Abusive Boss and Irritating Co-Workers

6 Ways to Cope with an Abusive Boss and Irritating Co-Workers

Difficult people are a fact of life. At home you can avoid them by surrounding yourself with agreeable people, but in the work place most of us don’t have that luxury.

While your natural tendency may be to avoid them at all costs, it’s better to deal with them in a thoughtful manner. This is crucial to your career. If you develop the ability to work with anyone and handle the tough nuts, you’ll be the natural choice for promotions and leadership positions.

The following are some suggestions for resolving potentially awkward work situations. Just remember, if we can learn to effectively deal with difficult people our work life will become much less stressful and far more enjoyable.

Self Confidence

When our lives are made difficult by unsympathetic and dominating people we can quickly lose our self-confidence. To avoid this it is important not to value the opinions of negative people. If we can maintain a self confidence and self belief then it will be easy to ignore the criticisms of difficult work colleagues. Self confidence will not be built by heavily criticizing the difficult person. Self confidence comes through remembering our own positive qualities.

Should You Find a New Job?

Sometimes the people we work with are so awkward that we want to move and get another job. This is a difficult choice. The first thing to remember is that if we move jobs, there is a high chance we will meet similar problems, just with a different set of people. If we keep moving jobs with the hope of finding an office full of saints, we will be continually on the move.

The first thing is to try and deal with the situation; we need to be detached from the awkward person as much as possible. However, if we have really tried everything possible and work is still making us miserable, then is it worth considering a new job. We spend so much of our waking time in our job that we can’t allow unpleasant people to spoil it.

Dealing with a Dominating Boss

Some people enjoy bossing others around; maybe they have their own insecurities and so they try to take it out on their work colleagues. If you have a dominating boss there are no easy solutions. One solution is to give in on little things and consider them as insignificant. If they insist on small issues are done in a certain way then just comply. Generally, it is not worth arguing about the best place to store the stapler – save your energy for more important issues. Don’t feel bad about having to follow these small instruction instructions, even if you don’t agree with them. Just see it as part of your job.

However, whilst it is good to give in on small things, there are certain issues where we cannot allow ourselves to be pushed around. If your boss is encouraging you to be unpleasant to others, lie or perform deceptive actions, then you should not feel compelled to follow. If you feel inwardly awkward about something then avoid doing it. If you start to follow all the whims of your boss, they will invariably seek to exploit your willingness and only ask you to do more awkward tasks.

If you are asked to do something you feel is wrong, you should also try seek the support of other members of staff and someone more senior in the company. In these situations it is not helpful to suffer in silence; a good company should have a support procedure for this kind of eventuality. If your company has no support structure in procedure, consider looking for help from independent bodies who can offer advice.

Avoiding Arguments

Difficult people are usually even more troublesome when you get into arguments. If you are asked to do something you disagree with, it might be appropriate to maintain a silence and just avoid doing it. If your boss encourages you to do the wrong thing, don’t feel obliged to tell him why he is wrong. Dominating people dislike being told they are wrong; in response they will just be defensive and more aggressive.

Instead, just continue to do the right thing. For example, if you are encouraged to speak badly of other colleagues just refuse to do it; make a point of picking out some positive qualities of that person. In these circumstances actions speak louder than words. Rather than arguing directly with our boss, we just don’t follow their bad advice. This means we can avoid doing the wrong thing without having to tell our boss why they are mistaken. This may not help in every circumstance but it is often worth trying.

Dealing With Constant Criticism

Some people seem to have an eye for picking up on people’s faults. No mistake, no matter how small, seems to escape their attention. They even seem to get a certain sense of satisfaction from pointing it out. These kind of people are not much fun to work with, but we shouldn’t let them make our work an unpleasant experience.

Firstly, don’t take all their criticisms to heart. If our presentation has a few errors, it doesn’t mean we are a bad person. If someone is pointing out all our mistakes, remember all the good things you have done; critical people are often blind to the positive contributions people can make. Don’t respond in kind. If we respond to criticism by finding similar faults in the other person there will be no end to the negativity. Either just ignore it or try to find some good things that other people have done. Just smile and remember how insignificant their complaints are.

