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My boss dislikes me


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Old 16th June 2017, 12:41 PM   #1
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My boss dislikes me

Hi everyone,

I started work 6 months ago in a junior position. During the interview my boss seemed nice. Also when I first got there things were cool. But this changed suddenly 2 months in and I still im not 100% sure why. For instance

- The second month I was there she assigned to me admin tasks that had nothing to do with my job role. Neither with what we discussed in the interview. And she assigned these tasks to me without discussing first. She just marched and announced that I'll volunteer to do them. I expressed my concern about these new tasks affecting my performance in my "normal" job, as they were very time consuming. And she tried to convince me it was part of my job scope. I replied to her email (because I wanted this in writing) that I will continue doing these tasks but this is not what we discussed during my yearly goals meeting. She never replied to that.

- The above ended up with me having much more workload than the rest of the team plus having everyone in the team kind of bossing me around because of my new "duties". So my boss and her favorite member of the team were talking about makeup all day while I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

- One month after I got there I asked her how she would prefer me to communicate with her and what kind of reports she would like me to produce. She replied that she is not familiar with my field of work and that it's not needed for now as I may get another boss at some point due to changes in structure... not much luck

- We had a meeting with another team about an issue that was my specialty. And at some point she turns asking bluntly "DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THIS? IF NOT I LL DO IT". I said that yes, I know, but she just kept talking over me. Thing is, she knew very well I could do it. Some months ago I found this solution and she asked me how I did it. I explained to her. And in that recent meeting she just copied my words. I have e-mails that prove I solved this issue months ago.

- When mistakes happen in the team she always thinks it's my fault until someone chimes in and says that it wasn't my task. That could be because of some early procedural mistakes I did for these damn admin tasks that were assigned to me. Thing is I never received any training or direction about company procedures. And they were things I couldn't suspect that I needed to do a certain way or even ask about (for instance company system producing reports that include unwanted fields and we have to edit them out manually).

- She rarely smiles or talks to me, even when I try to initiate conversation. She is super smiley and chatty with others though

- Her boss (our department's boss essentially) who is a chief officer and we all respect him a lot, is always nice and friendly to me and talks to me when we cross each other.

I sometimes feel she is trying to sabotage me. People close to me said she may be feeling intimidated because I have a more relevant education for our department and some more knowledge on some topics. But I think she is more experienced than me since she's older. And I think team members are brought together to complete each other. I am honestly trying to think if I've offended her in any way but I can't think of something. I'm certainly not interested in stealing her job or something. What do you guys think is going on?
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Old 16th June 2017, 2:00 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like she is intimidated by you. People are only micromanagers and rude like that when they secretly have no confidence in themselves as a manager.


Do you have an HR person you can talk to? Tell them you want to keep it confidential but on the record. I work in HR and this type of stuff happens all the time.


Unfortunately it is a bad habit of a lot of women to try to tear each other down rather than work side by side. At the end of the day, it may just give you a piece of mind to apply to other jobs. It's not worth it to sit in a bad situation if no one deals with it.
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Old 16th June 2017, 2:19 PM   #3
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I think whether she likes you or not is not the issue. As the boss she has the authority to set the parameters of your responsibility & you are not entitled to input in that decision. Good management / people handling skills suggest that talking to employees & collaborating on workload distribution to some extent is good management vs. top down dictatorship but there are no legal or ethical prohibitions against it.


Every time you do something make sure she knows when the task is completed. Keep a log of what you do & bring it home with you at night. Do not leave it in the office.


Come review time you will have the evidence you need to show your productivity. Bottom line your company only cares if you get the job done, not whether it's a pleasant place to work. If you are totally miserable, look for other opportunities.
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Old 16th June 2017, 3:20 PM   #4
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Bottom line your company only cares if you get the job done, not whether it's a pleasant place to work. If you are totally miserable, look for other opportunities.


A company SHOULD care about whether or not it is a pleasant place to work, if they don't, they lose employees to companies that do care. The younger generation is very aware of how important it is to keep employees happy, the times are a changin'!


