Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Bullies Blaming Fairness Assertiveness Quitting Time Criticism Nastiness

Our supervisor is a nasty and critical person, the manager over her is just as bad, and they both are especially mean to me. I am friendly with my fellow employees, and they have all noticed that I am picked on and blamed more than anyone else. I don't know what to do.

On the management scale, this less-than-dynamic duo is definitely in the featherweight category. Much of management today is based on respect, trust, fairness, and support, but your so-called leaders seem to believe that it is based on little more than abuse.

This type of treatment does not go away by itself, and if you let it continue, it will most likely become worse. For whatever reason, these "leaders" sense that you are an easy target.

This means that your first step is to meet with each of them. Make sure that they know about your successes on the job, along with your job objectives. Then tell them that you are concerned about the working relationship, and you would like to see it improve. Give them specific examples of the behaviors that are particularly distressing, and then clearly state that you want this type of treatment to stop. Your next step will depend on their next step.

If they continue their target practice, you and your fellow employees should consider meeting with them as a group, and if you do not find satisfaction, all of you should go up the organization. If the problems continue to generate stress, then you need to decide whether fight or flight is right for you.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!