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Thread started 04/13/09 10:50am

daPrettyman

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Reporting a supervisor that uses intimidation tactics

Hello guys. I need your help/assistance. A friend of mine called me yesterday that I used to work with. The company I used to work for and she currently works for is a pretty good company. The company is well respected in the publishing industry and has been in business for over 70 years. The department she works in is a production area and her supervisor is very demanding and can be cruel at times.

I, too, used to work with this lady (who is her current manager) and she is one of the reasons I left the company. My friend has told me different things throughout the years since I've left the company about how she and others have been treated. However, what she told me yesterday has me really concerned about her job as well as the welfare of my former co-workers. I know I shouldn't care, but I don't want to see good people lose their jobs...especially in this horrible economy.

This lady (let's call her Jenny) has been a manager at this organization for about 7 or so years. She is a micro-manager and likes things done a particular way. If things aren't done HER way, if you make a mistake, etc., she has been known to scream and yell at the employee, call them names, tell them they are "dumb", "stupid" or "crazy". Some days are worse than others. She has her "picks" and "favorites" that she likes. If she doesn't like you, she has been known to lay the people off or fire them.

Since the company has been trying to save money and cut cost, they combined shifts. The employees that came from night shift to her shift are all on her list of people she wants gone. According to my friend, she has been overheard saying that she is going to get rid of the night shift people by any means necessary because they are "idiots".

Last week, one of the former night shift employees made a simple mistake and Jenny shouted at the lady (in the open area of the department where everyone could see and hear her). Called the lady an idiot and totally embarrassed the lady. The lady was so shaken that she didn't come to work the next day.

My friend asked me advice on how to deal with this supervisor. I suggested that she contact Human Resources. I told her that I would probably suggest that she file a formal complaint and contact Jenny's direct supervisor. My friend and the rest of her colleagues are so afraid that they will lose their job or they will be reprimanded. Do any of you have any suggestions for her?
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Reply #1 posted 04/13/09 10:56am

MoniGram

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daPrettyman said:

Hello guys. I need your help/assistance. A friend of mine called me yesterday that I used to work with. The company I used to work for and she currently works for is a pretty good company. The company is well respected in the publishing industry and has been in business for over 70 years. The department she works in is a production area and her supervisor is very demanding and can be cruel at times.

I, too, used to work with this lady (who is her current manager) and she is one of the reasons I left the company. My friend has told me different things throughout the years since I've left the company about how she and others have been treated. However, what she told me yesterday has me really concerned about her job as well as the welfare of my former co-workers. I know I shouldn't care, but I don't want to see good people lose their jobs...especially in this horrible economy.

This lady (let's call her Jenny) has been a manager at this organization for about 7 or so years. She is a micro-manager and likes things done a particular way. If things aren't done HER way, if you make a mistake, etc., she has been known to scream and yell at the employee, call them names, tell them they are "dumb", "stupid" or "crazy". Some days are worse than others. She has her "picks" and "favorites" that she likes. If she doesn't like you, she has been known to lay the people off or fire them.

Since the company has been trying to save money and cut cost, they combined shifts. The employees that came from night shift to her shift are all on her list of people she wants gone. According to my friend, she has been overheard saying that she is going to get rid of the night shift people by any means necessary because they are "idiots".

Last week, one of the former night shift employees made a simple mistake and Jenny shouted at the lady (in the open area of the department where everyone could see and hear her). Called the lady an idiot and totally embarrassed the lady. The lady was so shaken that she didn't come to work the next day.

My friend asked me advice on how to deal with this supervisor. I suggested that she contact Human Resources. I told her that I would probably suggest that she file a formal complaint and contact Jenny's direct supervisor. My friend and the rest of her colleagues are so afraid that they will lose their job or they will be reprimanded. Do any of you have any suggestions for her?



You told your friend the right thing, by contacting the HR Dept.
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Reply #2 posted 04/13/09 11:01am

daPrettyman

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MoniGram said:

daPrettyman said:

Hello guys. I need your help/assistance. A friend of mine called me yesterday that I used to work with. The company I used to work for and she currently works for is a pretty good company. The company is well respected in the publishing industry and has been in business for over 70 years. The department she works in is a production area and her supervisor is very demanding and can be cruel at times.

