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What To Do If Your Boss Is A Bully

April 29, 2019 GMT

Dear J.T. & Dale: I started a new job and found my boss to be a bully. I confronted him and told him I’d go to HR if we couldn’t get things fixed on our own. Things improved, and now I’m being considered for a job on the corporate training team. I think I’m being set up. These jobs are held for longtime employees of the company. Do you think my boss is trying to get me in a position to fail? — LANA J.T.: I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion. I think what happened is upper management realized you cracked the code on how to get your boss to be more professional. Now, they are thinking, “Imagine what she could do as a trainer.” Putting you in that role means employees would trust you enough to be coached through various work situations, like how to manage your boss. DALE: That is an appealing explanation, and I hope it’s right. However, there’s an alternative exposition: Perhaps your boss did not set you up, but instead gracefully moved you out. If he wanted to get rid of you but realized he couldn’t fire you for fear you’d go straight to HR, he might have persuaded his colleagues to move you into training. And, if he is that skillful a corporate politician, you should work to befriend him because his next move could be to ease you out. Still, being in a training role could be an excellent step for some politicking of your own. Enjoy the journey. Dear J.T. & Dale: I work for a 30-person firm. We are growing. Recently, HR announced it would no longer pay for coffee. It said the expense was too great and as we grow it would only get more expensive. Instead, they want to use the money to host monthly catered lunches for the entire staff so we can bond as a team. I am so angry about this. We are adjacent to a coffee place and all we have to do is show our employee tag and they make our coffee and put it on the company tab. I’ve been drinking the equivalent of $15 of coffee drinks per day. Which means, I’m going to now have to spend $300/month out of my own pocket. Do you think I can ask for a raise to offset the loss of this perk? — MATT DALE: I’m guessing that you, Matt, are the reason they had to end the free coffee. Yes, you. I’m sure the owner saw the coffee bill from that sweet little spot next door and thought, “Matt’s bill alone would cover the cost of a monthly lunch.” So, kiss that benefit goodbye and be grateful they didn’t single you out as the one who killed it. J.T.: Set a meeting with your boss and say: “I’d like to talk to you about how I can add more value to the organization so I can get a raise. I am facing some added expenses in my personal life and want to be able to cover them.” JEANINE “J.T.” TANNER O’DONNELL is a career coach. DALE DAUTEN is founder of the Innovators’ Lab. Visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Fl, New York, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.