We spend the majority of our days at work, quality of life is important, far more important than a micromanaging boss or a bunch of paperwork that needs to get done. My job is literally focused on the quality of life at work, because the bottom line is that although we are at work, life is short. Not worth it to be somewhere where one is unappreciated. Entitlement is not the issue, everyone has the right to want a pleasant work environment. If that's too much to ask then we're all in for trouble.
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Old 16th June 2017, 3:23 PM   #5
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It sounds to me like she is intimidated by you. People are only micromanagers and rude like that when they secretly have no confidence in themselves as a manager.


Do you have an HR person you can talk to? Tell them you want to keep it confidential but on the record. I work in HR and this type of stuff happens all the time.


Unfortunately it is a bad habit of a lot of women to try to tear each other down rather than work side by side. At the end of the day, it may just give you a piece of mind to apply to other jobs. It's not worth it to sit in a bad situation if no one deals with it.
Hi Knix, thank you for your insight. It's comforting to hear from someone in HR that this happens a lot.

Unfortunately, our HR department is managed by someone who has made several HR people quit because of the way she manages as well! So I don't feel very comfortable to be honest. Do you think it would be resolved if I talked with my boss personally? Have you ever seen this happen? I'm worried with this approach as well as she may pretend not to have a problem and I will seem like an idiot.. while she will continue the discreet sabotage.

I have been thinking of applying to jobs indeed and I would ideally like to move to another city in a year or so. I'm trying to see if I can do something about it without rocking the boat too much at the moment, but because my boss can be manipulative (like trying to convince me with childish arguments that offtopic continuing duties are part of my job) I'm not that positive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by d0nnivain View Post
I think whether she likes you or not is not the issue. As the boss she has the authority to set the parameters of your responsibility & you are not entitled to input in that decision. Good management / people handling skills suggest that talking to employees & collaborating on workload distribution to some extent is good management vs. top down dictatorship but there are no legal or ethical prohibitions against it.


Every time you do something make sure she knows when the task is completed. Keep a log of what you do & bring it home with you at night. Do not leave it in the office.


Come review time you will have the evidence you need to show your productivity. Bottom line your company only cares if you get the job done, not whether it's a pleasant place to work. If you are totally miserable, look for other opportunities.
You're right, it's not important to be friends. But still, I feel unwelcome in the team by the way she acts. Another big issue is that she more or less told me not to report anything to her and bother with updating her about things she doesnt understand anyway!! And maybe I would handle that if she wasn't so demeaning. If you could see the way she talked to me that day and how she looked at me

I kinda report to her favourite with whom Im getting along a bit better and she gives me written feedback which has been truthful until now. But she's not my manager, so don't know what is being said between these two. The only thing I can gather is all the e-mail communications from other teams that thank me for solving problems. I guess I will print those out before my review and give them to her next year for proof.
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Old 16th June 2017, 3:30 PM   #6
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If your boss is as manipulative as you say, I would look for something else. It's not about 'rocking the boat' it's about taking care of yourself.


Talk to your boss first though. You might be assuming she will act a certain way and then be surprised if she totally does something different (like actually LISTENS to you). Go into it hoping for the best but prepared for what you're assuming she would do.


I would send her a very professional email and calendar invite asking her for some time to meet with you to discuss some concerns you're having. Go over everything with her in a very professional, unemotional, and ASSERTIVE tone. If she handles it poorly, then just know that things probably won't change and because your HR department doesn't sound much better, look for a position that will appreciate you more.


Good luck
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Old 16th June 2017, 3:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knix View Post
A company SHOULD care about whether or not it is a pleasant place to work, if they don't, they lose employees to companies that do care. The younger generation is very aware of how important it is to keep employees happy, the times are a changin'!



Company morale has been lost for a long time in many places. It does help with retention which is important.
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Old 16th June 2017, 4:16 PM   #8
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A company SHOULD care about whether or not it is a pleasant place to work, if they don't, they lose employees to companies that do care. The younger generation is very aware of how important it is to keep employees happy, the times are a changin'!