I, too, used to work with this lady (who is her current manager) and she is one of the reasons I left the company. My friend has told me different things throughout the years since I've left the company about how she and others have been treated. However, what she told me yesterday has me really concerned about her job as well as the welfare of my former co-workers. I know I shouldn't care, but I don't want to see good people lose their jobs...especially in this horrible economy.

This lady (let's call her Jenny) has been a manager at this organization for about 7 or so years. She is a micro-manager and likes things done a particular way. If things aren't done HER way, if you make a mistake, etc., she has been known to scream and yell at the employee, call them names, tell them they are "dumb", "stupid" or "crazy". Some days are worse than others. She has her "picks" and "favorites" that she likes. If she doesn't like you, she has been known to lay the people off or fire them.

Since the company has been trying to save money and cut cost, they combined shifts. The employees that came from night shift to her shift are all on her list of people she wants gone. According to my friend, she has been overheard saying that she is going to get rid of the night shift people by any means necessary because they are "idiots".

Last week, one of the former night shift employees made a simple mistake and Jenny shouted at the lady (in the open area of the department where everyone could see and hear her). Called the lady an idiot and totally embarrassed the lady. The lady was so shaken that she didn't come to work the next day.

My friend asked me advice on how to deal with this supervisor. I suggested that she contact Human Resources. I told her that I would probably suggest that she file a formal complaint and contact Jenny's direct supervisor. My friend and the rest of her colleagues are so afraid that they will lose their job or they will be reprimanded. Do any of you have any suggestions for her?



You told your friend the right thing, by contacting the HR Dept.


Do you think an anonymous letter would work / help the situation? I was thinking about writing one. In the letter, I wouldn't include any names other than the supervisors. I was thinking about just saying how mean the lady is or how she is threatening the welfare of others. Do you think that's a good idea?
**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••-
U 'gon make me shake my doo loose!
http://www.twitter.com/nivlekbrad
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Reply #3 posted 04/13/09 11:09am

TitWankSymphon
yInGMINOR

daPrettyman said:

MoniGram said:




You told your friend the right thing, by contacting the HR Dept.


Do you think an anonymous letter would work / help the situation? I was thinking about writing one. In the letter, I wouldn't include any names other than the supervisors. I was thinking about just saying how mean the lady is or how she is threatening the welfare of others. Do you think that's a good idea?


personally I don't think so. They can't act on an anonymous letter. You're right, your friend should a) make a note of everything unprofessional that Jenny says and does, including the times, then b) contact Jenny's line manager. If there are any repurcussions on your friend, then she can sue the company.
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Reply #4 posted 04/13/09 11:14am

daPrettyman

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TitWankSymphonyInGMINOR said:

daPrettyman said:



Do you think an anonymous letter would work / help the situation? I was thinking about writing one. In the letter, I wouldn't include any names other than the supervisors. I was thinking about just saying how mean the lady is or how she is threatening the welfare of others. Do you think that's a good idea?


personally I don't think so. They can't act on an anonymous letter. You're right, your friend should a) make a note of everything unprofessional that Jenny says and does, including the times, then b) contact Jenny's line manager. If there are any repurcussions on your friend, then she can sue the company.

Thanks. I will tell her that. I know she has a notebook that she has kept documentation of the things that have been done to her personally. I'll tell her that.

I also found this example letter that she could use. Do you think this is good?

111 Main Street
Metroville, MyState/Prov. Zip/Postal Code
Phone: (010) 999-9999
Email: myname@site.com
January 1, 2002

Brian Jones, Manager
XYZ Company, Inc.
101 Second Avenue
Metroville, MyState/Prov. Zip/Postal

Dear Brian Jones:

This letter has two purposes: to formally submit a complaint, and to put the facts of the situation on record. The subject of my complaint is the treatment I received [put the date here] by my co-worker [name].

Please note that I have been an employee at [your company] since [date]. I have every reason to believe that I am a dedicated and outstanding employee. I am confident that I exhibit the highest work ethics and treat my supervisors and co-workers with respect.

