Re: Managers Who Intimidate Causing Grief

Subject: Re: Managers Who Intimidate Causing Grief
From: Michael Johnson <michaelj -at- OECMED -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 12:17:22 -0600


Having been through this exact situation recently, let me offer some some advice.

First, decide if you need this job at all cost (to include your health and sanity). If you simply must remain there no matter what, cow to this person (or people) who are causing you grief. Do whatever they say no matter what the personal cost. If you are being harassed on multiple levels by conflicting management directives, this may not be possible.

If you are relatively confident you can find another position locally with similar pay, etc., just leave. Going to another job is infinitely cheaper, quicker and easier than dealing with idiots, and allows you to speak frankly with all concerned before you leave.

If you think it will take you a while to find another position, stand and fight. Ask your harasser to put his complaints into writing (assuming the harasser is literate). If your harasser refuses to do this (and he will probably do so), ask him to join you in discussing the matter with the next level of management. When he refuses to do that also, go to the next level of management yourself and complain that you are being harassed. Although your initial approach can be written or oral, be sure to put the details in writing and state in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate any further treatment of a harassing nature. If you receive no response or are terminated at that point, retain the services of an attorney who specializes in employment law. Frequently one letter from an attorney will do wonders. It will stop the harassment and sometimes get you reinstated if you have been hastily dumped in contravention of written company policy. The objective in doing all this is staying employed long enough to find another job. It won't be fun and it won't be easy. It will be a temporary situation you'll just have to live through.

In my situation, I had the good fortune to be laid off with a few weeks of severance pay. Frankly, it was a huge relief. In retrospect, I wish I had done a little more to put my harasser on the hotseat. But then I have also thought that a company stupid enough to retain an inept and harassing manager deserves all the problems that go along with that, as do co-workers who do nothing and look the other way.

I sympathize with you. I do know that the situation is survivable in direct proportion to your willingness to do something about it.

Mike Johnson
Michaelj -at- oecmed -dot- com
Writer -at- wasatch -dot- com
Speaking for myself and not OEC Medical Systems

From: Cecilia St.John [SMTP:tecwright -at- NETSCAPE -dot- NET]
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 1998 22:17 PM
Subject: Managers Who Intimidate Causing Grief

I work in a company where management of the technical writers is unbelievably
bad and the communication styles of management are providing for a stressful
workplace for nearly all writers. Promises are not kept, intimidation rather
than enabling seems to be management's goal, and morale is bad. The
environment is termed "unhealthy" by one observer of the climate there.

Question: How does one respond to an intimidator without using the same

I've managed to keep my head about me, but it seems management's problem is
spreading to other people in the department -- people I wouldn't have expected
it from.

Any thoughts, anyone?

Cecilia St. John

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