Need some advice about a situation at work (1 Viewer)

grandgnu

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I work in the transportation industry. My job is in the office from 7:30-4pm midweek. Yesterday we got hit particularly hard with orders from customers and in order to cover everything I offered to help out since we didn't have enough drivers to cover everything.

So around 3pm he sent me to pickup twelve deliveries that were all over the state of CT (over 200 miles of driving plus stops). I didn't get home until around midnight, so I was in the office at 7:30am and worked almost my entire shift (as an employee), then was on the road (as an independent contractor) until midnight. That's a mighty long day.

I knew there was no way I was going to be getting into the office for 7:30am today, so when I got home last night I emailed the office (we are staffed 24/7/365) letting them know I would be in, but most likely late (between 9-10am probably) and I listed off things that I normally take care of in the morning so that the staff who were in the office wouldn't miss those tasks.

I then went to bed, only to wake up to a few angry emails from my boss from around 12:30am with the following:

EMAIL #1 12:28AM


Next time I please do not leave the office until your shift endsThis creates more problems for me and [other coworker] in the morning ... especially me since I do not normally handle it and [other coworker] will not know what to do

EMAIL #2 12:29AM


I don't care how fucked we seem to be
We were not totally fucked
I wanted to give you a break but not make my next day more difficult for myself while thinking of you

EMAIL #3 12:33AM

Take all day off tomorrow please





So in his emails above he's trying to play it off like he was doing me a favor by having me do this long route after I had worked all day, not to mention he's the one who told me to leave and do the route, I didn't just up and leave before my shift ended on some whim, and I only had an hour left on my shift anyway.

Then he emailed me this morning because he re-read my email and realized I still had one package that was a delivery attempt because there was no safe location to leave it last night. So he tells me to "pls deliver the Bridgeport box when you wake up"

So I email him asking him where to deliver it? Back to our office? Back to the office in East Hartford that I picked it up from or to the consignee in Bridgeport? He tells me back to our customer in East Hartford, and adds the following:


****
And come in to work
I was mad

Misery loves company
****


I email him back letting him know that I will be bringing the box back to East Hartford, but that I won't be in today. He emails me back asking why and I state that he told me to take the whole day off. His response is to try and guilt trip me with this:

******

Fine
It's your call but not a good one considering what ALL of us went through yesterday

******


I haven't responded to it, but I didn't go into work today. Anyway, anyone else deal with something like this before? Any advice? Kinda stressing that I tried to help out and now I'm catching grief for it.
 

Ben

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What SHOULD you do? Dunno, it depends mostly on your boss' personality. But just keep in mind that:

A) He is REALLY stressed out at the moment and
B) There have been a number of occasions where I have worked something like 36 hours straight to meet deadlines and keep customers happy. Your boss probably has too. I know the day you had was hard; nobody would say it wasn't, but just saying that it may not evoke a TON of sympathy from him in this moment.
 

abby99

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Was his behavior unusual or typical? If unusual, I'd cut him some slack and heavily discount emails written in anger/frustration/panic. If typical, I'd look for another job.
 

Milo013

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DOCUMENT EVERYTHING just in case.
KEEP THE E-MAILS just in case.

Do you have ANY kind of proof that leaving early for the driving run was your boss's idea, and that you were TOLD to leave early to carry out the task?

No idea what Employment Standards are like in your State, but information is your friend.
 

MrWitti

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Hi, entire situation bit too complex for me. But I think one major problem already on the level of communication. This might not help you in this particular problem but....
take some lessons on "de-escalation" / "problem solving" there might be even some quick hints on the net. Don't know your boss but doesn't sound like he is the guy to face with arguments?
 

jbutler

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it's pretty difficult to gauge how out of character the above emails are without a ton more background. even then it's tough for others to understand the context in which all of this arose. with those problems, any advice here - even if offered from smart people - will be difficult to apply to your situation with any confidence.

it's no shock that most small businesses fail because they're run by people and people are, by and large, morons. and those who aren't morons have other characteristics which operate to their detriment such as hot-headedness or ineffective communication skills. this is the environment in which you and most other people work.

