What Should You Do If Your Boss Hates You?

Estimated reading time: 8 mins

Your boss hates you – what should you do?

This is a common problem, I’ve discovered, when checking back through the many emails where I have been asked that very question. When you find yourself in this position, is it a lost cause? I don’t think so, and here is what to do about it.

First of all, it’s vital that (from this point forward) you keep an open mind. For two reasons:

  1. If you have asked yourself the above question, then you must care about fixing the problem. If you didn’t, then you’d have consigned it to the ‘don’t give a crap’ box and moved onto some other challenge. So to fix the problem, you must consider opportunities to fix it before dismissing them outright.
  2. There is a chance that your boss doesn’t hate you, in fact, but rather that’s how you have interpreted his/her actions and behaviors towards you. To solve the problem, it’s crucial that you dump any baggage you have first.

If you haven’t yet read my posts ‘5 Reasons Why Your Boss Hates You ‘ and ‘The ‘mystery’ boss: why your bosses behavior may occasionally look strange ‘ then do so now, and then come back to this post. They provide you with great insights into the mind of the typical boss, and possibly suggest why you might be thinking your boss hates you.

Do you recognize any of the ‘crazy behaviors’ that you thought could be hatred towards you, but are possibly more benign? Or perhaps you did discover a reason why your boss thinks you’re a dufus? If you’re still unclear as to why you suffer a sour relationship with your boss, then now is the time to find out. The best way forward is to understand what problems need to be fixed, and how they should be fixed.

Check this out: What Should You Do if a Co-worker Hates You?

I should just say that I’ve known some people to try to go around whatever problem there might be – most of the time not knowing what the problem is. What tends to happen is that they turn into a kiss-ass. In order to gain new found favor with their boss, they engage in a sickly-sweet charm offensive. You have probably seen other people do this too… or maybe even engaged in it yourself. The effect is often successful, but temporary. When two people don’t deal with their problems (just like in marriage I guess) then any phase of reconciliation is cut short when the problem re-surfaces. And when you don’t know what that problem is, then you’re doomed to repeat it.

So here’s the deal: you’ve got to deal with the source of the bad blood between you and your boss directly.

What If You Don’t Know the Source of the Problem?

What I’ve discovered is that I was most effective when I opened up the discussion with a question about the relationship. It’s about getting on the front foot by creating an opportunity for your boss to provide some feedback. I would ask something like “I’ve noticed that we haven’t agreed on things lately; am I letting you down in any way?” This question isn’t a confession, or an admission of guilt – it’s an avenue for your boss to open up to discuss the problem. This may be the magical question that brings out the source of the problem.

Failing that, I’ve also learned that an outright confrontation works too – but not an aggressive one. If I’ve had problems with my boss that I couldn’t fathom, I have found an opportunity to make an approach on neutral ground, such as the car park or cafe, and state that I have sensed a problem and that I would like to work it out.

Sometimes, this process takes a while. You see, in uncomfortable situations, people often lie. They lie to get out of the situation. Don’t take this personally, but don’t give up too.

So what you might find is that you only discover a part of the problem, or a symptom of the problem. What this means is that you will have to rectify the disclosed issue first (and prove you are serious about rectifying the relationship with your boss) and keep working at the relationship until all the problems have been heard.

The last resort concerns the fact that your boss has a duty to you to provide you with feedback on your performance and treat you fairly as they do their other subordinates. Not only is this a typical organizational policy, but in most countries it is law.

If you notice that your bosses actions look unfair, then you should ask why you were treated unfairly. This is a right you can be expected to exercise, and you should also expect to be given a straight answer

If you’re still not satisfied, then the only way forward is to approach your HR department, or if your organization doesn’t have a HR department, approach your bosses superior and explain the steps you have taken so far to attempt a reconciliation.

When You Know What the Problem Is…

This is a great situation to be in. The ball is in your court, and you should have a specific action to complete or behavior/personal trait you need to change.

The best approach is to take action, without delay. Your response demonstrates how serious you take the rectification. Slouching now will look bad on you, and possibly confirm to your boss why he/she developed bad feelings towards you in the first place.

Next important step is to provide regular updates to rectification activities, in person if you can. If the problem is behavioral then you will need to ask for feedback on the behavior. This is a good excuse to continue building your relationship. Don’t get defensive if the feedback doesn’t tell you that the problem has completely gone, but rather ask for advice on how to continue with the change.

If the source of the problem is personal then this is less straight forward. I once knew a guy who had major body-odor. Bluntly, he stank. His boss really didn’t like this, and made it personal. The relationship turned very sour… but his boss didn’t tell him what irked him because it was embarrassing. Eventually, the truth came out. The smelly guy did change his personal hygiene and the source of the problem went away.

