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Employer pettiness updated 8/27


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Posted (edited)

8/27/

Owner has been around a lot in the last month.  He has had several more conversations with me asking how things are……Again today. Manager went to lunch after this dark cloud descended over his face….he had taken his dog out and she did not respond to him as fast as he wanted and he was very mean toned to her. But he had the look of rage before he he took her out.  Anyway, he then said he was going to lunch and left.  He passed Owner in the hallway and Owner then came to my desk and we chatted.  I told Owner a few specific examples including one from that morning where he was so angry about me not doing something fast enough…..and yesterday when he went to a customers vehicle out front to move it and the keys were not in it…..they were at my desk. I saw him get out of the car with so much anger….I could see him cursing as he walked to my desk.  He then scooped up all customer keys angrily and took them to the cars.  
 

Owner said he had been trying to watch him closely….and he relayed that in a conversation in the shop manager had basically said,’ I can’t think as fast as you and you can handle this out here’. And he went back to the office.  I think it is being clear he can’t handle the job. Owner is very concerned so I don’t know what will happen. 
 

I told Owner the manager is filled with rage ….he barely holds it together.  He agreed.  
 

Updated down thread. Upfront I will say my son who is 21 is the  employee.  He has worked for our boss since he was 16.  He is a dependable hardworking kid.  In fact recently, he was given a raise of $5 per hour. It has been a great job.....our boss has worked around my sons college classes more than anyone could hope for high school and college years.

A couple of years ago our boss hired a manager for the business.  Ds is currently working full time until  summer classes start .  Last Tuesday my son worked at the shop. He woke up sick Wednesday...sinus gunk. He told the manager this....manager did not take it well.  To me he rolled his eyes, said he would be embarrassed to call in with a cold at age 21.  And then said, but he could have Covid so he has to be quarantined.  Ds has both had Covid and had his first shot. Little chance he has Covid. And clearly manager did not really think I was Covid.  

Manager did not let him come  work Thursday or Friday. Ds talked to the owner who told Him to come to the shop this morning. While DS was talking to our boss two feet  inside the shop door, The manager came running up saying to DS, you can’t be in the shop you are under quarantine. Our boss apologized and said, “my fault, I  was talking to him here”  DS said to the manager, I have been vaccinated. Manager said it doesn’t matter you have to be quarantined. Then the boss sort of sent DS off to do a job outside. As ds came around the corner, He heard manager say to our boss, he is just being insubordinate coming in the shop when I told him he could not. So ds said to him, this is a power-play by youBecause you are mad that I called in sick one day out of two years. Manager  denied it was a power-play. Boss sort of stepped in and sent DS on his way.

I know it is difficult to express all of the things that were said or not said. Suffice to say, there is zero doubt in my mind, or  in ds’s mind that this manager of ours is being a 100% jerk.. I am having a very difficult time with this. True, I am feeling mama bear, but honestly I can say without a doubt that if I knew he was doing this to one of our other employees I would be just as upset. In fact I probably would be more inclined to take it to our boss. I told my son that it is good the manager showed himself completely to our boss today. And that unfortunately this is part of the working world, but he will sometimes have to deal with.

 

Honestly I want so badly to Call In tomorrow morning and say that my sinuses are really bothering me. I completely would dare him to quarantine me for seven days. I guess I just want to vent and hopefully someone will tell me my feelings are justified and that this guy is a total jerk

Edited by Scarlett
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I don't get the manager. He rolled his eyes that Ds called in sick, but then he wants him to quarantine for ten days for Covid? So he does take it seriously? Or he doesn't?!

Can't ds just get a test and then go back to work when he gets the results the next day? 

Sounds like the manager doesn't like it that ds can go around him and talk to the boss. Honestly, I would be mildly annoyed by that if I was managing people. 

But it's not insubordinate to come to work when the boss tells you to. Even if the manager is annoyed by it. 

Doesn't sound like a productive summer relationship, unfortunately. Hopefully things improve. 

 

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Maybe I'm misremembering, but . . aren't you the shop owner's personal assistant? And you've been there for a pretty long time, right? At least longer than your son has, so more than five years? You're well established and close to the owner. If so, it seems to me that on top of being a bully the manager isn't very bright.

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Yes I have worked for the owner for 7 years.  I have been in the office full time since last summer because another employee could not risk getting Covid.. The manager has only been the manager for about 2 years. 

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46 minutes ago, Amy in NH said:

Send him for a rapid test, and have him bring the results to the owner.

I think it is pointless at this point.  I guess the seven days will be up  today or tomorrow . 

