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Thread: Hostile work relationship

  1. #1
    Cyburbian joshking2's avatar
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    Hostile work relationship

    Is it normal or acceptable to have an openly hostile relationship with direct supervisor? I've worked here (Small Rural Regional Council) for 2 years. My supervisor and I have not really liked each other in the past (ups and downs, but mostly down) but we became openly hostile today ending with me wanting to chase him down the street with my car. Our executive director would probably not back me in a me vs him situation. Should I have my contacts and resume on standby?

    **I'm not an angry person and I get along with everyone else in the building**

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    ?

    What the problem be?

    Is this a professional disagreement or just a personality problem?
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  3. #3
    Cyburbian joshking2's avatar
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    The problem is...

    We have professional disagreements from the ground up. I can best describe us as gasoline and a book of matches. We just don't mesh well. It probably wouldn't be as bad if we planners other than us.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by joshking2 View post
    ....Should I have my contacts and resume on standby?....
    If you had attached a poll to this question, what do you think the percentage break would be?

    Get ready to move on....
    Annoyingly insensitive

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    two cents

    Over the past few years at my job, we underwent an intensive process of organizational restructuring. Part of this was creating a better (much better - it was terrible when I started) set of relationships among staff. It was long and painful, some people left, others came on board. But overall, the impact was huge and I love not just the work I do now, but the office setting and my coworkers.

    The best aspect is an open atmosphere in which we all feel free to float ideas and offer criticisms of ideas without people getting defensive. Part of this born of spending that time together in the facilitation process. When you know others well enough, you are better able to know their intent instead of second guessing thier motives ("what did he mean by THAT comment?" kind of thing.

    Even more recently, we had a rough patch, including some open hostility, with our boss. Personally, I was about ready to initiate her removal with the Executive Director, but as the rest of staff met regularly and discussed the issue, we decided we needed to maintain as much professionalism as possible and so articulated our concerns in writing and then also had a meeting together about it with our superior.

    Amazingly, and despite my feeling that people can only change so much, we have seen a tremendous turn around and the staff is once again on the same page.

    This is all to say that it IS possible to change office culture, even when the personalities involved seem intractable. The really tough thing is that EVERYONE has to be on board with wanting the organization/department to achieve its goals and accepting of the fact that this means developing and maintain professional rapport among the staff. Its about putting your ego aside and looking instead at your professional mission.

    Certainly, some people are unwilling to play ball, though, and that may be the case in your situation. My wife works at a terribly dysfunctional place and its the director that is the problem area. They never have staff meetings and there is so much bad blood from recent events that I have a hard time seeing them climbing out of the hole anytime soon. There are some situations that may not be able to be remedied.

    So, I would say, have the resume updated and handy, but also try and have a conversation with the Director about how this situation can improve through some sort of staff facilitation. As it is, it all sounds pretty untenable, but you may be surprised at how things can change. Again, the real focus of the department should be the nature and quality of your directive/mission. Egos should not get in the way. Since they are, something needs to be done.

    What's the worst that can happen? You leave? If that's your alternative already, why not try to initiate some action? It may serve you well even if you do leave for folks to know you tired (especially if you list them as a reference).
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    If you had attached a poll to this question, what do you think the percentage break would be?

    Get ready to move on....
    I'd either work it out or warm up the resume, Just keep in mind, this is a tough job market.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by joshking2 View post
    We have professional disagreements from the ground up. I can best describe us as gasoline and a book of matches. We just don't mesh well. It probably wouldn't be as bad if we planners other than us.
    It's not healthy for you in the long run. Get out!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I've been in a similar situation, and it is not fun. In my case it resulted in a number of physical ailments that were undoubtedly related to the level of stress involved. Although I liked my job, leaving was the best thing for me.

    I agree with Chet - if the situation is as distressing as it sounds, your best bet is to move on.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Clean up the resume and move on. I've been in a situation where I hated my work environment and changing it made all the difference. To start with, I re-learned what a full night's sleep was. And the list goes on...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian notabigcitygirl's avatar
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    In the same boat

    I have nearly the same situation in my department with my supervisor. Unfortunately, although I have had serious health repersussions as a result, there is no where else to go in this job market. My own private little hell will have to do for now, because the alternative is even less tenable. Just resist getting lazy in the face of opposition. That won't be good for your repuation either.
    I'm not cute enough to have a tag line. :r:

  11. #11
    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    I'll add my voice to the choir and say no amount of job security is worth sacraficing your health over. Even sending resumes out can give you a bit of hope and make the days more tolerable.

    It's imperative you do everything possible to remove yourself from your toxic workplace. It's easy to go into a defeatist mindset and think that staying put is the only option - it's not. The health effects you suffer may eventually be permanent if untreated. Your job, however, is temporary, and your boss or the other people causing you grief don't give a damn about you or the sacrifices you make to your well being just to show up everyday. It's also a matter of self-respect and not letting your workplace effect the quality of your life outside of work.

    Either take action to improve the situation or find a new job. The status quo should not even be an option.

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