History, and Baggage

I’ve mentioned so far that in order to reconcile with your boss, you need to lose your baggage. Once you’ve turned the corner and you’re dealing with the problems, this needs to persevere.

Truth is, you won’t really lose the baggage. Neither will your boss. The road to reconciliation is a long one, especially if nasty things were said or done before – folk don’t forget that.

Take the example above – the smelly chap – he didn’t just get over that. His experience was painfully embarrassing, and it took a while for him to get over that. Equally, the experience was painful for his boss. His boss wasn’t proud that he discriminated his smelly subordinate, and was also embarrassed by his behaviors. This wasn’t forgotten overnight.

Those initial days and weeks will be awkward, as you and your boss try to forget (and fail in the early days). It’s much like a scab on your skin: it’s easily opened up and it takes real guts and determination not to pick at it, no matter how frickin’ itchy it is.

Remember These Things…

  • Unless you initiate a discussion to learn what the source of the problem is, then you won’t resolve it. This is where the open-mind comes in – get the conversation going with your boss without carrying any emotional baggage with you, and don’t assume anything. The early days of this process is shaky, and both you and your boss can easily read the wrong thing from what’s said.
  • You’ll also be hearing the voices in your head and applying listening filters to the conversations with your boss. Most people want to hear the worst, because it confirms what they already knew and tells them ‘they were right’. It takes courage, but switch those voices off!
  • When you’re getting the feedback from your boss, don’t be defensive! If you start defending your position on problems of the past, you’ll close down the conversation. Even if you believe your boss to be wrong, don’t fight back or you won’t rectify the situation.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine before the conversations with your boss. Being hyper-stimulated isn’t going to help. If you’re buzzing, you’ll appear nervous or distracted.
  • Don’t use email. Period. Email is not an appropriate communication channel for dealing with relationship problems. Using the phone is OK, but discussing matters in person always works far better because it lets your body language communicate your desire to resolve the problem.
  • When approaching your boss to talk, do it with a non-aggressive stance and don’t invade personal space – this is particularly important if you are tall (like myself, I am 6’4″).
  • When faced with being forced to deal with problems that are painful, people can sometimes run for cover. So it’s got to be done at a pace that is not threatening or too painful – and this applies to you AND your boss.

Have You Had a Bad Relationship With Your Boss?

What was your story, and how did you rectify the situaiton? Have you got wisdom to share with us?

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29 thoughts on “What Should You Do If Your Boss Hates You?”

  1. I was hired by my boss’s boss for my current position. Promoted actually from within the company for a supervisory position that is part of a new division my company was sitting up. My boss came to us from outside of the company. I spoke to her once very briefly to ask when our training would be held. A few days later she called me back telling me that she had met and ‘hated’ my old supervisor. That she didn’t want me to complete my work for her and that she had also mistakenly interviewed someone else for my position and had wanted to put them in it – as though she were asking for my approval to do so, which I of course, declined to give. During training, she again mentioned to me that she would have preferred to have given my position to that other person and then, again, while visiting my location following training. She often refuses to answer my questions especially when the answer is vital to my performance and ranking among my peers. She accused me of falsifying time bc I had to send an employee home a few weeks into my new position for threat and not remembering the policy and having to act quickly, I told him I would pay him out for the day – thinking in my mind that I was suspending him with pay pending investigation. Telling me I did not need to file an incident report, she then, wrote the man who had hired me an email cc to me that stated I had falsified time, acted unprofessionally, should have taken him into the backroom before confronting him, etc – all facts that she had no knowledge of bc she had not allowed me to explain further thus, painting a very negative and inaccurate picture of the events of the day. I responded in kind letting her boss know she did not have the details to make that determination and that I felt this was a personal assault upon my character. Then, following up later to let him know the full details of how she just didn’t want me there. He responded that he has had to deal with many problems of this nature and would be calling me to discuss it, but I haven’t heard anything and she just keeps not answering my questions.

    What should I do?

  2. simonstapleton

    @Andre – thanks for sharing your story and my immediate reaction is that this must be incredibly frustrating for you.
    Your new boss isn’t playing by the rules, it seems, by making accusations that are unsupported and to your subordinate. You should certainly retain copies of these emails, just in case you need to refer to them in the future.
    My advice is to make sure that every communication is in writing between you (or any verbal communication summed up in an email.)
    What you do next depends on whether you want to resolve the issue and build a relationship with your new boss, or dissolve your relationship and request a change in reporting line.
    If you’re intent on resolution, then I would avoid a direct confrontation, but instead talk to your boss to say that you want to avoid a formal dispute and would like to find a way, between you, of accomodating each other. If you can get to that place, then you have a chance (providing you can let go of the ‘baggage’) of building a relationship of mutual respect.
    If you want to change reporting, then you’ll need the involvement of HR and present a case for the change. I would certainly avoid any communication with your boss that isn’t directly concerned with the activities of your role (you must still do your job to avoid giving your boss an opportunity to put you under a performance management process!), and keep everything formal and through HR. Do you have a HR department that you would feel comfortable talking to?
    I hope this helps Andre – if I can assist any further then contact me directly (details on About page).

