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Is my boss a condescending prick? Yes or No?

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Is my boss a condescending prick? Yes or No?

Old 10-16-06, 08:00 AM
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Is my boss a condescending prick? Yes or No?

A bit of background info first. I work in an electrical/computers chain as a saleperson. The computer section used to be run seperately from the electrical one but we did a merge in March this year so I now have 2 bosses. For the whole 3 years I've been working there I never really caused a fuss, hardly ever been sick or called in late, and have shown exceptional performance in sales figures.
I worked a 6 day week last week, and had to work from 10am-10pm on Friday, then be in at work 8:30am the next morning for a meeting. I slept in on Sunday morning and rang both bosses as soon as I woke up (8:40am - I start work at 9am). My original boss wasn't picking up so I left a message. I called the new boss and told him I would be in at work at around 10am-10:30am. He says in a stern manner "Why??". I tell him that my body probably just needed to catch on sleep that I missed on Friday. He tells me to come in and see him in his office when I arrive.

I get to work at 10:30 and I greet everyone and get to serving customers. The original boss has the day off and the new boss is going in and out of his office every couple of minutes so I figure he can call me in when he has time. He calls me in maybe 30 mins later and the conversation goes like this.

Please note that Australians sometimes call each other 'Mate' even when that hate each other.

Him: So why were you late?

Me: Because I woke up late.

Him: And it takes you 2 hours to get to work?

Me: Well yeah.

Him: Well I've called you in here because you need to know that you shouldn't be late to work.

Me (Puzzled): I know I shouldn't be late. That's why I called you.

Him: If you're tired from you should tell us the day before or something so we can discuss it.

Me (Even more puzzled): But I didn't know I was tired till I woke late this morning. How can I tell you about this before it happens?

Him: Even still, if you're too tired to come in time we need to talk about it beforehand?

Me: Hey, Look at last weeks roster, and look at this months sales figures, and consider whether it's worth pissing me off over something as trivial as this.

Him: Mate I'm not trying to piss you off, you just need to know that our trading hours are 9 to 5:30.

Me (pissed off): I know that I'm not supposed to be late, but how often am I late? Maybe 3 times this year? If I was late once every week I can understand, but this is a one off. Why are you trying to make it sound like I've done something wrong?

Him (pissed off): I have to say this to everyone. Why should you be exempt? The whole staff needs to know not to be late otherwise they'll always be late.

Me: But you've called me in here as if I've done something wrong. And you're talking to me as if this is a problem. As if I'm late all the time.

Him: I'm trying to have a strait talk with you and you put up your defenses. Why are you doing this?

Me: You're making it seem like I've done something wrong. That's why.

Him (starting to get pissed): Mate, you call me up at quarter to 9 and tell me that you're going to be an hour and a half late. What am I supposed to do about that?? I'm trying to run a business here.

Me: That's when I woke up!! How was I supposed to call you earlier than that? Forget this. I don't need to talk to you. I'll talk to (other bosses name) when he comes in. (By that time I've stormed over to the door and am about to step out of the office).

Him (shouting): Hey!! Don't walk away from me!! I haven't stopped talking to you!! Come back here!!

Me (walking back to him and staring him down): I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but when you talk to people, you choose the wrong words. You don't talk nice to people. People think that you're telling them off. When I called you this morning and said I'd be late you said "Why!" when you should have said "Is everything ok?". That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

Him: I have to ask all the staff why they're late. That's part of my job!!

Me: But you're asking it the wrong way. You're coming in from totally the wrong angle!! You don't know how to talk to people!!

Him: Hey, you came in late ok. I can't have staff doing that!!

Me: You were late yesterday for the meeting.

Him: I was late because I got stuck on the motorway... (he thinks about something for a split second, then fumes into a rage)... Hey!! It's none of your business why I was late!!! That's got nothing to do with you!!! You can't come in here telling me that I was late!!!

Me (still not as pissed off as him): Exactly. It's none of my business. But you're late because you're human, and I was late because I'm human. So where's the problem?

I can't remember the rest but there was a couple more sentences between us before I stormed out of his office again saying that I'll just talk to the other boss, and slammed the door behind me.

This is the first outburst I've had infront of him, but one of the other staff members had a similar confrontation. The rest of the staff seem scared of doing the wrong thing by this boss, but most of them are used to dealing with him, whereas staff like me and the other guy who had the problem are from the other side of the franchise and aren't used to being spoken down to.

I get the feeling he expected me to take it all in and not retort, and when I did he just starting coming up with stupid excuses for calling me up about this.

