My Manager Humiliates Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being humiliated.

What should I do if I’ve been humiliated by management in front of customers and other coworkers. I’ve let a higher authority know and it still persists.

Signed, Unhappy Cashier

Dear Unhappy Cashier:

You don’t say what the humiliation consists of, so perhaps higher levels don’t agree that what is taking place should be considered as humiliating. Or, perhaps they have received another version of the incidents from the manager. Or, it could be that they simply don’t want to get involved with it. Whatever their reason is,, it doesn’t help you find a way to stop feeling humiliated or to have your managers stop doing the things that are bothering you.

You have a few options depending upon how comfortable you feel about them:

1. The next time it happens, as soon as possible ask to talk to your manager in private and tell him or her how you feel. Ask for an explanation and ask that you not be treated that way again.

2. The next time it happens, note who is present and as soon as possible send a letter, even higher, to give specific details, list witnesses and ask for assistance. Someone, at some level will care enough to do something.

3. Say something right at the time, unless there are customers nearby or it would be just too awkward to confront it that way. Sometimes a jolt is needed to let someone know that their remarks hurt or make someone angry.

4. Without waiting for another incident, write to someone higher or to HR. Give details of what has happened and say that you must talk to someone face to face about the issue. Or, if you’ll talk by phone or by email, say how you can be reached. Another thing you can do is to see if you can figure out why it is YOU who is humiliated, not others. Does your manager simply not like you or is it somehow related to your work and your manager is letting his or her frustration show? Maybe you can determine if the actions of your manager tend to all be related to one thing you do, or if the comments are about everything in general.

I realize none of those thoughts are magic solutions. It may be that trying to change things will take a more effort on your part than you will want to do. But, it sounds as though your efforts would be well worth it, if the problems can even be lessened just a bit. Getting your upset feelings out in the open is usually the first way to start. Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, please let us know how you are able to resolve this concern.

Tina Lewis Rowe