Author Topic: Advice on toxic boss?  (Read 7402 times)

mozar

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Advice on toxic boss?
« on: November 02, 2016, 02:23:26 PM »
My boss is intimidated by how smart I am and is upset that I don't suck up to him like my co-worker does. He regularly finds new ways to insult me. Like saying I'm sitting around doing nothing even though I just spent the past two weeks busting my ass meeting deadlines. I could have said something but I'm so burnt out from the emotional roller-coaster of  dealing with him. Another example is him accusing me of not reformatting something when I had reformatted it but he hadn't checked his email. (He does stuff like that all the time).

I've gotten better over the past 10 months with standing for myself, and constantly proving my "worth" by showing that I'm an expert and volunteering to do the difficult work that no one else wants to do. I don't mind the suck up co-worker because I can use her to get what I want and I've also figured out how to get out of tasks that my boss assigns that are irrational. So it hasn't all been bad.
But I'm tired. I don't have any other job offers and my resume already makes me look like a job hopper.
Any advice? Consolations?

Axecleaver

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 02:37:48 PM »
One way to improve your relationship with your boss is to ask him for his advice, even if you don't need it. If your problem really is that he's intimidated by how smart you are, he'll be flattered that you asked for his help. Make sure to listen to his advice, don't argue with him, and don't dismiss it. Who knows? He may actually have something worthwhile to suggest.

Second piece of advice, your message sounds pretty self-righteous and indignant, so consider your tone when you're interacting with the boss. Part of every job you'll ever have will be to make your boss look good. Back-talking subordinates don't help him look good, so you can start by being as easy to interact with as possible.


mozar

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 03:21:33 PM »
When I'm feeling less irritated I'll try to think of something to ask his advice about.
I try not to come off as rightious /indignant at work, and I've done a lot of work in that area. I readily admit to my mistakes even though they do a happy dance because they "caught" me on something. I also saved my bosses butt because he embarrassed himself in front of the client and I wrote a paper that made him look good. He is still constantly rude to me though.
So yes, something I am constantly working on, taking the high road while defending myself from ridiculousness. And a good reminder to keep working on it.
,
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 03:23:06 PM by mozar »

Kroaler

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 04:22:26 PM »
"Its easier to catch flies with honey"

Goes a long way in the corporate world.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2016, 05:00:33 PM »
If your behavior is the same way you come across on your message then i can see why your boss treats you like that. You sound too arrogant.

mozar

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 05:21:01 PM »
My boss does't talk like that just to me, he talks to the client like that too which concerns me. But yes I am arrogant. I've gotten better at pretending I'm not.

But I don't insult him, accuse him of doing things he didn't do, lie to him, or project my issues onto him. Usually I just let him wear himself out from insulting me, until he realizes that I did send him that report he accused me of not sending.

Telecaster

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 05:26:40 PM »
One way to improve your relationship with your boss is to ask him for his advice, even if you don't need it. If your problem really is that he's intimidated by how smart you are, he'll be flattered that you asked for his help. Make sure to listen to his advice, don't argue with him, and don't dismiss it. Who knows? He may actually have something worthwhile to suggest.

Asking advice is great advice.  Everyone, especially narcissistic assholes, loves being able to give their opinion.  But the other thing is that being asked for something small makes people more receptive to granting larger requests.   

LeRainDrop

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 06:54:44 PM »
Can you give us an example script?  Like what exactly was said back and forth between you on the reformatting issue?  We can then tell you how it comes across to us.

Blatant

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 08:33:34 PM »
If the OP's attitude/tone in real life is anything like this thread, I might humbly suggest that the boss isn't the only problem. Start looking for common denominators, OP, and I bet you'll find one if you're as smart as you say.

spicykissa

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2016, 11:52:59 PM »
My advice is stop being so insufferable. If your resume is already 'job hopper'-esque, it's probably you, not everyone else around you. I second the request for a transcript of the conversation.

When you say your boss "insults" you, what does he say? Does he call you names? Or does he just not read his e-mail (admittedly annoying) and ask you about a task, and you take the question as an insult/accusation? There is a big difference between:

"Mozar, you asshole, where the hell is my TPS report? You suck balls and are a terrible employee!"

vs.

"Hi Mozar, did you reformat that TPS report we talked about? I didn't get it."

okits

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2016, 01:00:00 AM »
How much longer do you need to stay so you don't look like a job hopper?  Two months?  A year + two months?

IIRC you work on contract jobs, so if that's a handy explanation for your job history why wouldn't it work one more time in looking for a new job, now?

