Post by stellarose on Jul 29, 2018 15:26:02 GMT -5
Ladies, I am at a loss. I really am not sure what to do or where to turn at this point.
I like overseas on an expat assignment. My boss is American, but has been an expat for quite some time. For two years I have dealt with him but I feel at the end of my rope. It has appeared to me that he often tries to gaslight me, or just hold higher standards to me vs my male coworkers. When we started the assignment, there were two direct reports, but that colleague since has changed his reporting structure to someone else. We then brought another person in to fill that spot. So far, my boss has pulled some of the same antics on him as he has on me, but the way the conversation is had is completely different.
My boss will often appear very upset with me, gets red in the face and talks very defensively to me. We are setting up a new venture with another company. There are cultural hurdles, hurdles from two companies coming together, and overall two different mindsets. I am dealing with a lot from many different angles. For two years, he has never supported me in any situation. Instead he repeatedly tells me it is my fault, that they expect more out of a senior level, and that I need to figure this out. He's told me that people at our headquarters are losing their patience with me and that many of our problems are because I am too harsh. Now, there are many things I could ask you guys for advice on, but I am trying to stay focused on how to deal with him. Essentially, when I ask anyone for real examples or constructive feedback I am met with a blank stare.
He has also told me that critiques at this level come by a two by four, that he won't hit me with it literally, but know it is in the corner. Since then he has referenced it another 5 or so times. My last conversation with him was around my home leave dates. He immediately comes into these meetings with a hostile attitude. No matter what I say it is met with confrontation. He was upset with the way I was booking travel (I have a choice to take cash or let company book), he said I have been away too much (which he has been gone since mid-May with the exception of 2 weeks and my other coworker has been away since the end of June to first week of August).
At this point, I am having panic attacks every time I know I have to speak to him bc of how he treats me. I try to stay as composed as possible and just nod my head and thank him for the advice, coaching and guidance (when it is none of those things).
I just really don't know what to do when you have a boss that seems to hate your guts. My one on ones with him are often 3 hours long, where he barely checks in with my male coworkers and when he does it is over beer and is more of a social get together. We have a female admin on our team as well and similar things happen to her.
Does anyone have any advice? I have a year left on contract, but hoping I can get out sooner. I don't know if I can mentally take him another year. I feel shattered as a person from this. TIA
Post by rupertpenny on Jul 30, 2018 7:57:23 GMT -5
I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I don’t have any advice besides to go to HR if your company has it. If I were in this situation I might try to go above the boss’s head, but that is pretty dependent on the situation.
Post by mrsukyankee on Jul 30, 2018 12:58:46 GMT -5
I'd honestly go above his head if it's possible at some point - and make sure you have every single thing that you can in writing. If you have a bad meeting with him, email him with what he's said to you and ask him to confirm his thoughts. You want concrete evidence that he's creating a hostile environment. If he's refusing to help you in any way, send an email confirming this. Make EVERYTHING an email to him so, a. he can have it reflected back and, b. you have it on record. If he makes it even worse, then go above him or go to HR if possible.
Has he given you any concrete points that you should change or improve? I had a problematic boss in an earlier assignment who kept giving me vague criticism that I wasn't doing my job well enough. I finally told him that since I wanted to improve, I needed to know more specifically what was wrong and what I needed to change. He gave me the run-around and told me he needed feedback from someone I was working with who was out of town. When he kept giving me brush-offs after the person was back, I finally went over his head. I sent an e-mail to him, asking again for specifics and citing my previous unanswered inquiries, and I CCed his boss.
While I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a solid Plan B, I was so fed up by that point that I was literally ready to walk out the door. I said as much in my email, and my boss freaked out. He started chastising me that I shouldn't have CCed his boss, because it made me look bad (whatever). And he complained that it "sounded like an ultimatum." I didn't really know how to say "Uh, it was!" so I told him I'd packed up my desk that morning. At that point he started completely back-pedaling.
In the end, it turns out that his boss wasn't a fan of his at all, but there were huge problems in the project and at both levels of management. Luckily, my contract had already ended, so although we'd been considering extending, we chose to transfer out of country shortly after.
So I guess that's a long, anecdotal way of saying that my advice is: - Ask for specifics - Get it in writing - Start considering other options
Interesting postscript to this story is that several years later, my ex-boss was in town, and he pulled me aside and apologized that he “had been kind of a dick” to me on that project! I was definitely taken aback, but I decided to let my grudge go, because it was only really hurting me, and I was impressed that he tried to make amends. I’ll never work for him again though!