Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?

Subject: Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?
From: doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 00:10:52 -0800

Your workplace sounds like a nightmare, I'll say. You've gotten good advice
about managing the dynamics of encounters with your manager, so let me offer
a couple of suggestions about where I would look for allies and support.

In the first place, the behaviors and verbal abuse you describe are over the
top--it sounds to me (not an expert) like your manager is treading close to
having legal trouble. If I had this problem at work, I would call the State
Attorney General's office to ask for an explanation of state and federal
workplace harrassment laws. If they understand your problem and know the laws
that apply, ask about the complaint process, how to initiate it, how long it
takes, when the employer would be notified, costs to you, etc. Not all
states have such an exemplary AG office, so in your state you might have to
dig deeper with calls to a public library/reference desk or a law school
library to ask about these things. If they don't know, ask them for ideas on
who else you could ask for information or advice. Don't overlook the
potential for information you can use from the office of your district
representative in state government. Call the state capitol if you don't know
who your representative is.

The other thing is to look for allies in your office. If I felt like things
were going so badly for myself, I would be looking to see if anyone else was
having similar difficulties, and then comparing notes with them if possible.
It is not unheard of to ask a coworker to attend too, when you are scheduled
to meet with your boss. Don't think "witness", think "lends support."

One final note, a question: My state (Washington) has "employment at will" --
it means that an employer can drop me like a hot rock without giving any
explanation, without any advance notice. This could have a moderating effect
on what I feel I can do to protect my interests in a job. Do other states
have at will employment? Anybody know?

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

On Tuesday 14 February 2006 17:50, Cathy MacDonald wrote:
> Here's the scenario:
> the boss is an argumentative, rude, vulgar despot (but

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I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?: From: Cathy MacDonald

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