    Good Luck


  3. The situation has both deteriorated and improved. Deteriorated because she, now, just leaves me out of communiques. My emails from her went from 20-30 a day to now, just what she has to forward from corporate.

    Improved for the same reasons!

    Her boss told me to let him know if she continues to treat me unfairly. Guess I’ll just have to wait until she tries to bust me out for not doing things she has not made me aware I should be doing and/or having my numbers in the toilet for the same reason.

    Thanks for the ear and advice. I have seriously thought about transferring out of her jurisdiction, but that would mean moving out of this state and precluded from several others close by so, …a lot to think about!

    1. simonstapleton

      @Andre – the fact you have the support of a senior manager is a reason to be confident this will be resolved in your favor, as long as you keep your nose clean and honor the terms of your employment contracts and performance objectives. You’ll be OK if you avoid providing your boss with a reason to get you into a disciplinary procedure!

      As far as the communiques are concerned: if you have a buddy who *is* receiving them and will share the distribution list (which of course, you’re not on!) with you should you need it, then you’ll be protected against any trumped up charges against you, arising from you not having received the communiques.

      Keep your head held high and don’t let her grind you down! You’re in a position of strength!


  4. My boss has had a history of being difficult with women, a story that I didn’t believe when she hired me because she seems so excited to have a female on her team. My first few months on the job were extremely difficult. She is a very direct woman and had no problem telling me what I was doing wrong and would always do so in front of my co-worker. There were times that I felt like I was being verbally attacked. She would constantly change procedure and would forget and accuse me of completing my work incorrectly. If I didn’t save an email concerning any conversation she would dismiss me as making up a story. She would constantly question me on things waiting for an opportunity for my story to change to question my intelligence and my sanity. I was not afforded the same liberties as other departments in the building. If I wandered away from my desk I was always questioned why I was up. My personal phone was called during snow storms to demand where I was on the road because I needed to be in the office (when I arrived on several occassions I would learn that she was sitting at home for the day). My personal phone was called at all time when I traveled to check in. Things had improved for a short time because my co-worker actually quit. He was also subject to the constant tracking, checking up and hurtful criticisms and when he left he went above her head to confess to our CFO the reasons behind his departure. I stayed on and thought things would surely change after that. 4 months later and two new (male) hires and she is back to her old tricks. The guys I work with are shocked at how she speaks to me but only shake their heads that her wrath is directed at me. I have logged almost two year with the company and I think I have hit my end. I cannot continue to be micromanaged and not trusted. How can I have this conversation with this person who will only view my addressing of the situation as an attack?

  5. My boss is always gruff and impersonal with me, turning her back to me when I ask a question or getting an obvious tone. while she is overly chummy and even flirty with some of the other (male)coworkers, even though I have three times as much education and experience as most of my co-workers,she gives the most respect and best work to her buddies. I feel I am being treated very unfairly, openly disrespected at times for no good reason, and if there is a real problem, it has not been mentioned. I have great evalutaions and attendance this job was improtant to me, but I am about to give up. I feel like she does not like me, and that if lay offs come I will be one of the first to go. I do not feel comfortable approaching her, so I just try to stay under her radar. I feel it harming my self confidnece and creating too much strees to deal with in a situation where I feel I have no power to combat. She is backed and allowed by the higher ups and encouraged with this unprofessional behavior. However, I do rely on her to assist with esacalated customer issues, and that is usually when the tiffs arise. The only thing I can think of is that maybe they are unhappy that I do not work mopre overtime. I am in school and cannot and do not want to work 12 hours per day.

  6. Wish I had a response to your concerns Liza and Janet…Your stories do sound sad…or maybe just stressful and hard to deal with…same as mine…

