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Insults

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


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I wrote a draft report and gave it to my manager for review. He marked the whole thing up with nasty and insulting comments and then handed it back to me and told me to make the corrections. I don't even know what corrections to make. How do you suggest I deal with him?
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I work for a manufacturing company that recently hired a new manager who previously worked for several large corporations. He constantly makes negative remarks and tells us that employees where he used to work can do our work many times faster and for less pay. I feel uncomfortable with him around. Should I talk to someone over him or do I need to move on?
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I love my job in this fast-paced environment. My job is very detailed, and if something is not done exactly right, the boss yells and curses at me in front of everyone. We are all women, but if others make mistakes, she does not treat them like this. I admire and respect this woman, but after our conflicts, I leave upset and hurt. After each episode, she leaves an apology on my desk. I cry after reading it and wonder how things can be different.
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The woman I report to, a vice president, is one of the cruelest people I have ever met! I am one of two managers who report to her, and she constantly belittles both of us in public, and she will literally attack over trifling matters. We have gone to senior management and to the Director of Human Resources, but to no avail. She and the HR Director are close personal friends, so that made things even worse. I am looking for another job, but I would like to know what to do in the interim.
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At a recent weekly management meeting, one of the managers who is usually upbeat and positive was extremely critical of everything I said, and his tone was condescending and insulting. I don't know what his problem was, but all of us noticed it. Should I say something, or figure it was one of those things and let it go?
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I work at an oil refinery and was in a meeting the other day when the plant manager told me to sit down and shut up in front of everyone else. This is typical of how he talks to me. How should I deal with him?
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A sales rep and I were making a presentation when our customer raised a pretty basic question. My associate said that I had just asked the same question and it was easy to answer. I never asked this question, since anyone who works here knows the answer. This made me look like a fool. It took all my power not to blurt something out on the spot, but I waited until we were in the car and then told him to never do that again. He told me that I'm overreacting and he was just building a bond with the customer. What do you say?
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Whenever I talk with our manager, he makes me feel stupid, even though my work is just fine. He uses belittling language, and his whole demeanor is condescending. We all know that he is smart, but he seems to take pride in putting the rest of us down. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with him?
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There is one person in our department who has been making sugar-coated mean little comments to me and taking shots at my work whenever she can. When she did it again last week, I completely lost it and blew up at her. The problem is that I did this just as our manager appeared, and I ended up getting a verbal warning. Now what should I do?
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One of the people who report to me puts down my ideas in front of the rest of the group. I will say that he occasionally has some good insights, but his mode of presenting them is pretty insulting. I have talked to him about this, but he persists. Should I start writing him up?
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In my most recent performance review session, my manager said that he views me as the "weak link in the chain." I was shocked and hurt by the statement since I had no idea that he viewed me this way. He told me that he expects me to "shape up," but I am not sure what he wants. How should I handle this?
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I have a friend at work who corrects my speech in front of others. I have told her that I don't appreciate it, but she keeps doing it. Yesterday, when I said, "Between you and I," she said it's, "Between you and me." I don't even think she's right about that, but it was embarrassing. What should I say to her?
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How do you deal with a co-worker who always uses vocabulary words that most of us don't understand? He quizzes us about their meaning, usually in front of other people, and he then gives the definition.
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I work with a nasty and condescending co-worker. No matter what I say or do, he always gets upset, criticizes me, and tries to make me feel stupid. He wants everything done his way, and if it's not, he gets furious and then he sulks and hardly says a word. How do you work with someone like this?
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I work at a company in a position that I love, and my superiors are just wonderful. I work alone, but the problem is the co-workers. Some of them play games and say things to me that are hurtful, and others just ignore me. I talk to my co-workers but I don't get very far. I would like to get along better. What should I do?
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I was walking down the hall ahead of a few of my employees, and when I turned around, I saw one problem employee mimicking me in a very derogatory way. I made an instant decision to avoid a confrontation with her, so I ignored it. I'm fuming over what happened and unsure if I did the right thing.
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The owner of the company where I work recently hired his daughter as office manager. Granted she has the training and experience to do the job, she is picky, insulting, and never says thanks, but the owner feels she can do no wrong. Are we stuck?
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I went to a job interview and gave the interviewer copies of some very positive letters written by some of my former employers. He tossed them aside and said letters aren't worth much because no one ever puts anything negative in writing. Are reference letters useless?
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We have a new sales manager, and he thinks he knows everything. He has these nasty little suggestions for just about everything we do, and he has poured all this additional paperwork on us. How do we deal with him?