My complaint, in brief, is that [name] has [summarize here]been harassing me on several occasions. The latest event has been extremely shocking. As a result, I have made the decision, despite great difficulty, to make a formal complaint.

The events were these: [now give a chronological detail]

* On the 9th of February of last year (2001)....
* Again, in June of last year...
* I spoke to my supervisor, who spoke to my [co-worker]...
* However, again on...

I am sure that company policy must prohibit or discourage this kind of behavior. In fairness, I should point out that [co-worker] might not have intended his/her first occasion of this behavior toward me. However, despite my clearly negative reaction, and the reprimand from my supervisor, he/she continues to harass me.

I want to reiterate that I am a loyal employee, and work hard to get the job done in a professional manner. I do not need the added pressure of discourteous treatment. I trust you will agree, and I look forward to your assurance that it will not occur again. I would also appreciate an apology or other recognition of the error, directly from [co-worker's name]. I feel this is an entirely fair request.

Please let me know how you will resolve this.

Sincerely,



Linda Smart

cc. Human Resources
**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••-
U 'gon make me shake my doo loose!
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Reply #5 posted 04/13/09 11:19am

Anxiety

3 words:

HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT.

and if this evil boss is calling people "dumb" and "stupid", then throw harrassment on there too.

this person should not be holding a supervisory position.

and if your friend is afraid to go to HR because of what the boss might do as a result, well, there's such a thing as retaliation, which is when a boss treats you worse because you reported them about something. the burden of proof is on the boss to prove they weren't retaliating.

i think the only thing your friend should be worried about is the possibility that your boss is buddies with HR, in which case they'd side with the boss over the employee even if the boss punched your friend in the neck and peed on her desk. in which case, if there's a higher office to go to - regional/national division - then either take it there or get the hell out of that crummy job.
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Reply #6 posted 04/13/09 11:32am

Genesia

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Be very, very, very careful.

At the company I work for, it is almost completely worthless to go to HR...because they go right back to the supervisor with stuff like that. (They say they don't - but there is ample evidence to the contrary.)

Within the last year, I actually changed divisions where I work to get away from someone who had taken a dislike to me. I don't like the job (or the people) as well - but it had to be done. shrug
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Reply #7 posted 04/13/09 11:39am

Anxiety

On the other hand, a good HR department wants to know if there are dysfunctional supervisors working in the company. I have experienced restructuring where the supervisor was actually taken out of their role as department head, simply because enough people complained. (not just that person's subordinates, but other co-workers who came into contact with the person.) If there's a way to feel out the HR department in terms of how much integrity they have or if they're just part of the "good ol' boys network", that would be a valuable step to take.
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Reply #8 posted 04/13/09 11:48am

emm

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it's not one person that she's cruel to... it's the whole crew! there is strength in numbers nod
organize and get all affected to stand together.
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Reply #9 posted 04/13/09 11:54am

Anxiety

emm said:

it's not one person that she's cruel to... it's the whole crew! there is strength in numbers nod
organize and get all affected to stand together.


if the whole crew approached HR together, that would certainly send a message. choose your strategy carefully, though. the powers that be like the "divide and conquer" approach and will try to play you guys against each other. "well, jane told us THIS in our meeting with her, but YOU are telling us something totally different." get your facts straight. be consistent. you are being graded on everything you say. lol
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Reply #10 posted 04/13/09 11:56am

SupaFunkyOrgan
grinderSexy

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Anxiety said:

emm said:

it's not one person that she's cruel to... it's the whole crew! there is strength in numbers nod
organize and get all affected to stand together.


if the whole crew approached HR together, that would certainly send a message. choose your strategy carefully, though. the powers that be like the "divide and conquer" approach and will try to play you guys against each other. "well, jane told us THIS in our meeting with her, but YOU are telling us something totally different." get your facts straight. be consistent. you are being graded on everything you say. lol

