Manager was very aggressive to me at work

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
1152 posts
Bumble bee

I’m so sorry to hear that. Speak with him one on one. Let him know that you try your best to follow documented guidelines but when you need additional help you turn to him. Ask him how you can proceed in the future if you need clarification because you do not want to repeat the hostile situation that unfolded today. 

Post # 3
23 posts
  • Wedding: June 2019

This sounds like a hard one to navigate bee. So sorry you’re going through this. Is this how he normally behaves or was this the first time this has happened? I would caution against speaking to him about it directly, he holds all the power in this situation and if he is really unstable/aggressive, you can’t expect him to react in a reasonable, logical manner. Do you have any mentors in your organization? I used to have a tough manager who did not like me and what helped in my situation was building strong relationships with other managers at or above her level. When time came, I was able to switch teams due to the relationships I built.

Post # 4
648 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Everyone has a bad day at work. I have to admit that I too get frustrated when I feel as though people don’t read my directions or they ask me questions that I have answered already. Try to patch things up and not take it personally. If it’s really unbearable, get a new job.

Post # 5
190 posts
Blushing bee

emmabird :  this. Managers are people too. I completely understand how this would have been uncomfortable for you, sorry that happened bee. If this is a one off though I’d chalk it up to a bad day- and despite his approach do try to read the material first next time around. Then you can go in asking a question by saying something like ‘Hi manager, I was wondering if you had some time available. I’ve read the docs on x,y,z but wanted to clarify a,b,c as I’m still not certain on those parts’. 

If your manager is usually like this, then see if it’s just with you or with others too. You can come up with ideas, or back here, for ways to proceeed based on that info. 

Post # 6
1580 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve been dealing with this at work.  As other bees mentioned, I have build a lot of leverage for myself.  I have strong networks and also a strong reputatiion.  In part, this is why I am so threatening to this manager, who really needs control.  I took it all the way up, supervisor, director, and executive director.  I keep detailed accounts and demonstrated a pattern of behavior.  I got support and some things were put in place to give me additional support.

So for now, be strategic.  Also, he’s a dick head!

Post # 7
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

I work for a major insurance company too. idk about your company, but it’s been a CRAZY month for us with new claims and people not being able to pay their premiums because of the holidays. I don’t work in claims support, but I can imagine how stressed out everyone is. Including your manager. I would just take a deep breath and try to forgive/forget how he acted if this is not an everyday problem with him. If it is, you may need to find a way out of that place. But let me tell you, I feel like I’ve worked in a madhouse in this past month. Hopefully it’ll be over soon!

Post # 8
2185 posts
Buzzing bee

Start documenting his behavior. Write down everything that happened to the best of your ability. Read over his directions, write out any questions you might have and try to set a time to talk over this with him. I also have been in numerous situation like this, where a manager is upset thinking they have already given me the knowledge I need to address a situation, yet they aren’t listening to me to realize that they haven’t. And yes its very often stress that makes this happen, yet I find that is NO EXCUSE for this behavior. Everyone is stressed and not everyone can take it out on co workers, managers should not be given a pass on this, no matter what time of year/month it is. 

If this happens again, try to remain as calm as you can, and say you will not interact with anyone speaking to you in such an unprofessional manner and will continue the conversation when it can happen in a mature setting. If this involves a customer, try to see if you can contact them later once the situation has been resolved. Especially if this is in front of other employees, saying you will not participate in an unprofessional conversation will help your manager realize what as ass he is being and everyone will realize they don’t have to put up with it AND you won’t put up with it either. 

Sorry this happened, bee. 

Post # 9
3065 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

jewellight :  I would re read the document and approach him later on with specific questions about what you do not understand. Try not to take it personally. Is he always like this?

Post # 10
1318 posts
Bumble bee

if this is a recurring problem just keep records. if this was the first time ask for some of his time and relate to him your surprise at the interaction. ask for directions on how he would prefer you handle similar situations where you need guidance in the future. maybe he expects you to go to your peers for these types of problems. maybe he totally misunderstood and was annoyed because he thought you hadn’t tried to solve the problem on your own. maybe he was having a bad day. maybe he’s a douche. there is no way to know unless you address it.

Post # 11
1626 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

jewellight :  I would not recommend talking to him one on one.

I would also not recommend talking to any of your coworkers about it.

I would wait until you’re calm and document everything down for your records and email to yourself.

Then, once you have all the facts in place, go to HR OR his manager. Start with, “I have a concern I would like addressed, is now a good time to talk about it?”. 

Keep documenting everything in case further occurances happen and make sure you stay cool calm, and stick to the facts. Good luck to you. 

Post # 12
47 posts

Lots of great advice here. Definitely check the paperwork again to ensure you understand what he is asking of you. Then if you really do not understand what he is requesting then of course ask for clarification. I would never scold anyone who has taken the time to understand the situation and then genuinely doesn’t “get it”. Hopefully this is a bad day for your boss.


Post # 13
5894 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

jewellight :  Yikes, sounds like he’s just a crappy manager.  Is he usually like this?  Or did you potentially catch him in a moment of weakness?  

I would do two things.

1) I would carefully read and review the document he was directing you to.  Spend some real time trying to understand it.  

2) Talk to him 1:1.  Here are the three areas of conversation I’d have with him. 

  1. I’d discuss any questions you still have remaining about the particular form.  I’d try to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and have tried to figure out out yourself.  If you think you’ve got it, then I’d talk with him to say, I tihnk I understsand this now, can I show you and you can tell me if I’ve got it right? 
  2. I’d ask him for feedback.  It may be that he’s a jerk.  Or, honestly, it may be that you lean too much on asking him for answers and not enough on your own hard work to figure things out.  I’d say something like, “I’d like to ask you for some feedback.  Is the way that I use resources here generally considered acceptable?  Or do you have guidance for me about something I should be doing differently.
  3. I’d offer him feedback.  Now this may be taken well by him, or may not.  It’s really up to you if you want to put yourself out there like this.  I’d say to him, “I want to offer you some feedback. When I asked you for help last Friday I found it humiliating that you snapped at me in front of other team members and it made it quite difficult for me to continue asking for your coaching and guidance.  In the future I’d prefer to recieve that sort of feedback in private.”  I think that most managers will appreciate and respect honest, balanced feedback from a team member delivered in private.  But not always, so proceed with caution.  

Personally, I think that would be the ideal way to deal with it long term.  

Post # 14
5963 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

jewellight :  I have had several unapproachable managers, HR people, co-workers – it sucks!! Depends on the dynamic. Like, if you call him out on it, will it make life for you better or worse?

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