I am guessing that you want to get by on smarts and competence (this would be my preference, too).  The world doesn't work that way 99% of the time (because: people).  There's almost always egos to stroke, games to play, and window-dressing.  Part of any job is managing your boss.  For as long as you're staying there, figure out how to increase his perception that you are likeable, that you like and respect him, are loyal, and professionally useful to him.  You can do all the hard work but if he has a bad attitude towards you he'll just minimize your accomplishments and value in his mind (and to others).  But if he feels good about you he'll probably have a more complimentary and generous attitude towards you, even if you're objectively doing less that you were before.  He may also direct less of his emotional output towards you.

(Do you see yourself as off-beat and awkward?  That is my perception of you.  Those traits can easily be interpreted as "asshole" by people - like it is now, in this thread.  Learning what social niceties that don't come naturally to you now, but that other people value, will make your life easier.  And yeah, perhaps the easiest fix to your boss problem is to suck up like everyone else.  You may find that's the path of least resistance.  Sometimes I find it easier to remind myself that you don't always get to be your genuine self at work.  You're there to perform a function and be part of the working whole, which means collaborating and getting along.)

notactiveanymore

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2016, 07:21:10 AM »
Sometimes bosses just really suck. My supervisor is the CFO and everyone who works under him hates him, from me who's been there 3.5 years to an accountant who has been there 10+. It has helped me to pay more attention to how he interacts with others and notice that he's just a really defensive and aggressive person on the whole. Otherwise it's easy to feel like he is out to get me because we really only interact one on one.

What I've come to realize by being more observant and trying to look at our interactions objectively is that we do not have the same humor and so I should stop trying to connect better through humor. That approach has historically worked great for me to create better working relationships, but it just confuses him because he is a one-track mind guy. The other thing I've realized is that he really doesn't get along with any women from our receptionist to our associate GM. So I'm not in complete control of how he sees me and I have to figure out how to be recognized for the work I'm doing from others in power since he won't do it (despite being required, he has never done an annual review and the one time I've lobbied for a raise required me putting multiple meeting times on his calendar before I finally corned him). So I have been working to develop good relationships with all the other senior staff and upper managers and going to some of them with mentor-type questions.

Here are some things I focus on with my difficult boss:
- swallow any comment I want to make when he explains one of my regular tasks to me like I am a child
- intentionally keep him in the loop on projects I know he cares about even though I don't need any help and he will end up repeating back to me as a directive what i've already told him I'm doing
- look for ways to have non-charged interactions. he doesn't get my humor and we work in offices on different floors, so I have to work for this, but simply asking him about any weekend plans or what his youngest is studying at college seems to be the trick
- accept that I cannot control everything in the situation. sometimes you've got to ride the wave. still be smart and work on improving the relationship, but it helps with the stress to know that sometimes people just suck.

I've got a particularly odd situation because 90% of my work does not really fall under his department and yet I'm still under his supervision. So I'm not sure how much these tactics will help you, but hopefully the practice of observation and objective recall of interactions can help you pinpoint what works. I really do feel you though that you can't just wither and suck up and not stand up for yourself sometimes. It's a difficult balance of not wanting to be seen as the doormat that they can walk over and not wanting to be seen as a difficult person or instigator.

crispy

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2016, 07:44:54 AM »
You do need to lose some of the arrogance. Being smart will only get you so far.  Getting along with other people, being able to read a room, and being adaptable will usually take you a lot further than being the smartest person in the room.  I work with job seekers on a daily basis, and I deal with a lot of people with spotty work histories who can't keep a job because their "boss was an idiot." Frankly, the common denominator in that equation is always them. At some point, this inability to keep a job catches up with them, and they find themselves almost unemployable. 

vivophoenix

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2016, 10:18:07 AM »
you can't change people.

quit

ysette9

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2016, 10:49:47 AM »
I have been a manager for the past four years and consider myself a "people person". I have also had the benefit of a bunch of soft skills training, mentoring, and the experience of dealing with difficult employees. I'll share some of my honest thoughts that come from what little we have to go on, given that we don't work with you.

Quote
He regularly finds new ways to insult me.
This statement is likely an observable fact. I'd appreciate more blow-by-blow details, as other posters have asked for. If he says "you are an idiot", that is insulting. If he questions whether you have completed your work when it is already in his email and he just hasn't seen it yet, that may or may not be insulting. He might mean to merely inquire while you interpret it as insulting.