28 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Why is the boss allowing the manager to do that?

I think our owner has made the decision to support the manger if at all possible. 

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18 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I think it is pointless at this point.  I guess the seven days will be up  today or tomorrow . 

I think our owner has made the decision to support the manger if at all possible. 

So what are you prepared to do should this become an ongoing issue between the manager and your son?

If the owner of the company has no loyalty to long term employees? 

Could it come down to having to quit your job bc your son is being mistreated?

 

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3 minutes ago, pinball said:

So what are you prepared to do should this become an ongoing issue between the manager and your son?

If the owner of the company has no loyalty to long term employees? 

Could it come down to having to quit your job bc your son is being mistreated?

 

I’m wondering the same thing. It seems like you have gone above and beyond for the owner of your company for years, and you must be disgusted that he is not appropriately addressing these issues with the manager. 

It would be bad enough if this was another employee, but this is your son. I would think the owner would take that into account when he is dealing with the manager about this.

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18 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

I’m wondering the same thing. It seems like you have gone above and beyond for the owner of your company for years, and you must be disgusted that he is not appropriately addressing these issues with the manager. 

It would be bad enough if this was another employee, but this is your son. I would think the owner would take that into account when he is dealing with the manager about this.

It sounds to me like the owner is trying to do the right thing by not second guessing the person he hired to be a manager.  I mean, maybe the guy’s a total jerk but you can’t give somebody supervisory responsibility and then undermine them, and I can’t think of a better way to undermine a supervisor than letting one of his direct reports go over his head via mom. 
 

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Just now, Danae said:

It sounds to me like the owner is trying to do the right thing by not second guessing the person he hired to be a manager.  I mean, maybe the guy’s a total jerk but you can’t give somebody supervisory responsibility and then undermine them, and I can’t think of a better way to undermine a supervisor than letting one of his direct reports go over his head via mom. 
 

Yes, but it’s also the owner’s responsibility to determine the facts here, to ensure that the manager isn’t holding a personal grudge against Scarlett’s son that has nothing to do with the situation at hand. Scarlett’s son isn’t a new employee; he has worked there for quite some time now, so if there is a problem between him and the manager, the owner may need to step in and see what’s going on.

As an understand it, this is a very small business (an auto body shop, I think?) so it’s not like we are talking about a larger business with hundreds of employees. 

Honestly, I am amazed at Scarlett’s ability to stay out of it. It must be so hard for her to see her son being treated improperly and not say something to the owner.

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9 minutes ago, Danae said:

It sounds to me like the owner is trying to do the right thing by not second guessing the person he hired to be a manager.  I mean, maybe the guy’s a total jerk but you can’t give somebody supervisory responsibility and then undermine them, and I can’t think of a better way to undermine a supervisor than letting one of his direct reports go over his head via mom. 
 

Yes, I think this is what it boils down to.  As far as my boss and how much he will accept.....well he gives and gives but I have seen him be done with an employee or two and when he is done he is done.  One of them was his own brother.

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7 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Yes, but it’s also the owner’s responsibility to determine the facts here, to ensure that the manager isn’t holding a personal grudge against Scarlett’s son that has nothing to do with the situation at hand. Scarlett’s son isn’t a new employee; he has worked there for quite some time now, so if there is a problem between him and the manager, the owner may need to step in and see what’s going on.

As an understand it, this is a very small business (an auto body shop, I think?) so it’s not like we are talking about a larger business with hundreds of employees. 

Honestly, I am amazed at Scarlett’s ability to stay out of it. It must be so hard for her to see her son being treated improperly and not say something to the owner.

I am positive there are things being said to the manager that we are not privy to.  He may not undermine the manager, but he will also use this as a teaching/advising moment.  He works very hard to help everyone keep their dignity.  Because while he is not openly saying manager is wrong, he is also making sure ds has work outside of the shop and on different sites.  He has many many projects going on and his plate is very full.  Thus his efforts to get manager to the point he runs things completely.

But YES to the bolded!  And at the same time, this is just part of life. 

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I think managers are in a difficult situation right now.  Policies and protocols are changing.  Some people think that anyone with a snotty nose, a cough, or a sneeze should stay home.  If someone is sick one day and then comes to work the following day and then another employee or a customer gets COVID what happens?  It is difficult for a manager to say I think one person doesn't have COVID (or anything else contagious) so they can come back to work, but I think another person may have COVID (or something else contagious) so they can't come back to work.  I think they are in a no-win situation.