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I work on the sales floor, and I had an excellent record here until a problem occurred with a very difficult customer last week. He was nasty and insulting, and I was not very nice in response. He wrote a letter to my manager and to the owner of the company complaining about me, and my manager read the riot act to me. Does this seem fair?
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Over a recent holiday weekend, according to my manager, I missed several pages. I assured him that my pager is always on and I would never ignore a page. He cursed at me and called me a liar. Meanwhile, he is notorious for ignoring pages, voicemail, and company e-mail. He has lied and threatened us with termination, and I've been told that his behavior is typical for this company. What should I do?
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I've been working at a small company for about 5 years, and I haven't had any real complaints. We just hired our first Human Resources director. Through the rumor mill, I heard that she suggested to the owner that the employees meet in small groups to criticize each other and bring all our faults into the open. The boss thought this was a terrific idea. How do I convince the boss that this would be the beginning of the end?
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I was unable to attend a management meeting that was run by our regional vice president. I learned afterwards that one of the other managers criticized my work, my attitude, and the way my department is performing. His comments were inaccurate and hurtful. I cannot let this go, but I am not sure if I should go directly to the vice president or to this manager first.
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I am the newest and youngest person in this small company, and on Fridays we all meet with the president. When I discuss what I have been doing, he always has a cutting little remark about me that he thinks is funny. My manager says to forget about it, but it bothers me. Should I say something to the president?
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My manager sent me a written critique of a report that I wrote, and the tone of his comments was arrogant and somewhat mean. My report was not all that bad, and his review threw me off. Should I let this go or should I say something?
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There is one person I work with who has made insulting comments to me many times over the past few months. She always apologizes, but then does it again. The last time this occurred, I told her that I don't accept her apology. Her response to my refusal is that I must have some kind of problem. What do you think?
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Our manager has this habit of saying, "I know I shouldn't say this," before coming out with a disgusting or degrading comment. He gets a big laugh out of this, as do some of the followers around here, but many of us are offended. What do you do with a manager like this?
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I will be giving two weeks' notice to leave after the first of the year. The problem is that our manager insists on exit interviews, and I have heard from others that the session is stressful and filled with harsh questions and insulting comments. I don't know if I should just sit there, fight back, or try to avoid the interview altogether.
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I was named the Employee of the Month, and the reward is a special parking place near our building for a month. When I drove to this spot, there was a car in it. My manager said there are "special visitors" for the next week, so I should use my regular spot. I didn't say anything, but I must have looked disappointed. He said I should "grow up." What do you think?
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I have a co-worker who has a chronically negative attitude. She takes little digs at me and treats me like a fool. She's fond of "beating a dead horse" by dwelling continuously on the negative aspect of things. Her attitude bothers me, but so far I've managed to keep a lid on my temper. I'm afraid one day I'm going to let her have it. I nearly emailed my manager, the CEO, but I'm not sure if I should.
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At a meeting attended by most of the staff, the president of the company insulted me in front of everyone, and they all had a big laugh. I could have brought out an email right there to prove he was wrong, but since he is the president, I held back. I'm still annoyed, and I wonder if I should say something.
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My manager criticizes just about everything I do. If I make a comment at a meeting, he either ignores it or insults me. If someone else makes a similar comment, he is all ears. I don't know why he is so upset with me, and he refuses to meet with me. What do you suggest?
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I get most of my assignments from my manager, but there is another manager at his senior level who also gives me projects and tasks. Although my manager is satisfied with my work, the other manager is never happy with it, and his communications are insulting and degrading. Most of the time, he is flat-out wrong. When I show him I am right, he ignores me. I've told my manager and he does nothing about it. How should I handle this?
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My manager makes cruel and degrading comments about me in front of other employees and even outsiders, and my work does not merit negative feedback at all. When I jump back to defend myself, he does not listen and just criticizes more. What do you suggest I do?
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I conducted a one-hour training session for my employees, and I thought it went very well. Everybody participated, and their comments seemed to show that they were learning and building their skills. After the session, I was speaking with one of the supervisors who attended, and she said the session was a "big bore." I was surprised and a little insulted, but I took the comment in stride and did not challenge her. I am puzzled over what to do with a comment like hers.
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I have an East European name, and one of the managers here makes fun of it, often asking if he can "buy a vowel." I have a sense of humor, but I am tired of hearing this from him and I have told him to stop. He keeps doing it and says he means no harm and is just having fun. How do I get him to stop?
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I was selected as employee of the month, and I was given a special parking place right in front of the building for one month. I came in one morning last week, and someone else was parked in it. When I complained, my manager said that I'm being petty and I should just find another place. What do you think of this treatment?
