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

Subject: Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?
From: David Loveless <daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 11:16:15 -0700


If I may offer my two cents...

I'm proud of the way you've handled yourself so far. It shows a
measure of character that would be needed anywhere.

I once had an abusive boss. He took his cues from one of my coworkers,
and they routinely verbally abused all of us. This job, high altitude
maintenance, often placed me or one of the "good" coworkers on top of
a crane or boom lift with either my boss or the "bad" coworker. No
escape. Literally.

I handled it by being the best that I could be, and I ignored the
rest. When the finally crossed the line too far by ridiculing the
death of my grandfather (he had passed away only two days before and
we were extremely close), I made it known that those actions were not
acceptable and that action would be taken. When they immediately
crossed the line, I documented the situation, delivered a hard copy of
the situation to both people, and took a third copy to the HR
department. I even invited them to outline their experience of the
situation. It becomes difficult for a bully to justify his actions,
and it makes them look really dumb when they try to.

End result: They backed off. I don't know if HR got a hold of them or
not, but when they realized that I was "untouchable" by their rage and
that I would fight back the way I did, they had no choice.

One piece of advice that I would give that I have not yet seen is to
outline for your boss, as I did in my situation, what you will do if
he repeated the actions. Then follow through. He may hate you, he'll
probably try to fire you, but EVERY boss knows that firing someone is
a lot of paperwork and a lot of trouble even in an at-will state (I'm
in Utah; also at-will). Besides, if you've documented and tracked the
events well enough, no amount of "at-willness" will save him from the
legal trouble you could rain down on his and the company's heads. And
I guarantee that even the most unwilling of companies will back down
when the threat of a justified lawsuit comes knocking on the door.

And one more thing to consider, I left my job soon after that
conflict, but a year later or so, one of my former coworkers came up
to me and thanked me for standing up to them. He had stayed on and was
actually still working there. He mentioned that while the job was not
necessarily super-pleasant, it was at least bearable because they no
longer attacked everyone. It's not only you that you are sticking up
for. It's everyone. And you don't really need to stay around to carry
that legacy on to other people. Show them that your actions get
results, and you may end the reign of the tyrant.

There, that was my two cents times... well... a lot. Too bad my 401(k)
doesn't get that kind of return. :-)

Good luck and God speed.


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I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?: From: Cathy MacDonald
Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?: From: A
Re: I Can Really Pick 'Em, Can't I?: From: Julie Stickler

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