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Time to Take Action: When the Boss is a Bully, or Worse

Updated on May 08, 2016
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway in an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate Human Resources and consulting.

If you're tired of poor treatment by your boss and you're ready to do something about it, read this first.
If you're tired of poor treatment by your boss and you're ready to do something about it, read this first. | Source

You have a boss who is a Tough Manager, Bully Boss or Illegal Harasser. You've put up with the behavior for too long. You're tired of the treatment and ready to take action. Here are three important action items to consider.

Action Item 1: Correctly Categorize What You Are Facing

First, you need to be able to correctly label the treatment as bullying, illegal harassment or simply bad management. To do so, take these steps:

Start A Written Inventory

Start a written inventory of what's already happened — significant verbal and written comments, as well as physical or nonverbal behaviors. Seeing it listed can help you clearly categorize what you are facing. The list can also help your organize your thoughts in advance of taking any significant action.

Document Your Problem

Documentation of your concerns is critical.  Even if you don't need it now, you may need the information later.
Documentation of your concerns is critical. Even if you don't need it now, you may need the information later. | Source

Pay Attention To Apparent Motive

Note what factors seem to make his (or her) treatment of you better or worse. As you develop your list, pay attention to the boss' behaviors but also assess what seems to be the motive for his poor treatment of you.

For example, does he seem to have a personal vendetta? Is there an event that triggered a change in his approach towards you? Is he a first time manager, facing a personal crisis himself, or does he seem to dislike a specific demographic group you represent (e.g., females, over 40, Jewish)?

Considering these very different motives can help you categorize what you are facing. Then, call the behavior what it is.

Every Workplace Has One

We've all met this character in the office.  Maybe he's even your boss.
We've all met this character in the office. Maybe he's even your boss. | Source

Look In the Mirror

If you think you have a tough manager or bully boss, it is important to also look at yourself as well. Why? If you complain, your own performance history may be reviewed.

A target's performance often becomes an issue in HR investigations because it is so often raised as an explanation (or excuse) for managerial misbehavior. Therefore, as objectively as possible, try to accurately summarize your performance history.

Be Honest With Yourself

Have you been bringing your "A" game to work? Have you kept up with professional training? Do you understand the goals and expectations of your job? Do you have the resources you need to perform your job? Have you placed the boss on notice that his behavior is inappropriate and disrespectful?

A target's performance often becomes an issue in HR investigations because it is so often raised as an explanation (or excuse) for managerial misbehavior.

— FlourishAnyway

Know What You're Dealing With

Know what you are facing -- a tough boss, a bully, or an illegal harasser.
Know what you are facing -- a tough boss, a bully, or an illegal harasser. | Source

Get Multiple Perspectives Over Time

Consider whether you have a genuine performance issue that your boss is inelegantly trying to get you to change, or alternatively whether you are the target of bullying or illegal harassment.

Pull out the last few years of performance reviews and reread the boss' comments. Compare his evaluative comments to your previous boss' written comments by relying on the actual documents, not just your memory. For example, do comments deteriorate from very glowing to extremely negative? Is there a legitimate reason for this?

Also examine information from other sources. These can include key emails, peer/customer/senior manager feedback you've received, awards, sales numbers and other "hard" data. Consider multiple perspectives over time.

Suggested Reading: The Toxic Workplace

Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power
Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power

Real, practical approaches for identifying and working with toxic personalities in the workplace. Let's face it: we don't always have the option to quit.

 

HR Is Not Your Therapist

HR is not your therapist.  Don't regard them this way.  Seek emotional support from trusted friends, family, or a counselor.
HR is not your therapist. Don't regard them this way. Seek emotional support from trusted friends, family, or a counselor. | Source

Action Item 2: Seek Support and Corroboration

Even if you have determined that you have a genuine performance issue that the boss is trying to address, being the recipient of persistent harsh treatment can be stressful. You'll need emotional support.

Tap a personal friend (outside of the workplace), a counselor, or other trusted individual to be your sounding board. Explore whether your workplace provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as a benefit.

