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I need help.

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  • #61045
    Julia
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    I just recently joined. I’m having a really hard time at work right now. Essentially, I have two bosses J and S. I work with J very closely, but technically I am the assistant to S and manage his schedule. J likes me a lot and is technically my supervisor. However, S has a bone to pick with me and talks about me behind my back, to J. S is concerned that I’m too young and often times criticizes the way I do things. I am trying my best. I get a lot done for S–I really do. I’m honest about my faults and my weaknesses. I am open to constructive criticism. But S does it in such a passive way that I never really learn what he wants. It feels like no matter what I do, I can’t do it right enough.

    I wish I could leave the job but I can’t–I am applying for graduate schools and hope to get a recommendation letter from them (J says I could get one). I also need the money and benefits.

    Some days I feel better than others. But some days when he harps on me passively about something, I just know that he hates me. I’m trying to be comfortable in the grey area here, and trying to accept that I can’t control how all others see me–but honestly, I am crying at my desk right now and having a terrible time. Any love or support or words of wisdom would be so appreciated.

    Peace,
    JD

    #61057
    Cleo
    Participant

    I feel your confusion, Julie. I’m new here myself and can relate to all those swirling thoughts that send your emotions in all directions. I doubt that S. really hates you – rather it’s a reflection of where he’s at and not necessarily a true reflection of your work.

    I too am having (different) challenges here at work. What I found helped me was that I wrote down some people’s names on a piece of paper, along with what I wish for them (prayers, if you will). Then I did some for me (2 pages actually). This helped me release some resentment and fears and gave me a small taste of release from spinning thoughts.

    Be gentle with yourself, and don’t give all your power to others, because it’s yours 🙂

    #61070
    Julia
    Participant

    Thank you so much. I’m going to try that as well. I tried doing a compassion meditation that was suggested on one of the other forums, but I can’t really commit to it at work yet.

    It’s good to know there is a community of people out there who have experienced what I experienced and have found constructive ways to approach it. Thank you!

    -Julia

    #61075
    Bill Lee
    Participant

    Hello Julia,

    I empathize with you. We’ve all had inexperienced bosses, overly critical micromanagers, and even toxic bosses from hell. It’s great that you have a good relationship with J and he can serve as a mentor to you. Perhaps J could do a better job filtering S’s criticism of you. It wouldn’t be productive for J to share what S is saying behind your back unless it’s useful. Is J providing feedback to S regarding his approval of your work?

    Mindfulness meditation can be beneficial for you, Julia. You can practice it at your desk throughout the day just by pausing and focusing on your (belly) breathing. Just a few deep breaths can reap benefits. With practice, mindfulness can empower you to intercept negative thoughts and help you develop mental discipline.

    You’re probably aware that the difficult people we encounter can serve our spiritual gurus who teach us important lessons. There’s probably a way for you to help S become a more effective boss. You have many options: Not take his harsh words personally; communicate your concerns in a constructive manner during a one-on-one; cultivate kindness for S, perhaps invite him for coffee or lunch, just to know him better. You may learn that he’s threatened by you, or that he is going through personal issues, or that he’s just dishing out how he was treated by his parents or former bosses.

    Since you’re heading for graduate school, you can approach this situation as a management case study for you to learn from and overcome. Either way, I have a strong feeling it will help you grow and to become a good manager down the line.

    Peaceful Breathing,

    Bill

    #61076
    Bill Lee
    Participant

    I empathize with you. We’ve all had inexperienced bosses, overly critical micromanagers, and even toxic bosses from hell. It’s great that you have a good relationship with J and he can serve as a mentor to you. Perhaps J could do a better job filtering S’s criticism of you. It wouldn’t be productive for J to share what S is saying behind your back unless it’s useful. Is J providing feedback to S regarding his approval of your work?

    Mindfulness meditation can be beneficial for you, Julia. You can practice it at your desk throughout the day just by pausing and focusing on your (belly) breathing. Just a few deep breaths can reap benefits. With practice, mindfulness can empower you to intercept negative thoughts and help you develop mental discipline.

    You’re probably aware that the difficult people we encounter can serve as our spiritual gurus who teach us important lessons. There’s probably a way for you to help S become a more effective boss. You have many options: Not take his harsh words personally; communicate your concerns in a constructive manner during a one-on-one; cultivate kindness for S, perhaps invite him for coffee or lunch, just to know him better. You may learn that he’s threatened by you, or that he is going through personal issues, or that he’s just dishing out how he was treated by his parents or former bosses.

    Since you’re heading for graduate school, you can approach this situation as a management case study for you to learn from and overcome. Either way, I have a strong feeling it will help you grow and to become a good manager down the line.

    Peaceful Breathing,

    Bill

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Bill Lee.
    #61079
    lightsource
    Participant

    JD,

    Sorry you are going through a difficult time at work. It sounds like you are a hard worker and take pride in your job. Good for you 🙂 

    As Cleo mentioned it probably has more to do with what S has going on in his world. Perhaps you just happen to be in the crosshairs.
    I am sorry to hear you are having a bad day. I know at my job, some days are great and some days are very trying and I wonder how I can do this until retirement. Ha 😉 But, then I focus on something positive, such as what I plan to do on my next day off, or what I get to do that evening after work. I try to focus on all the awesome things that I have outside of my work. Just remember that soon enough you get to start at a new University, which will be an exciting, new chapter in your life. This job you have now is just for the time being.