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Just now, Bootsie said:

I think managers are in a difficult situation right now.  Policies and protocols are changing.  Some people think that anyone with a snotty nose, a cough, or a sneeze should stay home.  If someone is sick one day and then comes to work the following day and then another employee or a customer gets COVID what happens?  It is difficult for a manager to say I think one person doesn't have COVID (or anything else contagious) so they can come back to work, but I think another person may have COVID (or something else contagious) so they can't come back to work.  I think they are in a no-win situation.

I agree.  But this is not that at all.  This is the manager making my son 'pay' for calling in sick.  

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32 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I am positive there are things being said to the manager that we are not privy to.  He may not undermine the manager, but he will also use this as a teaching/advising moment.  He works very hard to help everyone keep their dignity.  Because while he is not openly saying manager is wrong, he is also making sure ds has work outside of the shop and on different sites.  He has many many projects going on and his plate is very full.  Thus his efforts to get manager to the point he runs things completely.

But YES to the bolded!  And at the same time, this is just part of life. 

 

4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I agree.  But this is not that at all.  This is the manager making my son 'pay' for calling in sick.  

 

Hopefully, the owner is dealing with this behind the scenes and everything will turn out fine for your son. 

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Just now, Scarlett said:

I agree.  But this is not that at all.  This is the manager making my son 'pay' for calling in sick.  

I am having difficulty figuring out if I were a manager in today's environment how I would distinguish this.

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Just now, Catwoman said:

 

 

Hopefully, the owner is dealing with this behind the scenes and everything will turn out fine for your son. 

Yes.  And it isn't like this is a job he will have much longer.  He is finishing up his 3rd year of engineering school.  In a way it is a good lesson for him on how managers can be.

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Just now, Bootsie said:

I am having difficulty figuring out if I were a manager in today's environment how I would distinguish this.

Last summer one of our employees who is a father of 4 called us and told us his 5 year old had tested positive.  It was painful for all of us to require him to quarantine.  2 weeks of missed pay (and I don't know he may have had vacation to cover some of that) is hard for a man with 4 kids and a SAH wife.  The manager was upset about it all too, but that specific situation, when none of us were vaccinated called for it.  Now, we are all vaccinated and my son has had Covid.  So the chance of him being a Covid risk to us is very very small. 

And when the manager was telling me about it he actually said, 'well, if he is too sick to come in he will have to be quarantined.'  And his tone was very sarcastic and petty.   

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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

So things have come to a head so to speak.  I texted my boss tonight and told him I wanted to talk about manager.  He was immediately responsive, supportive and said he would be taking care of it. 

It has been a very stressful week with several outbursts and temper….ripping a phone out of the wall, throwing keys against a wall….being a total jerk to me over nothing., 

Edited by Scarlett
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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

So things have come to a head so to speak.  I texted my boss tonight and told him I wanted to talk about manager.  He was immediately responsive, supportive and said he would be taking care of it. 

It has been a very stressful week with several outbursts and temper….ripping a phone out of the wall, throwing keys against a wall….being a total jerk to me over nothing., 

Woah! That's terrible!

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17 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Right?  My son has been begging me to talk to boss for months.  When I type it out it does sound bad.  

It's pretty bad. I could forgive throwing the keys if it came with a heartfelt apology, ("I lost my cool and I'm so sorry; it won't happen again"), but ripping a phone out of the wall is nuts!

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57 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Right?  My son has been begging me to talk to boss for months.  When I type it out it does sound bad.  

The guy sounds like a real wackadoodle with some serious anger management issues. 

I’m glad your boss is going to take care of it.

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On 5/25/2021 at 3:45 AM, Pawz4me said:

Maybe I'm misremembering, but . . aren't you the shop owner's personal assistant? And you've been there for a pretty long time, right? At least longer than your son has, so more than five years? You're well established and close to the owner. If so, it seems to me that on top of being a bully the manager isn't very bright.

Most bullies aren't very bright.

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6 hours ago, Scarlett said:

It has been a very stressful week with several outbursts and temper….ripping a phone out of the wall, throwing keys against a wall….being a total jerk to me over nothing., 

I hope you told him "I would be embarrassed if I or my son acted like that at your age."

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My husband had things like this happen to him when he was this age, and in retrospect we think it was jealousy, that they could see my husband as a successful-heading person they would never have a chance to have below them again.  

It's pretty pathetic.  

My husband had some weird dynamics too, where people would bully him in front of his parents and his parents wouldn't stand up for him -- it made the dynamic even more weird.  

Really this person is bullying  you, too, by bullying your son in front of you.  