I haven't spoken to my other boss about this, and I don't think anyone else has told him either cause he would have asked me about what happened. What do you reckon? Should I piss him off more for some giggles. Should I go above him and speak to his boss? There's almost no chance that I'll get fired for this. I'm confident of that. But I'm not the kind of person that can be treated like an idiot for someone elses amusement.
Old 10-16-06, 08:20 AM
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Maybe it's the line of work I'm in, where rank demands respect, but from a few of these work-related posts lately it seems that people have no concept of the boss-employee relationship anymore. Yes, his entire argument was silly but he's the freakin' boss. If he thinks verbal counsel is in order because you were late, you sit there and take it not stare him down and throw his own faults back at him.
Old 10-16-06, 08:29 AM
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I voted the middle choice. He is a guy who's not too bright and doesn't get that he comes across harsh, or that there's anything wrong with that. I certainly don't think he is getting any amusement out of it (likely he doesn't get much amusement out of life at all). Maybe his dad beat him alot or something. Anyhow, he's a boss and his job is to treat everyone under him the same, and to manage them to keep the operation manned and running, not to coddle the staff (especially in retail). You were late, you called it in, your active role ends there. His role was to call you into the office to give you a mild chewing out. The trade off for not getting fired for being late is to take a ration of shit from this guy. Getting personal with him was not the best choice ("You were late to the meeting.") Remember, you can't control what other people do, only how you react to them. My advice? Climb the ladder so you can be the boss, and grow a thicker skin. Sticks and stones.
Old 10-16-06, 08:29 AM
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Show up on time for work. And if you're not going to do that, take your medicine like an adult. You screwed up. Maybe you had a good excuse (although I don't thoink your excuse is as good as you think it is), but even so, you were still late and still didn't give your boss sufficient notice that you would be late.
Old 10-16-06, 08:33 AM
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Your boss is a prick, but you probably need to just let him say his little bullcrap lines and then get on with your day. If your sales numbers are as good as you say, they're not going to fire you over an occasional lateness. They might fire you for insbordination though.

Just because he's a prick, doesn't mean you need to drag yourself down to his level. If the working relationship bothers you THIS much, it's probably time to start looking for a new job.
Old 10-16-06, 08:58 AM
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This whole thing happened on Sunday and you didn't post this thread until this morning? Why were you so late? I'm waiting for an explanation, Mister.
Old 10-16-06, 08:59 AM
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I made it halfway through before I wanted to REALLY fire you. First off...you were wrong. PERIOD. You are suppose to be there at work; you weren't. He is telling you what he would tell anyone who was late; suck it up. The whole situation could have been avoided if:

1. You went to work on time (regardless of whether it happened once or twenty times)
2. You just accepted you were in the wrong, and went ahead with your day.

*edit*

I skimmed the 2nd half.....you definately should not have brought up him being late. He is your boss....you don't have a leg to stand on bringing that up. He should have fired you for being a jackass (in that situation), though since you aren't technically his employee....i think he is going to let the other guy deal with it, and according to you, you won't get fired. So take this as an example of how not to handle working with a difficult person in a senior position. It will happen another 20+ times in your lifetime, get use to it.

-p

Last edited by NotThatGuy; 10-16-06 at 09:03 AM.
Old 10-16-06, 09:26 AM
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i wouldn't call you a prick but you were wrong
Old 10-16-06, 09:29 AM
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To put it diplomatically, you did not respond well to a justifiable reprimand. I know what it's like to be tired, but oversleeping is a very weak excuse for lateness. If it were me, I would have lied and said my kitchen sink was spouting water all over the floor or something.
Old 10-16-06, 09:42 AM
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I agree with most of what has been said so far so won't repeat it.

It doesn't look like you handled the situation very well.

You should consider apologising to the guy regardless of whether or not - at this stage in your career - you accept that managers should manage.

Last edited by benedict; 10-16-06 at 09:46 AM.
Old 10-16-06, 09:54 AM
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Yeah, that's not a very positive attitude. It seems he just wanted to talk about it and let you know it wasn't cool. Maybe he could've done something differently but the majority of the blame lies on you. Hopefully all the employees he has to deal with aren't like you.
Old 10-16-06, 09:57 AM
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Your boss sounds like someone who was promoted to management without any real managerial skills, but yelling at him because he gave you a justifiable (and mild) reprimand is extremely childish. To be honest, you sound like someone who thinks he's hot shit and therefore doesn't have to follow the rules.

Your boss can't be seen as having favorites, so he talked to you. Get over it.
Old 10-16-06, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
To put it diplomatically, you did not respond well to a justifiable reprimand. I know what it's like to be tired, but oversleeping is a very weak excuse for lateness. If it were me, I would have lied and said my kitchen sink was spouting water all over the floor or something.
Yeah, never use the "I overslept" excuse. Work is not middle school.
Old 10-16-06, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Your boss sounds like someone who was promoted to management without any real managerial skills, but yelling at him because he gave you a justifiable (and mild) reprimand is extremely childish. To be honest, you sound like someone who thinks he's hot shit and therefore doesn't have to follow the rules.

