Displeased With Disrespect of Boyfriend’s Manager

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about her boyfriend being called insulting names:

My boyfriend’s boss’ daughter is completely unprofessional, disrespectful, and calls him names. What can he do about this? She seems to have some kind of vendetta against him and does not act accordingly as she should as a manager calling him obscene names like bitch on a text message. 

Signed –Displeased with Disrespectful Talk

Dear Displeased with Disrespectful Talk, I sent you a note complimenting you for being displeased with abusive name-calling of someone–either your boyfriend or this daughter’s father. Therefore, I requested more details about the size of the workplace and instances of the insulting situation and what prompted calling him a bitch or other names.

Meanwhile, while waiting for more detail, here is what I see from your original note:

  • A manager, who is the daughter of your boyfriend’s boss, uses abusive talk to demean him (probably you mean your boyfriend).
  • The description of that is what your boyfriend told you. You disclosed only the one word “bitch” and said she texted something that was unprofessional and disrespectful. But you said it seems she has a vendetta against him.
  • From the little you said, your boyfriend’s boss isn’t this woman, but that the boss’ daughter has enough interaction with your boyfriend to be displeased with his performance and/or attitude. 
  • You imply that your boyfriend should do something to make her stop treating him this way.

Your boyfriend’s options based of this brief bit of information appear to be:

  1. Grin and pass her talk off.  
  2. Log the next time(s) this occurs and what happened just before each time she calls him a bad name.                     
  3. Respond immediately when she calls him a name with a “Please stop calling me an insulting name. Rather tell me why you are displeased and what I should do better” or something like that.
  4. Ask the boss what he might have done that displeases that daughter. More specifically, request an informal performance evaluation, such as, “Boss, if you were my teacher, what grade would you give me? Am I doing good work, or should I look for a job elsewhere? This option would follow an attempt to resolve the problem by confronting the daughter at a moment of her insult or in a time-out session with her to discuss what displeases her and how to correct it.                               
  5. If his workplace has a Human Resource Department, report her insulting talk and text. And request investigation of this daughter’s behavior as a manager. Before he takes this option, it is wise to tell her he plans to do this and ask her to join him to meet with HR or whatever upper level is appropriate.
  6. Think WEGO. Substitute good thoughts rather than negative thoughts about this daughter of your boss. Say to yourself, she probably just wants this place to work productively. Listen to what’s behind her negative talk. I’m attaching an excellent article, Six Keys to Positive Communication in an email. Even if none of the options will resolve the disturbing talk by this woman, focusing on these six keys will help your boyfriend in the rest of his career and might help you too. 

Please look forward to making this New Year a good one. I’ll close this note with three poems I’ve memorized and repeat them and others as I doze off or wake in the morning.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain

If I can ease one life from aching

Or cool one pain.

If I can help one fainting robin

Into his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

–Emily Dickenson

The Choice

Always in my heart

Abides this constant choice,

This resolution:

To ever be a part, 

Not of the problem,

But of the solution.

–Evelyn Hoge Pendley

The House By The Side of The Road

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;

There are souls like stars that dwell apart

In a fellowless firmament;

There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths

Where highways never ran–

But let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

–Sam Walter Foss

Feel free to tell us what options your boyfriend tries. That’s a way our readers learn from each other. Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.  –William Gorden