Go To HR For Policy Support But Not Emotional Support

Consult HR for specific policy, procedure, program or benefit questions but not emotional support. Unfortunately, HR is implicitly aligned with protecting the organization, not advocating for individual employees.

Moreover, depending on the information you share with them, HR may have an obligation to pass the information along to others in the company for investigation, regardless of your wishes. The same is true with other management officials.

Reading company policies is hardly fun, but it's important to know and understand the rules of the game.
Reading company policies is hardly fun, but it's important to know and understand the rules of the game. | Source

Get To Know the Rules Yourself

Also examine relevant policies on your company's internal website to determine whether the boss' mistreatment can be tied to violations of specific company policies. Company websites are often a goldmine of compliance guidance that employees frequently overlook.

Based on your review of company policies, document the problem with your boss in a timeline fashion. Use information you collected in Step 1 as a starting point and log in detail each significant offensive behavior.

Document the date, time, location, who was present, and how you or others responded. Particularly note the reactions of other members of management who witnessed or have knowledge of the offensive conduct.

Gather copies of important documents, including copies of relevant company policies. Keep your log updated, and maintain the file at home rather than in the workplace.

You May Not Be the Only One

It's very possible that others share your concerns
It's very possible that others share your concerns | Source

Are There Others Who Share Your Concerns?

Evaluate whether you are the boss' only target or whether there are others. If you are not alone, who are the others, and what happened to them? Document the names and relevant demographics (if known) of people he treats well and those he does not. Record details of how he treats these people differently. Are there possible trends?

Example:

  • Two employees resigned from the company unexpectedly within the last 18 months, citing his "management style" (provide names, demographics, and any details known).
  • When upset, he regularly throws items and yells profanity at both males and females (list specific examples and witnesses).
  • He regularly uses anti-female jokes and name calling. He criticizes females in the office on their weight, appearance and attire (document specific details of incidents).
  • In the past three years, he has dated two females who work for him, and both have since left the company (provide names and any details).

Everyone Has A Limit

Do you really want to put up with bullying or illegal harassment?
Do you really want to put up with bullying or illegal harassment? | Source

The No Asshole Rule

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

This is one of my favorite books. Read it, love it, then leave it on the desk of the A-hole in your office. You know who they are. It's time they did too.

 

You Can Control Your Response

You may not be able to control the boss' behavior, but you can control your response.
You may not be able to control the boss' behavior, but you can control your response. | Source

Always remember you have options. You may not be able to control your boss' behavior, but you CAN control how you respond.

— FlourishAnyway

Action Item 3: Review Options & Act -- Fight, Flight, or Freeze!

There are three strategies for dealing with a threat — fight, flight, or freeze. Always remember you have options. You may not be able to control your boss' behavior, but you CAN control how you respond.

The Option To "Fight"

The "fight" option can include a range of responses, from working through the issue to confronting the bully to registering a complaint. Some employees are able to successfully problem solve their way through the conflict.

Take the example of "Marie," an employee who realized that she had some genuine performance gaps that her tough manager did not have the experience to address, as he was new in his role.

What will you do?  The decision can be difficult.
What will you do? The decision can be difficult.

Reader Poll

Have you ever worked for a boss who was a bully or illegal harasser? (If so, tell me about it in the comments section.)

See results

Marie and her boss were able to do a "re-set" when Marie acknowledged her skill deficit and the frustrated nature of their communications. She asked for his help, and they collaborated on training solutions that involved experienced co-workers. Together, they were able to fight the problem instead of each other. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

Many employees daydream of direct confrontation such as scolding the boss for his misbehavior. One employee actually did it, confronting her sexual harasser as he was retiring.

"Sue" phoned the executive at his office and verbally shamed him, explaining how she had previously held him in such high regard. She had long revered the business executive as a role model — until his illegal request for sexual favors showed disregard for her as a professional and as a woman.

Another example of direct confrontation is "Amy," who didn't tolerate being treated disrespectfully by a female manager in her office. The manager spoke to her brashly and shoved papers at Amy in a frustrated manner before retreating to her office in a huff. Amy followed the manager to her office and told her plainly that she would not tolerate unbusiness-like behavior. Startled, the manager apologized.