Leave Work at Work

The good thing about working with difficult people is that at least at the end of the day, you can forget all about your work. But, make sure you do completely switch off from work, and avoid thinking about work problems in the evening and at the weekends. Develop a social life that doesn’t involve just meeting work colleagues. It is good to make a clean break where there is no chance of the conversation being dominated by boring work stuff.

If you find yourself worrying about awkward people away from work, it is a sign that they are having an unhealthy impact on your life. If this is the case, you need to feel greater detachment. Just try not to think about them, tell yourself that whatever problem exists can wait until the next workday.

Conclusion

It is not easy to offer advice about how to deal with difficult people. Every case is different. Whilst maintaining silence may be appropriate in one case, in another circumstance it may be better to seek the help of other people. There is no simple formula for dealing with difficult people. However, certain principles can make your life easier.

The most important thing is to learn how to detach yourself from the problems at work. This means we don’t allow awkward people to dominate our lives. The most effective way to do this is be careful what we think about. We need to ignore their complaints and criticisms and develop our self confidence. If we can develop self confidence then it will be much easier to deal with whatever situation we are facing.

Elsewhere: How to Deal With Bully Bosses

This article was written by Tejvan Pettinger. Tejvan lives in Oxford where he works as a teacher. He enjoys writing on topics of self improvement and updates a blog called Sri Chinmoy Inspiration. Recent articles include: When and How to Criticise Others.

  • Christy

    This article was so timely for me. I just started a new job three months ago and I’m already to move to another location within my organization. My boss and supervisor are the worst I ever had. They talk down to everyone and make everyone feel stupid. I thought it was just me at first but have heard stories that others have been “abused” by these people too. I was just going to go silent… but these are some good tips… I am seeking my way out… but at least I can keep these things in mind while I’m looking. I think the self-confidence thing is right on the mark. Mine has eroded since I started there…

    Thank you!

  • Mia

    Yeah, while the advice is ok, I think for most people the problem with bosses/ colleagues who constantly nit-pick, criticize and control is not that they make you feel bad about yourself, but rather that they drain your energy. It is also difficult to understand why someone would go out of their way to be difficult/ nasty, and this can be emotionally difficult. Another aspect that you haven’t touched on is the kind of boss/ colleague who is just generally crazy. People who lie, make things up, bully, etc. These people are much more difficult to handle and incredibly career damaging.

  • http://www.iratherstickitwithpickthebrain.com Omar

    Thanks for the info!
    Although I don’t agree with all the points you made there.
    You got to find your balance where to defend yourself against critisism
    Giving strong arguments why your opinion is right, would even more increase your self confidence because you get the feeling your arguments mean something. Your boss/colleagues will also see that you really sure about your opinion and that they can take your words more like
    a suggestion.

    That’s a powerfull tactic to convince people, even if this will get you in trouble for some reason. In this case with your boss. So try to watch your words when you
    talking to your boss, talking in a calm way and controlling your emotions even if the boss is yelling at you will bring you two to a better understanding.

    You will certaintly score points with this! Your boss will find it harder to convince you, this
    will avoid a lot of conflicts between you and your boss.
    That’s because you win his ”respect”

    Ignoring isn’t always the best tactic you
    should choose in a conflict. You’ve got to know when to
    avoid criticism and when to go out there and fight for yourself!

    Loving the blog
    Greetings from Amsterdam ;)

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  • Michal

    MIIIIIIIIIICHAAAAAAAAAALL

  • http://www.srichinmoybio.co.uk/blog Tejvan Pettinger

    I agree you have to be careful knowing when to argue with the boss and stand up to him. I think Omar makes a good point about controlling the emotions when speaking to the boss, it will help any situation.

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  • Disgruntled Ex-Civic Slave

    No job is worth taking the garbage from a jerk boss, or conniving co-workers.
    It’s just a job, and there are other places to work. Way too many people think that they have to cling to their precious job, and NO you cannot “leave work at work”.
    Don’t take it. Walk out, and get in someone’s face for trying to run you– keep your integrity.
    Life is hard enough without being forced to take someone’s brainwashing.

    You’ll love yourself more for fighting back.

  • http://priyadarshan.org Priyadarshan

    Wise words. Thanks!

  • http://www.varsityblah.com/about Eugene (Editor, Varsity Blah)

    It definitely helps to look at your job. If you’re not feeling fulfilled, you probably won’t get along with anyone at all. That’s why taking the time to find something that fits is so important. It’s like the message in Success Built to Last: “There is no greater feeling in life or freedom in the world than to know that you can be yourself and part of a group that is engaged in a cause that is greater than you are.”