I hope the boss will take some responsibility for this dysfunctional situation!  

Some people can like to have a good cop/bad cop thing, or just be weak-willed and not like confrontation.  I SO hope your boss is not one of these.  But really it sounds like he might need a push to do something, as this sounds like this has gone far enough for the boss to be very aware!  

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I am glad you are taking your son's side and not being wishy-washy with going "oh, I'm sure the manager is fine."  

I think that is the number one thing you can do to support your son.  

I hope the other things work out, too, but that is on the boss and not on you.  

 

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There have been several reasons I have held off.  

1. Covid.  I committed to work full time until vaccines were readily available for all.  I had thought my work mate might come back to the office….but it has become apparent she isn’t going to.  She is 66 and really wanted to retire anyway.  
 

2) Owner is up to his eye balls in another huge project. I just did not want to add to his stress during the worst of that.  Then 6 weeks ago he was in a vapor fire that could have killed him….his young daughter witnessed it and it was quite traumatic for all….so he is dealing with his project and healing right now. 

3)  Some other reason I can’t think of right now…..

The timing was good to speak up now……Owner has been at the shop all week helping because we are losing one employee and another is coming it…..and my son told me about an incident yesterday where manager was being a huge jerk to everyone because the employee who is quitting had left early yesterday and left some work undone. Owner says to him, ‘well you don’t need to take it out on us’  Manager says ‘I am not’.  Owner says, ‘yeah you are.’.  And that went on for a few minutes in front of my son, with owner repeating…’yes you are taking it out on us’ several times.  So I knew without a doubt the owner would believe me fully and also be annoyed with him enough himself to be helpful.  
 

And the big project is winding down. Knowing owner he will jump into another pretty soon, so I wanted to catch him when he has a breather. 

And finally I am sick of it….just over it.  I am 56 years old.  Just not going to take it.  I considered just quitting but can’t justify letting someone else…probably someone I know walk into that without at least discussing it with owner.  Ds told me yesterday if manager paid his wages he would have already quit.  Because you couldn’t trust him to not give a bad recommendation or to fire you in anger…but because we have so much respect and appreciation for owner….we are still there.

 

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Really -- you are doing what you can with this dynamic, but if your boss is neutral or taking this guy's side, this guy is going to use that 100% to have power trips over everybody else.  

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6 minutes ago, Lecka said:

My husband had things like this happen to him when he was this age, and in retrospect we think it was jealousy, that they could see my husband as a successful-heading person they would never have a chance to have below them again.  

It's pretty pathetic.  

My husband had some weird dynamics too, where people would bully him in front of his parents and his parents wouldn't stand up for him -- it made the dynamic even more weird.  

Really this person is bullying  you, too, by bullying your son in front of you.  

I hope the boss will take some responsibility for this dysfunctional situation!  

Some people can like to have a good cop/bad cop thing, or just be weak-willed and not like confrontation.  I SO hope your boss is not one of these.  But really it sounds like he might need a push to do something, as this sounds like this has gone far enough for the boss to be very aware!  

Yes and if you read the update it is even worse.  

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Honestly if this behavior has escalated since your boss was in the fire ------- this guy is just beyond bad.  

I think if you have not said you are close to quitting yet, if you are actually close to quitting, it is time to say it is getting to that point.  

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Just now, Lecka said:

Honestly if this behavior has escalated since your boss was in the fire ------- this guy is just beyond bad.  

I think if you have not said you are close to quitting yet, if you are actually close to quitting, it is time to say it is getting to that point.  

That will be my next step. Honestly I hoping manager quits. But I know owner has invested a lot of time in him so he will want to try and fix it.  

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Do you think the boss would give your son a bad recommendation at this point? 

Do you think it might be better for him to leave on good terms, than have the manager escalate with your son, or sabotage your son, until maybe the boss would give a bad recommendation?  

I don't think there's a guarantee that your boss does the right thing with regards to your son, because he is leaving soon, and he may just keep the peace with this guy, especially as he sounds truly overwhelmed!  

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I also wonder if you would be able to stay if your son was not treated properly, from this point.  

If you want to stay, having your son leave before it gets to that point, is worth thinking about.

It might actually BE at this point already, things are so new right now but I don't know if you are going to be able to really forgive what has already happened, over time?  

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Just now, Lecka said:

Do you think the boss would give your son a bad recommendation at this point? 

Do you think it might be better for him to leave on good terms, than have the manager escalate with your son, or sabotage your son, until maybe the boss would give a bad recommendation?  