Does Your Bully Boss Need A Wake-Up Call?

Bullies come in a variety of forms.
Bullies come in a variety of forms. | Source

Other employees opt for less direct "fight" methods. They attack the boss' reputation by sharing accounts of their negative experiences with peers in the organization. You may also file an internal complaint with your employer or a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other relevant government agency.

Note that if you choose to formally complain, the process can be lengthy. Information you have collected in your file will be helpful to you in reporting your complaint, should you decide to pursue this route. Depending on the basis for your complaint and the venue, strict time limits may be in play (i.e., often 180 to 300 days), so educate yourself.

The Option To Flee

Another class of options include "flight." A temporary escape from the problem can include taking a vacation or going on leave, although your troubles will be waiting for you when you return.

In the worst of circumstances, you can transfer to another position within the company or leave the organization altogether. This may be reasonable if you've tried other options and failed.

Maybe your boss is looked at as a superstar, someone beyond reproach. Maybe this isn't the only bully or harasser you have encountered at this company. In such case, leaving may be a good option if you have sufficient job opportunities elsewhere.

Evaluate whether it is beneficial to hang on to a job that is creating this much tension. Consider finding an organization that values your skills and contributions and respects you as an employee and a person. Regardless of your choice, take charge of your own personal and career destiny.

You Have A Choice In How You Respond To This

When you are faced with a bully boss, you have a choice:  fight, flight, or freeze.
When you are faced with a bully boss, you have a choice: fight, flight, or freeze. | Source

If you do choose to leave, determine whether it will benefit you long-term to take a "parting shot" by sharing your reasons for leaving during your exit interview with HR. It is a common and cathartic choice. For example, on his way out of the organization, "Ron" made an appointment with the senior-most HR executive and detailed his superstar boss' bullying behavior, sparing no detail.

Although he knew that management was clearly supportive of the Bully Boss and her lieutenants, Ron provided enough incidents and witnesses to be deemed credible. He was leaving anyway but exposed an executive bully with a long track record and no prior formal complaints against her. (Someone has to be first.) By doing so, Ron effectively tarnished his bully's pristine image and bravely paved the way for future targets' complaints.

Reader Poll

When dealing with a bully, what are you most likely to do?

See results

The Option To Freeze

A third option for dealing with a threat is freezing, or simply doing nothing. It's like playing 'possum, hoping the problem will go away. Some employees may simply hope that the boss will eventually move on. Others attempt to feign apathy in an attempt to ignore offensive behavior — not allowing yelling, name calling, or humiliation, for example, to register a visible impact.

The intent is to deny the misbehaving boss the reward of provoking conflict or fear. Generally, however, this option simply buys time until the problem grows so bad you must choose fight or flight.

Become An Active Decision-Maker, Not A Target

If you're like many American employees, you spend anywhere from one-third to one-half of your waking hours at work. How and where do you want to spend this time? Regardless of whether you choose to fight, flee or freeze, acknowledge that you have the power to decide.

Each choice involves trade-offs, but becoming an active decision-maker rather than someone's target will put you in a position of power rather than defeat. Understand what is happening, and name the behavior as "bullying" or "illegal harassment," if that is indeed what it is. Share your story with others at the time, place and method of your own choosing. Seek legal advice, medical attention, and a competent therapist, if needed.

By making a positive change, you can find a solution that supports your health and career rather than harming them further. Set yourself up to flourish by realizing that you are only "stuck" in a bad situation if that's what you choose.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Scooter10 - Don't relent. If she is truly this bad and has this long of a history of verbally and mentally abusing her employees, document your case more thoroughly and look for evidence of retaliation. If she's as bad as you say she is, then she will likely retaliate by giving people who have filed complaints against her poorer work assignments, demoting them, mistreating them even worse, reprimanding them, unfairly marking down their performance, etc. Keep up your own job performance, rule following, and work behavior so that you don't give her adequate reason to manage you more stringently. Do not get discouraged. A good HR person knows that where there's smoke there is fire. Don't be afraid to complain AGAIN if the situation merits it. Also, after you submit your case internally, you can take your case outside the organization to an external agency (e.g., EEOC/state human rights board, OFCCP for federal contractors, labor board depending on the issue, etc.) Good luck.

