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A rough time with my boss at work

Discussion in 'I Need Empathy and Compassion (No advice wanted)' started by alice202, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    I've been a contract worker at a large company for almost a year. I like my boss a lot, generally speaking- but today he yelled at me and totally freaked me out. He threatened to fire me. I've never even seen him angry.

    And the thing is - I think his anger was irrational. He works from home most of the time and I am always at the office. The office is consolidating into a smaller space and we are getting rid of some stuff. I am stuck cleaning things up, even though it really shouldn't be my job. There is nobody else to do it, so I do it. Yesterday he emailed the junk removers were coming to get the refrigerator in an hour. I emailed back that there was still food in it. I thought about it for a minute, and then I went over and cleaned it out. Meanwhile, my manager asked somebody else to clean it out. I ran into them on their way over and told them it was done.

    So he was angry that I cleaned out the refrigerator and didn't wait to see what he was going to do about it. He told me that I had displayed bad judgment and made him look like a fool.

    I was speechless. He said he was going to write it all up and we could meet in person tomorrow. I said no, lets resolve this now. I got some privacy and called him back. It seemed like he wanted to have a fight with me. I told him some things he did that frustrated me, like saying he would be coming over to the office and then not showing up. He blamed his diabetes, and he blamed his higher ups. I do think that if his blood sugar is off he gets irritable. But you can't say that.

    In the end the conversation turned and he told me the things he appreciated about me as an employee. I reminded him that he threatened to fire me an hour ago.

    During some parts of this conversation I was talking loudly and sobbing. People were looking into the office at me. Afterwards only one person asked me what was going on and I told him the truth. Later in the day I found out from another co-worker that my manager once punched a hole in the wall in his office in a fit of rage. I saw the hole, and that's what it looked like. I'm just glad I didn't ask him about it.

    Now I feel off balance. I am afraid of offending him.

    My head hurts and I feel like I've been slugged in the gut.

    Alice
     
  2. Alwayswrong

    Alwayswrong Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for such a rough day at work. Your boss seems to be the choleric type of person. My Mother and I are this way: itseems a twister is coming, but then we calm down and can be reasonable again (you said that your boss told you what he appreciates of you as an employee). The best part? Choleric people like me explode but bear no grudge. Being assertive doesn't offend anybody. So don't be affraid.
     
  3. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    Thank you, that is very helpful.
     
  4. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    So sorry that this upset you, tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet :) (hugs)
     
  5. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    Thank you Petal. Right now I dread going back to work for fear he will go postal on me again. But I have to go.
     
  6. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    My mood is very low. I used to love this job, and now everything is different. I am full of fear.
     
  7. walker95

    walker95 Everything Zen Staff Member Safety & Support SF Social Media SF Supporter

    Try to think of allll the other days where you've gotten along with your boss. You've had 360 relatively good days and one bad one. Your chances are better than those days will continue rather than the bad ones, yes? I hope that's the case. Let us know if things are wonky.
     
    Alwayswrong likes this.
  8. Aprilflowers7

    Aprilflowers7 Well-Known Member

    I think it is better to tell the truth than to let things slide. If you let that kind of behavior continue, he may keep on doing the same things over and over. Perhaps you should have said it a different way, but that's in the past now and you can always apologize later if you think you've offended him. But many people with physical and/or mental problems often do not know what they are saying and can sometimes be unreasonable. When my sister doesn't eat, for example, she often gets angry. My grandma was borderline diabetic. Perhaps you should also tell him that you feel that he offended you and you think you were using good judgment. You could keep saying that. What's the big deal about cleaning out the refrigerator? I don't see a big deal in that, unless you threw away someone's food that was already labeled or something. Perhaps you should tell him you were worried about bugs. Perhaps you could say that you were worried the refrigerator would start to smell because of old/bad food or someone eating food that was already spoiled. Maybe he should clean out the refrigerator himself so he won't feel like a fool.

    I try to offer good suggestions but sometimes I don't know what to say lol.

    I wouldn't know what else to say to that, but I hope things get better.
     