Quote
My boss is intimidated by how smart I am and is upset that I don't suck up to him like my co-worker does.
This is not a fact. This is a story that you have created in your mind to explain the behaviors you are observing. You have no way of knowing what goes on in the mind of someone else unless they tell you explicitly. A wonderful thing I learned from a Crucial Conversations class (also a book) is that we naturally want to draw conclusions about people based on the behavior we see, but we often can be totally wrong. To help stop this, ask yourself "why would a rational person behave in this way?". Most people don't jump out of bed with the intention of being assholes but respond (well or poorly) to what happens around them. I suspect there are many things at play here that you don't fully appreciate. It likely is that your boss is also missing something and you have to find a way to reach a middle ground where you can talk honestly to each other.

From the little I can gather of your tone online, I am immediately jump to the conclusion that this is a two-sided problem and not just the matter of you having a bad boss. Are you open to honest and constructive feedback? If someone pointed out areas for development would you be humble enough to work on them with the goal of improving your working relationships? If not, then it's not worth reading any further. If so (and it is tough), I'd recommend seeing if you can get some mentoring from a third party. Is there a coworker or HR professional you trust? Is there someone in another department who has observed some interactions or has worked with you and your boss to know the players and the dynamics? Interacting positively with people you don't like is a learned skill and you can learn it if you are willing to put in the effort.

I have coached a former employee of mine in a similar situation where he had pissed off his coworkers and had anger outbursts at work. He was frustrated and marginalized at work, but admirably was willing to listen to hard feedback and spent months working on his attitude. He made a fairly remarkable turnaround over the course of a year. It is possible but you need to be open to change and find a good source of feedback and coaching.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2016, 11:34:12 AM »
Hi Mozar,
If I recall correctly (and I didn't bother to go back and look), you do something in the PM realm, and something you wrote once made me believe that you may be in a small niche of PM that no one likes to do and no one likes that it is forced on them if they're going to win a project.  If that's the case, then we have something in common. 

Am I remembering your role and your expertise correctly?  If so, I'll have some words of advice. 

Bluehouse

Lis

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2016, 12:03:38 PM »
My dad is a contractor whose typical jobs last 6 months to a year. In his 35+ years of working, he's never had a contract longer than 3 years. Each and every time, every single boss and every single coworker treats him like an idiot, is intimidated by him, are all stupid and don't know what they're talking about, and life would just be easier if everyone did exactly has he said.

Every. Single. Person.

Now I fully believe there are a handful of idiots in the bunch. Of course there are, we all run into idiots in our lives. But someone above mentioned the common denominator. What's the likelihood that literally everyone he's ever worked with is an idiot?

I love my dad, but he's got his faults. He's far too proud and is not a team player in the slightest. His dream job would be to sit in a dark office with the door closed for 10 hours a day with his only social interaction with coworkers being them telling him how smart he is, and if he ever makes any suggestion for improvement everyone should trip over themselves to tell him how smart he is, because he is of course, the smartest.

You ask specifically about your boss but you use the term "they" a few times, so I'm guessing you're having issues with coworkers too. You've called yourself irritated, indignant, righteous, and arrogant (while saying you "try not to be" or "are working on it"). You can't change other people or how they respond to you, but you can change yourself. Or, you don't want to change yourself and continue to suffer your "toxic" boss. And sure, there's a chance your boss truly is an asshole. But I'd also say, given how you've represented yourself here, there's a fair chance that your boss or coworkers have written similar forum/blog/question regarding their "toxic" coworker.

oldtoyota

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2016, 12:15:31 PM »
My boss does't talk like that just to me, he talks to the client like that too which concerns me. But yes I am arrogant. I've gotten better at pretending I'm not.

But I don't insult him, accuse him of doing things he didn't do, lie to him, or project my issues onto him. Usually I just let him wear himself out from insulting me, until he realizes that I did send him that report he accused me of not sending.

Since you admit you are arrogant, then I'll broach the you-are-the-problem side of this question.

A good boss hires smarter people. Then they lead them. If you are bristling that you are not in the boss role despite your smarts, that could be causing some issues.

Your boss is likely busy. Yes, you are, too. Your boss is busy and would probably appreciate you re-sending the report instead of letting him realize you already sent it (why make the boss wait?) or pointing out s/he is wrong.

In an email, you can hint at the fact that the report was sent by saying you are glad to "re-send" it. The word "re-send" will gently let them know you sent it before so that you feel like your butt is covered.