    I work for a University…with educated people who are mostly passionate about their jobs. However, my boss is a total slacker and definitely not a manager…but of course, that is none of my business…until she starts complaining about me for not helping her seem like she is doing work to her own bosses…so when we have a meeting or have to prepare reports or presentations – she quickly e-mails me and asks me to prepare something that she can review -that is her way of contributing to the piece – and then she sends it off, from her e-mail to the PIs…how unfair is that? One time, I asked a coworker to forward me an e-mail my boss send out to her boss after a long team meeting to which I contributed immensely and which I was not copied on…to find out that each paragraph started with “I” – she has given no credit to myself or the rest of the team. Since her bosses are in and out – maybe see her 2 hours a week in our team meeting, they have no clue how big of a slacker she is…so, when did this become relevant to me? I have confronted her about not including my name or the team in the e-mail saying that we should mention to her bosses that it was miscommunicated who contributed. One of my coworkers did, her bosses understood and wanted to move on with the meeting – however, my boss decides to stand up in the meeting, point at me and yell at me in front of everybody that I make accusations that are unfair and that she never meant it to sound a unfair. Her boss (my boss’s boss) quickly stepped in while I was being very quiet…and said to stop the non-sense because they understood that was team work. However, since that day my boss is been looking for every occasion to make me look bad. She forgets to add me in e-mails…smiles to my face and tells me I am greatly appreciated and needed…then goes behind my back to others at the work place (who are thank god my friends and she does not know that)…and tells them she is not sure about what my responsibilities are…and that I do not have much initiative…pretty much a lot of lies…but, she did mention something to her bosses in completely the wrong context that is affecting my current position. I have informed her of taking two weeks vacation in August and marked on the calendar in her office. She has given me the ok – especially coz she is taking a vacation in the same time…however, tonight I just got an e-mail from one of her bosses- the biggest boss on our project – saying that they were surprised to find out I am leaving at such an important time and that they were informed that I did not ask for permission at all – and that I should have asked them anyways, in addition to her – so she threw me under the bus…now they are questioning if they should pay me for my time since they need me here…and are questioning whether this will be my job in the fall…
    She actually left already and her bosses want to meet me and discuss what I have been doing in the past two months and also talk about the traveling I will do in August.
    I do not want to start talking bad about her to them because it will just be ugly and I don’t like to do that…but she is unfair! Plus, she should have communicated to them what each person is doing etc…but she seems to act confused when she has to explain to them about my work load…so at this point I am confused on what to do…friends from work who know the situation have advised me to speak up…write someone about my contributions and do talk about her slacker behavior – but I don’t think I can do that…what is your advice?
    When I meet with them – what should my attitude be? You suggest above to avoid to be defensive and not too emotional…I will try…but I feel that is so unfair she takes credit for my work and that kinds implies I may be slacking…not sure how to deal with this one if not with emotion…

    Also, I felt so bad to bring up a personal family issue that i have to deal with on my vacation – which is more of a family retreat that will deal with mourning of my mom and gradnma…hate it that I had to share that with people that barely know me!!! I do not want them to start feeling sorry for me or to think this is an excuse for slacking…which I am not…so, I did though, write them an e-mail with all the parts of the project that I have been working on in the past two months…and the explanation for my necessary vacation…

    I am waiting for their response and for the meeting with them on Tuesday…

    Please give me your opinions…

    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Gabi. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Sheesh – it sounds like you have a very sly boss who is grossly unfair. You know, I get the sense that you are someone who works with integrity and cares about delivering a good result, and that makes it even harder to read about your situation! And it’s your integrity, passion to do the right thing and your desire to hit with a straight bat that I advise you to maintain that, as this is your irrefutable strength and base of power. You’re invincible if you always align to the truth! I also suggest you:

      * Socialize as much as you can what you’re doing and your successes. Tell people what you have been asked to do (without sharing the difficult circumstances in which you were asked). The more truthful information there is out there, the less room there is for untruths.
      * Don’t underestimate how perceptive people can be – sly people often give themselves away in their body-language and their eyes. Probably, people beyond your circle of friends know what your boss is like. It’s the inconsistencies of bahavior that people sense. Don’t feel that you’re totally alone, even if you can’t/won’t talk about her to other people.
      * Any disciplinary or corrective action applied by the ‘organization’ (i.e. the channels your boss would have to go through) will be under a control regime. I doubt your boss would want that as it will mean she has to maintain a more complex web of lies to back her ‘official’ record up, so I doubt it will go that far. That is, unless you instigate it.
      * From this point forward, maintain a log of everything you can provide evidence for. Get everything in writing if possible, i.e. your vacation requests and approvals. Communicate these to stakeholders beyond your boss if you believe it is relevant to them.
      * I think an all-out assault on your boss could lead to a war that you may or may not win – or come out of unscathed. Discussing your bosses slacking behavior could be interpreted as ‘opinion’ rather than truth.
      * As far as attitude goes: be solid in the knowledge that you are a good worker who operates with integrity. Feel strength in your conviction to do a good job off your own back. Don’t give in. Grit your teeth.
      * If all else fails, use the system. Get HR involved, and if you are put on some form of ‘performance management’ track then shine through and show that you’re made of tougher stuff.
      * Remember, just because she is your boss, it doesn’t give her the right to bully you. You have every right to assert yourself to her. If you can do it, speak openly and factually with her, and avoid accusations you can’t back up (as she will jump on those and you will then be on the back foot).

