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Alcohol Performance Evaluations Yelling Anger Conflict Condescending Treatment Communication Complaints

During my mid-year review, I took the opportunity to bring forward my concerns and frustrations since being hired, and my boss stood up, got belligerent and yelled:

“I can’t take this any more. This is a job! There are lots of jobs out there, maybe you should take a look around and go get one where you can sit in a corner and do projects all day. I have a lot of people I need to take care of, not just you. You obviously are not happy but I cannot make you happy. You need to decide if you are happy--and I’d like to know soon--because we are hiring.”

She then stormed out of the room and returned to our department, got her coat, etc. and said to the team coordinator:

“I need to get out of here NOW. I need a cocktail, badly.” [or something to that effect] and left enraged. It was said loud enough that others could hear and were alarmed. I was later texted by co-workers asking, “what happened? …are you ok?”

The Assistant Manager was in the room with me during the yelling. He texted me later saying, "If you want to take a sick day that is fine and if you want to you talk with HR, they will be around next week."

Is this acceptable behavior from my boss and should I discuss with HR? I have heard that HR is not helpful with employees, they tend towards blaming the employee and backing management…. Thank you.

Your manager’s behavior was unprofessional, unwarranted, and unacceptable. It’s ironic that it occurred during a review, since it’s now easy to evaluate your manager’s effectiveness as a manager. Namely, “Unsatisfactory.” And the fact that she stormed out of the workplace and expressed a need for alcohol raises further concerns about her suitability in this role.

On the one hand, you would be well advised to speak with HR about this incident. However, the fact that HR Department apparently functions on a part-time basis at your company, in combination with the Department’s reputation for siding with management, are not great signs. In addition, waiting for a week to contact HR could cause this situation to be regarded as less significant.

Another option is to meet with the Assistant Manager who attended the screaming session with you, and for both of you to then meet with whoever supervises your manager. Perhaps senior management will agree with your manager’s vociferous pronouncement that she needs to get out of here now.

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