Post # 1
I am an engineer at a Fortune 500 company, so at work I expected to generally be surrounded by professional people. I used to have a job in an extremely high stress / fast paced manufacturing environment where critical decisions needed to be made quickly and lots of money was on the line. It was stressful by nature, but with few exceptions my coworkers were considerate of each other and disagreements were debated politely.
I recently changed industries and to me this new industry seems to progress at a snails pace. What used to take minutes at my old company, takes weeks here. Additionally, there are many checks and balances that makes it effectively impossible for any one individual to make serious mistakes. I was hoping this would mean less stress in my life.
Instead, I’ve found that my coworkers are constantly screaming at each other over the smallest disagreement, and when people make mistakes they are called into a room and yelled at by multiple bosses. I am just genuinely appalled by this behavior. I find myself completely overwhelmed and anxious whenever I get bad news I have to relay to my bosses. When I get yelled at I just shut down and can’t think of responses, which makes my situation worse. It’s just such a shock to me and I’m not sure how to deal. I dread coming to work every day. This morning, 4 coworkers got in a screaming match that required intervention from our bosses boss to stop.
I often find myself walking out of meetings where disagreements occur with an elevated pulse and a headache. I know it’s not healthy and I try to detach from the situation and known it’s not ME they’re mad at, but I’m really struggling.
Has anyone else ever dealt with such a hostile work environment? Do you have tips for me? I have to stay here at least a year, although it seems this problem might be unique to my department so I can explore moving.
Post # 2
I have never experienced that before. I’m in finance, some jobs were fast paced and others have been slow.
I can’t imagine your anxiety level at being pulled into a room and screamed at.
are you tied into your contract for a year? If you can get into another department, do it. Now.
Some people might thrive in that environment (not me) but it’s causing you a lot of stress. Get out.
Post # 3
Bee I am sorry that sounds absolutely awful. In my job there are different partners that I work with and very few are yellers. They are heavily disliked by the staff because of their behavior. And I am not going to lie, I am not sure I could surive in an environment where people yelled. It’s completely unprofessional and would cause my anxiety to spike.
I am not saying difficult conversations are not possible or even heated ones. But outright yelling is not something I think I could handle. I would likely be looking for a different place where the environment isn’t as toxic.
Post # 4
I had a job once where people would scream across the office at each other and then one would run off crying.
I left that job as quickly as possible.
Post # 5
12_Elle : get out? Sorry bee but that sounds AWFUL. I work in a law firm and of course, sometimes mistakes happen and sometimes the partners are furious about it, but even then if they DO explode (which has rarely happened) they quickly regain their composure and professionalism.
Post # 6
Sansa85 : luv2luv : thanks for the support. It’s just hard when I’m the only person who isn’t like this… it makes me feel like I’m in some sort of alternate reality where I’m the crazy one.
But my anxiety is through the roof lately and I’m strugglinng to retain my composure. And, of course, whenever I do lose my temper back I feel horrible about it for the rest of the day which makes everything worse.
Yes, I’m stuck in a contract for a year. So I have to come up with some plan to survive… I’m just so disappointed because this job was supposed to be my dream job and I worked really hard for it. I even moved across the country for it.
As an engineer one of the main ways things get done is politely debating ideas and trying to convince each other you’re right… ultimately, the best idea usually wins. I really enjoy this kind of debate. But yelling is so unnecessary and counterproductive.
Post # 7
Lots of public yelling, constantly. Senior people just feel free to treat more junior people this way, even though often times they’re in the wrong. No one ever apologizes, and management thinks it’s fine (“pros and cons”). It sucks and I’d love to get another job. Sadly, this is my only job out of college and I don’t have many transferable skills, and in my industry this is commonplace 🙁
Post # 8
Yes, we have a fewer yellers here. One guy I’m not sure how he’s still got this job because he’s always being yelled at by his boss, I’d have definitely quit by now. The poor guy also gets yelled at and told he’s not good enough in front of other people in the office. The guy’s boss also yelled at his boss the other day too, he’s naturally a loud person but when he yells the whole building knows. It’s really unprofessional in my opinion, especially as his yelling contains lots of swearing (I swear like a sailor myself but I believe there’s a time and place). Unfortunately he’s not the only yeller and he’s not the only one that borders on obnoxious. It’s one of the many reasons that I hate my job and I’m hoping I can get a new job as soon as possible.