      I wish I could be more help Gabi. I hope you can muster the strength to get through Tuesday and come out on top.


  7. I thought I got my dream job when I got hired as a stylist at a well-paying salon. I love what I do but I cant take the way my manager treats me anymore. The problem is that she targets me while letting the other girls continue bad behavior. They can wear flip-flops and sit down and slack off while I’m the only one who she seems to enforce the rules on. I always wear the uniform and I dress modestly (unlike some of the other girls) and my sales are the only ones that are equal or more with the manager’s. I’m careful about my breaks and I never turn down or get rude with a customer. Yet she talks and laughs with the other girls, leaves me out of it, so I feel excluded. She wrote me up the other day because I didn’t know where to put the new retail products, and I was left alone so it didn’t get done. She asks the other girls questions about me like she’s trying to find a reason to fire me, and she talks bad about me when I’m not there. I’ve asked her if I need to improve on anything or if I’m doing anything wrong, but she always says I’m doing fine. I’ve told her that I find it a little hard to approach her sometimes but if there’s anything she needs me to change or improve on to just let me know. Every day I go in and I feel so trapped, i feel like I’m walking on eggshells all the time. Help please?

  8. I’m the only female in an all male IT group. This is the worse situation I’ve been in. My male boss is insecure, talks over everyone and usually wants things his way, whether in conversation or a task. One guy openly argues with him, another after arguing – walks out of the building, while I brood quietly. He saids, I’m suppose to tell him what’s on my mind. So you guess it, I’m the one that he targets with a job bad review. I feel he is trying to get rid of me, except all my customers love my work and my boss knows it. I need to work, so what do I do? I don’t think I can repair the relationship with my boss, since I think as the lowest person in his group, he has already made up his mind about me and my ranking amongst the guys.

  9. Greetings,

    My Boss is a micro-manager at large. There is another person for which he truly likes and doesn’t
    hide to tell anyone. I was going to send him an email directly like this:

    For some time now, I have noticed that not everyone working here is treated fairly. I realize that

    Mike etc. have brought in business for xxxx, but it takes support behind the scenes that keep

    things going (team doesn’t have an I in it).

    You speak of negativity within, but as an example, you spoke of a very good review with yyyy

    except for a couple off within China. Most people would have taken the good not worried about the

    bad, but you focused on the few negative comments and directed them to me.

    Last year there was duplicate addressing put on a server (Mike), and you blamed it on me, as I were

    on holidays. If it was me, it would be right.

    Amongst other things:

    · I get the small desk

    · phone is outdated

    · others have at least 2-3 days VO

    · I was supposed to get a docking station with old pc….never seen it, but Tim has two

    This is not just obvious to me. I am not sure if you want me to quit, as you know

    I am looking elsewhere. We were told that once the firewall team is in, we would go to

    a 6 man rotation, which hasn’t happened. There is no cross-training for this, and no

    incentive to do so.

    It seems you want to create different levels of society, and depending on who you are

    depends on what you get. I come from a farming background, and usually when someone

    does something for you, you do something in return.

    let me know

  10. I work in a small office. It is me, a co’worker, who has been here 5 years and my boss. Then there is the director (male), assisstant director (male), and another guy. I dont really work with the guys. But I find the office to be outrageously unprofessional. Everyone just says what they want to. And my boss (shes the office manager) and coworker talk about people all day long. they stay on face book and other websites too. I feel like she is constantly criticizing me for something. It seems I cant do anything right. But what I really don’t understand is why they don’t let me go. I cannot afford to quit. but if she hates me so much why am I still here.? they did say that they were looking to hire someone they “like” in my interview. but it seems my position is a high turnover. what should i do????

  11. @Rachael – if they didn’t think you were of use, or value, then they’d find a way to give you the elbow. So what is it that you do that they’re keeping you around for? Identify this and you’ll understand your position of strength. Perhaps your boss is trying to prove something to the ‘boys’? Maybe you’re an easy target because she has control over you (or so she thinks?) It’s possible she feels threatened, undermined or worthless herself, proving her worth by taking credit for your work and putting you down?

    It’s quite likely that your boss really does value what you do, and can’t afford to be without you, but admitting this is admitting her own failings. You are the crutch, and out of self-loathing or self-pity she copes with the threat by telling herself how much better she is than you, and acts accordingly.

    Stick to your guns, forget the larks of others, do a good job, and know your worth. Do this for *yourself*, for your own self-respect and dignity. Life isn’t always fair, but I do believe that the truth gets exposed at some point – just be in a strong position when it does.

