Negative = Positive: Only If You Want

In his grand return to fiction, Bass (Why I Came West) summons—with a lyrical style befitting his best nature writing—Arkansas and backwoods.

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With this in mind, understanding your rights and how to protect yourself is critical to ensuring you work in a pleasant work environment. If the verbal assaults have occurred via email, all written correspondence should be saved. If your work environment has become so hostile that you have sought treatment from a doctor, you should also include the dates and times you missed work, as well as any costs associated with treatment. Whether or not your bosses actions rise to the level of abuse or harassment may depend on the number of occurrences. Although there are no federal or state laws protecting you from verbal abuse, there are regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA, which requires employers to provide a safe and healthy work place.

If the verbal abuse is on-going and pervasive, you may be able to argue it interferes with your ability to safely complete your daily job duties. If you are the victim of continual verbal harassment it is time to talk to the Human Resources Department or someone else in a position of authority in your company. Certain employees are protected from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of Additional protections are afforded to disabled and elderly workers under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Next time, though, have a friend film it.

Then you have evidence that maybe you could take to an attorney. You still might be able to, if the attorney could legally get the tape away from your employer. Clearly, your employer has violated your civil rights if you live in the United States. It might be worth your time to see if you can get a free consultation.

I'll bet you can. I wish you good luck on your journey. You have a good heart and a will to work. Any employer would be lucky to have you. Tom, that's a splendid way to finish an insightful post on a terrific high. The real life situation that you weaved together with the topic of the hub will encourage budding employees to work hard in their current jobs and pave the way for their very own start-up.

You can contact the EEOC online, by telephone, by mail or in person. If one contacts the EEOC, their information remains confidential until such time as they file charges against the employer. At that time, in compliance with the defendant's right to confront their accuser, the person who filed the charge of discrimination is made known to the employer. You can read more here: Semore, your story is a testament to the negative impact an abusive workplace environment can have. Those who are free to leave such an environment should. Those who are not free must try to find a way to try to deal with it.

That is the brutal truth. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I wish you peace, strength, safety and ease in your life. I have the maniac boss. I have tried the actions you proposed similar to no avail. I have left and taken consulting jobs but eventually end up returning to the only game in town. In the beginning, there ranting, cursing, and I apparently frustrated him so much he needed to throw a chair my way. He goes out of his way to cause chaos. He curses, demeans, befriends for info, stabs them in back, etc.

The one time I went to HR, he sowed up at front demanding to know if I was there. Will not allow problem resolution and demeans employee efforts. He's grossly sexual, politically provocative Has to be done. All the cognitive therapy in the world can't fix the "broke" there. People don't go to work to purposefully do a bad job. One doesn't spend 40 hours a week being humiliated without pretty severe problems.

I am simply put, a different person. On multiple meds, including antidepressant. The hopelessness that goes along with this type work environment is devastating to the person who loves to do the work and do it well. He has mellowed with the rages had no choice, but to do them in private for most part. He is very sick, work is sick and I too am sick. I think the latter being demonstrated by my returns and continuing to work there. I will say, however , that I never gave him the keys to drive me crazy.

I am the typical abused female. There are others, However, I am one who really gave up my career in hospital quality improvement and risk management due to low self esteem that developed over the years. The emotional pain of constant verbal abuse and never being able to please the boss or allowed to do what you know because of micro-management he wanted to do my job , eventually caused me to devolve, quit believing in myself, and to create opportunities to work independently.

It's lonely and not satisfying but I don't want to relocate for many reasons. I appreciated your thoughts and felt validated at least in all my efforts to handle the stress and degradation. I even spoke to an atty. Was young then and now I'm old and tired. Little desire to return to FT work anyway. I find it is always best to take what bosses say at face value and not to inject my fears or conjecture into it. If there is politics between the bosses involved, it is none of my business. I simply serve each as best I can, without judgment, if possible.

If I get directions from one boss that conflict with the other boss's directions, then I would question both of them until I know exactly what my job is. Most bosses are happy to respond to questions from workers about how to do their job. It makes them feel important. During my notice period from my current organization there seems to be lots of transition and talks going on with my remote boss and local boss. I have shared some FYI information with my remote manager however seems like the wild fire spread rapidly and I was question by my local boss as to who have told me to do so.

