Supervisor Threatens To Kill Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a dispute that escalated to a threat to kill:

In order to protect you and those individuals you site, much of what you sent has been deleted. My supervisor said she will kill me. Now I am out of a job for being threatened… What can I do? I’ve been dealing with Ms. Ms’ erratic behavior and the hostile work environment that she has created since October 2011 when I was re-hired. Since returning to the Company, Ms. M has told me she was going to get me terminated. She has called me “stupid”, “boy”, directed offensive language at me, and now she is talking about killing me. While I need my job, I cannot, however, continue in this hostile work environment without submitting a formal complaint. This entire situation was totally uncalled for as I was simply working the account that the Office Manager assigned to me. Even when the Office Manager confirmed to Ms. Majors that the account was assigned to me, Ms. Majors was still excessively angry and not willing to accept what the Office Manager had said. As I recall, Ms. Majors commented that “We are not babying that”. Based on my encounters with Ms. Majors’, I can only assume that she is suffering from some type of personality disorder as a rationale and reasonable person does not behave in this manner when someone is simply doing the job they have been assigned to perform. I would hope that the Company addresses this matter promptly in order to promote a healthy work environment for all EIC employees.

Signed,Worried

Dear Worried:

This sounds like a very upsetting situation but also a very confused situation. At a distance it’s impossible to know the best solution because there are obviously many more things going on than just this one thing. If you contacted HR or a higher level, as your letter seems to indicate you did, you approached it the right way. That is what we would have suggested.Sometimes relationships are so bad at work that there is nothing else to do but find another place that is more congenial or where you think you can work without excessive conflict. But, it may be that once your HR section hears of this they will investigate further to find out exactly what took place and you will be shown to have been treated wrongly. You say you are out of a job, which indicates that you were fired after this incident. I’m sorry if that is the case. This would be a good time to do some self-evaluation to see if this type of conflict has happened before and if you could have handled it differently previously or this time. Maybe you did everything right. If so, I hope you’ll find a much better work situation soon. Best wishes to you.

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.