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My boss makes comments that are rude and abusive, then chalks it up to 'sarcasm'...
March 2005, Article 4
My boss makes comments that are rude and abusive, then chalks it up to 'sarcasm'.
She does this in front of my peers who have noticed the inappropriateness of her comments and ask me why I put up with it. I met with her about this and she said it was just sarcasm and that she knows what abuse is, she is not abusive and I am just unable to handle feedback. To top it off, she said I should not discuss my being upset over the comments with my coworkers (which I don't have to because she does it in front of them). She did not apologize and said that is just her personality.
Now I don't know what to do because speaking to her did not make a difference even though I informed her that others have made comments to me about how she speaks to me.
Insight on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated.
Dear Abused and Frustrated,
The first thing to be clear on is that sarcasm is abuse. An employer does not have the right to be sarcastic. If she has feedback for you your boss should provide it to you in a positive and supportive way. This is both a better management style and your right.
You have already acted appropriately to try to address this issue by speaking with her directly. Since this has failed to achieve any result you need to take the matter to your boss’ superior or to the Human Resources department in your firm.
Good luck with this. Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.
Dr. John Burton
Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian whose passion is helping people and organizations create better relationships and stronger communities by being clear, committed and collaborative in their approach to ethics and conflict. John is currently located in Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada, working with Canada's aboriginal communities.
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