I get it. We all want to cover our butts and not be accused of not sending the TPS report at work. Our defenses go up quickly. I lived that life once. However, bosses are busy. They may ask for things more than once. They may not handle stress well and insult you. Maybe their father is dying and they are taking it out on people in the office...

There's no excuse for the insults--not even a dying father--but maybe he or she will tone those done if you appear less arrogant and frustrated. And make sure your body language is not communicating in a way that hurts your chances for peace here.

In a situation with a past boss, I completely changed the situation for the better by having an open conversation and changing my body language and attitude. We're friendly to this day. If your boss is a sociopath, this will not apply. I had that boss too and the only solution is to find a new job.

Good luck!

LeRainDrop

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2016, 02:19:52 PM »
From the little I can gather of your tone online, I am immediately jump to the conclusion that this is a two-sided problem and not just the matter of you having a bad boss. Are you open to honest and constructive feedback? If someone pointed out areas for development would you be humble enough to work on them with the goal of improving your working relationships? If not, then it's not worth reading any further.

My impression, based on mozar's posts elsewhere on this forum, is that she's not as open to constructive feedback as she may perceive herself to be.  I think a lot of very intelligent people can be used to being "right" or "smarter" than other people they interact with, which may feed into a pattern of feeling smarter or superior even when it's not warranted or not the polite/wise way to approach things.  From that posture, it's easy to understand why people in that boat would feel resistant to change.  They would be better off having an open mind.

Here's exhibit A:  In this thread, mozar asks for help reconfiguring her kitchen.  She makes a mistake in the dimensions of her original drawing.  Other commenters try to give her helpful suggestions.  One commenter in particular does a bunch of internet research in an effort to help, and one of his points actually relies on the errant dimension.  Mozar completely disregards that commenter's help and even tells him that she never said that dimension, even though it was still there in her original post plain as day.  I point that out.  She then doesn't respond to acknowledge it, but instead says that other commenter is "dismissed."  Links to pertinent comments:

Mozar's original post showing "32 inch wide stove"
Daleth's comment that the standard American stove is 30 inches wide, not 32, so that helps Mozar to save 2 inches
Mozar's response that the stove is already 30 inches
Daleth's reply that the 32 inches originally mentioned must have just been a typo
Mozar insists, "Nope, never mentioned a 32 inch stove."
I pointed out where mozar had originally said 32 inches.
Mozar ignores the inches point and says, "I found Daleths comments to be condescending and unhelpful so he/she is dismissed!"
A number of people then called mozar out for her bad attitude.

ysette9

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2016, 04:00:12 PM »
Well, that is unfortunate. As I said before, it is hard to be open to constructive criticism. It takes a lot of courage to be humble enough to admit fault and actively try to change. That is why I was so impressed with my former employee who did that hard work. So much so, in fact, that I went to bat for him and re-hired him after he had left the company and subsequently was laid off from the next job.

I like approaching life with the attitude of giving others the benefit of the doubt. It makes mistakes easier to get past and I definitely appreciate when others do me the same favor.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2016, 05:49:54 PM »
My experience is usually when someone points out how smart he/she is, especially in the manner OP did, they are nowhere near that smart but they are too arrogant to see it. The OP clearly has a chip on his/her shoulder to take offense at simple comments by the boss (i havent seen anything that suggests otherwise). So what if your boss asks if you did something without reading his email? Does that really make him toxic? The job hopping along with the arrogance tells me the OP can never stay in a place long because nobody wants to work with him/her, not the other way around even if the OP has convinced himself of that.

okits

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2016, 07:11:54 PM »
My experience is usually when someone points out how smart he/she is, especially in the manner OP did, they are nowhere near that smart but they are too arrogant to see it. The OP clearly has a chip on his/her shoulder to take offense at simple comments by the boss (i havent seen anything that suggests otherwise). So what if your boss asks if you did something without reading his email? Does that really make him toxic? The job hopping along with the arrogance tells me the OP can never stay in a place long because nobody wants to work with him/her, not the other way around even if the OP has convinced himself of that.

When mozar gets back I hope she'll tell us what percentage of her job hopping is due to interpersonal conflicts, the short-term nature of contract work, the instability of the government funding upon which her projects depend, and leaving because she's negotiated a large pay increase elsewhere (I recall her mentioning, at various times, all four factors).  Without more information in this thread I can see why people are concluding that her history of job hopping is due solely to her attitude being the problem, but perhaps that assumption isn't entirely accurate.

