What Are an Employee’s Options When the Boss Acts Like a Jerk?

I have worked for the state for going on 14 years, and never in all of my time here have I dealt with a hostile work environment. It has gotten so bad that I’m planning on demoting just to get away from the constant harassment. We had two other supervisors leave for different jobs just to get away from here. He has threatened to write me up, and other employees for stupid reasons.

When he took over for our existing manager he came in like a house on fire and immediately started demeaning employees to the point that the union stepped in and had the employees sign a petition to have him removed from his position. All the employees signed it, but management ignored the employees and let him continue his harassment.

He has been here for almost two years and it continues to get worse. He has made fun of one of our supervisors who is mentally handicapped, and he has accused the staff of stealing from him. Everyone walks around him on pins and needles and he is constantly yelling at people, and demeaning them.

He trusts no one and he’s very paranoid. The union has written many grievances and he is constantly breaking our contract. I have had many talks with him and he continues not to listen to me or anyone else. I have been writing down all my incidents, and I have encouraged other employees to do the same.

I had a talk with his boss and I told him that we have a hostile work environment, and they did nothing about it. I’m at the end of my rope, and demotion is sounding better and better every day. I shouldn’t have to lose my extra pay just to avoid him, but my health is more important than this job.

I have developed high blood pressure because of my current situation and I have put on about 15 extra pounds, I have also been rather irritable in my home life, as my wife can attest to. Please tell me what to do about this situation, I could use some words of encouragement.

To read the answer, click here: What Are an Employee’s Options When the Boss Acts Like a Jerk?

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7 thoughts on “What Are an Employee’s Options When the Boss Acts Like a Jerk?

  1. “There is also a very real possibility that what you see as a situation where everyone is being treated poorly is actually a situation where, for years and years, the employees have been performing at a low level and this new guy has been tasked with bringing everyone in line. If that’s the case, no wonder he’s got senior management supporting him.”

    Maybe so, but this is a TERRIBLE way to do it. All that will happen is the good people will jump ship.

  2. “I have worked for the state for going on 14 years, and never in all of my time here have I dealt with a hostile work environment.”

    This sentence needs a “such” between “a” and “hostile” to make sense with the rest of the piece.

  3. It’s harsh, but true. Listen!! You have tried to fix a problem that isn’t yours to fix. Your Union has failed you. Your management has obviously failed you. An internal transfer probably won’t work – other managers don’t want to hear “I don’t like my manager”, especially if he’s being “supported” by the organization. Why would you take a demotion and stay with such a horrible organization? Your boss has demoralized you, but do yourself a favor. Search for another job and just do the basics at your current job. Ignore your boss, because he won’t be your boss for long. Once you give yourself the options you have, but have been too bummed out to notice, you will feel like a million dollars. As someone said above, yes, they will lose the good people, like you. Why would you want to remain behind with the “bad” people, a hostile environment & a horrible organization. You can do it!!!!

    This has happened to me more than once in my career. You do what you can & then leave. I worked for a company where a new truly evil woman was hired to take over a four person department. All four of us quit and two of us had a meeting with her boss and told him exactly what we thought (rare in these days of yes people). They did nothing. I told this woman to her face that I was quitting because I chose not to work with her. Nothing. Less than a year later, they fired her. All the good people left. Whatever – their loss! I am in this situation now. I worked forever trying to fix it. Became very depressed, anxious, everything. I gave up & have a job interview tomorrow where I could make $20k more per year. And this is the first job I’ve applied to! Even if I don’t get it, I know I’m worth it – good job, good pay, good environment. You gotta keep looking. Then I could find it, be in nirvana, and they could hire a jerk. I’d have to start all over again. It’s just the reality of working in this world. The sooner you get over your job and have faith in yourself, all will get better. And on top of everything else, don’t let your job ruin your personal life!!!

  4. This was an interesting read. You wonder as an owner of a business what employees see when you make certain changes. We run all our HR from in house and it’s easier financially but it’s hard work too! Went to a class and was given Lori Kleiman’s book HR You Can Use. It’s a great resource! hrtopics.com is the site for it.

  5. This article is titled wrong. It should be “What Are an Employee’s Options When the Boss Acts Like a PSYCHO”.

    A certain percentage of the population is mentally unwell and some of these people become bosses. Know that your employer won’t care because it is basically legal to do anything to anyone. For an example, read Vance v. Ball State. Here you will learn that you can be slapped and called ethnic slurs at work.

    No one will help you and your HR department will give you “tips” on how to change someone’s personality which obviously is impossible. They may even put you on a PIP plan to get rid of you for presenting a problem that cannot be solved (except by orchestrating your removal).

    The only option is to find another job. This is not a bitter commentary, this is practical advice.

  6. I have seen comments about the union “not doing anything” depending on the state (thanks to He who shall remain nameless but has presidential aspirations and if he wins every woman in the country should just migrate to Canada). They may not be able to do anything because legally, they cannot many of the union protections have been stripped away in recent years so, unfortunately bad bosses have freer reign. I also agree with the fixing the situation. Having been the supervisor who had be supervisor (instead of letting staff volunteer for shifts and take vacations on 2 days notice – a week on just a day – and getting screamed at for it) It is hard to clean things up when you walk into a place that has the attitude, “we have always done it this way” whether it is right or wrong.

  7. I have been in a bad situation myself. I know it takes such a toll on your mental and physical health. I also know that it can be difficult to find another job. In my bad situation, I couldn’t find one (although I also had to consider my disability). Yes, this employee should probably be looking. But you missed a suggestion. He should find a therapist. The therapist can offer advice on how to handle specific situations and still keep his mental health. He will do better in interviews if he doesn’t feel so broken down.

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