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Insults Feedback Teasing Bullies

My manager makes remarks that can be hurtful and degrading, and when I call him on it, he always says that he is just teasing. He says that he doesn't mean any harm and it is all done in fun. What can I do?

When it comes to managing, your manager is out to lunch, and out to breakfast and dinner as well. He can claim that his words are all in fun and mean no harm, but his intent is irrelevant. The impact on you is hurtful, and that is all that matters.

His behaviors fall directly under the category of bullying, and such antics are totally out of place in today's work environment. In fact, they are out of touch in any of today's environments, whether at work, school, or home.

Although you have called him on these behaviors, he really needs more of a wake-up call. The next time he hurls one of these comments at you, tell him in a firm and businesslike way that this is just the type comment that you have discussed with him in the past. Let him know that his words are very upsetting and distressing to you, and this type of behavior has to stop now. Then add that you hope you will not have to take any further action to deal with it.

If he has even a shred of insight, decency, or reality, he will get the message. If he overlooks the message, you should look over him and speak with someone at the next level of management.

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