there will be plenty out there who will tell you emails such as his are indefensible and can't be tolerated and you have to respond. these people are morons. emails like that are ridiculous, but whether they should be met with defensiveness or nonchalance depend entirely on the context you can't really provide all of us in any reasonably limited forum post. the question of whether you should do or say anything in response also depends on that context.

my inapplicable, ignorant advice: as played, respond that you'll be there and ready to contribute tomorrow and that you know it's been a rough couple of days. do not explicitly address his other bullshit.

however, i'd have folded the flop and just gone to work today when he sent his first "i'm sorry please come to me i love you" email. sometimes, you have to eat shit even when it's not your turn.
 

Milo013

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Also . . . bosses the world over are more than happy for you to do stuff which helps THEM out of a jam.
The good boss is the one who will cut you slack when needed, knowing that you will repay the consideration given in effort exerted.
The average boss is the one who will expect that extra effort and then ask/expect that you take your "consideration" when it best suits them.
The crappy boss is the one who expects that extra effort as a matter of course, and will proffer no consideration beyond a muttered, "We ALL work hard here."

Your guy sounds like he is drifting somewhere between the bottom two categories. Watch your ass.
 

Ben

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however, i'd have folded the flop and just gone to work today when he sent his first "i'm sorry please come to me i love you" email. sometimes, you have to eat shit even when it's not your turn.

I'd have folded pre and just been at work at 7:30 again, no emails or questions asked. But I'd have made DAMN sure I was getting paid for every minute and every mile, OMC style. Cashout to the penny please.
 

Quicksilver-75

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The next time I went back to work I would ask to have a meeting in private. In it I would remind him that those kind of emails are highly unprofessional. Let him know that you understand his stress but remind him that you worked those hours without really being asked. Put the ball back in his court, but with a little backspin so to speak. He wont fire you because he obviously needs you and with the emails you could probably go the wrongful dismissal route.
I belong to a Union. I wish I didn't. So when shit hits the fan I like to represent myself in the manner above rather than going the Union route. As such I have gotten a lot further and have earned, IMO far more respect from my R/M's.
Obviously I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your boss but based on the emails I would say its rather lax.
 
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jbutler

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I'd have folded pre and just been at work at 7:30 again, no emails or questions asked. But I'd have made DAMN sure I was getting paid for every minute and every mile, OMC style. Cashout to the penny please.

yeah, better advice. i have worked many late (all) nights and can't recall any time i've begged off work the next day or come in late when there was still work to be done. sometimes a job is a job.

The next time I went back to work I would ask to have a meeting in private. In it I would remind him that those kind of emails are highly unprofessional. Let him know that you understand his stress but remind him that you worked those hours without really being asked. Put the ball back in his court, but with a little backspin so to speak. He wont fire you because he obviously needs you and with the emails you could probably go the wrongful dismissal route.
I belong to a Union. I wish I didn't. So when shit hits the fan I like to represent myself in the manner above rather than going the Union route. As such I have gotten a lot further and have earned, IMO far more respect from my R/M's.
Obviously I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your boss but based on the emails I would say its rather lax.

(1) if you ever confront your boss and just flat out say to him that something he did was unprofessional, be prepared for it to be the last thing you say as an employee;
(2) lol wrongful dismissal in murica. in murica, freedom has you. unless gnu edited out the discriminatory epithets, the worst result his boss could reasonably expect is to have to pay unemployment; and
(3) not trying to say whatever you did wasn't the proper route for you, quicksilver, but given that you are (a) in canada; and (b) belong to a union, your experience is going to be about 180 degrees from gnu's.
 

abby99

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The next time I went back to work I would ask to have a meeting in private. In it I would remind him that those kind of emails are highly unprofessional. Let him know that you understand his stress but remind him that you worked those hours without really being asked. Put the ball back in his court, but with a little backspin so to speak. He wont fire you because he obviously needs you and with the emails you could probably go the wrongful dismissal route.
I belong to a Union. I wish I didn't. So when shit hits the fan I like to represent myself in the manner above rather than going the Union route. As such I have gotten a lot further and have earned, IMO far more respect from my R/M's.
Obviously I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your boss but based on the emails I would say its rather lax.