    • profile image

      Scooter10 4 months ago

      I filed a claim with the FEP dept in my company because my boss has a long history of verbally and mentally abusing her employees. I launched the investigation because her abuse started to impact my health as I was having reoccurring panic attacks. My complaint was the 2nd investigation launched against my manager within 6 months. In both investigations, my colleagues and I received the same form letter from FEP where they found inappropriate behavior and corrective action was taken. This women was also sued for harassment by the employee who filed the 1st complaint. My colleagues and I are extremely disappointed in our company because the corrective action appeared to be a slap on the wrist. Once the investigations were complete, nothing happened and her behavior never improved. It was almost like the company wants to give the impression they take bullying seriously but in reality they don't. We're all dumbfounded that she still has a job! Here I thought I was doing the right thing by coming forward only to find out that my company only cares about protecting management.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Marie - You need to determine whether this unacceptable behavior is directed at you because he's a bully or because you are female or belong to a specific protected class (i.e., based, on age, national origin, race, religion, color, disability, veteran status, etc.). Either way, you can report this behavior to HR or higher up management, but the nature of your report will be different depending on WHY you think he's behaving this way. For example, cite any examples of race or gender-based namecalling, joke telling, etc. You don't have to put up with crap like this.

    • profile image

      Marie 4 months ago

      My boss down talks me in front of people yell not talk to me like a person like I am idiot let's other supervisors do the same use the f.word to me if I act like that I would get written up

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

      Melissa Russell - I don't know the nature of your injury, whether temporary or related to a disability under the ADA. Can you perform the full functions of your daytime job? If it's a temporary injury and your company doesn't have light duty, the supervisor may be doing you a favor by allowing you to work at all rather than requiring you to be out of work until you are healthy.

      Calmly talk with her about your concerns. Tell her you are confused and need some clarification. Present facts and dates about how long you've worked there, for what rate and on what shift. Describe your performance feedback and how much you've enjoyed working for the company (if that's true). Then present the situation that confused you (not the "problem"), and ask for her help in understanding why you were switched to nights and given fewer hours. You might follow up with some questions about what prompted the decision, who made the decision, whether other employees were considered for the switch, why your pay was lowered, is this pay rate in line with others' pay for night shift, did it have anything to do with your injury, etc.

      Your statement that she hates you and is driving you to quit -- if there are other actions such as name calling it's important to address those directly.

    • profile image

      Melissa Russell 6 months ago

      My boss forced me to work 2 days a week on night shift bc I called in bc my leg was swelling 3x and bigger. I didn't know how or why at the time this was happening but she did see how big my leg was. Ive worked for 4 years now . Full-time day shift 9til4 until I called in the two days following my leg swelling so big. She then took 2dayshifts from me forcing me to work less hours at night but I just now noticed my pay stubs saying that she LOWERED my HOURLY wage for the nighttime hours. I didn't know this, bad enough she took my day shift besides losing 12 a paycheck but she also denotes me from 9 dollars an hour to 8 dollars an hour without even telling me. I don't usually read my check stubs. I was her favorite for two years but now she hates me and is driving to quit but I can't afford to do that so I'm holding on but now she has crossed the line she took my HOURLY wage down a dollar for every night shift hour that she is forcing me to work. Tell me what to do how to handle this please

    • profile image

      worldcitizen777 21 months ago

      I am giving a notice in a couple of weeks.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      AOkay12 - You're right. Usually it's part of a past pattern of behavior. Abusers often know who to befriend as well -- decision makers and referees.

    • AOkay12 profile image

      AOkay12 2 years ago from Florida

      I have found that whenever a boss mistreats one person, they have most likely mistreated others. This especially rings true when the bully boss is allowed to get away with their abusive behaviors for long periods. The boss begins to feel untouchable. If the bully boss is friendly with employees in HR, then HR personnel may not be sympathetic to the plight of the "victim".