Here I am wondering now whom to believe and what to say. Anyways I am leaving so I'm thinking that someone is trying to play safe to save their ass. I think a counselor is the best way to go. They are professionals and are trained in ways to help you. If you don't like the counselor you had, find another one. Eventually you will find one who can help you. May you also find safety and happiness. I think I will see how I feel after the 2 weeks and make my decision then. I've already set up a job interview in a few days so we'll see what comes of that. In life in general I recommend taking the high road.

Just because your boss is unprofessional does not mean you should be, too. There are, however, times when it is appropriate to simply walk out on a job - for example, if your boss threatens or otherwise endangers you. After your two weeks off, you may have a new perspective. You may come back and give them your notice immediately, or you may decide to wait and keep the job until you find another. But in either case you will have decided after due consideration instead of on the basis of feelings that may be temporary.

I'm 25 yo and I work at a company PT They are rude speaking in a different language among the coworkers , disorganized, don't give paychecks on time, and don't know how to run a business. I got so tired of their BS I told them a few days ago I was going away for 2 weeks and they said it was alright. Well, just yesterday my boss makes a comment in a sweet, yet insincere, bitchy way that I lack common sense. It didn't occur to me that that's what she meant until I left the office. All of this tension has been building up and I don't care what happens anymore - I want out.

These people are unprofessional and disorganized and I want no part of it. But I don't know what to do - I already said that I will be away for 2 weeks I need a job to hold me over I don't know if I should stick it out for a little when I get back or if I should use the 2 week "vacation" as a way to leave completely.

What do you guys think? We spend so much time at work - life can be truly hell if our work makes us miserable. Here are a couple of strategies for coping. First, try not to think of work outside of work. Try not to think of it until you actually enter your workplace. While you are there, in your spare moments, think of the things you love to do, and smile. When your boss says something mean, smile and repeat the exact words back to them. X, how should I do things differently?

I want to improve. A certain amount of this can be useful for personal growth. A certain amount of this can be too much. In the end you will have to decide how important it is to remain at the job if it continues to be unpleasant. You're young, so you are full of potential. It wouldn't hurt to quietly start looking for another job, too. Don't tell anyone, just see what's out there. It's always good to have options.

I work in an environment that really brings me down i have never been so unhappy. Every time i tell my parents how I feel they tell me that i am just being ungateful. My boss says the most mean things and the thought of waking up really gets me down. I am only 21 but im going through such problems. Please give me advice on how to deal with this situation.

I feel sorry for your boss. From your description it seems she has let her job totally take over her life. That is a sad thing, but it explains much of her behavior. There is a life span to a job. Even if conditions are ideal kind of the opposite of what you have they wear out after a while.

It's often good to make a change after ten years in the same job. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, let me say that I am someone I am 40 and female, BTW who takes responsibility for my own "stuff" and I know that I will carry my baggage to my next job which I am seeking after 10 years at my current one.

I've made mistakes and done stupid things. I can honestly tell you that the woman I work for absolutely has mental problems that she needs help with She recently told me she wanted to see a therapist, and I applauded her for that. She fucking needs it. Anyway, she is a VERY dangerous type of boss wolf in sheep's clothing and here is why: I consider you luckier than me. It's all put right out there, and I bet you can scream and cuss back with little repurcussion.

Nasty, blunt, sarcastic emails followed by generous gifts at birthdays and for major accomplishments her way of feeling less guilty about how insane she is. I cannot even explain how odd it is. Then - and I watched her at a recent board meeting - she TOTALLY lacks the "poker face" she frowned and grimaced; I cannot live with that kind of blatant, shameless hyposcrisy anymore. Have we nothing more important to deal with? She is also - and this kind is always fun - one of those martyrs who puts in long, looooooong hours sending emails to people late at night so they know she was there but won't delegate anything to anyone.

That is HER problem to explore, but the rest of us have to pay with backhanded passive aggressive comments about our own hours or whatever. It's just not to be believed. Now even worse is this: She is a smart person with a good sense of humor.

The Professional Persona

If she wasn't such a psychopath she'd be a great mentor, and still has been on some things. But like I said, she is a hypocrite, a control freak, very unfair she found a way to cheat me out of some of my bonus; I promise and just an absolute mess. I don't expect my next boss, or any boss, to be perfect but I need one that is better for me.

I have stayed ten years because for most of them, the bad things were less than the good. That's starting to turn around,and I am ready to leave.