A year into my job I was still a temp and I was sitting at my desk and noticed my boss pass by three different times at around 3:00. Finally he stops and asks where is everyone. All 11 employees were gone from their desks. That night he went to the doctor and filed stress leave. The whole department was in HR in a coup lol
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Reply #11 posted 04/13/09 12:07pm

daPrettyman

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SupaFunkyOrgangrinderSexy said:

Anxiety said:



if the whole crew approached HR together, that would certainly send a message. choose your strategy carefully, though. the powers that be like the "divide and conquer" approach and will try to play you guys against each other. "well, jane told us THIS in our meeting with her, but YOU are telling us something totally different." get your facts straight. be consistent. you are being graded on everything you say. lol

A year into my job I was still a temp and I was sitting at my desk and noticed my boss pass by three different times at around 3:00. Finally he stops and asks where is everyone. All 11 employees were gone from their desks. That night he went to the doctor and filed stress leave. The whole department was in HR in a coup lol

That's funny!! My friend did mention to me that the former night shift workers were thinking about banning together, but they are all afraid of her intimidation tactics.
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U 'gon make me shake my doo loose!
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Reply #12 posted 04/13/09 12:17pm

Anxiety

the things that some (most) people in supervisory positions do to abuse their position of authority really disgusts me.
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Reply #13 posted 04/13/09 3:29pm

MoniGram

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Looks like you got some great advice...I hope everything works out.
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Reply #14 posted 04/13/09 3:39pm

luv4u

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Must be some organization to protect your rights?
Edmonton, AB - canada

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Reply #15 posted 04/13/09 3:42pm

Anxiety

luv4u said:

Must be some organization to protect your rights?


i'm sure there are some whistleblower organization that have an online presence and can offer more advice. google was definitely my friend when i've had to go up against mean bosses in the past.

it didn't hurt having a mom who was a department of corrections personel counselor, either. smile
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Reply #16 posted 04/13/09 3:44pm

BlueZebra

Anxiety said:

the things that some (most) people in supervisory positions do to abuse their position of authority really disgusts me.


I haz an MBA, therefore I am allowed to call you names and make your life miserable. nod
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Reply #17 posted 04/13/09 4:19pm

Anxiety

BlueZebra said:

Anxiety said:

the things that some (most) people in supervisory positions do to abuse their position of authority really disgusts me.


I haz an MBA, therefore I am allowed to call you names and make your life miserable. nod


i can haz MBA? sad

i feel really glad that i'm working in a place now with relatively sane and logical bosses. i was going to say that i feel LUCKY, but no. luck shouldn't have to enter into it. i'm just glad. nod
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Reply #18 posted 04/13/09 4:22pm

SupaFunkyOrgan
grinderSexy

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Anxiety said:

BlueZebra said:



I haz an MBA, therefore I am allowed to call you names and make your life miserable. nod


i can haz MBA? sad

i feel really glad that i'm working in a place now with relatively sane and logical bosses. i was going to say that i feel LUCKY, but no. luck shouldn't have to enter into it. i'm just glad. nod

Be glad they have midwestern sensibilities nod

giggle
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Reply #19 posted 04/13/09 4:25pm

Anxiety

SupaFunkyOrgangrinderSexy said:

Anxiety said:



i can haz MBA? sad

i feel really glad that i'm working in a place now with relatively sane and logical bosses. i was going to say that i feel LUCKY, but no. luck shouldn't have to enter into it. i'm just glad. nod

Be glad they have midwestern sensibilities nod

giggle


before where i work now, i worked in chicago. i think that's more midwestern than minneapolis, isn't it? honestly, i think i had more pleasant workplace experiences in NYC than i did in chicago.

the worst thing that ever happened to me at a job in NYC was when an evil superior (not necessarily a boss) made me pick a magnet out of a full trash can while she watched and laughed at me, because i accidentally knocked a magnet off the dry erase board into a trash can. THAT was a freakin Hallmark moment. rolleyes
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Reply #20 posted 04/13/09 4:59pm

mzsadii

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One of the things you will need to have in your letter dates and times of the incidents. The Big Boss appreciate a paper trail. If this is not possible, try to contact your local Secret Choppers club in your town and see if they would go in on a cold call and report back what they find.
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