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      dhimanreena - Bad bosses can make an imperfect workplace downright intolerable. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    • dhimanreena profile image

      Reena Dhiman 2 years ago

      I agree, its really tough to survive in a job where everyday you face a bad boss. I like the way you have covered different steps which a person should take to combat such bosses. Great job!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - Absolutely. You must always establish what you're dealing with. That's the crux of your case. Thanks for reading and weighing in.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Very useful information here. The first point needs to be the clearest when developing a complaint - sorting out what they've done wrong vs what they've just done in a nasty manner (but not wrong). I find ANY name calling, put downs or references to anything personal to be worth adding to a complaint, whereas someone looking at you in a funny manner or just being angry at you while expressing normal work concerns is not taken seriously, ever. Voted useful!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - You're certainly welcome. Have a great evening!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Flourish,

      Sorry, I messed up my previous comment there. I have shared this useful hub on my Bullying/Illegal Harasser/Employment Issues Board.

      I appreciate you writing on such an important topic to bring awareness to all. I just know this hub will help many.

      Up +++ and already shared

      Blessings

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you so much, Flourish, and I appreciate you so much for taking the time to respond thoroughly to my long comment : )

      You are of great help in obtaining further insight into such disturbing workplace behavior.

      I will read your hub on documenting with interest.

      Blessings.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks, ologsinquito!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I'm doing a lot of pinning today, so this is going on one of my abuse/bullying boards.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      truthfornow - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. When you face a difficult boss, it's imperative to know what you're dealing with before taking action. Have a great weekend!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Heidi - Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. In bullying situations sometimes the dynamics can be very complicated. I have investigated situations all over the board, from people crying wolf to allegedly being pushed to suicide or mental breakdowns. There are those on both sides of the problem who walk around with some pretty heavy baggage.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Very detailed and good advice. It is best to be empowered with as much information and knowledge as possible and follow all these steps to prove your case. Well done here.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - I feel badly as well. I hope they can find a solution to the work situation ailing them. Life is too short to be unhappy.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      So good that you encourage people to look at themselves, too! It takes two to "tangle" and usually these types of problems are escalated by a bully victim's behavior as well. While I can't say I've had experience with a bully at work, I can say that my experiences with going to HR about issues with other personnel over the years were unproductive. HR sometimes takes a flight or freeze mode when confronted with these messy situations. Have a great St. Pat's Weekend!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      So many of the people you talk with are stressed right now. I feel so badly for people in this position.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for sharing and for reaching out to others to help. Work can be a substantial cause of stress, especially when you work with not-so-nice people.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I'm sharing this, so the newcomers can see it. Many people are having a hard time at work, and they might appreciate this very balanced approach to problem solving.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sue - This sounds like a toxic work situation, and in the end, it's probably best that you start anew. Hopefully your attorney is advocating appropriately for you. Take care of yourself emotionally, too, regardless of the outcome. I wish you the absolute best.

    • profile image

      sue 3 years ago

      I worked for the IRS for three years. I had always received great appraisals with glowing summaries of my courtesy, great teamwork, and ability to get along well with management. I had won three formal awards that were recognized at the director level, and had numerous letters of praise from coworkers.

      Then I was turned over to a female boss whose education level was no higher than grade school if that. She not only assaulted me twice, but criticized me continuously about my work, stating that I had not done any work for months, even though I had evidence that I had been working.

      She was an executive and she got her manager and other executives to hold weekly meetings to harass me about baseless claims. I wasn't allowed any representation at the meetings. Finally, she got her manager to issue a proposed suspension for insubordination. The notes she used were completely false, and nothing "willful" was ever proven. She and her LR simply wrote down claims that my lawyer later proved false. Nonetheless, she managed to get her manager to turn the proposal into a real action. The Decision Letter claimed I went AWOL for three weeks (provably false).

      Throughout, labor laws were broken. The woman's manager never checked with me for my side before issuing the suspension. He never checked on my recent, glowing appraisals. Nothing could be proved, and no intermediate steps were followed. The suspension was based on two meetings that I fled because I became ill after being berated.

