Dealing with the boss
May 8, 2009 4:51 PM   Subscribe

How do you deal with the boss who is intimidated by you as new employee and she is manipulating others to push you out?
posted by page123 to Work & Money (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you elaborate a little on your predicament? Some more details would be helpful.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:52 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Keep your head down, mind your own business, focus on doing your job. Act with integrity. Don't try to throw anyone under the bus. Don't complain.

Would be my first guess, off the top of my head.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:39 PM on May 8, 2009

network; make friends both vertically and horizontally. Build allies. Demonstrate competence.

If she's doing this, the other folks at work probably recognize the behavior. Don't fight her, just demonstrate that you're great, and make buddies.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:49 PM on May 8, 2009

On second reading, I think you should also prepare yourself. If she really wants you out, and she's your supervisor, your options - apart from the always helpful advice of building allies that was mentioned already - are to go over her head (especially if you have evidence that you're being unfairly treated) or, and probably most likely, understand that a boss who wants to push you out is pretty likely to get her way. Revise your resumé, start asking around, be ready. Better to be prepared and have a place to go to then to try and hang on by the skin of your teeth until you find yourself without a net.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:53 PM on May 8, 2009

Are you the new employee, or is she?
posted by salvia at 6:16 PM on May 8, 2009

Or, show up, do your work and leave. And don't get sucked into office politics.
posted by gjc at 6:40 PM on May 8, 2009

Best answer: Or, show up, do your work and leave. And don't get sucked into office politics.

I'm not sure if this is realistic, because all workplaces are political. For example, most managers need to build consensus (or play well with others) to get work done.

Office politics is really about communication, and about demonstrating support. If you can keep on open dialogue with your coworkers, and support them in meetings, you can neutralize your boss's machinations.

Unfortunately, success in a job means achieving measurable results, plus achievement measurable results on initiatives your boss actually cares about. No matter how much of a star performer you are, if you are not pleasing your boss your days are numbered.

In the meantime, focus on communication: go over your workplan with this boss. Discuss and set down in writing quarterly objectives, and yearly objectives. Make sure they are attainable, and then knock them out of the park. It'll make it more difficult for her to fire you.

Also communicate with your teammates. Find out what matters to them, and try to help them achieve it. Stick up for them in meetings.

And try to learn from this experience.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:25 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is she wary because she's anticipating that the two of you will be butting heads? Some kind of competition thing where she feels like she has to take advantage now before you get out of hand?

Best thing to do is just be a model supportive worker for her. Almost to the point of being a yes-man type, but not quite. You're going to have to carefully word every disagreement as a humble suggestion and let it drop immediately if she gets defensive.

Your goal is to make her think she overreacted and that you aren't the threat she thought at first. Make friends, but not as an arms race my-people-vs-your-people thing. Just so that people generally think you're a pretty solid worker.

If she doesn't get over it, you're doomed at that company, sorry. Ultimately, nobody is perfect, so you won't be either. If she dislikes you enough to focus (even subconsciously) on the mistakes you will make, your performance reviews will suffer, and she will eventually push you out that way. Keep your resume circulating.
posted by ctmf at 8:43 PM on May 8, 2009

Find ways to make her look good to her superiors.

Don't sacrifice yourself to this, obviously, you're not trying to make her look good in comparison to you being inept, but by being good at how you support her goals and present yourself as part of her team.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:02 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've experienced this, but then again, I've also seen others make this assumption after too short of time at their job. I'd need to read a lot more detail to decide whether this is really what's going on, or if it's some other work problem. If you are truly new to the job (less than a month) and you are experiencing friction or some weird dominance issues with your supervisor, it's not too late to fix it. Please post some more info so that we can tell what the heck is going on!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:06 AM on May 9, 2009

I have no idea what you do for a living, but in my business (insanely competitive- where jealousy, manipulation, backstabbing, "casting-couch advancement" is the norm) you can actually use this situation to your advantage.

Talk to her boss and explain what's going on. This will put your boss in a defensive position. The balance of power shifts. She will have to back off to please her boss while you are viewed by her boss as someone who cannot be intimidated.

Again, I don't work in an environment that has "teammates" ot "teams". It's every man for himself. But I can't see this being bad advice in any work environment- especially when you have someone trying to push you out onto the street.
posted by Zambrano at 10:05 AM on May 9, 2009

posted by Zambrano at 10:06 AM on May 9, 2009

Get out of there. She has a problem with you, she will eventually find something to fire you over.
posted by mynameismandab at 2:35 AM on May 17, 2009

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