In Sixties And A Pain!

Question:

Nine months ago, a chiropractic doctor as a receptionist hired me. There were only three of us; the doctor, Sally, the office manager, who is an older person in her sixties, and me. About a week after I started, Sally yelled at me for little things such as using blue pens instead of black. She is a health nut and pours out my diet coke and junk food. She even yells at me in front of patients. The doctor and she have been together for years and he say anything to stop her abuse. Both the doctor and patients have witnessed her outbursts. After six months I was laid off. I told the doctor about Sally’s verbal abuse and he said she wouldn’t change. She has treated other receptionists badly too. I live in California. There ought be some way to stop her outbursts.

Signed,

Drove Me Out


Answer:

Dear Drove Me Out:

I regret that you have had the unpleasant experience with your office manager and that the employer (the doctor) is apparently willing to tolerate the situation with no changes. There are no resources, organizations or boards that I am aware of that would deal with this situation. It is a local matter to be handled by the management/employer and you said the doctor doesn’t want to “hear about it anymore.” Good luck in your future employment. P.S. Consult a labor attorney to learn if recent cases or law cover verbal abuse and/or bullying. Many attorneys will allow a free consultation to learn if you have a case. A few countries and a few states have introduced legislation of this sort. Ours is not a legal resource; our disclaimer so states. Probably such situations as yours require assertiveness on your part and a change on your employer’s way of dealing with subordinates who are abusive. Do let us know if you find a way to cope or find legal help. WEGO symbolizes seeing each situation as a learning experience and one that is best resolved collaboratively.

Gerald Allen