Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Business

'Divorce' your abusive boss; 'F' word ruins interview

Q: The verbal abuse that I receive from my boss has been escalating for several years. About once a week, he begins shouting, cursing and banging on my desk. He starts criticizing my work, then brings up issues from my personal life.

Every time this happens, he eventually calms down and wants to work things out. We always reach an agreement about how he is going to change, but before long he blows up again. His erratic behavior is beginning to affect my performance, which only makes the situation worse.

I have tried to resign for the past three years, but he always talks me out of it. He owns the business, so there is no one else who can help. I am feeling very depressed and don't see how I can endure this much longer.

A: Has it occurred to you that this relationship is exactly like an abusive marriage? Your boss bullies you, you threaten to leave, he promises to change, you agree to stay, then he bullies you again.

The big difference, however, is that leaving a job is much easier than leaving a marriage. Therefore, the real key to your problem lies in the statement, "I have tried to resign for the past three years." In reality, you are free to depart whenever you like, so staying must provide some kind of emotional payoff.

Perhaps you have developed an enmeshed relationship with your abuser. Or maybe he has made you feel so worthless that you fear no one will hire you. But regardless of the reason for your reluctance, you need to screw up your courage and get out of there, because no one should tolerate that kind of treatment.

'F' word keeps ruining interviews

Q: Six months ago, I was fired from a company where I worked for two years. My co-workers were a tight clique of women who blamed me whenever something went wrong. The supervisor supported them, and human resources didn't seem interested in my side of the story.

Before this happened, I had a good work history for 30 years, but I have not been able to find another job. When I tell employers I was fired, they never call me back for a second interview. How can I convince someone to hire me?

A: If you worked successfully for three decades, then the last job was obviously an anomaly. Perhaps you were unsuited for that particular position, or maybe the office drama just spiraled out of control. Regardless, the key to re-employment is highlighting your earlier record.

Ask your references for permission to share their names and contact information, then prepare a summary sheet to give employers. You must also make a concerted effort to sharpen your interview skills. A strong personal impression, combined with glowing recommendations, will help to offset any concerns about your termination.

Speak up to stop workplace copycat

Q: I am extremely angry with a colleague who keeps copying my work. When "Jody" was hired three years ago, I let her use my project documents as a model. But she is now quite capable of creating her own.

Although I have hinted that I don't like having my work copied, Jody continues to do it. We used to be friends, but now I try to avoid her. How can I stop this without creating a conflict?

A: I hate to break it to you, but if you are angrily avoiding a former friend, then a conflict already exists. The problem is that your refusal to communicate directly makes it impossible to resolve. Like many timid souls, you drop "hints" about your feelings, then become resentful when no one picks up on them.

Since you originally allowed Jody to copy your documents, she may have no idea that your feelings have changed. So instead of continuing to send subtle signals, try expressing your concerns like a mature adult.

For example: "Jody, I gave you permission to copy my work when you were new, but now I feel sure that you can do a great job on your own. Although I prefer not to have my documents duplicated, I will be glad to help if you should run into any roadblocks."

If imagining this conversation makes you queasy, then you will have to choose between taking an emotional risk and accepting the status quo. The only unacceptable alternative is to continue acting like a passive-aggressive child.

Comments
Carb bonanza: Three new bakeries open, including an Australian bakery, new La Segunda

Carb bonanza: Three new bakeries open, including an Australian bakery, new La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Behold: The fastest cars at this year’s Detroit Auto Show

Behold: The fastest cars at this year’s Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT — Despite all the hype surrounding auto shows, let’s get real for a moment: The majority of the vehicles on display will end up ferrying kids to soccer practice, embarking on road trips and commuting between work and home each day.That’s unde...
Updated: 2 hours ago
This is why clothing companies want to know about your weight, jobs and past pregnancies

This is why clothing companies want to know about your weight, jobs and past pregnancies

The first step for a shopper buying a suit at the fast-growing menswear retailer Indochino is sharing his personal information: A salesperson armed with an iPad measures nearly everything on his body, from the distance between his belly button and re...
Updated: 3 hours ago
TECO, Duke linemen to help restore power in Puerto Rico

TECO, Duke linemen to help restore power in Puerto Rico

TAMPA — As more than 1.5 million people in Puerto Rico remain powerless, local linemen are stepping up and flying out to the island to help restore electricity. On Wednesday morning, 25 linemen boarded a flight from Tampa International Airport to Pu...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pasco goats somehow make yoga less weird

By Phyllis DayTimes Staff WriterDADE CITY — More than 36 million Americans practice yoga, but many people still feel intimidated by the ancient method of controlling the body and mind through physical and mental practices.Perhaps it is the daunting t...
Published: 01/17/18

Pasco Business Digest for Jan. 19

Updated: 2 hours ago
Attorney accused of secretly videotaping women agrees to permanent disbarment

Attorney accused of secretly videotaping women agrees to permanent disbarment

By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTINST. PETERSBURG — Attorney James Patrick Stanton, accused of secretly videotaping nude and partially clothed female employees of a Tampa company, has agreed to never practice law again in Florida.Before a brief hearing today, Sta...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hernando Business Digest for Jan. 19

Business digestEventsLOCAL BUSINESS INPUT SOUGHT: The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Committee Region 1 will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 19 at Papa Joe’s Italian Restaurant, 6244 Spring Lake Highway, east of Brooksville....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Career Q&A: What to do when your boss is stealing

Career Q&A: What to do when your boss is stealing

Q: I strongly suspect that my boss is stealing from our employer. As the property manager for this apartment complex, she handles all payments, deposits and other financial matters.A few weeks ago, I accidentally discovered some suspicious discrepanc...
Published: 01/16/18
Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Feeling a little sniffly or scratchy or stuffed up? It may be the flu, and you don’t want to wait around to see a doctor this year. This is not the time to write off flu-like symptoms, Tampa Bay area health officials and doctors warn. The influenza v...
Published: 01/16/18