Being Humiliated At Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about humiliation by boss:

My boss talks to me like I am stupid. She speaks down to me and constantly speaks loud so others can hear. I walk away with tears in my eyes and feeling embarrassed. She tells me to do one thing and when I do it she gets in front of our big boss and tries to make me look stupid. I never receive a compliment from her and when it’s time for review she always have negative things to say. Other departments hate talking to her as she is always trying to make them feel and look stupid. I am hurting, humiliated and tired of working in this environment. I hate working on this job.. she makes me feel like she has her foot on my head. What should I do?

Signed, Humiliated

Dear Humiliated:

I’m very sorry that your work situation is so unpleasant. If you have a skill or trade, perhaps you should leave and tell your higher managers why you are leaving. Another option is to complain upwardly and hope your boss is made to stop acting as she does.A third option could be to try to explain to your boss how you feel when she talks to you as she does. But, honestly, I doubt that would have much impact on her if she is willing to be rude anyway.On the other hand, maybe I’m being too cynical and maybe your boss doesn’t realize the impact she is having on you. She may not think she is yelling. She may not be purposely trying to make you look bad in front of the big boss. So, maybe talking to her would make a difference, even if only a slight difference.

What about asking her if there are things you could do to increase your evaluation and to show excellent work? Or, you could ask her what areas of work she thinks you could improve the most in, as well as what areas do you do the best in. You might even talk to friends who work there and ask them what they think of your work and how they see the situation between you and your boss.You mentioned your evaluations and the fact that they are always negative. Make a list of the things that you are evaluated about or get a copy of your evaluation and use it to keep a record of the things you do that show you are doing well in each area. Maybe you can let your boss know about special things that show your knowledge and skills. That way you won’t be waiting until evaluation time and arguing about your results.One thing is for sure…you don’t want things to stay the same!

You can’t be happy that way and you won’t do good work that way.Of course, it is possible to work with a smile for even a mean boss by telling yourself that you have the strength to overcome unpleasantness, then letting the meanness slide off you while you put your focus on your job.Unfortunately there is no sure way to make things better when they are this bad. You have only these options: Quit Complain higher up Talk to your supervisor and explain how you feel about what has been happening. Talk to your supervisor and let her know you want to do good work and want to know what she suggests for improvement. Learn to tolerate it, hoping she will be replaced soon.I wish there was a magical way to make your boss treat you and everyone else courteously. I wish your boss had a manager who would stop her discourteous actions. But, it might be those things won’t happen. You may have to decide on your own how much more you will tolerate. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what you decide. Whatever it is, best wishes to you!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.