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In the morning my Boss is usually a normal manager with the usual normal stresses but immediately after lunch he becomes Mr. Hyde after consuming high levels of alcohol...
I work in an Automotive Retail outlet and have 25-yrs devoted to this trade.
My Boss is from a company stand point and mine a very profitable manager, the problem myself and other empoyee's experience almost daily. In the morning he is usually a normal manager with the usual normal stresses but immediately after lunch he becomes Mr. Hyde after consuming high levels of alcohol.
He becomes verbally abusive and with a violent temper. He has no regard for property, any usual little thing sets him-off and the ranting begins as do the berating of anyone that's the nearest, no matter how innocent. Customers usually get an earful as well as fellow empoyee's.
How do i deal with this man and his problem without causing more work stress for myself and others?
for Mr. Hyde
Dear Working for Mr. Hyde,
A boss can “be bad” or “go bad” for any number of reasons, sometimes being an unredeemable “bullying boss” and, sometimes, as here, having a rather common but nevertheless destructive and potentially injurious, substance abuse problem.
Regardless, the first priority has to be documenting the negative behaviors with precision: times, dates, names, statements and behaviors. I recommend using a succinct form-style format as “incident reports” (www.bullyingbosses.com/incident.php) rather than writing narratives. To be self-protective and to establish credibility, these are ideally written by several employee witnesses. Without paper, no outsider can be made to understand the truth of the matter, much less the seriousness of the problem. Generalizations won’t do it. If the employer has a “zero tolerance for violence policy,” a copy should be included for emphasis.
Because alcoholism is a disease and alcoholics can potentially be helped, it is wise to take not only a self-protective stance, but also a compassionate one – particularly for valued employees such as this one. If they are to be helped, they have “to hit bottom” (and it sounds like this guy may have). A formal “intervention” is organized. A person of authority, sometimes aided by family or friends, sits the alcoholic down and gives him “an offer he can not refuse.” That’s rock bottom. Either he goes to pre-arranged rehab, or he goes out the door – for his own good as well as the employer’s and employee’s.
Either overtly or covertly, in series employees can use their detailed observations to brief the business owner, the corporate franchiser, a particularly important customer (be careful), the general liability insurance carrier (cars are involved), the worker’s comp carrier, a health and safety official…just about any stakeholder or responsible person with clout. The onsite involvement of an outside expert can be invaluable.
Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.
In Bullying Bosses: A Survivor's Guide Robert Mueller, a former employment attorney, offers a survival guide to employees suffering abuse from their bosses. The main message? If you are being bullied you will most likely not be believed, and you will need to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mueller acts as an ‘advocate’ for the abused, quickly arming them with the tools they need to defend themselves, and if push comes to shove, prove their case. Read the full review
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