      Finally, the suspension was overruled, but I was forced out of work anyway. I'm trying to regroup while looking for new work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      JPSO138 - Thanks for reading and commenting. After awhile, an organization is left with the same type of people. Those who don't like the culture there and don't fit well within it for whatever reason leave or are pushed out. It is always wise to take a real hard look at the people. The people do make the place, good or otherwise. The bullies, like bad apples, can contaminate the entire organization if they are permitted to.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      I hope that many will be able to read this. There are plenty of bosses out there who does not know how to handle human resources. Sadly many people with great talent will be lost because of this. Great hub!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for reading and commenting. Unfortunately, bullying and tough managers are all too common experiences. I appreciate that you liked my book recommendations. I think they should be helpful to anyone experiencing these problems.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This is a great article, with great pictures and useful information. I especially like the books you've chosen if someone wants to read about the dynamics of bullying, workplace mobbing and narcissistic personality disorder in more depth. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thelma - Glad you never had the dilemma of dealing with a bad boss. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for this very informative hub. I was lucky I had always a nice boss when I was working before. Have a nice day!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Lisa, I am so sorry you are having to face this situation at work. Life is challenging enough without bullies and office mean girls making it even harder. It seems like the owner has made the unfortunate choice to side with office jerks. We all must make choices. Makes me wonder what the motivation and politics behind his choice is? I wish you well in finding greener pastures soon. In my investigation role, I have seen people leave jobs they hate in sloppy, dramatic, gracious, and anti-climactic ways. Protect your physical and emotional well being.

    • LisaKoski profile image

      LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

      I'm currently dealing with a couple of bullies in the small office I work at. I've been here three months and about two of those three have been absolute hell. After trying to fight, I've decided it's time to flee as soon as I can find another job. It's unfortunate because I love the job, but they have caused me too much stress and the owner has made it clear that I need to put up with it or leave (yes, he acknowledged their behavior, admitted they have a reputation in the small city we are located in, and told me that I needed to leave if I couldn't take it).

      This is another very informative hub and it's interesting to see that I've tried all three of the methods you mentioned at some point during my own experience (fight, flee, or freeze). You gave great advice, some of which I may use in the near future.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      That boss probably did sexually harass others before you. The company did the right thing in firing him, and so did you in reporting him! Thank goodness you spoke up!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      You have provided excellent information here on how to deal with a "bullying boss". I had an experience where my boss started treating me badly after I refused to go on a date with him. Close to quitting time, he would hand me hours of work to do and tell me he needed it first thing in the morning. The first couple of times, my co-workers stayed late and helped me complete the work. The third time, I confronted him. He threatened to fire me and I just told him to go ahead and do it. Luckily, his boss dropped in for a visit and I spoke with him and apparently he had previously had similar complaints from other past employess, and he was the one that got fired.

      This is an excellent hub on how to deal with "bullying bosses". Your information could be very helpful to someone having to deal with this type of situation. Voting this up, useful and interesting! :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      And I bet he never did it again, Kasman! Good for you.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Well flourish, I think I'm someone who falls into the confrontational type. I had a boss take me to task in front of a customer one time in a very embarrassing manner. Now many years ago in my pre- Jesus age.....I would've probably either slugged the guy or bitten his head off. I didn't, I waited a few days actually until I calmed down......thought about what I was going to say and I took him to task in a calm manner but made sure he knew that he was never to speak to me like that again especially in front of someone else. Never talk down to me, for I don't to you. If I a make a mistake, tell me behind the scenes. Good hub, voting this up!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 4 years ago from Canada

      This is a good overview of what to do if you are experiencing bullying. I like how you take it step by step. I know from experience that it is hard to concentrate when this is happening to you. Your easy-to-follow directions are very helpful. Have a wonderful day!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      There is a saying..."with great power, comes great responsibility." Thanks for providing suggestions to deal with these bullies, who, whatever the circumstance, will take their toll on others. Thanks for sharing!

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