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I am sad a lot of the time and don't want my little boy seeing me that way , ALWAYS afraid this nut is gong to fire me and by the way, SHE has no boss with any real clue what she is. Her boss is an offsite board of directors The money comes in and that is all they care about I've also gained a lot of weight over the years.

Can an Employer Call You Stupid?

I truly believe leaving will make things better for me and my family. Of course raising the voice to the level of screaming is completely unprofessional and is also stupid. Workers do not work better when bosses scream at them. Of course they don't. If I was working at a job and my boss screamed at me more than once, I would really doubt if my boss was smart enough to actually run a business.

That alone would make me want to quit and find another job. If it is traced back to you somehow you might be looking at an unplanned change in your life. Thank you for the comment! I have a suggestion for the revenge section. Google "annoy a tron" from ThinkGeek, order it, then hide in his office. Almost guaranteed insanity will result from this.

Make sure you tell no one. He will tear his office apart while you smile to yourself in satisfaction. This is a very touchy subject. I had a boss just like you are describing. I started taking notes and asking everyone that heard him downgrade me if I could use them as a witness. I was in luck because no one else liked him so they sided with me, when I went to the higher authorities.. I wish I would have read your column way back then.. Thanks for the reply. My superior even admit he's a bad teacher. He even told me that before he started to use foul language.

Even many times I told him that I'm trying my best to my best, and yet at times I tend to do mistakes. Because I can't work properly when he keeps rushing me to do the work faster. As a result, it turns out I'm clumsy. He said I should do work faster, but I just can't. I've tried my best and slow is my speed. So, that's why for his own good, better not to slow him down, it's better for me to leave. Besides, I did leave a resignation letter. Mentioning that travelling to work is a hassle, as I need to get up two hours before work hour and reach home two hours after work. So, it's kind of tiring and been feeling lethargic over the weeks.

If you have or want a future at your job, you should call your boss back and remind him if he already knows that you are hearing impaired and tell him how this affects your ability to do your job. Instead of apologizing, make a habit of assuring him that you are trying your best and that you are doing your best to improve. If you have left your job, you should tell him exactly why because that is the only hope there is that your boss may someday learn that his verbal abuse has consequences. If a boss calls you names or uses foul language, ask him what, specifically, he would like you to improve.

Perhaps he is smart enough to realize his behavior is not productive. Yesterday 7th Dec I've dropped my uniforms and my locker key in front of my kitchen door, which I've arrived before the rest of the guys arrived. Then I just left the place quickly. Today 8th Dec my employer misscalled me as I'm not sure should I answer the call or call back.

Like the article, he is verbally abusive. I kept saying "sorry" to him for doing and repeating the same mistakes. I admit I got hearing problems, as I'm hearing impaired. But I respect him as my superior as I'm willing to learn and yet he kept telling me that he's tired of listening to my "sorry". Even he kept telling me to talk faster to him. Not everyone can talk fast like him. U can't expect your subordinates to be like you when they can't. It takes time for them to on par with the superior.

Should I call back my superior or just ignore the call? I love how you used Cheney as the dick. My dog has a nickname: He just wags his tail. In any case, this information is great. I have a boss right now that I'm a little "afraid of". I'll remember this article. I think there is a basic problem with work as we know it. Managers should facilitate performance and encourage employees to excel, but instead they seem to concentrate more on consolidating and maintaining power.

Much like our political system. I guess I just accept intolerable work places but you presented the article in such a fresh and appealing format. It made me smile a bit.

How to Handle Being Called the Wrong Name at Work

Sorry if that was not your intention but Dick Cheney does seem like he would be awful to work for. I think you are very fortunate, Missmjai, because you love what you do at your job. I think maybe if you try to concentrate as much as you can on how much you love what you do, the comments of your boss may not matter as much. However, if your boss makes personal comments, you might ask what that has to do with the job. You might say that you are interested in doing the best you can, because you love your job, and that you hope your boss will make comments that will help you excel at it.

It's great reading other people's experiences, my boss made me CRY today for the first time since I started I have been there 10 months I have had many servings before but this time it was a more personal bashing, I just felt like yelling take your job and stick it way more obscene, but not going to on here I just love what I do and don't want to leave! Emily, there are some bosses that are just intolerable. If you are losing weight because of job stress because of your boss, this must stop. Clearly you need, one way or another, to stop being his victim.

