Sunday, May 27, 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
An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

It began, as so many plane debacles seem to, with strange sounds in the bathroom.They were the noises of Jason Felix, one of the passengers on Wednesday’s American Airlines flight out of Saint Croix, according to a FBI affidavit recounting events lea...
Published: 05/26/18
Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Hope of another Stanley Cup has dissolved, and soon the ice will follow. Yet even if sorrow is the price of devotion, the true hockey fans will still buy in when the next season comes around. That concept may not be unique to Tampa Bay, but it does ...
Published: 05/26/18
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Published: 05/25/18
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Published: 05/25/18
U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

LONDON — U.S. news outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel and The Arizona Daily Star abruptly blocked access to their websites from Europe on Friday, choosing to black out readers rather than comply with a ...
Published: 05/25/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is appealing a recent citation by federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit the utility with a $76,050 fine and a "serious" violation in April following its investigation into an accident in ...
Published: 05/25/18
Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Don’t use the cruise control

Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Don’t use the cruise control

Associated PressDETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare but terrifying circumstances, drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The company is warning owners not to use cruise control until...
Published: 05/25/18
Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Associated PressFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fed’s independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system. His re...
Published: 05/25/18
Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Tim Butler’s first car was a Ford Model A pick-up truck — a pearl fawn and cherry red pick-up he got his senior year in high school from his dad, who renovates antique cars. That’s why as Butler waited for a table at the Ford’...
Published: 05/25/18
St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

TAMPA — A St. Petersburg man was fined $507,513 and permanently barred from participating in the offering of a penny stock in a case involving a scheme to manipulate the price of Aureus, a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada, officials said Fr...
Published: 05/25/18