  12. I am sad right now because I just lost my job. Today was my last day. I was notified 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, I will get some severance and then unemployment if I don’t find another job before the severance runs out. The problem is, the boss (I’ve only had a handful of conversations with her since I’ve worked there) who fired me did so on the recommendation of my supervisor. My supervisor hates me and was looking for ways to get rid of me for months now. I have always received superior performance reviews, have 21 years experience, have never been disciplined for any reason. I get along with my coworkers and am a leader among them (they often ask me for assistance and guidance and I’m always available to help them in any way I can), my clients love me and are faithful to me, and I am very, very good at what I do. I perform the duties of my job on time and correctly, I make my deadlines and commitments, I contribute to my profession, I take continuing education classes so I stay up to date on changes, and i will work overtime when needed. I have never, ever been let go from a job. I’m not saying that I’m perfect (even though it kind of sounds like it, I guess) I have and do make mistakes, but when I do, I apologize and truly attempt to do better next time. I own up to my mistakes and don’t make excuses or blame others.

    On the flip side, my supervisor doesn’t know the first thing about her position. She has no experience in the position and doesn’t even hold the credentials she is supposed to have to hold it! She lies and deceives constantly, shows favoritism, is manipulative, unprofessional, and spreads rumors. I have caught her in numerous lies and cover-ups. A good portion of our job involves legal issues, and she is ignorant of the laws governing us. Therefore, she routinely breaks, is ignorant of, and/or takes advantage of loopholes in the law. If ever anyone should find out about what she is doing, it could close down the entire company in law suits. She has changed legal documents to cover up her inadequacies and mistakes.

    To say she is threatened by me is an understatement. She knows that she can’t trick me because I see right through her deception and smoke-screens. She has asked me to lie and join in her cover-ups when she made a huge mistake that could have cost her her job, and I refused. I know what she is doing, and she knows that . She also knows that if I had her job, I would do it so much better than she, however, I DO NOT WANT her job and never have and never will. I loved my job and wouldn’t have taken her position even if it was offered. Except for lying and covering up for her, if she would have asked me for help, I would have gladly assisted her (and actually offered when she first was hired).

    Although the boss and her boss has received numerous complaints from clients and coworkers, they are, somehow, protecting her and believing her. I’m not sure why or how, but for some reason, she cannot seem to do anything wrong in their eyes. Whenever anyone complains about her, she always makes it the complainer’s fault. She is a master of turning any situation to reveal her in positive light and anyone who is against her is in the wrong. So she has sabotaged me and blamed me and lied about me. She has caused my boss to question my integrity and motives, which have never been questioned before.

    When I appealed my firing to the higher boss (as is my right according to my employee handbook), they circled the wagons, and basically said, “We appreciate your service to XXX” without really an explanation. They also reminded me that I had an “at will” contract and they were exercising their will in this case, and they were not legally required to give me any reason beyond that.

    So, as I said, I am sad. I cleaned out my desk today and it just hurts. It hurts to know that I put so much time and effort into a job that I loved, and now I am on the job market because someone didn’t like me, lied about me, and set me up. And I’m worried about finding another job in this job market. There are so few jobs and so many applicants.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.

  13. Hi there,

    I am presently working with one MNC. Of late I have observed my boss holding a kind of dislike against me. I dont remember doing anything unethical or bad which brings down any kind of bad name to my team or manager. Infact I am very upfront with my manager. I have a stutter and was very open about it with my manager and initially she was keen ears on listening to my issues. I had even asked her if I could move to a different role for my further growth and she offered to provide full support. She used to be quite patient with my queries and even though she was off mood at times, she used to come back later on that. I was very frank with my ideas and used to tell things straight forward. Many places I observed that some things in team were not going proper and these things I brought to her notice. But I dont know where exactly it went wrong and she interpretted my frankness as being rude. Which I am not. whenever I have tried to explain this ti her, it has lead to more walls between us. I am not that kind of a guy who would do things which is NOT ME. I also observe she has built this “oh dude dont stand here and stammer” attitude. That has very much hurt my feelings and I feel quite cheated that I shared some fo the most inate things of mine with her. I also feel she cant stand my stammer and always wants to finish off my schedule meeting very fast. I am also not given any worthwhile responsibilities. she just hates me and I dont know why. I dont seek a goddam sympathy towards my stammer, but please dont stunt my growth because of my stammer. I DONT WNAT TO QUIT, because this may happen anywhere I go. I cant keep jumping.