My Boss fired me once, asked me back. He tells me daily, ' I am fucked in the head ' He can't keep his story straight anymore. He tells me my co-workers all tell him to fire me. I am 23 and I lost over 20 pounds since starting to work here. I pay for all my own things- so I cannot be jobless.

He has made me into a person who is unhappy and scared to come into work. He does not pay over time. Such behavior is bizarre and unproductive. It does not cause him to make more money. It is a way for him to make his sad life look better by making others' lives less happy. Eight year olds behave like this.

How does your manager handle it? Clearly your manager has the most at stake. If your manager has a method that works, emulate it. Do what your manager does to get by. If you need to flirt and build up the ego of the owner to get by at your job, you need to decide if this is too injurious to your personal dignity, or if the money you are making is worth the humiliation.

It is a hard decision, but only you can make it. Angelina, I guess it all depends on how much you have to deal with or listen to the owner. If he's there every day, all the time, then you have a pretty miserable job. If he's not there so much, maybe you can just pretend to take him seriously while he's there and then laugh it off inwardly when he's gone. You might try making an appointment with him to see him privately in a neutral space, a coffee shop, and just tell him how his behavior makes you feel.

It might work, but then again it might not. I work at an adult novelty store and my manager is a sweetheart. Thanks tom, my boss actually texted me the other day and we had a 3 hour convo aout his behavior I became stern with him him te he qickly relized I. Wa a dumb nor slow kid and has since been a better guy things are looking up. Oh, absolutely right - NO ONE deserves to be abused, and should never stay in a situation of abuse, if there is any way out.

I have the ability to walk out at any time, and choose not to, because of the complexities of the relationship, and because I know him well enough to know that he truly does not see what he does - and I have hope that he could and will, if it is brought to him with honesty and caring. But I would never encourage anyone to try to "tough it out" in a situation of abusive behavior or words, if there is an alternative - everyone deserves respect.

We are not in disagreement, Shajan. If for any reason a person's job deprives them of their peace, they should leave that job. Nevertheless, if for some reason they are forced to stay - they are putting two of their children though college, for example - they may find my article helpful. But we agree - if you have an abusive boss and you have the option to quit and find another job, by all means, DO IT.

If continuose abuse or continues stress from a manager affect the health, the employee will become sick. Thank you, Sue, for adding so much to my article by sharing your experience. I think it is very good point to make that ethical behavior - common courtesy, for example - should be universal, including between employer and employee.

For a person to see himself realistically, and to hear his own words, is essential. In my case, bringing reality to my boss has been very helpful I am lucky in that I am able to confront him with his own words and actions, and he has actually listened to me and thought about them. By his personality he will continue to slip, but his intentions are not bad ones. Perhaps it is a "part of the job" to help him be a better leader. I just have a strong sense of every person having a dignity that is deserved simply by being human, and there should be a mutual respect between people, including between bosses and employees.

It's not naivity, though it may be a struggle to find that in most places. I am in a position where I can demand that we strive for this kind of mutual treatment. My issues with him are nowhere near resolved, but I have resolved that he can choose - I can do this job despite him, or with him. I have no intention of leaving. I don't believe it is in any way illegal for Dick to call you dumb. It may be really bad management, and not too bright, but I don't think it is illegal.

However, it might not hurt to mention to Dick that you don't think that calling you 'dumb' is at all helpful. As a manager, it is really Dick's job to help those under him excel at what they do. If his criticism is unhelpful, that is a definite flaw in his management skill set.

Calling teachers by their first names

That is really a tough problem, Justin. If the verbal abuse is an ongoing problem, ask to meet with your boss privately.

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Explain that your job performance is very important to you, and you would like to discuss any complaints or issues he has with your work. Mention that you are always available to discuss your work, but that you will not tolerate verbal abuse. Your human resources department might be able to help you if your boss calls you stupid, particularly if your company has a policy in place that forbids abuse and harassment.

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Contact your human resources department for information about the complaint process. The institute suggests that you might have a better chance of obtaining assistance from the human resources department if you are unemotional when stating your complaint and mention how the negative behavior impacts your department or company. If the verbal abuse does not stop, you must make a decision regarding your future with the company.

It might be time to find another job, either in your existing company or with another company. Be discreet when applying for a transfer, as your boss might attempt to badmouth you in an attempt to prevent your transfer. The job search process takes time, but a new job might be the best option if your human resources department does not take your complaint seriously and does nothing to address the situation.