  • http://www.amiracleaday.com Jason

    I have to disagree with a fair amount of this article… giving in, avoiding any confrontation, etc., actually encourages the problem person to continue to do what they’re doing, as you’re telling them that it’s alright with you.

    It’s much better, in my opinion, to stand your ground… you don’t have to attack them, or be argumentative, but you also don’t have to give in when someone starts pushing you around. Let them know that you have the strength and character to be your own person, and if they don’t appreciate you after a short while, then look for a different job.

    Any job where you have to shrink down within yourself, and pretend to be someone other than who you are, is not the right job.

  • http://www.steven-mills.com Steve Mills

    I once would have taken the abuse boss (to a degree) and accepted it as part of the job. But I agree with Jason above, what price do you put on your emotional and mental health. No paycheck is worth degrading yourself every day for.

    Know that you are better then that and find something else

  • L.V. Whitman

    There are a lot of good points made in both the article, and in the comments.

    Its been my experience that a boss will make decisions simply because he has the power to make his or her own decisions, no matter if the ideas you brought to the table were the best solution.

  • Melissa

    Your comment, “This means we don’t allow awkward people to dominate our lives”, really hit home for me. I have been working on this aspect of myself with my boss. My friend handed me Dealing With Divas by Shelly Anderson, an excellent book that taught me just what you were explaining plus more. I learned to take responsibility for my own happiness in the work place. :) I’m glad to know that other people are offering helpful suggestions as well. :)

  • wale

    these are excellent ideas. can you please teach me how tobe a good listener and not always fighting for my rights.

  • http://pickthebrain.com j

    I think this is great advice for dealing with a bad co-worker or two, but a boss who seems to enjoy criticizing everything is toxic. My last boss hadn’t ever kept an employee for longer than two years, but I managed to stick out the constant put-downs for four. I should have quit much sooner, as he ended up firing me because I wouldn’t work sixty hours every week and be two places at once. Those four years of criticism — and getting fired after helping my boss get a great promotion — have left me miserable and in search of a new career.

    I’m not perfect, but in most jobs, I get complimented for hard work, intelligence, and responsibility, so the problem was definitely not me. Criticizers build themselves up by putting you down. In a co-worker, you can shrug it off. But if your boss is a criticism addict, look out! If you can get another job in these rough times, you should. Don’t help the jerk succeed.

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    so useful,very thankful!

  • abdurrahman

    i love this article and i think it will be very effective for my colleques. i will try and get back to you on the result.

  • Randy

    Swimming with Sharks. That movie was so wrong on so many levels. Yet, so right on so many levels. Seriously, I believe you should stand up for yourself in the work place and not let neurotic, self-loathing people treat you like dirt just because someone more neurotic than they put them in a higher spot. I don’t take threats or abuse from anybody lying down no matter what position they’re in. If a boss is physically threatening you, involve the proper authorities. When people make threats like that, they usually make good on them, and no, they are not above the law. I’ve seen 2 such bosses escorted from the premises of 2 major corporations and you would not have believed the stupid, deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on their faces as they were being led away in handcuffs. By the same token, I once witnessed a female supervisor get socked right in the mouth after she called a big disgruntled employee some not too agreeable names. That employee was Biiiiiiiig. I gave her wide berth. So it shows how such people think they’re above everything, even people much bigger and much more neurotic than themselves.

  • Doreen Fernandes

    Your above article has really helped me to deal with my current situation. Thank you very much.

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  • hatemyboss

    My boss is a back stabbing abusive jerk.  Just called me a “pussy” because I’m sick and wanted to go home. 

  • Jacquelineramirezmom

    I  just got fired at my job. I started on 1/16/12 there was only three of us lady’s working there I was doing my job to the best of my abilitiies no one every complained. One of the girls did my review and she must of said bad things on my reviews cause the corp office just called and said I wasnt what they were looking for and my 90 days was up. I never did anything wrong. I confronted the lady who did my review and asked her why didn’t you tell me I was getting fired I could of stayed home. She got defensive and open her arms said she wasnt afraid of no body and wanted to get in a fight. Is there a law against that? What can I do I know the false review was given to the boss he never came to the office and never saw me work….

