Custodian Badmouthed By Second Shift Co-worker!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about distribution of work load:

I and one other employee work on the 3rd shift as a school custodians. We work 10p-6am. We have a day custodian (facilitator) who gives us direction. She cannot reprimand us but sometimes she is one of those troublemakers who starts trouble between employees and then stands back and watches the fireworks fly. There are three shifts in this school. Our problem is we all have areas to do. We have a relatively new coworker who is a known troublemaker in the district. She is on the 2nd shift in our building. My problem is that this coworker bad mouths people behind our back. She has befriended the head custodian. The 2nd shift custodian decided she didn’t like her area and wanted ours. So our head custodian (even though the building needs do not meet their shift and area) decided she was going to make us do their area and they can have ours. I have been in this building for 6 years with pretty much the same area and this employee has been on workman’s comp mostly in the years she has been in the district. She hasn’t always been in our building. She told (because we found a note in the trash) our head custodian that my coworker and I think her area is so easy, so why doesn’t our head custodian give it to us and see how we like it. Well that was two weeks ago.

read more

Publicly Berated Teacher!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about client public criticism:

At the school district in which I am a teacher, a meeting was held to make parents aware of the remedial services (basic skills) that are being provided to their children. This meeting included a large number of parents, teachers and an administrator. At this meeting I was berated by one of my student’s parents as being a horrible teacher. This parent not only pointed and said my name, but she was allowed to tell everyone that she wants her child pulled from my room. She just went on and on and on about how bad I was as a teacher and how a colleague was such a wonderful teacher. I was so embarrassed and humiliated. I just kept waiting and hoping that the supervisor, who called this meeting, would stop her…but she did nothing.My question is: Do I have the right to file a grievance against this supervisor for not stopping this parent as soon as the verbal assault started? My district has a harassment code…but I’m not sure if it applies. It states: The board shall maintain an instructional and working environment that is free from harassment of any kind. Administrators and supervisors will make it clear to all staff, students and vendors that harassment is prohibited.I feel that it was the supervisor’s responsibility to protect my rights as an employee. She called the meeting and allowed the parent to continue for an extended period of time without intervening. I do understand that there are bullies out there and no one needs a license to be a parent, but if this type of verbal attack is allowed it opens the door to anything goes. There must be some code of ethics that applies to this situation. I would greatly appreciate any input you could give me on this matter.

read more

Terminated By Overseas Company!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being fired impersonally:

This is not the first time I am writing to you. I find your advice very positive and helpful. I have been 2 years in my current job and a total of 6 years working for the European Finance Center of an American company in Spain. The company strategy is to move jobs to low cost locations in order to achieve a better % of cost per revenue. I have been told 10 days ago that I have to leave the company by end of 2005 because it is planned that my current responsibilities move to India.I feel very upset with the situation as a whole. Many people will have to leave the company and the process of selecting impacted individuals is in my opinion terribly unfair. While in US and other locations, managers are leaving, which make sense as there will be less employees to manage, and they are the ones also making the most money, here in Europe, this is different. Employees are dismissed so that their managers can take over the part of their jobs not moved to India and stay as individual contributors.My counterparts in US also do not understand what is happening. I think this is not coincident with the company strategy and also it is not fair to do this to good and committed employees. This is happening not just in my team, but also throughout all organizations.

read more

Our Principal Tells Us We Cannot Teach!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about principal who criticizes:

I work in a charter school. My co-workers and I are dedicated to our field and enjoy teaching. We just cannot deal with our principal.She tells teachers who have years of teaching that they cannot teach. She pulls teachers into her office and asks them what makes you think that you know more than me. She just makes you feel that you are worthless. We at the school do not know what to do.

We are all afraid to complain, because we do not have a union to protect us. Even if we do decide to complain we don’t know if we can trust anyone. She has blocked some teachers from getting hired at other schools because she is so well liked by the company.She creates a stress level in the school that can be felt by visitors. Any help or advice would be appreciated. I am currently thinking about just quitting, but I have children to support and cannot do so. I feel sick when I get ready for work, I try to avoid her as much as possible. What can teachers at charter schools do? Who can they go to for help?If you use this PLEASE DO NOT USE MY EMAIL ADDRESS. I MAY GET FIRED.

read more

My Boss Promoted And Then Demoted Me!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stress of being promoted:

I have been working in a furniture sales store for 5 months. I started out here as a cash-wrap girl, doing office work and taking money. Within two weeks the owner (the man who hired me) decides without talking to me about it, that I am going to be the assistant manager. And he tells the sales associates this.