We spend the majority of our days at work, quality of life is important, far more important than a micromanaging boss or a bunch of paperwork that needs to get done. My job is literally focused on the quality of life at work, because the bottom line is that although we are at work, life is short. Not worth it to be somewhere where one is unappreciated. Entitlement is not the issue, everyone has the right to want a pleasant work environment. If that's too much to ask then we're all in for trouble.
I have to agree with this. I've only ever had one really bad boss. She tried to rule with an iron fist. Her behavior was extremely erratic and she did not treat her employees with respect. It definitely gave her some headaches in the long run. It created a hostile work environment that caused her employees to plot against her, and led to high turnover. Several of us left for other jobs at about the same time because we just couldn't stand working with her and both of us knew we were looking for other jobs. Neither of us told her until we handed in our two weeks notice. So treating your employees like crap does you no favors in the long run.
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Old 17th June 2017, 1:11 AM   #9
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I expressed my concern about these new tasks affecting my performance in my "normal" job, as they were very time consuming. And she tried to convince me it was part of my job scope. I replied to her email (because I wanted this in writing) that I will continue doing these tasks but this is not what we discussed during my yearly goals meeting. She never replied to that.
If I were your boss, this would have really irritated me. If I ask an employee to do something, I don't want to hear, "That's not my job." This may have started you off on the wrong foot with her.

Most of your complaints are valid, but they seem like pretty typical workplace/bad boss issues. There are always going to be coworkers who slack off while you work. It's not uncommon for bosses to take credit for your work. It's not uncommon to get blamed for stuff that's not your fault. Sometimes you just don't click with your bosses or they get along better with others. These are things you just have to let roll off your back until you find another job where you fit better. I don't think they're worth mentioning to your boss or HR.

It doesn't appear that she's trying to sabotage you. I wouldn't go that far. She just seems to not care to get along with you for whatever reason. Which sucks, but you probably won't work there for the rest of your life, so it's a temporary thing.
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Old 17th June 2017, 10:27 AM   #10
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People don't quit jobs, they quit their bosses...

I would suggest that you keep doing your job as best you can, keep a written track of what you have done, and email your boss when you have questions about a task that you are unsure of.. This puts HER on the spot and makes her culpable should any situation arise. Establish a paper trail that cannot be refuted should she try and pull anything or throw you under the bus. I would be looking for another job within this period of time as it's just not worth it to work for a sh-tty boss.

As a teacher, I always ask my administration what they want to see out of my classroom, not just what is written into my contract. What kind of teaching styles they prefer, discipline, etc..etc.. I send this to them in an email when I take over a position so that they can never question what has been asked of me. One administrator wanted me to make use of an online program that I absolutely hate but I tied it into my curriculum. The program isn't user friendly, by any means, so I would email him and the tech director if I had questions about using the program. We had an issue arise with it, the administration was upset about it and I pointed out that I had been doing my best to work with it and ask for help. They backed off in a hurry.

In any position, I establish my boundaries as best I can with the administration. There are very few things that I will not tolerate but I am clear on what I will not put up with. I had a school board member with no experience in education (they're a insurance salesman..) show up unannounced in my room one day. They popped in, sat down and started taking notes on how I could "improve the learning environment". I went down the administration over my lunch hour, told them that I would be more than happy to meet with any board member before or after school but that they had no business disrupting my class.

"The school board members have always wanted to be as 'involved' as possible and it's a tough situation." (i.e. deal with it)

"This is something that I not comfortable with and I will not continue to teach here if it doesn't stop. If a school board member wants to know how my room is running, they can ask you about your observations and we'll go from there."

From there on out, I locked my door whenever I saw a board member trolling the hallways. They got the point and left me alone. But, I am a math teacher and we're a rare commodity in this country so it's much easier for me to draw a line in the sand.
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Old 17th June 2017, 11:58 AM   #11
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People don't quit jobs, they quit their bosses...

I would suggest that you keep doing your job as best you can, keep a written track of what you have done, and email your boss when you have questions about a task that you are unsure of.. This puts HER on the spot and makes her culpable should any situation arise. Establish a paper trail that cannot be refuted should she try and pull anything or throw you under the bus. I would be looking for another job within this period of time as it's just not worth it to work for a sh-tty boss.