  14. My story is of unique circumstances. A little background would be that I have been at my job (legal assistant for an office full of attorneys) for 10 years now.
    Three years ago I worked for five attorneys, two of my bosses one male and one female were married. The plotted everyday to make my job harder. They encouraged other employees to exclude me from lunches, breakfasts, or even forbid them in helping me with every day organizing tasks and so forth. So much to the point to where I cried at my desk everyday for months. My head boss loves me, but was not sure how to handle all of the animosity towards me. This actual hurt me instead of helping me because the jealousy was so strong that attacks got more serious. Examples of some of the attacks were throwing papers off my desk, slamming fists in the wall by my face, jerking documents from my hands sometimes enough to cause paper cuts, yelling at me, and alienating me from people. Not to mention the secret closed door meeting they would have with me to tell me one thing and with my head boss to tell him a different thing. All complete lies about me. I never responded. The situation was so difficult at a certain point that I had a nervous breakdown. I am only 28 years old. I could not quit my job because I have a family.
    I decided even though I couldn’t afford to quit my job I needed my health even more. I went to see my head boss who loves me and he split the firm to keep myself and another lady and him together. We branched off from the rest of them and only kept one of the other attorneys from the old office. The married couple who were my bosses no longer work here.

    I am now dealing with an aftermath situation. One of the attorneys, we’ll call him James, is still friends with the married attorneys who were so horrible to me and plotted my career doom. He constantly throws temper tantrums in my personal office space, he cusses at me and yells at me in a way I’ve never been treated. I seriously cannot handle being treated like that and normally I just sit quietly and start crying. A couple of times I have talked back. My nature is to back down and I shut down too. I have no idea how to handle this situation. My head boss is now thinking I cause some of the dramatics. I promise you I’m not. I hate being in the center of all of this and do not know how to go forward from here. I think James hates me because of things he has heard about me from the other two who use to work here. I am literally at my last rope of hope to save my job. I love my job, and do everything I am suppose to do, timely, successfully, and helpfully. If anyone has any input on anything I would appreciate it. Has anyone else ever been in a situation like this before? I’m at a loss. This was a lot, but it this situation is seriously more damaging than I could lead on.

  15. I have the wonderful opportunity to have a boss that is much less experienced and educated than I am. This individual has made it a point to make it known that I am not to make any comments to anyone about my past experience or the fact that I am pursuing higher education. There is much favortism towards others but I am not the favored one. This individual has to have some kind of personality disorder undiagnosed but in need of some serious medication. I have had several inappropriate and personal remarks made to me from this individual. I am isolated from meetings, projects, and whatever else this individual feels like not including me in. The inappropriate comments I would love to share with you privately for more feedback and suggestions on how to handle such an unstable person. Very difficult toxic work environment. Appears to be very jealous of everything about me and has an extreme need to have total control of everything. Would appreciate any suggestions you may have in handling this particular individual.

  16. @Laney – this has been made very personal, and the behavior is inexcusable. You’re being bullied. Period. Your head boss must act! I suggest you ask this guy how you can prove your case.

    If he doesn’t act, seek support from state or government bodies – they should advise you on your legal position and suggest a way forward.

    This isn’t your fault. This isn’t acceptable.

  17. @The Green Headed Monster – interesting story. It’s also very sad. Have you had a look at my post:


    You have a choice – choose to fix it, or choose to fight (both are understandable in the circumstances) but my advice is that, when it comes to grievance in the workplace, we can fight after fix, but rarely can fix after fight.

    You’re in a position of strength, and have nothing to lose to try to fix first.

    Have you escalated this to upper management? Or spoken to HR? Not always easy in a smaller organization (as they’re often all ‘buddies’) but these are the right avenues to deal with the grievance.

    Good luck!

  18. My boss hates me. She has humiliated me in front of coworkers in meetings and also wrote me up for something I didn’t even do. She then told my coworkers about my write up and what was in it. She has made me change my schedule around for a coworker that she loves who is dating her son. I had a family member die and asked for 1 day off for the funeral and she made me call people to cover my shift but lets this other girl take days off because her eye was hurting from an eyelash. I have gone to our administrator and she says she took care of it but she didn’t. She is still telling my coworkers my personal info. I had to step away from the job I love and take a different job in the company so she wouldn’t be directly above me, She still spreads rumors about me even though I don’t work directly for her. Please help, Im at a loss.