I'd also like more details about interactions with the boss (actual wording of insults, etc.)  Even though mozar is arrogant, it doesn't mean her boss can't still be insulting, unreasonable, etc.  More details could help us suggest ways to diffuse tense exchanges or just better understand the dynamic.

mozar

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2016, 08:41:14 PM »
Thanks for all the wonderful advice so far! I will be bookmarking this page.

The job hopping has been mostly due to getting large raises from new companies around 18 months (3 jobs). I was let go during the last recession. I was also let go after a year at my last job. They put me in an admin position after my contract ended and I was really struggling with it. I think they decided that if I couldn't handle admin work, I couldn't handle high level accounting. Which is ironic because one reason I went into accounting is that I know I'm a terrible admin. Anyways I already had an offer from the job I have now.

@BlueHouse I work in audit consulting

Quote
His dream job would be to sit in a dark office with the door closed for 10 hours a day with his only social interaction with coworkers being them telling him how smart he is, and if he ever makes any suggestion for improvement everyone should trip over themselves to tell him how smart he is, because he is of course, the smartest.

If I had to have a job, that would be my perfect job. Though I don't think I'm the smartest, just smarter than my boss.

Ok, literal conversation I had with my boss today:

Boss: Why is "Process Flowchart" listed as a deliverable to the client. They never asked for a flowchart!!!!
Me: Well the client used the term "process flow diagram" maybe they meant something else?
Boss: Why didn't you put "Process Flowchart" in the status report last week? I told you to put it in there!!!!
Me: I did put Process Flowchart in the status report last week

Good point about feeling insulted. He has lobbed a couple of insults at me in the past (no cursing) but its mostly accusations I didn't do something. I am constantly re sending him things, almost every day. I don't want his job, he is a project manager, so a different field than me.

@LeRainDrop your post bummed me out. I always try to meet people where they're at instead of trying to shame them about the past. I don't mind if you do it to me because I already know I'm an arrogant blowhard. But I didn't like it when you went after kmb501, who seems like she was in a vulnerable place. So in the future, I hope that you don't do that to other people. Reply #81
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mid-life-crisis-i-have-not-started-saving-for-retirement/50/
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 08:52:00 PM by mozar »

LeRainDrop

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2016, 08:54:56 PM »
@LeRainDrop your post bummed me out. I always try to meet people where they're at instead of trying to shame them. I don't mind if you do it to me because I already know I'm an arrogant blowhard. But I didn't like it when you went after kmb501, who seems like she was in a vulnerable place. So in the future, I hope that you don't do that to other people. Reply #81
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mid-life-crisis-i-have-not-started-saving-for-retirement/50/

Hmm, I'm not sure what you think was mean about my response to kmb501?  She kept saying she didn't think she had the skills for entry-level teaching despite the high-level education, training, and actual experience she has under her belt.  I told her I thought she obviously had lots of skills and knowledge, but probably just lacked confidence, like the many, many of us who grapple with "imposter syndrome."  I feel like you're trying to find something that's just not there, especially since in that very example thread, there were heaps of people giving no-nonsense advice, and kmb501 was taking it all in stride and thanking everyone.  Anyway...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 08:59:13 PM by LeRainDrop »

spicykissa

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2016, 12:50:18 AM »

Ok, literal conversation I had with my boss today:

Boss: Why is "Process Flowchart" listed as a deliverable to the client. They never asked for a flowchart!!!!
Me: Well the client used the term "process flow diagram" maybe they meant something else?
Boss: Why didn't you put "Process Flowchart" in the status report last week? I told you to put it in there!!!!
Me: I did put Process Flowchart in the status report last week

Good point about feeling insulted. He has lobbed a couple of insults at me in the past (no cursing) but its mostly accusations I didn't do something. I am constantly re sending him things, almost every day. I don't want his job, he is a project manager, so a different field than me.


These sentences happened altogether? Or the first two in the morning and the second two in the afternoon? As it stands, I'm confused (and can appreciate your frustration with all the back and forth), but it seems like there might be some clarifying details missing?

SKL-HOU

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2016, 05:07:33 AM »
That is not insulting in any way and not toxic either. Yeah i had to send the same information in an email several times to my boss, i could have told him to search his emails but really what is the big deal? Unless there is more to your story, your boss sounds like a pretty typical boss. Not sure why you are getting so offended.
So you switched jobs 3 times due to better salary and 2 times you were let go or is it 2 out of those 3 times you were let go?

Lis

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2016, 07:23:20 AM »
Quote
His dream job would be to sit in a dark office with the door closed for 10 hours a day with his only social interaction with coworkers being them telling him how smart he is, and if he ever makes any suggestion for improvement everyone should trip over themselves to tell him how smart he is, because he is of course, the smartest.