  9. BarryW

    BarryW Well-Known Member

    If he writes up a document saying "So and So cleaned out the refrigerator right before some junk movers came to move it off our property, and this really makes me mad" I think he is the one who is going to look bad.
     
  10. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    He wasn't angry about the refrigerator. It was going to the junkyard in 90 minutes and most of the food in there was years old. He was angry because I did it without being asked - I didn't know he had asked someone else to do it. Its irrational. I've done a zillion things that needed to be done that he never assigned me to do. One day he's telling me he can't thank me enough and the next day he's threatening to get rid of me.
    Its all about his giant ego.
    I can't be on his bad side - I need his reference from this job. But I am not going to apologize to him - I've done nothing wrong. He does not follow through on things that he says he will do, and its frustrating. So I told him.
    After the day it happened I told 4 other people who have worked for him what happened. Every single person said they had had a similar experience. So at least its not just me.
     
  11. Aprilflowers7

    Aprilflowers7 Well-Known Member

    Well there might be some other underlying problem for example maybe he is having problems at home. Or he is just mean. A lot of people are just mean. I don't understand how some of these people get the jobs they get when they don't know how to get along with people. I mean if you are going to be around people for a long period of time you might as well not insult them or make them feel bad. A lot of businesses make me feel bad just by walking through the door.

    A lot of people irritate me but I try to be polite anyway, even if they hurt my feelings.

    Just try to do the best job you can.
     
  12. BarryW

    BarryW Well-Known Member

    There's the concept of the "Peter Principle". It states that if someone is doing a good job at work they will get promoted repeatedly until they reach a position where maybe they don't do a good job. The company doesn't like keeping them in that position but also doesn't want to fire someone who has done a good job for the company for the last 10 or 15 years. So they leave this person in this new position which they are incompetent at. Anytime I meet someone who I think is a bad boss I am reminded of this principle.
     
  13. Aprilflowers7

    Aprilflowers7 Well-Known Member

    True, but if they're after the money then there's no point to me. Like I liked this one writer and he makes a lot of money and he said the only reason he is a writer is to make money. He gets published way more often than I do; I only have a few publishing credits. That was really disappointing when I heard that, I thought he liked writing.
     
  14. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    Well it all turned around today. My boss asked if we could meet so we could talk - and said it was nothing bad. So when we sat down he apologized for yelling at me. He said he's been really irritable - not as a direct result of his health but since finding out he has to have heart surgery again. And he said he is realizing that his diabetic complications are catching up with him and he will not live to be an old man. I've been thinking that his health has something to do with his behavior, and now I understand that he is feeling overwhelmed by his health circumstances.

    It was a sincere apology and I thanked him for saying it. Honestly, I've had several managers behave badly toward me and he is the first one who ever apologized. He also said they are extending my contract until I can be hired in a couple of months. So I can focus on finishing the project I am working on.

    I really had a high opinion of him until this happened. When he lashed out at me it didn't make sense, and I wondered if I was all wrong. Now I think he is a good person who had a bad day and acted out - then accepted responsibility for it apologized. I feel much better now.
     
  15. Alwayswrong

    Alwayswrong Well-Known Member

  16. BarryW

    BarryW Well-Known Member

    Alice I'm so happy you were able to get a reasonable explanation for your boss's behavior. It takes a lot of courage to apologize.
     
    Alwayswrong likes this.
  17. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Awesome to see this outcome. How are you feeling @alice202
     
  18. alice202

    alice202 SF Supporter

    Feeling ok. Right now my boss and I are working on a huge project at work with a very unrealistic deadline. He is being supportive of me and I am working as hard as I can, but I feel burned out. Basically I am doing the work, which involves coming across a lot of problems - I report the problems to my boss and he deals with them. So a lot of communication is needed. I am just trying to stay calm and keep working hard without getting a headache or losing my cool. So far its working, but I have about another month like this.
     
    Alwayswrong likes this.
  19. Alwayswrong

    Alwayswrong Well-Known Member

    Hi, @alice202! I'm so glad for such good news!!! Concentrate on the great outcome. This will give you the endurance you need, because it's already within yourself. We all have an extra can of fuel (petrol).