I disagree with the first part. As soon as he hears you calling him unprofessional (that is what he'll here no matter how you put it), he will likely turn off his listening ears and get defensive or, even worse, go on the attack. One tactic that might work is to explain how confusing (or whatever term you're comfortable with) it is to get contradictory directives from him -- come in, don't come in, come in.

As others have pointed out, it's difficult to give advice based on extremely limited information. Sometimes it's best to let the storm blow itself out and act as if it hadn't happened, but do keep these events in mind when the next crisis comes up.
 

Quicksilver-75

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I disagree with the first part. As soon as he hears you calling him unprofessional (that is what he'll here no matter how you put it), he will likely turn off his listening ears and get defensive or, even worse, go on the attack. One tactic that might work is to explain how confusing (or whatever term you're comfortable with) it is to get contradictory directives from him -- come in, don't come in, come in.

As others have pointed out, it's difficult to give advice based on extremely limited information. Sometimes it's best to let the storm blow itself out and act as if it hadn't happened, but do keep these events in mind when the next crisis comes up.

I can't speak for any else's bosses. And maybe there is a difference of managerial / social skills between Canada and the U.S., I can only assume that people regardless of position would listen to a concerned employee calmly sharing his concerns. It always has been in my experience. And where a superior acts out of order by leaving profane messages either by voice mail or email absolutely should be called out for it. If not for anything but principal. If Gnu showed up for work and pointed at his boss and said "you, me, office, NOW!" and followed that up with a slammed door you are guaranteed to be shown the exit.
Clearly there is a problem here. The foremost being that if this is the status quo and the dude does this regularly he shouldn't be a manager. If this is the case I'd take my concerns further up the ladder. But only if this happens again or escalates.
 

jbutler

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I can only assume that people regardless of position would listen to a concerned employee calmly sharing his concerns.

3211339.gif


And where a superior acts out of order by leaving profane messages either by voice mail or email absolutely should be called out for it. If not for anything but principal.

lolprincipals

25.gif
 

CdnBeerLover

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The foremost being that if this is the status quo and the dude does this regularly he shouldn't be a manager. If this is the case I'd take my concerns further up the ladder.

If it's a small company, the manager may also be the owner. If that's the case, he is the top of the ladder. This might be a case of "grin and bear it", at least in the short term. Long-term, I'd probably start checking out the job market if this becomes a regular occurrence.
 

jbutler

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Is it THAT funny? Jesus, Jack. Where do you work? Porn vendor?:p

lawyer. lolprincipals ;)

i'm kidding to an extent with my gif responses, but honestly people just don't have the options you describe. very, very few bosses who would send the types of emails gnu received will be receptive to the type of discussion you propose. and very, very few owners who employ the kind of manager who would send the types of emails gnu received will be receptive to an employee's complaint. they hire assholes for a reason.

going "up the ladder" in a small business is typically not worthwhile advice because most owners are the operators and managers. at most you'll get one rung to climb and as i said above, if the owner hired an asshole, he almost certainly knows it and approves of his methods.
 

abby99

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I can't speak for any else's bosses. And maybe there is a difference of managerial / social skills between Canada and the U.S., I can only assume that people regardless of position would listen to a concerned employee calmly sharing his concerns. It always has been in my experience. And where a superior acts out of order by leaving profane messages either by voice mail or email absolutely should be called out for it. If not for anything but principal. If Gnu showed up for work and pointed at his boss and said "you, me, office, NOW!" and followed that up with a slammed door you are guaranteed to be shown the exit.
Clearly there is a problem here. The foremost being that if this is the status quo and the dude does this regularly he shouldn't be a manager. If this is the case I'd take my concerns further up the ladder. But only if this happens again or escalates.

My reaction is the same as Butler's.

When I was trained in dealing with difficult people, one of the first things we learned is not to be accusatory. Telling him that his emails are highly unprofessional is being accusatory and definitely an attack on his professionalism. What generally works better is telling the person how one feels when getting an email like that.