  • Slowgear

    remmber life is to short to let others make you feel bad about yourself, time and chance happens to every one be true to yourself and love , yourself   belive it are not you can do this by kindness, do unto others as you would have them do to you  and donot      alow others to do unkind things to you

    • OouPamaGram

      My boss told me she;d ‘hurt ‘ me if I messed up, Also glares at me and destroyed  products  I was working on, with a hammer, I think she actually wanted to hammer me , but cost the company  because of her anger and ignorenence , I have never felt such HATE towards me, in my working life, I am fearful my mouth will get me into trouble, I have dignity, I can not stand her,  she’s vulgar and mean….
      The unfortunate part is this is my husbands place of employment and they asked me to help out, I was NOT seeking them they asked for my services, and now i feel a conflict , if I want to say kiss off it makes him look bad, by the same the same token, all are saying, take no bullying!
      What do I do??..:))

  • Labgirl1972

    I appreciate your advice, however, I must say when dealing with a constant critic as a supervisor- it is very hard to, “Just smile and remember how insignificant their complaints are.” They are in control ofmy reviews, etc. I am a very hard worker with an immediate supervisor whom was recently promoted yet was not a respected front line staff member by the entire division. She is a senior staff memeber and can do a good job of selling herself. I have caught her in lies and others are witness to the hypocritical behavior of this supervisor. The manager of our department does not seem to take complaints seriously, because manipulative people in powerful roles have a greater opportunity to bend situations in a passive aggressive nature. Finding a new job is not out of the question but it is tricky in these times of cutbacks. I feel very disheartened to leave a technical job I enjoy. Why should I have to? I am exploring options and thank you for your article’s “food for thought”.

  • Labgirl1972

    I appreciate your advice, however, I must say when dealing with a constant critic as a supervisor- it is very hard to, “Just smile and remember how insignificant their complaints are.” They are in control ofmy reviews, etc. I am a very hard worker with an immediate supervisor whom was recently promoted yet was not a respected front line staff member by the entire division. She is a senior staff memeber and can do a good job of selling herself. I have caught her in lies and others are witness to the hypocritical behavior of this supervisor. The manager of our department does not seem to take complaints seriously, because manipulative people in powerful roles have a greater opportunity to bend situations in a passive aggressive nature. Finding a new job is not out of the question but it is tricky in these times of cutbacks. I feel very disheartened to leave a technical job I enjoy. Why should I have to? I am exploring options and thank you for your article’s “food for thought”.

  • Bass Fishing

    hi there i have a wife who hasd been sick . now aweek before this the boss let a nother work person go home  when they where sick . but when it comes to me taking a bug i whent in to work anyway sick offcourse . but the boss had no intreste in my sickness she told me to wash my hands . because she was going on holidays and didnt whant to take the bug . the best about this its a chemist manager .wouldnt u think that this person would rtather you go home and come back when your well

    • OurPamaGram

      Hi, My boss is also a double standard operator , what goes for one should go for all, but that’s not the case. Could complain to the HR person, but I don’t see any good in it. The shop  supervisor said that’s just “her” way. She has bullied everyone, all but 2 are men! And they take it. We 2 are starting to buck her. However, 
      I can’t believe a chemist manager would be so ignorant! Yes I do think that person would say to take care of yourself and return when your on the mend, but the world has changed, common caring is tossed out the window.Personal agendas and jealousies do get in the way. I pray your situation will get better! You pray too, it does help….I keep a prayer cloth pinned inside my pant’s for protection,pray before I leave home and pray inward all day long! Needless to say the day’s are long. Sometime’s I think my Supervisor want’s to hit me with something. I don’t intend to stay, my nerve’s can’t take it.Good luck

      • Disalussion

        Hell i work with schizophrenic boss (no joke), thanks equal oprtunities, one side is aggressive and dominating, the other is a raging loose cannon barnbot, my co worker in my department is a manic depressive that constantly talks about suicide, one minute he’s giddy as a school girl the next depressed and as down as someone who has just discovered he could have one the lottery if he’d put his number on that week. I’m getting a new job because I’m starting to fantasise about killing them both not good.