Let’s just say this didn’t go over well with anyone. Let me remind you that I have no more that 8 months worth of sales experience (at Home Depot no less). Of course my ego got a major boost, but it put me right in the line of fire for all kinds of verbal and emotional abuse. Within two-months and much abuse, I get promoted to the sales floor part-time. My boss says I’m a natural. This causes even more problems. Two sales people start verbally attacking me with unwanted comments and sarcasms on a daily basis. Needless to say I want to quit.

read more

Frustrated, Frustrated Nurse!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about conflict with boss:

I’ve read with interest several work situations that mirror mine to a small degree, but my situation is reaching horrific levels now. I have been a nurse at a large teaching hospital for 13 years. I had an excellent rapport and reputation as a nurse and coworker until going to day shift 8 years ago after a new manager came to our unit.

We had one bully nurse who singled me out to ridicule and criticize, and the manager always sided with the bully without checking into the truth. I dealt with this helplessly until I became familiar with workplace intimidation and saw my situation for what it was. I kept thinking the bully would hang herself, and she finally did threaten to bring a gun to work because of a parking deck problem so she was finally terminated after someone called the risk management hotline when the manager hadn’t addressed the situation for several weeks.

read more

Boss and Assistant Are Impossible!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about mean boss and assistant:

I have been working for my company for 5 years. It is a small office now of 8 employees. In the past two years, we have lost 4 employees, and there were 2 employees that we almost lost. I have two questions, one relates to our boss and the other to his assistant (which is also his drinking buddy). I am not even sure how to begin this but I’ll give it my best shot. I read an article that a co-worker gave me and it described our boss to a “T”. It was an article that described a narcissistic personality. I, of course, learned a lot that day. Our boss has two different personalities that we (past and present employs) have all witnessed. The one the Board and external people see and then the one we have to work with. The two are totally different. One is “whatever you want sir” and the other is the one we work with… “Hostile, mean, critical, controlling, sneaky, vindictive, a micro manager, he carries the spoiled little child attitude, do I need to go on…. He constantly sets everyone up to fail. He tells you what he wants done but, only partially, so that when you complete the tasks he tells you how it wasn’t the way he wanted it (which is usually in a hostile way). If you try to nip that one in the bud by asking questions, he usually gets very frustrated with you and has no bones about showing/telling you. If you do manage to succeed in asking him questions, he’ll let it go until you are done with your task and change everything around, even lie and say that’s not what he asked.

read more

Hope With A Boss/Owner Like Mine?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about bully boss:

I’ve worked for my printing company for 12 yrs. From almost the beginning of its existence, I have learned the business basically by just being thrown into it. I started at a very low entry level and have worked my way up to a pretty good salary. My company started with just a couple of people and now we have branches all over the US.Now that we are bigger then ever, my boss, the owner, is your classic textbook bully. He embarrasses you in public for no reason puts you down every chance he gets. If you get up to get a fresh pen from the supply closet, he screams why are you not at your desk. What happens when you go to the restroom? You return to a screaming nut. If you are asked to do something that my take a couple of hours, he will ask you every 10 minute till it’s done. At times when this is done to other employees and I am in the office after the employee leaves, he sits there laughing and comments how he loves his power.This was not done early on because he needed his people and that’s why we where taken care of back in those days. When the company first started, he asked a lot of his fellow prior employees to come on board with a great salary and car. And they turned him down. So we proved we are what made the company successful. But in the last couple of years, his prior employees’ companies went under, and they came running to us. They were hired at higher salaries than the six of us who have helped build this place from the start. He has made fun of the way we look, made comments if we gain a little weight, and pries into our personal lives. He makes fun of us every chance he gets. When we need to leave early for the doctor or a far ride to a Wake, we are told no. But if the new people need time to take his motorbike to repair it’s a yes. We are not union and have no HR department. If I leave, I will have to take a cut in salary. Do I have any hope here?

read more

How Can I Stop A Manager Making Fun Of Me?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about manager talking about an employee:

About a year ago, one of the managers at the company I work for bought a house down the street from me. He is not directly in my chain of command, but he is several grades above me and is a manager for another group for which I don’t work.

Everything was fine until a couple of days ago when I was out in front of my garage working on my car. I had been doing my laundry, inside and wasn’t wearing a shirt. I briefly went outside in the front of my house in my driveway to replace the windshield wipers on my car while my clothes were washing. I wasn’t wearing a shirt.

read more

Supervisor Intimidated By Regular Employee

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about criticism of her boss: I hate going in to my job because of her, but I love working for this company because I know it is good for me. So what do I do? Her newly appointed boss is aware of her downfalls – should I talk to her boss?

My supervisor has been with the company 15 yrs and recently the company has made major changes including replacing the “older” employees with fresh, younger attitudes like mine. Well, my supervisor must be terrified of me because everyone around me can compliment me on things I do or tell me how nice I look, but not her.

read more