If I had to have a job, that would be my perfect job. Though I don't think I'm the smartest, just smarter than my boss.

This is the reason he's miserable for 8-10 hours a day. And tends to take the miserableness home with him. Sitting alone with zero interaction is not how 99.9999% businesses and jobs work. I'm curious to why you think you're smarter than your boss.

I recommend poking around Ask A Manager to get a better understanding of how a manager's mind works. Or at the very least, work on your empathy skills.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2016, 09:49:16 AM »
So far, the behavior you're describing sounds pretty normal -- annoying, yes, but not toxic.  Nevertheless, I'll take you at your word, mozar.  Here is another thread on this forum where people discuss their toxic boss/workplace and suggestions for coping.  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/job-stress-mental-health-and-how-to-escape-advice-needed/

I second to visit the Ask A Manager blog.  IMO, Alison Green does an amazing job dispensing workplace advice.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 09:53:32 AM by LeRainDrop »

mozar

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2016, 04:16:29 PM »
@spicykissa yes, all those sentences happened together. He says there is no flowchart requirement and then is upset that it wasn't in the status report but it was. He is that incoherent.
I've never met anyone who behaves like this. But I guess its typical boss behavior. I've always worked for people who are smart and with it.
I've looked at Ask a manager and its helped in the past. But I find the advice here a lot more helpful.
My boss was very quiet today. No accusations.
5 jobs: 3 raises, 2 let go

obstinate

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2016, 05:21:33 PM »
Man oh man. When I was a teenager I thought everyone didn't like me because I was so much smarter than them. It didn't occur to me to wonder why these folks liked other smart kids just fine. Only later in life did I realize that actually I was just an ass, and nobody likes asses.

Maybe not OP's situation, but because of my past experiences, I'm inclined to suspect any situation where someone claims to be disliked for their intelligence.

obstinate

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2016, 05:36:58 PM »
My advice to OP. Treat all commentary by the boss as if it's made with the best intentions, even when it manifestly is not. Answer with infinite patience (no sarcasm, griping, outrage, anger should be detectable in your responses). Treat the boss as if you want them to think well of you, even if you don't care for them. Work hard.

If even after all this the situation is unbearable, pack your bags and find a new job. That's pretty much all you can do.

purple monkey

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2016, 06:20:58 PM »
My boss is intimidated by how smart I am and is upset that I don't suck up to him like my co-worker does. He regularly finds new ways to insult me. Like saying I'm sitting around doing nothing even though I just spent the past two weeks busting my ass meeting deadlines. I could have said something but I'm so burnt out from the emotional roller-coaster of  dealing with him. Another example is him accusing me of not reformatting something when I had reformatted it but he hadn't checked his email. (He does stuff like that all the time).

I've gotten better over the past 10 months with standing for myself, and constantly proving my "worth" by showing that I'm an expert and volunteering to do the difficult work that no one else wants to do. I don't mind the suck up co-worker because I can use her to get what I want and I've also figured out how to get out of tasks that my boss assigns that are irrational. So it hasn't all been bad.
But I'm tired. I don't have any other job offers and my resume already makes me look like a job hopper.
Any advice? Consolations
This happened to me in the past.
It resulted in lower raises than other suck-ups. Found out when boss inept sent me a suckup's review instead of mine. Later when there was work to be divided I always got more than everyone else. When there was a budget problems I felt pressured to resign. The incompetent suck-ups not only did well, they continued to flourish at this organization. In hindsight , I should have sucked up. Look at it this way: if you feel sorry for your boss that they are so pathetic that they had to act like a 5 year old to control you, you win. Feel confident in the knowledge that you are way smarter and know way much more than they do. And each time you become angry over it think how pathetic your boss actually is.

Good luck.

use2betrix

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2016, 07:00:23 PM »
I have the worst boss I've ever had right now by a long shot. Right after I started his boss made some BS comment similar to yours that I didn't care for.

I went straight to my boss, very pissed, and told him what was said. Then I made it very clear that I don't "need" the job and if that's how it's going to be I have no issue leaving.

It has been a million times better since. However, don't take that route if you don't have a good cushion and know you could line other jobs up.

CrazyinVA

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Re: Advice on toxic boss?
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2016, 04:19:44 AM »
How many more years are you planning on working in this field?  Maybe you don't need to worry about excessive job hopping on your resume if you just have a few more years get through.