My manager doesn’t yell, although is probably too far the other way. There’s a complete lack of investment in managers here and a blame culture. It sucks. I’d never worked in a place with yelling before and on my must have for a next job is positive atmosphere because I don’t want this again. I can’t offer much help I’m affraid.
Post # 9
Not me, but my husband worked in car sales and they yelled all the time. Everybody getting in fights with everybody, slingling insults, threatening to fire people or actually firing people only to have them back the next day, sabotaging people’s chances of getting a job elsewhere, etc. Horrible, but that’s just the culture in that industry I guess. I lot of people couldn’t handle it and I don’t blame them. I always told Darling Husband that his relationship with his boss was like an abusive marriage. He’d get reamed out and then an hour later the boss would be all buddy buddy talking about his big plans for him with the company, then fire him the next day for no reason, it was ridiculous and that’s why he left.
Is there no way to get out of the contract? Can you speak to HR about the hostile work environment? Maybe they can transfer you to a different department or something? It sucks that you’ve put so much into getting this job, but this environment is not good for your health.
Post # 10
12_Elle : I would definitely look at your contract for a way to get out. Unfortunately I have worked at 2 different places, totally different industries, that were toxic like you are describing. I tried to steel myself against it, as you have said, but it doesn’t work, especially not in the long term. I wish I had put myself, my emotional health, mental health, and professionalism above misguided loyalty to a toxic job. I wasn’t in a contract in either of those places, I was staying out of “I need to pay my bills.”
Is there a clause to get out before a year? There has to be a way, some way. The toll the anxiety will take on you isn’t worth this, not to mention the unhealthy atmosphere. The only contracts I am familiar with are rental agreements, and in them you can get out before the end of your lease, usually have to pay a fee of some kind. Please look into a way to make your daily work life better, it simply isn’t worth this.
Post # 11
I’m in nursing. Physicians are passionate people. They yell. As a nurse I try to not take a personally and remember they are frusturated at the situation and to maintain my own composure. Doing so always calms the physician down.
However, in my current office position at Medicare, I never hear yelling as I only work with 2 physicians remotely.
Post # 12
SithLady : YES! My toxic work places definitely felt like an abusive relationship and its sickening to me now that I have perspective on both.
Post # 13
I haven’t experienced THAT level of workplace nonsense, but I did recently leave a job that made me similarly miserable. I’ve learned from a lot of experience that it doesn’t really matter what kind or size of company you work for because you’ll run into rude people anywhere you go. There is usually a common denominator within repeat workplace drama and it sounds like your weak link may exist on the management side. Yelling isn’t ever an appropriate response in my opinion and it sounds like those particular employees may not be cut out for a professional setting. I’d stay out of it as best as possible and take in the free entertainment while you’re slaving away. I understand why you feel it’s necessary to stick it out, but there really isn’t any harm in looking for something else. You may not get a ton of traction because of your short work history at this current job but that issue can be easily addressed in an interview. If a better employer is willing to hire you, why not get out of what is obviously a straight up unhealthy situation?
Post # 14
I’ve had two jobs where people yelled. One was at a law firm where one partner was always yelling.
The other was at a school site where one teacher was always yelling. He was transferred to another site.
Ritht now no one yells at my job. It’s very stressful for me to be around yellers. I can literally feel the stress levels rise in my body when they start, even though they’ve never yelled at me. Just being around it is toxic and i don’t like to use that word often.
Post # 15
Whoa, that’s crazy. I know of one incident in which 2 employees yelled at each other(over a petty work thing). It was a huge deal and we were all called into give statements and both employees were disciplined. But I have a very low stress /easy going workplace. We have production numbers and if you’re meeting the numbers, no one cares what you’re doing at a given moment. Plus most of us work from home most of the time. This incident happened when both men were in the office on the same day and obviously both were stressed about something and the situation got out of control.