As a teacher, I always ask my administration what they want to see out of my classroom, not just what is written into my contract. What kind of teaching styles they prefer, discipline, etc..etc.. I send this to them in an email when I take over a position so that they can never question what has been asked of me. One administrator wanted me to make use of an online program that I absolutely hate but I tied it into my curriculum. The program isn't user friendly, by any means, so I would email him and the tech director if I had questions about using the program. We had an issue arise with it, the administration was upset about it and I pointed out that I had been doing my best to work with it and ask for help. They backed off in a hurry.

In any position, I establish my boundaries as best I can with the administration. There are very few things that I will not tolerate but I am clear on what I will not put up with. I had a school board member with no experience in education (they're a insurance salesman..) show up unannounced in my room one day. They popped in, sat down and started taking notes on how I could "improve the learning environment". I went down the administration over my lunch hour, told them that I would be more than happy to meet with any board member before or after school but that they had no business disrupting my class.

"The school board members have always wanted to be as 'involved' as possible and it's a tough situation." (i.e. deal with it)

"This is something that I not comfortable with and I will not continue to teach here if it doesn't stop. If a school board member wants to know how my room is running, they can ask you about your observations and we'll go from there."

From there on out, I locked my door whenever I saw a board member trolling the hallways. They got the point and left me alone. But, I am a math teacher and we're a rare commodity in this country so it's much easier for me to draw a line in the sand.
I agree with this! Continue to ask questions and communicate with her via email so that you always have a paper trail. As my mom always says "cover your ass". At the end of the day, sometimes you just have to play the game. Be as professional and courteous as you can be, and keep it all in writing. This is extremely important.

I had a boss once try to go on vacation before approving a timesheet (aka, how I get paid) so because of that, my pay would be late. She would always try to get me in her office for one on one conversations but I started emailing, so that I could show whoever I needed to what she was doing. It also kept her on her best behavior (for the most part). After her vacation she had a meeting with me about a sick day I had a few months prior (uh.. talk about hypocritical). But because it wasn't in writing, she denied ever saying it once I left for a new position. Bosses are not gods, they are just people with a different title. They make mistakes all the time, so cover your ass!
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Old 17th June 2017, 12:44 PM   #12
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My biggest mistake career-wise was staying too long in a position where my boss disliked me. I naively assumed that I could change his opinion by working hard and doing good work, but that was not the case. My advice in cases like this is to grin and bear it, but start looking for another position immediately.

JMO, but going over a bosses head, documenting, etc., will seldom be a successful strategy. Regardless of what you think of your boss, they are your boss, meaning someone thinks they are doing a good job, most likely someone at a significantly higher level than you.
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Old 18th June 2017, 7:53 AM   #13
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My biggest mistake career-wise was staying too long in a position where my boss disliked me. I naively assumed that I could change his opinion by working hard and doing good work, but that was not the case. My advice in cases like this is to grin and bear it, but start looking for another position immediately.

JMO, but going over a bosses head, documenting, etc., will seldom be a successful strategy. Regardless of what you think of your boss, they are your boss, meaning someone thinks they are doing a good job, most likely someone at a significantly higher level than you.
It's not necessarily about going over your boss's head (i.e. keep documentation so you can take it above them..). It's about having that paper trail to show that you're doing your job in case they try to fire you over something petty. You want that paper trail to take to HR in response to any bullsh-t they might pull.

As a teacher, I get stuck covering my ass from multiple angles; the administration, other teachers, parents, the school board, etc..etc.. So, I only communicate about important or sensitive manners via email. I don't do face to face or phone conversations over most things and it has served me well.

I had a set of parents after me because I was continually dishing out detention to their daughter. She was a screaming pain in the ass in my class; rude, disruptive and obnoxious. Mom and dad were pissed off over it because they didn't think I was "being fair". The administration wouldn't back me up over any of it as they hated confrontation. I emailed mom and dad every time she had detention with a detailed explanation of what she had done, what the consequences were and asked them to help me resolve the problem. They would call me and I would tell them that I wouldn't discuss the situation over the phone. We would have a discussion with the administration and the school counselor over the whole circus if they wanted to talk face to face. We had a meeting and they stated that I hadn't contacted them about any of it (because I wouldn't talk over the phone), they were in the dark, and that I was a terrible teacher (blah..blah..blah..). But, they didn't realize that I had forwarded these emails to the administration and the school counselor before the meeting and brought paper copies of them when we met.