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One of my co-workers does most of his communicating by email, and he can be very antagonistic online. In today's email, he basically accused me of being incompetent, and he copied my boss on the note. I sent him a fairly harsh note in return, and the battle went on until I just stopped. How do you deal with someone like this?
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I asked my manager a question during a meeting, and she said I should know the answer to something as simple as that. I didn't think it was a simple question, and I did not like being put down in front of everyone. I still feel embarrassed and angry. If I go to her, I think she'll give me an even harder time, so how do I deal with this?
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I was put on a task force with four other people, and we are supposed to look at benefit programs. There is one person in the group who comes late to the meetings, hardly does any work, and is quick to make snide comments. We spoke with our manager, but he feels this individual is important for the group. How do we get anything done?
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At the end of a recent meeting, one of my co-workers blurted out that I have not been very effective in carrying out my responsibilities, so her work has suffered. I was caught totally off guard, and then the meeting ended. I spoke with our manager afterwards, but I don't think I had much of an impact. By the way, the employee later apologized for stabbing me in the back. What should I do now?
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I presented an analysis at a recent meeting, and one of my associates said that I did a good job for a person who went to a state university. He went to a big-name school and is always reminding everyone about this. I stared at him in shock and did not say anything. I completed my summary and sat down. I think I handled this right, but is it worth saying something to him?
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Whenever I am at a meeting with my manager, he always has a couple of "friendly insults" about me in front of the others. I don't like this, but it is the only thing I don't enjoy about working with him. I don't feel like creating a problem, so I'm not sure what to do.
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I was at a holiday lunch with several people in our department, including our manager, when one person in the group made a very insulting comment about my intelligence. Everyone suddenly became quiet, but I let it go. Now I am really upset. Should I have said something to him at the time, and what do I do now?
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I was upset with one of my fellow employees, and I made a comment about her in confidence to one of my friends at work. My friend broke our trust and told her what I said. I'm very upset and don't know what to do now.
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I came up with a good idea and mentioned it to my manager. She suggested I put it in writing. After a couple of weeks, she wrote a letter back to me saying the idea was useless and left her cold. I am annoyed and wonder if I should say something.
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We were having a staff meeting and I asked a basic question. After the meeting, my manager told me that he didn't want to embarrass me in front of the others, but my question was stupid. He feels he's a hero because he reprimanded me in private, but I'm annoyed over the criticism itself. What do you think?
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How do you deal with a co-worker who always uses vocabulary words that most of us don't understand? He quizzes us about their meaning, usually in front of other people, and he then gives the definition.
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There is one employee here who teases everyone, and I do mean everyone, and his comments are not funny. When I tried to tease him back, he became even more insulting and would not let up. His comments are not sexual or anything like that. They are just obnoxious. Since very few people here are bothered by this, what can I do?
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My manager is overly critical of just about everything I do. In my last review, some of his remarks were very hurtful, even though my work was definitely satisfactory. He said I need to understand that he is "brutally honest." How do you deal with someone like this?
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My manager makes remarks that can be hurtful and degrading, and when I call him on it, he always says that he is just teasing. He says that he doesn't mean any harm and it is all done in fun. What can I do?
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Over the past year and a half, I have worked for the same manager. During this period, I have put on some weight, and recently he has made some insulting comments about it. I have told him that I don't appreciate it, but he still does it. I'm not looking for trouble or lawsuits. I just want him to stop. What do you suggest?
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I work for a national footwear chain in one of their stores. I am a top salesman, a Jewish male, and my regional manager refers to me with an anti-Semitic term. He also uses racial slurs to describe an African-American woman in our corporate office. I emailed a letter to Human Resources, and they called other witnesses and spoke to the regional manager. He admitted to the slurs, but nothing was done after that. Now I have to work with this manager, and I feel like a fool. What should I do now?
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Our manager has nicknames for many of us, and all of these names are different animals. We all find this to be childish and degrading, but we are reluctant to say something because he can get very upset. Should we just live with this, or can you suggest something different?
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Our company brought in an outside trainer, and during the session I thought he made a technical mistake, and not on a minor issue. When I politely asked him about it, he turned my question into a joke and got a big laugh from everyone in the room. Afterwards, I did some checking and found out I was right and the trainer was wrong on the issue. Should I say something or just forget it?
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I am cannot stand my manager who happens to be an owner of the company. He can be friendly, but he can instantly become mean and insulting especially in front of others. Whenever I see his name on an email to me, or whenever he wants to see me, I feel nauseous. I have tried to talk to him, but I’m never comfortable. How do you deal with someone like this?