    Try to remember that S might have some bad things going on in his life, but it doesn’t excuse him for treating you poorly. When he presents something to you such as criticism and you don’t understand, could you ask for better clarification? If you don’t understand what he wants/needs, ask him to elaborate. Perhaps, you can kindly set some the boundaries. If his voice gets loud, you can tell him that it scares you when he talks so loud, for example. Hopefully he’ll understand that you are trying to learn and do the best you can. Obviously you are 🙂 If nothing works, perhaps you need to have a conversation with J about it.

    Take care of you and do something special for yourself tonight. Be around friends or family or maybe go see a funny movie, so you can laugh and smile.

    Hugs and love to you my dear.

    #61080
    Julia
    Participant

    Thank you so much Bill. Your message was of great comfort to me. I will for sure practice breathing–and I’ve noticed even that as the day goes on, my mind is calmer about the situation. Thank you again.
    Julia

    #61081
    Julia
    Participant

    Thank you so much. You are all so wonderful here. I like very much what you said–I do hope it isn’t just me, because I really am doing my best to do a good job. Thank you. Peace to you.

    #61108
    Abraham Rodríguez
    Participant

    Hey Julia. I can’t exactly say I understand the situation because I’ve barely worked and maybe I’m much younger than you, but I think I have been in contact with people with similar attitudes. What has worked for me when dealing with those passive criticism that seems full of hatred and makes us feel so bad, even worthless and clueless sometimes, is to pay really close attention to what he/she’s trying to say. I’ve discovered that between those passive comments or remarks made unto you, it’s clear what people want to convey, but our desire for things being told directly on our faces blinds us into believing we can’t see exactly what is going on. Maybe trying to separate our personal fears and emotions towards that one person from the actual content of his/her words will help you clarify what is needed of you.

    Also empathy always helps a bit when trying to understand the attitudes from that person.

    I hope I’m being clear enough :$

    Anyways, I’m sending you a big, big warm hug and a big ear-to-ear smile! You have the strength to go on right within yourself n.n I admire you because I’ve never wanted to get a job just because small, personal fears, and the single fact that you have one is really worthy!

    🙂

    #61110
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @Julia

    I had been in a similar situation of working with a boss from hell. She’s exactly like the way you have described ‘S’.

    My advice would be –
    1. Concentrate on your work, improve your skills, go out of your given responsibilities and take on extra.
    a. You will be happy giving 101% at work.
    b. Your skill set will improve.
    c. Others will witness your dedication and hard-work towards your job, along with your bosses.

    2. Aim for your goal Graduate-School.
    a. Phase out everything else.
    b. You are there to work and improve professionally, do that.

    3. Regarding ‘S’ criticism or pulling you down.
    a. Agree with others above, that ‘S’ is a disturbed soul.
    b. Do your given job, beforehand or on time.
    c. Never give any excuses, for work undone.
    d. Also, do not speak about your concern with ‘S’ criticism to ‘J’ or anybody at work, it will backfire.
    e. Ask loads of questions to ‘S’, how to do an assigned – job, this will boot there ego.
    f. Give ‘S’ the faith that they only can teach you. ‘S’ is craving for attention and recognition, give them that.

    You are young and you are there to learn. Learn, ask questions, observe everybody at work, especially ‘S’ and ‘J’. Whenever you are working with either of them, observe there style of working, how they like a job well done and follow-suit. People will talk/gossip about you, but don’t participate or pay any heed to that.

    Hope this will help.

    #61138
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I agree with Network 7 about S.

    My thoughts are you probably have a lot more potential than you realize.

    S is not going to help you cultivate you talents. 9 times out of 10, bosses who are like that see you more as a threat or think too much of themselves to extend a professional helping hand.

    I have had bosses in past like S. His opinion of your worth means nothing.

    It is your own opinion of your worth that counts.

    Work hard and strive to be the best in what you love to do. You will never fail and your opportunities will come because not every boss will be like S.

    #61143
    Julia
    Participant

    Thank you all so much. My anxiety seems to be taking over periodically, and because of my depression and anxiety I still feel sad and worthless and despondent, but I’m doing my best and trying to breathe and will meditate at noon. Thanks again to all of your warm words. I’m trying to also look ahead to better experiences, but my other fear is that I will have similarly, if not worse, boss situations. I guess that’s just my anxiety talking.

    #61163
    passionateself
    Participant

    Hello Julia,

    Hope you doing well.

    So I have another perspective. Have you noticed what S wants? Now, it probably has nothing to do with you of what S wants. But just wondering have you noticed. If not, then try to notice.

    The point is people mostly think about their wants. There is a reason I am writing this. I am glad if it helps you and that is one of my reasons but I have my personal reasons that I am writing and yes I am thinking of me at this point.

    Find what S wants and put it with your wants and present it to her. It will work. TO give you an example: my roommate doesn’t really care about keeping the bathroom clean. I had roommates before and usually I tell them but its me telling them and they don’t really take it well. So, this time this was my strategy. I know she doesn’t like to spend money. So, I told her (which is true) that homeowner will charge us for cleaning fee so it is important since we both don’t want to be charged that we keep it clean especially since she is moving out in a month. Ofcourse, she didn’t argue she could see her benefit.

    Find her wants and put it with your wants. It will work.

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