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abusive/violent manager

#1 abusive/violent manager
23/11/2013 10:06


Hi I am working for xxx on a large project.... i have recently joined the project.

after meeting with the manager who is running the show at the project i have come to known he is very abusive (calling people names), face gestures etc.

i know some people on the project already from previous engagements and they have told me that he is like that with everyone. however, i have noted with women he is very sweet.

there are times when i want to punch his face with the comments he come out with, always looking down on people.

what is the best way to deal with this without getting stabbed in the back?

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#2 RE: abusive/violent manager
23/11/2013 10:26

Arby the Manager to tommys (#1)

Ask your career councillor to help...

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#3 RE: abusive/violent manager
23/11/2013 17:58

Evil Consultant to tommys (#1)

Unfortunately there are jerks in the world; however it doesn't mean that you have to put up with it. Eventually such people get found out and generally get what is coming to them. Firms can't afford to keep them around any more as it results in crap work and pisses off good people.

Before we go into the main bit give yourself a reality check. Is he really being such a jerk or is he under the impression that he's just being funny? I once worked with a guy like this who made fun of everyone and thought he was incredibly popular, when actually he was pretty much universally disliked. Eventually someone turned round and told him to his face how much of tosser he was being and he was truly horrified. He toned it down and, while he wasn't everyone's buddy, he ended up being a good team leader.

Right, number one. He has no power over you that you do not give him whatsoever. He starts being a serious jerk, have your CC pull you off the project ASAP. Be polite, be professional but brook no argument. Get your CC to yank you. If your CC doesn't support you then get another CC who will or get another job. Lots of people seem to worry about this but the world isn't that small that this is going to hang over you so just do it if you have to.

Number two. Document everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Keep a diary of what he says and does and when he says and does it. Information is power. If it really comes down to it, if you've got a record and need to go to HR or take a legal route this will be your armoury. It means that you will have the weapons to fight and win the war, where he'll be left with unspecific blanket denials. Keep electronic copies remotely on dropbox or similar.


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#4 RE: abusive/violent manager
25/11/2013 09:02

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Evil Consultant (#3)

Hmm. He sounds like the kind of guy that gets things done.

We need more folk like that in the office these days. More of the Terry Tate variety.

You know where you stand with people like that. I'd rather somebody go around the office calling people names (to their face) and then getting over the issue there and then, than letting a legitimate concern persist and then silently plotting their revenge with a snide comment come appraisal time.

I note you use the word "violent". Has he actually physically assaulted anybody, or are you just building all of this up in your head? I note also that you say "there are times when i want to punch his face with the comments he come out with"... which to me suggests that you might be the violent one, not him...? You also seem to be saying that his behaviour is characterised mostly by name calling and face gestures... that doesn't sound violent to me, it just sounds slightly aggressive. And a bit of aggression in today's PC-dominated workforce surely can't be too much of a bad thing, providing its focused around the issue in hand?

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#5 RE: abusive/violent manager
25/11/2013 11:15

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#4)

Thinking about it further, he should be gentle with the young ones in the firm... they're not as experienced and are likely to be very sensitive to every word their manager says. I can see where you're coming from

My first ever consultancy project was like what you described. It was with this absolute d1ck that I genuinely think was a sociopath. He came from a rich family and had delusions about his own capabilities. He slated my work, but when I gave the exact same piece of work to a female colleague to show to him as her own (he had the memory of a gnat), he praised it. Then when she told him it was my work actually he said "oh" and crumpled up his face in disgust. He also had the cheek to try and complain about me to HR - except I got in there first. He caused me grief... but I managed to dodge the bullets and watched as he gradually hung himself (people in the firm were, thankfully, quite bright and could judge for themselves what was going on). He finally started being like it with other people too... sending them home, shouting in the office, being rude, that sort of thing. People quickly figured things out for themselves.

My advice is to try and sneak your way onto a different project. That's what I did. Just get off the project and do your best not to have to work with him again. Don't complain, don't bother keeping diaries (it's a good idea I agree but only if you plan to get formal about things), and just get out of that project. Then, when you're more senior and a bit tougher, you'll be ready to take him on.

I look back at my first job manager with sheer disgust. He should have known better. He only got away with it because I was young and inexperienced.. and somewhat insecure too. Had that happened knowing what I know now, I could have hung him up to dry. But alas, bullies tend to pick on people that they know are weaker than themselves. So, step aside, get yourself on another project, and sit back and wait until he winds up somebody that has a bit more experience and strength than you do (for now)....

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#6 RE: abusive/violent manager
25/11/2013 21:40

Evil Consultant to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#5)

... don't bother keeping diaries (it's a good idea I agree but only if you plan to get formal about things)...

The only issue with this is that you never know when such a situation will be made formal at someone else's behest or will need to become formal at yours, so if you think that there's any risk of it becoming so at all, this is worth doing.

Otherwise BEP's crusty brand of experience shows through.


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