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My boss gave me a fairly basic project which I recently completed. I was at lunch with her and three of my fellow employees, and I happened to bring up this project, and she snidely said it was insignificant, meaningless, and not even worth looking at. I was embarrassed, but I did not lash back, even though I wanted to. How do you deal with a boss like this?
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I manage a small department, and I attended a meeting with my manager and one of my employees. The three of us were discussing a particular problem, and I gave a summary. When I was done, my employee turned to my manager and said, “What she is trying to say is this….” She then summarized my comments. My description was fine, and I am angry over what she did. What do you think, and what should I do?
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When we have department head meetings, one particular department head always takes shots at me. He does not make direct comments about my work, but he implies that I have failed. He is friendly enough between meetings, but that ends when the meetings start. How should I deal with him?
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I am the only woman on a four-person educator team. I am a clinical social worker, and I get along well with all of the other team members, except one, the school principal. He tells people not to listen to what I say, he shared information inappropriately, and he provokes the children. I have called him on this behavior, ignored his arrogance, told my supervisor, and hired men because women cannot stand working with him. My boss thinks I am overreacting. What do you think?
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My daughter is having a problem with a co-worker. My daughter is overweight and was eating a lunch her boyfriend made for her. The co-worker commented that the cookie my daughter had was "certainly not low fat," and she made a similar comment today. How should my daughter approach this?
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My manager seems to have no respect for my work. When I wrap up a project, he makes a disparaging remark about it and says how unimportant it is. I know that my work is significant around here, and I am wondering if there is a better way to get this across to him.
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At a meeting to address improving one department within the company, attended by three of our managers, another staff member and I, the staff member right from the beginning of the meeting launched a personal verbal attack upon me. One manager tried to stop it saying this was a personal matter that should be addressed by just the two of us outside of work hours. Yet the meeting continued with her slandering me and making damaging comments concerning my character and work ethics. One manager said it sounded like she was jealous of my special treatment and he went on to say special treatment occurs everywhere and with anyone and coworkers should not compare. What this staff member was jealous of concerning me is out of my control--it is mandated by my immediate manager due to the circumstances of my duty hours being different each day to accommodate our clients. Many of her insults directed at me were defended by two of my managers. Twice the third manager seems to endorse the other staff member's complaints so I professional gave my reasoning for my actions. For example, the staff member said I take to much time with clients and the third manager agreed, so I explained I felt I was providing thorough and needed information and letting them ask all their questions. Was this okay to explain/defend myself? This coworker was speaking with venom and even throw out mean things (like pointing out a medical condition I have). Should the managers have let this meeting continue when they could never keep her on the focus of the meeting because she kept attacking me?
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A very rude and scheming co-worker was recently promoted over me by our senseless boss. She is switching to a more subtle rudeness after the boss kind of told her to "cut it out" (but without any firmness). What she now does is make statements to me that just cross the line between normal instructions and condescending, harsh reprimands. Her speech and emails carry a tone that implies that I do not pull my weight which is far from the truth. She enlists the help of other employees in mobbing me in this way. Management does not understand the subtleties of communication and I fear that if I cannot assert myself properly against this continuous onslaught, my anger will build to explosiveness (the bullies' goal). I am afraid that she will get huffy and take a complaint to management that I am unable to take instructions or criticism and that they will review the facts and side with her. They might say that I am "taking it the wrong way" or "reading into things incorrectly" and blame me. This is something that is happening after the bully has made a pattern of treating me with great rudeness and disrespect. She is a jealous, insecure baby but has been with the company for 7 years where I have only been there 2-1/2 years. They love the little ass-kissing fool. Any advise on how to handle this?
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My boss has recently put me on an action plan to assist me in sales improvement. When I don't make sakes, she calls me into her office at odd times (esp. when I'm very busy), then puts hard pressure in me by saying that I'm on the "chopping block." She recently told me that I need a "fire under my ass." Today she told me that everywhere I go there is drama and blamed me for the internet malfunction when it was CLEARLY NOT my fault. Then she told me to go and pick up food for our entire office with her credit card and never offered me any food but expected me to drive and pick it up. She wrote me up for tailgating someone out of the garage saying she's "never had an employee like this." She told me that I can't fax documents any longer because of the internet, and one of my favorites is that she doesn't allow me to have my office door closed at all--- not even when I'm on a conference call. Oh yeah... She also told me that another employee has had complaints about her and that's she's "crazy or probably going through menopause." I want to notify HR, but I'm so afraid. She warned me that if I don't back her up or go against her I will regret it. What should I do?
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