I suspect that Gnu's boss is the owner of the company, and if that's the case, there is no higher authority. Also, in many companies, going above your manager's head isn't the smartest thing to do. I've seen the carnage.

Maybe Canadians are more polite. In the US, most managers are people first and managers second, and unfortunately there are many bad apples in the managerial basket. People tend not to react very well when attacked. That's just human nature.

I agree with other posters who suggested reporting for work as scheduled. If it's possible to have a rational conversation with the boss when cooler heads prevail, that would be a good thing. However, based solely on Gnu's single post, I wouldn't hold my breath. Sometimes one has to "eat shit" and maintain a low profile if necessary in order to keep a job when working for a hothead. It's just the way it is.

By the way, in principle I agree with you. That's the way it should be.
 

iblonger

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As someone who has worked in a small family run business for 20 plus years, that loves A-Hole managers. You have two choices - suck it up, or find a new job. The bosses do not care that they hurt your feelings, they do not think you did them a favor, nor will they ever truly appreciate anything extra you do. How I have handled these types of situations after some hard learning is that I never offer to help unless it is for my financial benefit, I always work my scheduled shift regardless of sleep deprivation. I have not missed a day of work in 8 years and my manager could care less. All that being said - If your job is easy and the benefits are OK, stay and just do what your told, and only what your told.
 

Mr Tree

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I'm afraid my experience with corporate America echos what JButler and Abby are saying. Nothing good would come from confronting the manager that way IMO
 

Quicksilver-75

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I have heard of places like this. I have also had an asshole boss that was "my" boss for a very short time. He was also the owner and his business is now closed. (Evolution Insulation) Some of my parting words included unsustainable, revolving door employment and good luck. I'm not saying he went under because of my absence but it is very hard for shitty employers to maintain a reputable workforce / product with disgruntled employees. Especially if it has people quitting every two weeks. If the last page of this thread is even close to Gnu's situation, Just get out. I couldn't work for a thankless prick.
 

grandgnu

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This is a small company and the guy in question is the owner, no higher rungs on the ladder. I didn't respond to his last email today and figured I'd give time for the situation to calm down. I'll be back tomorrow for my shift and we'll see how it goes.
 

Milo013

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In the end, everyone is replaceable. My previous employer was discussing my willingness to move my family out to Alberta to take charge of their warehouse facility in Leduc. Four months later they were showing me the exit. I like my new situation a lot better, and have been here ten years, but I have no illusions. I do my job to the best of my ability, but I look out for number one.
 

pokerplayingpisces

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In the end, everyone is replaceable. My previous employer was discussing my willingness to move my family out to Alberta to take charge of their warehouse facility in Leduc. Four months later they were showing me the exit. I like my new situation a lot better, and have been here ten years, but I have no illusions. I do my job to the best of my ability, but I look out for number one.

Good post , & good advice. Sometimes people get disillusioned, & think that nobody can replace them. But the truth is, anyone can be let go at anytime.
 

JoseRijo

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...people are, by and large, morons. and those who aren't morons have other characteristics which operate to their detriment such as hot-headedness or ineffective communication skills. this is the environment in which you and most other people work.

May I use this for my mission statement? It is so truthful it hurts.

The guy apologized and is obviously pretty stressed out. Just ignore it. It's nothing personal, just business.
 

bergs

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If it's a one off, then just default to being at work in the morning and fulfilling your job responsibilities to the best of your ability. If it's a consistent thing, then you need to determine whether the job provides you with sufficient value (financially and emotionally with an emphasis frankly on the latter) to put up with the situation.

I think what may be the biggest problem for you here is a lack of consistency from your boss / company owner. It's impossibly frustrating to be pulled in several different conflicting directions at the same time. If this is just his nature and how he runs the business, you'll be better off at a different organization because even any promotion you enjoy will be tenuous at best.

If he's (pardon my language), just an asshole, but he's consistently an asshole and you can effectively manage your boss via knowing his hot buttons and how to stay away from them, it may be a more palatable working environment.
 

grandgnu

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Wow, my boss just gave me a $750 holiday bonus. In the past he's done $300 and paid it via payroll (so it was taxed) but this year he did Amex Cards so there were no taxes, noice!
 
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