That shut them up in a hurry.
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Old 18th June 2017, 8:24 AM   #14
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It's not necessarily about going over your boss's head (i.e. keep documentation so you can take it above them..). It's about having that paper trail to show that you're doing your job in case they try to fire you over something petty. You want that paper trail to take to HR in response to any bullsh-t they might pull.

As a teacher, I get stuck covering my ass from multiple angles; the administration, other teachers, parents, the school board, etc..etc.. So, I only communicate about important or sensitive manners via email. I don't do face to face or phone conversations over most things and it has served me well.

I had a set of parents after me because I was continually dishing out detention to their daughter. She was a screaming pain in the ass in my class; rude, disruptive and obnoxious. Mom and dad were pissed off over it because they didn't think I was "being fair". The administration wouldn't back me up over any of it as they hated confrontation. I emailed mom and dad every time she had detention with a detailed explanation of what she had done, what the consequences were and asked them to help me resolve the problem. They would call me and I would tell them that I wouldn't discuss the situation over the phone. We would have a discussion with the administration and the school counselor over the whole circus if they wanted to talk face to face. We had a meeting and they stated that I hadn't contacted them about any of it (because I wouldn't talk over the phone), they were in the dark, and that I was a terrible teacher (blah..blah..blah..). But, they didn't realize that I had forwarded these emails to the administration and the school counselor before the meeting and brought paper copies of them when we met.

That shut them up in a hurry.
I agree that documentation is important to protect yourself from situations like you describe, but by successful strategy I was thinking more along the lines of ones long term career goals and advancement, not just surviving at your current position. What I think is different in your case (from mine) is that your administration didn't necessarily dislike you, they just weren't backing you up.

In my case, because my boss didn't like me I started receiving mediocre reviews, resulting in poor salary rises, bonuses and promotions. In several cases he rejected my proposals blaming executive management, but as I would find out later he had never even presented my proposals to them. I did document and was able to refute some things in my reviews, but that didn't address the underlying problem and its impact on me.
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Old 19th June 2017, 9:24 AM   #15
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I agree that documentation is important to protect yourself from situations like you describe, but by successful strategy I was thinking more along the lines of ones long term career goals and advancement, not just surviving at your current position. What I think is different in your case (from mine) is that your administration didn't necessarily dislike you, they just weren't backing you up.

In my case, because my boss didn't like me I started receiving mediocre reviews, resulting in poor salary rises, bonuses and promotions. In several cases he rejected my proposals blaming executive management, but as I would find out later he had never even presented my proposals to them. I did document and was able to refute some things in my reviews, but that didn't address the underlying problem and its impact on me.
Yeah, the documentation is just a precaution to keep something pinned on you in order for the boss to fire you. I will say that the documentation comes in handy when dealing with poor reviews/evaluations. It is nice to have that paper trail in case something outlandish comes up in your review.

In one situation, I was missing a lot of work because my ex-wife had health issues. I emailed the administration to tell them EXACTLY why I was gone. I hadn't used up all of my sick leave but the administration tried to hit me on it in my evaluation. Everything else in my eval was fine but I got a very poor markings when it came to attendance. I pointed out that a) I had been in contact with them about the situation, b) this was a topic that should have been addressed BEFORE my evaluation as poor attendance looks terrible and c) I had been careful not to use up all of my leave and had been showing up to work sick as a dog so that I could save up that time for my wife. He backed off and revised my evaluation and I got a "satisfactory" mark instead. A school board member mentioned it when contracts came up and I told them that I had documentation showing why I was gone. He didn't realize I had that paper trail and they left me alone.

I think it is always best to keep a low profile, do your job and keep looking for other employment in these situations. It will be much easier to land a better gig if your former employer is at least neutral with respect to your situation.
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