        • hangYouOrMe

           I think we work at the same place…LMAO. Really though I know what its like to come to the end of a rope and want to hang them or yourself. I have to stay there another minute so I do and say what I want (within reason) My boss is all of 25 and i am 45 and she projects her BS on who ever will buy it. I love the fact too that she says how brilliant she is or thinks she is LOL nice she tried to take the credit and does nothing and gets paid the same (I make a lot more than her) I ignore her BS  she will leave one day and realize she lives in a freaking fantasy world

  • Sin_gle_wicked

    I would say job hop. I have been doing it for years. Advice columns say not to do it but think about it, they are speaking on behalf of workplaces. It costs a lot of money to hire new employees so the advice is always to stay and work it out. Workplaces want to avoid high employee turnover and it takes a while to train new people, that is if they are willing to train correctly in the first place. Of course if I owned a business I would be afraid of lawsuits and high employee turnover so probably encourage people to stay. As an employee, I say RUN! Staying only reinforces to the bad employees that they can continue their practices whether it is a coworker, supervisor, or manager. Never take any issue to H.R. Just document at home.  Workplaces can be a horrible place with all the egos going around, and doesn’t it always seem as if the most popular and arrogant egotistics are promoted instead of rewarding based on merit?

    • lou

      No wonder you job hop. You have a terrible attitude and are probably a toxic employee. I am sure all of your bosses were sad to see you go.

  • Purple Jacket

    Sometimes i ended up getting late for lectures but this was because i had medical appointments and my brother had a life shortening illness and had passed away that i didn’t tell anyone about and i ended up suffering from bitchy critical comments from my co students who were completely unsympathetic to my needs and one guy kept reminding me in class humiliating me in front of everyone in condescending ways.
    Some people think they know everything and he was completely in the wrong for pointing out my lateness when i was bereaved i feel psychologically manipulated now everyone at university thinks i’m disorganised or cannot keep to a schedule i wonder if they could completely not feel any bereavement symptoms i hate when arrogant prats think they can boss others around its nothing but exploitation.
    How bad do they look pressurising someone suffering from bereavement as if arriving on time was the biggest priority in my life back then stupid bastards putting me under unnecessary stress when they didn’t need to be any.   

  • Purple Jacket

    Also i want to study two degrees and my tutor had a fit about it what is up with them what has it got to do with them i want to study two degrees but no they had to be bitchy and pessimistic about it i’m a grown woman who can make healthy decisions with my life and regarding my education why do some stupid people want control over someone else’s i’m thinking i’m more educated then them and probably have way more self confidence then they have why do they feel the need to put others down who the fuck are they?

  • Purple Jacket

    They best way to deal with this is to completely undervalue them and their opinions treat them like shit that will work feel sorry for them that they lack the optimism to achieve their own goals in life they need someone else to pick up the pieces.

  • Tcnnyc

    i think your article is terrible. To the  employee suffering the abuse , it isn’t  so easy to be as flexible with his feelings, and emotions as you would have us believe he/she should be…..in fact they are probably in some sort of “survival” mode.  You offer nothing for that more realistic situation.

    • Wr1910

      The article ishelpful. I work in a school system where nepotism is prevalent. These employee are given titles and do absolutely nothing. Everyone else has to pick up the slack. To look for a other job would mean loosing a pension. Going to the union these employees are protected. When willnit stop.

      • LDE

         

        Ok, this might be seen as nitpicking, but since you work
        in a school system, I might point out that the correct spelling is ‘losing’,
        not ‘loosing’.  Please do us a favor and pass
        that on to the students.

  • Rosalind Phillips.

    I have always been the one to be picked on and/or bullied.  But, there are laws and information that can help you.  I took the step and wrote to the head of my work placed.  I reported to my immediate supervisor several times about the person who was constantly harassing me for no apparent reason.  But, my supervisor did nothing.  Finally, I got fed up and took matters into my own hand.  I reported the incidents of the BULLY/COWARD directly to the head office.  I got immediate action.  The bullying stopped.  He could not believe that I did that.  I am glad that I stood up for myself. 

    In closing.  You do not always have to accept the way people treat you.

    LOV ROZ ☺☻☺☻

  • jane91

    I have my first really abusive boss.  Unfortunately, I am 63 years old and it’s next to impossible finding a company to take you on for only 2-3 years.  They interview you because you have a great resume, but then they see you (estimating my age) and I never get a call back.  Never in my life had I had such trouble landing a job.  I got this job through a personal connection for a temporary 90-day contract.  I was talked into staying with the company (great pay) to work for another person after my contract was up.  I’ve now been here 9 months and it’s hell.  I decided to go the silent route–do my job, readily agree with the boss, don’t do anything illegal or unkind to others, and suck it up.  It’s still awful, but I’d like to make it to retirement!! 

