My Boss Yells And Curses Me

Question Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss who  yells and curses.

My boss yells and curses at me in front of guest in our hotel. What can I do to take this to wage and labor?

Signed, Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed:

Your options are direct and indirect. Direct: speak to him/her about how you feel and learn if it will stop. Indirect: bypass your boss and report the yelling and cursing to the boss’ superior or Human Resources.

Direct Approach: I know it would take courage to say to your boss, “Mr. or Ms. Kemper (or whatever is her/his name), I am embarrassed when you yell and criticize me in front of our guests. If you see mistakes I am making, please explain them to me privately and don’t yell. Is that too much to ask of you?”

Then if your boss yells and/or criticizes you again, you can politely say on the spot, “Ms/Mr. Kemper. Remember?” And it probably will happen again because habits are not changed easily.Indirect Approach: If Mr./Ms. Kemper’s temper flares at your direct appeal that he change his/her yelling and cursing ways, you can contact her/his superior and/or Human Resources and describe how embarrassed you are. It would help to have a log of the times when she/he did this in front of guests and the language used. You should be aware that bypassing a boss has its risks, and I would advise you to request that she/he go with you to bring this matter above.

The fact is that complaints about one’s boss don’t remain confidential. So you might as well be up front about them. Or simply bite your tongue and be embarrassed until and if someone else complains about the boss’ yelling and cursing. Ideally, your boss will open weekly staff meetings to praise what has been done well and discuss what needs improvement. If they are not open for that sort of exchange, you and your coworkers might propose that they be. Bring ideas for cutting wasted supplies, time, and/or money and your boss will listen. It will take some forethought, but you might propose action that will make each others’ work more effective and guests more satisfied. Think big. Propose ideas to improve the quality of your hotel. There are always ways to do that. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Is not that what you want?

William Gorden