Demeaned by My General Manager

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a Manager undermining you: I didn’t know how to respond to her undermining me in front of a potential therapist that would have to respect me as a manager

I am a Spa manager of a 5-star spa and I love my job. I do all I can in my power to see that the spa makes revenue even when I have to come in on my off days to accommodate clients that are booked when other therapists are ill. I am not asking for praises. I have scheduled interviews for new employees with the Gm,and have confirmed this with her PA through out the day about the appointment @ 5 as one of the ladies is staying in another town from where the Spa is. I tried calling her @ 5 as I could not get hold of her on her cell as it was off. I then called front office that informed me that she was in a room that was busy being interior decorated.I went up and informed her that the interview candidates are ready to see her as this was already 17:15. She told me to bring them to the room upstairs, which I felt was very unprofesional. I went downstairs and as I leaving the spa she passed me and said to come to her office. Arriving @ her office she walks in the other direction saying in front of the ladies,”I don’t have time for this now?…really..?” I tried to take the attention away from her answer and said to her,that this would be the only time for them to come. She agreed did the first interview.

Everything went well. Second lady applied for a therapist position: questions like: GM: – what is your favourite animal? – your favourite colour? -does she think that painted toe nails(red)is a spa image?indicating with her brows raised, to my feet. (referring to my neatly painted toe nails-in sandals,as we are promoting what we have to offer in the spa,when wearing open shoes,nails should be painted) Me:we have to show what we have to offer. Gm:But red toenails is not the image we want to give here! (I was so shocked I just looked down and let her continue with the interview. Gm:so where do you work? Interw2- Explaining where she works and that it’s more like a nail bar but she is a qualified therapist And would like to have the opportunity to work @ a spa. Gm:and do you think that working @ a spa you can wear “that”nail colour polish on your nails? Interw2-as I am working @ a nailbar,our nails have to be painted different colours all the time to promote acrylic extentions etc. Gm-and do you think wearing red lipstick represents the spa? (refering to me as I had VIP clients in the spa 7 clients that we had to accommadate and only me and 1 therapist is working)and what does my image that was perfect,have to do with the interview? interview2-It looks beautiful. GM-no it does not!

The spa image you have to look natural, neutral colours, and have french manicure and pedicure. I didn’t comment on anything. The other person was also embarrassed by what was happening in front of her. The GM adds on…”And this is who you think will be an example?”, giving a funny smile. I didn’t know how to respond to her undermining me in front of a potential therapist that would have to respect me as a manager, and seeing how managers treat managers and finding fault with the appearance of manager of a department, before they even get employed is… I was so baffled I didn’t realise what just happened. When I discussed this with my fiance he suggested that I write her a letter and tell her how I feel and if that does not work than go to the person above her. This is not the first incident or issue I have with my manager. And H.O is aware of the first incident. What should I do?

Signed, Shocked

Dear Shocked:

It sounds to me as if talking to your manager would do very little good at this point. I think you will be more successful by going over her head to make a formal complaint about what happened. I don’t know your work environment or how close you are to anyone above the GM, but since there has been an incident already, this would be more easily believed and supported.

If you have been effective in your work, it’s likely they won’t want to lose you. They may also not want to lose the GM. But, at the least they could tell her that her actions were incorrect. And, they could clarify about your appearance. They also should be aware of how she is treating potential employees.I think there are plenty of reasons to take strong action about this. But, that is up to you and how likely you think you are to get support. She was rude, arrogant, insulting, humiliating, demeaning and obnoxious, none of which seem to me to be part of the image of a quality spa. Hopefully you can get support from others, and get an agreement from her that she will never behave in that way to you again.Best wishes with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

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.