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    Good share. Now I need this analysis very much. I think I try to do every work well and do good to everybody, I think this is do good to ourselves and our life.

  • Aberke1

    I have been working at this temp job in summerset for approx. 8 months. Lately the boss and her lead person are always pointing out errors I made on a daily basis. I try to be careful. It could be one error here or there. It is not a lot of errors. The amount of work I do all day it really adds up to nothing. Also her lead person is very nasty with me.
    How do I handle this. I am trying to get another job but times are very bad. How can I get them to leave me a lone?

  • Anonymous

    I work in a family business.  My Father is the owner, but has never been a boss. I also work wit a couple of brothers. One brother in particular is a very very negative and at times an abusive person.

    Typical behavior would be claiming he only called someone a ‘F*ckin c*nt’ because he was ‘backed into a corner’.
    On occasion there has been threats of physical violence, attacks on property (kicked a car) accusations against anyone that has stood up to him, such as ‘You’re a bully”. He is never asked to produce evidence of his accusations and the accused is not given the opportunity to defend themselves.
    Being backed into a corner mainly means disagreeing with him.
    He is in a management position without any qualifications to be a manager.
    My Father seems paralyzed by his inability and unwillingness to do anything other than offer platitudes such as “We must respect each other”.

    I myself have had counselling to try deal with this situation but its very very difficult.
    I have a degree in business studies but this is viewed as no more than a ‘point of view’, especially when I try to implement proper and correct management proceedures.

    I have tried so many techniques to deal with this behavior, including those outlined above. All have failed or at best have had limited success.
    I have read book after book about dealing with difficult people again with limited success. 

    I know people may say ‘just get out of there’ but being in a recession means I cannot just leave as I would be putting my family and home at risk.
    Please, if anyone has EVER faced a similar situation please let me know if there is something else I should try.

    • Frances Mannion

      Try praying about it all. Prayer paradoxically works anyway; whether you’re a believer or not; just like the sun rises daily whether you understand the solar system or don’t. Good luck with achieving a minor miracle in your world. Treat them as you would if their behaviour was as it should be.

  • http://twitter.com/KriegMetal BlackMetalIstKrieg!

    This should’ve been called “six ways to avoid coping with your abusive boss and irritating co-workers.” There was no solution offered.

    • Pam Yurko

      My supervisor actually started treating me with more respect when I had enough and stood up to her, I didn’t care if I was fired at that point I was fed up with the abuse. I prayed inwardly on a daily basis and I recall  I recited in my head over and over I can do all thing’s through Christ who strenghthens me, and I did!After 6mths of bad treatment, I fought back. It was a power greater than me for sure, and I was able to refrain from attacking  but to the point and strong, not to say everything is rosy but much better. I was tired of being fearful, and letting that persons authority over me take my power from me, and ruin my time away from work,I’ll pray for all of you, I know the struggle, and still have some from time to time, but not like before.

    • Pam Yurko

      My supervisor actually started treating me with more respect when I had enough and stood up to her, I didn’t care if I was fired at that point I was fed up with the abuse. I prayed inwardly on a daily basis and I recall  I recited in my head over and over I can do all thing’s through Christ who strenghthens me, and I did!After 6mths of bad treatment, I fought back. It was a power greater than me for sure, and I was able to refrain from attacking  but to the point and strong, not to say everything is rosy but much better. I was tired of being fearful, and letting that persons authority over me take my power from me, and ruin my time away from work,I’ll pray for all of you, I know the struggle, and still have some from time to time, but not like before.

  • farhan

    My boss is stupid and she is looking for every moment to discourage us. When the work is right, she just email us with two words, Good Work. The moment she finds something bad, she writes us long mails and try to make us feel disappointed, discouraged and unhappy.
    She agreed to increase my pay after probation. Now when the probation was over and I talked to raise my salary, she said “Your performance is not good and I want some improvements”. Another colleague faced the same situation a month back.
    Now I am looking for new job and trying to get rid of this stupid lame noisy boss.