just about the paycheck. That’s no excuse for slacking or doing a poor job, however, and as long as I am gainfully employed, I will continue to strive for excellence. I have a strong work ethic and both my name and reputation mean a lot to me. But maintaining high standards has proven difficult while working in an environment with a supervisor who’s not exactly my biggest fan.
I’ve taken note of my interactions with my supervisor and compared them to their dealings with my co-workers. With them, my supervisor’s demeanor is more jovial and upbeat, even when stressed, which is often the case. With me, my supervisor is curt, much less patient and understanding. When issues arise that require my supervisor’s assistance, they are quick to rush me out of their office without fully understanding or answering my questions. This results in me having to return to their office for further assistance, an unnecessary process that not only wastes valuable time and is antithetical to their time-on-task demands, but leaves both of us feeling frustrated.
My supervisor also overlooks me when it comes to doing certain tasks. They often assign rush work to two male coworkers, in particular, who are no more capable than I am of getting the job done. This discrimination is a purposeful limitation of opportunity, despite my supervisor’s “We want to see you succeed” and “Come to me for anything” spiels. Couple this with their penchant for micromanaging and occasional expletive-filled tirades, and it’s enough to drive a person crazy. All of these interactions are made to make me feel inept and like I am somehow not stepping up to the plate. But despite his or her title, my supervisor does not have that kind of power over me. Their opinion of me – professional, personal or otherwise – won’t keep me from holding my head up high. Here’s how I fight back and how you can too should you face similar workplace struggles.
Know Which Battles To Fight
You can’t tackle every problem you face with your supervisor or superior, but if any of the issues grossly impede your ability to perform or affect your mental or physical health in a serious way, something must be said. Be prepared to offer specific solutions and alternatives to the status quo.
If the issues you face are more annoying than anything else, discuss them with a fellow coworker who knows how to keep a secret, or a friend or family member not connected to your place of employment. It’s a surefire way to get your angst out and to make you feel less alone.
File A Claim With HR
Discrimination is unacceptable in the workplace. If you feel like your supervisor, boss or any other person you work with is discriminating against you in any way, state your claim with your company’s human resources department. Be as factual and informative as you can, noting dates, the time of day incidents happened, etc. Filing a claim can make things better not just for you, but for your co-workers as well.
Take Allotted Breaks
By law, you are required breaks outside of your lunch hour (or half hour, in my case) during the work day. Take full advantage of them. Take a walk, make a phone call to a loved one, stretch. I do all of these things in order to relieve stress, refocus and regroup.
Search For Other Employment
For most people, quitting a job, no matter how unbearable it may be, is not a viable option. This is especially true for those who live paycheck to paycheck and have families to support. Looking for a job is a job in and of itself, so be sure to tell family and friends that you’re actively looking for work. They may know of a fitting opportunity.
Lastly, I try to remember that I am by no means trapped and that everything I am experiencing is temporary. All the adversity I’ve faced at work will only make me stronger. And if nothing else, it makes for a great story.