Your boss can't be seen as having favorites, so he talked to you. Get over it.
I could not agree with this more.....


Old 10-16-06, 10:54 AM
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Let me get my facts straight...

You worked hard all week,
Worked a 12 hour shift on Friday night,
On Saturday, had to be at a meeting the next day at 8:30am (to which I believe you made on time and you didn't work the rest of that day),
On Sunday you slept in because you worked late on Friday? Does not compute. Then your "boss" absolutely shows managerial skills by not criticizing you in front of your coworkers by bringing you into the office to discuss being late. If it were me I would also inquire why it took 2 hours to get into work from when you called but to your credit you did give the 10:00 to 10:30am timeframe.
Old 10-16-06, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Your boss can't be seen as having favorites, so he talked to you. Get over it.
Pretty much sums it up...
Old 10-16-06, 11:18 AM
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He did mention that he's trying to be fair and consistant with all employees regarding the attendance policy. While I don't agree with his execution of the conversation, I do agree with the message.
There's a better way to get the point across to you about the policies, but on the same hand you should never be insubordinate to a manager. I use the word manager because it seems he's trying to manage people instead of leading them.
Old 10-16-06, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by antennaball
Maybe it's the line of work I'm in, where rank demands respect, but from a few of these work-related posts lately it seems that people have no concept of the boss-employee relationship anymore. Yes, his entire argument was silly but he's the freakin' boss. If he thinks verbal counsel is in order because you were late, you sit there and take it not stare him down and throw his own faults back at him.
Yeah, no kidding.
Here's how it should go down:

"Hi, it's me. I'm just calling to let you know I will be in late this morning. Is it okay if I come in at 10 instead of 9?"
"Can you be here sooner?"
"I will do my best to be there before 10."
"See me in my office when you get here."

Then you make damn sure you're at work before you say you'll be there. If you're caught in traffic you call again and let them know you're caught in traffic and will be there as soon as you can.

And don't argue with the boss. He is the boss, and even if you think he's a prick and completely wrong, he is still the boss. It may not be fair, but he can do what he wants without justifying his actions to you.

Last edited by mllefoo; 10-16-06 at 11:31 AM.
Old 10-16-06, 11:40 AM
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Sounds like you already didn't like the new boss and went in with a chip on your shoulder. You should have just expressed remorse without the attitude. Everything would have been just fine.
Old 10-16-06, 11:42 AM
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WTF? You screw up and your boss disrespects you?! OMG!

Originally Posted by antennaball
Maybe it's the line of work I'm in, where rank demands respect, but from a few of these work-related posts lately it seems that people have no concept of the boss-employee relationship anymore.
Maybe I'm just old school, but Antennaball hit my initial thoughts exactly. I've had great bosses and absolute shit bosses, but they are the boss and they are responsible for the workforce, whether you agree with it or not. I think you should go back and discuss the situation with him - apologize if you feel it necessary - but at least clear the air and let him know that you're not going to be someone he needs to start keeping an eye on. He was a bit by-the-book (which equals prickish) but you were out of line (also prickish).
Old 10-16-06, 12:31 PM
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Another one for the employee was wrong. I've been late 5 times in 4 years (one time 4 minutes, which counts as being late, another time 7 minutes coming back from lunch, and 3 other times). You say three times a year is not excessive? I worked at this company for 2 years and was late once. Then I left for another company and came back and in a period of 4 months was late the four times (including the 4 minutes and 7 minutes). I was written up, and if I had been late 2 more times in the next 8 months following that written, I would have been fired (even for 4 minutes each). Why was I late 4 times? I was having trouble adjusting back to working overnight. Solution? 4 alarm clocks and no more resting in my lunch hour, along with a lot of Red Bull until my body caught up. Haven't been late again since that written (my 1-year period has lapsed since, so I'm back to having to be late 5 times in a 1-year period to get fired).

Edit: I finished reading and wow... at my job you would have been fired. You DID something wrong... you were late. And you were insubordinate. And you stormed out and slammed his door? I would have you fired.

Last edited by GatorDeb; 10-16-06 at 12:34 PM.
Old 10-16-06, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
I made it halfway through before I wanted to REALLY fire you.
I could not agree more. You would have been gone if you were under my watch. I can't say that I agree with everything your boss did, but a simple "ok, it won't happen again" would have made this whole thing blow over.

Get that resume ready.
Old 10-16-06, 12:53 PM
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I agree with those here who think you should've just sat there and took it.
Old 10-16-06, 12:57 PM
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Any chances the OP will post again in this thread after being called out?
Old 10-16-06, 01:01 PM
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You were extremely unprofessional in this situation.

You also posted a thread on the internet titled: "Is my boss a condescending prick? Yes or No?"

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