  19. Frustrated and Confused

    I have a strange situation where I was friends with my boss in middle management to the extent that he shared personal information with me about his life and his opinion of other people on the staff, but then he was promoted to upper management in the company and things began to change. Other people on the staff noticed our friendship and accused him of favoring me, and one person even suggested it looked like something was going on between us since we talked frequently. Then one day out of the blue he called me into his office with another middle manager present and accused me of telling everyone I was his favorite. I never told anyone that information, even though he did, indeed, tell me that a year earlier. I kept this to myself because it would have been harmful if it had ever gotten out. Apparently, a few staff members found out he had been texting me outside the office. He was very angry with me during the meeting and accused of of lying and causing problems for his reputation, among other things. I was completely humiliated and didn’t understand what exactly I was being accused of, since it seemed like a personal problem rather than a personnel problem and he was just as guilty as I was of texting. I pointed this out to him during the meeting and made a point that none of our texts were flirtatious and centered on business. However, a week later, he called and apologized to me and my family and said he wanted our friendship to be back to where it was before and asked for forgiveness. Over the next six months, he continually overlooked me on projects and didn’t give me credit for my part. I sat down with him to calmly talk about my frustrations and had discussion points that we talked about to get us out of the continual loop of him overlooking me and then me getting angry. This worked for about two months, but then one day when a leadership position was open in our department, he openly admitted I was the best qualified but he would not be giving me the position and went on to list past grievances he had with me that stemmed from the meeting we had where he humiliated me and said he was the victim of that meeting and not me. So basically, we were back to square one. I feel hurt, frustrated, and extremely angry, not to mention feeling betrayed by someone I thought was a friend at one time. I feel I’ve done everything I can to let him know I want things positive between us, but he’s convinced I tarnished his reputation because people thought he favored me and in his eyes, “It doesn’t matter if the accusations are true; once gossip starts, people feel it’s true.” I feel I was also the victim of the gossip, but he doesn’t see it that way and has caved into what others in the office claim and refuses to treat me fairly. However, he has stated time and time again he doesn’t want me to leave and still considers me a friend. This is so confusing to me! And I am so angry, I don’t know how to get over it. I have tried having only a professional relationship with him, but he finds a way to throw personal attacks using information I shared when we were friends. He has become mean and bitter towards me, but then says things like, “We might not agree on things, but I still care. I always care.” Is there any chance this boss will act truly professional with me and I’ll ever get a fair shake at this job or should I give up and move on? He can’t seem to treat me like other people on his staff and give me the respect I deserve. It truly feels like he despises me.

    1. Go see you HR department – it’s the only way I can think you will get a satisfactory outcome to this situation. But first, don’t go in angry. That will work against you. Take as much of the emotion out of the situation so it can be dealt with objectively. Simon

  20. I think my boss really hates me. She keeps ignoring me and se doesn’t share information with me that I need to do my job. It is very stressful and I am thinking about leaving. What can I do Simon?

    1. Hi Kip. Leaving is always an option, but the last option. Have you spoken to your boss about it? I’d start there, because often we look for things that confirm our belief of a situation. Not to suggest you are wrong, but there is a possibility that you are wrong. So confirm, for your own ‘peace of mind’ (not that the answer will be a good one), that you’re interpretation of your boss’s attitude towards you is right. If you’re right about it, then confront your boss, in a non-hostile way and ask why. Maybe it is something you can resolve between yourselves? If not, then you could then ask HR, or an independent manager, to facilitate a solution. Hope you get this resolved Kip. Simon

  21. What a croc! – psychopaths are attracted to mangagement positions like pedophiles are attracted to playgrounds. Please don’t tell me to ‘understand’ or ‘make allowances’ for either category … shoot the bastards.

  22. I teach high school at a high-performing school and was brought last fall to take over for a teacher that was popular with students but seemed to have carte blanche to do or get what he wanted from the point of view of fellow teachers. Although the head of our department was relieved to have the popular teacher gone, he seems to associate me with the popular, well-connected teacher. It’s like there’s lingering resentment. Furthermore, in speaking with students we both have, he seems to discover how I have put my foot in my mouth, and then confronts me on it, essentially requiring me to apologize. I am someone who will apologize freely and accept blame. I am far from perfect as a teacher, and I do have a good relationship with the kids. But I feel anxious and insecure based on this constant finding of fault with how I interact with the students. I feel it’s got to be some level of insecurity with him, but I have no idea how to solve this issue. I just don’t want to feel like I am always putting my foot in my mouth. The worst part is, we are facing budget cuts and lots of the characteristics of my job (what I teach, where in the building I teach) are at stake right now. Hopefully it won’t be whether I teach! Can you give me some advice on how to handle this situation? It’s almost like he would like me to fail or be unpopular.

    1. Hi Raylin – the problem belongs to your Head of Department – it isn’t yours. Perhaps jealousy or fear is driving him to behave this way. Keep doing what you are doing. You have no reason to change. Continue to do your job well and be open about what you do well and not so well. Nobody is perfect. He can’t expect you to be perfect. With respect to cuts, this is out of your hands and you have no way of directly influencing it, so (although FAR easier said than done) you should try to stop worrying about that. If you feel you can muster up the courage to do so, you could ‘confront’ your Head – although it shouldn’t be a hostile move. You could explain how you feel and that you’re feeling vulnerable. Lay your stall out. Perhaps time – just time – is all that’s needed for him to get over his fears and doubts? To sum up: believe in yourself and don’t avoid a confrontation, as it might just be the catalyst to solve this problem. Hope that helps!

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