I don't think there's a guarantee that your boss does the right thing with regards to your son, because he is leaving soon, and he may just keep the peace with this guy, especially as he sounds truly overwhelmed!  

Owner is a great man and friend to ds at this point.  Ds has worked for him since he was 16. No way owner would fire ds or give bad recommendation. Ds isn’t making a ton of money right now because he only works one day a week…..but owner has been extremely accommodating for ds with regards to scheduling around classes.  

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For someone to be somewhere for 2 years, but for the past year or so there has been some escalating bullying behaviors, and the owner has not STOPPED it, this is like -- ugh, this guy could be about to get really ugly.  

I definitely think you are a target of bullying too, and being bullied in part by the treatment shown to your son.  

I 100% think there are people like this.  

I don't think there are very many people like this, but they are out there.  

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Owner is a great man and friend to ds at this point.  Ds has worked for him since he was 16. No way owner would fire ds or give bad recommendation. Ds isn’t making a ton of money right now because he only works one day a week…..but owner has been extremely accommodating for ds with regards to scheduling around classes.  

Quoting myself to add and he has been a great mentor to my son.  Allowed him room to learn skills and grow in ways that will serve him well as he enters full time work in a year or 2.  And honestly let’s face it….there are petty jerk managers even in the engineering world. So these are not worthless experiences.  

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2 minutes ago, Lecka said:

For someone to be somewhere for 2 years, but for the past year or so there has been some escalating bullying behaviors, and the owner has not STOPPED it, this is like -- ugh, this guy could be about to get really ugly.  

I definitely think you are a target of bullying too, and being bullied in part by the treatment shown to your son.  

I 100% think there are people like this.  

I don't think there are very many people like this, but they are out there.  

This is the first time I have talked to owner about it.  Owner is rarely there at all, so I would not say he is aware of the extent.  And if you read my update from last night he pushed back directly to manager in front of other employees yesterday and responded immediately to my text last night.  

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Well -- I think something needs to happen now.  

Anything that is not a major "it won't be tolerated" can be interpreted by people like that as "oh, they are going to say something, but not follow through."  

My husband had a temporary position, within his job, that he was assigned to, but some people volunteered, and some people who volunteered did so because they would be able to bully people.  So I have HORRIBLE memories of this and probably seen some actual sociopaths, while my husband was in that position.  

All the people who were assigned and most of the people who volunteered were fine, but there were some really bad people, too.

So I have got just, ugh, issues of my own.  

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17 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Well -- I think something needs to happen now.  

Anything that is not a major "it won't be tolerated" can be interpreted by people like that as "oh, they are going to say something, but not follow through."  

My husband had a temporary position, within his job, that he was assigned to, but some people volunteered, and some people who volunteered did so because they would be able to bully people.  So I have HORRIBLE memories of this and probably seen some actual sociopaths, while my husband was in that position.  

All the people who were assigned and most of the people who volunteered were fine, but there were some really bad people, too.

So I have got just, ugh, issues of my own.  

I just spoke to Owner last night.  🙂  so I will give him a min. 

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12 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 

several outbursts and temper….ripping a phone out of the wall, throwing keys against a wall..

 

Does the owner know?  He needs to. This guy sounds in waaaaay over his head.

Technically, that type of behavior makes for a toxic work environment. 

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The manager is:

-exposing the owner to liability

-potentially costing the owner business (no one likes to come back if they see or overhear the manager acting like an asshole)

-potentially chasing off good employees (which would cost the owner time and training new people + unemployment claims)

I have fired people for less.  

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Do you work under the manager or the owner? I'm confused. I get the mama bear instincts to stick up for your son and to give the owner a shot at fixing this manager issue. I do believe the manager is toxic and a jerk. Here's my critique of the situation, though.

If the manager does things to you that are uncalled for and unprofessional (I'm assuming you've either already talked to him about your issues or his tirades are bad enough you feel uncomfortable talking to him) go over his head and talk to the owner. (If the owner is your boss and you just have to work with him then direct to owner is the appropriate route, you don't have to talk to him at all).

If the manager does things to your son that are uncalled for and unprofessional, your son should be the one taking the above steps. If it's a big enough company with an HR department(person), that would be the person he files these grievances with. If it's too small of a company for that then that person would be the manager of the manager (if that's the owner then the owner). 

If you are speaking to the owner on behalf of your son and you are not the HR person (who 's job it is to speak on the behalf of all the employees to the owner), then you too are acting unprofessional. 

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  • Scarlett changed the title to Employer pettiness updated 8/27

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