Big problem with the boss.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by electr, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. electr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 23, 2009
    I'm an EE student and work in a small company, which mainly hires freelancers overseas, so here it's just me and my boss in the office.​

    The problem is that he always comes down on me, and barely appreciates my job.
    Mostly, You can say that when I do a good job, he doesn’t say a thing after looking at it, but when I forget something or do something wrong, he over-mentions it to me.​

    I find it very hard to find another job since:
    1. I'm in this company from the very beginning of its foundation and designed, tested and programmed our products from scratch almost by myself.
    2. Its not a good period to switch jobs since not only that its hard finding a job these days, you can find yourself fired after a few months due to budget cuts.​

    I can't change my boss (since he's the boss), so as I see it, there are two options for me:
    1. Swallow whatever he brings on you.
    2. Don’t let him step on you.​

    I tried option #1 for several months, and it was very hard and made me being less fruitful and an unpleasant person to be around (which irritated my boss).​

    I tried option #2 for the last weeks and teased him back every time he came down on me.
    As part of trying option #2 (which is why I'm writing to you now), I told my boss that I'm going early today (at 4:30 PM) since I have a complement class in the evening, and he was really disappointed in me (he gave me a lecture), and later this evening told me a new student joins us next week (not to replace me, but because I have less time to spend at work, at least that’s the official reason), and I'll need to teach him everything.​

    After reading all this "background" (really thank you for your time), how should I behave around my boss?​

    Is it possible to follow option 1?
    Like acting like a robot when you're at work, do what he tells you to do, do your best, and every time he comes down on you or emphasizes how wrong you are, just swallow it and keep working hard?
    Is it possible?​

    I'm really at my wits' end here, and hoping to get your help.
    I must add that I cant afford losing my job since I need that money for my living and studies.
    So, I'm really looking for a solution for how to make it work, rather then how to kick my boss's ass or anything like that.
  2. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    "Change what you can change; accept what you can't change." The boss doesn't owe you a job, so I think you know the answer already.

  3. electr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 23, 2009
    On the one hand, I want to be a good worker in my boss's eyes.
    On the other hand, I want to be a happy worker, and to arrive to work smiling, because when you don’t, you become less fruitful and less patient towards the surroundings.​
  4. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Being stressed out can actually affect your health long term. Pick the least stressful path.
  5. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    There are no good solutions to your problem. Do not let your boss's behavior enable you to treat the new guy the same way. I'd be friendly and courteous, but I would not go out of my way to help the guy. If you think about it he needs to learn to sink or swim on his own, and his happiness is not properly your concern.

    In the meantime I suggest you consider yourself a consultant with one client. A good consultant always needs at least two clients. So a consultant with one client needs to spend a percentage of his time on "marketing" so that the size of the client pool can be increased.

    One other thing -- do not under any circumstances offer to work for a competitor, unless you are willing to completely sever your relationship with your current client.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 26, 2009
    You might consider talking to him, and let him know how you feel. Try not to affront him, but mention that you think things could be better then they are. Not only could both of you benefit from doing this but your job could benefit as well.
  7. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008

    Your method of implementing option 2 is flawed. Not letting him step on you does not mean teasing him and leaving early. It means being assertive while doing the best possible job that you can. Be respectful to him, but if he comes down on you, politely and assertively refute his arguements. If you can't refute what he says, then maybe he is right. If you can refute what he says, then he will see that he is wrong (perhaps). Even if he does not agree, you will feel better and he will respect you more, if he has any character.

    If this does not work, then you need a new boss at any cost.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  8. hgmjr

    Retired Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    Avoid making any snap decisions when you are angry or tired. If at all possible, give yourself time (24 hours is a good cooling down period) to reflect on each significant decision that could affect your standing with the boss or the company at large.

  9. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    The smart bosses already recognize the value of a happy employee. Talking to this kind of boss is a prescription for failure. Henry Ford was rumored to have said, "Never complain, never explain". I see absolutely no point in talking to the guy. He just doesn't get it and talking to him won't help him get it. You need to do what is in your best interest.
  10. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    Accomplish your tasks in a professional manner and maintain a lower profile. You might be the largest target on the boss's radar and you need to get to the stealth mode.

    As far as the newer intern, treat them like you want or wanted to be treated.

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 26, 2009
    Yes, I suppose you're right. But, he might be able to hint to him indirectly.
  12. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    Life's too short to work for a jerk.


  13. electr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 23, 2009
    Thank you guys for all of your great advices.
    They really helped me out.

    On the same matter, i wanted to ask you something.
    How do you feel about a student working 5 days a week (i'm on vacation from university) and leaving early at 4:00PM 2 days a week?
    Is it that bad?
  14. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    There are really too many variables to give a simple yes/no answer. For example, if you were hired as a regular employee, even for a limited period, the same rules would apply to you as to any other employee. Taking off early would not be good, even if you were the only employee. (That assumes that flex hours are not standard at the company.)

    On the other hand, if it was a work-study type of job where there was an expectation of flexibility by both parties going into it, then it may not be so bad. It would become increasingly acceptable, if the leaving early were related to going to a class or something similar. Other mitigating circumstances could be that your were hired on contract, i.e., not salary or hourly, or you came in at off hours to do a lot of follow-up work. An example of the latter would be if you were a Summer research student. The research occurred 7 days a week, so you took off early two days a week, but came in on Saturday and Sunday to more than equal the time you took off early.

  15. electr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 23, 2009
    Thanks mate.

    The thing is that I'm feeling that I'm still only a student, who earns 125% of the minimum hourly wage, so I'm telling myself that if I was an engineer who earned enough to maintain a car, then:

    First, I wouldn't leave 3 hours before my class starts, 2 days a week (since I wouldn't need to get home by busses);
    Second, I would make an effort to find another school, that might not be close to where I live (as it is now), but its classes don't start at 7PM but later.

    Is this attitude wrong?
  16. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    Tell your self that when you clock in,you put on your professional hat.That means
    you are ready to accept what the job takes. Coming In late,leaving early can be
    a serious reflection of fact that can hurt your resume.Never ask how you are doing,
    your boss may say I didn't want to let you go,but since you ask I need to replace you.
    Don't talk about your schooling and degree,your boss may be jealous of your
    education and new degree. Try to work your full day,quit talking about classes.
    The company will have a education policy that you are not aware of,education move's
    business.Keep your yourself busy with the thing's that you helped to develope,
    do It don't talk about It .You have that experience the Intern don't,It Is not
    uncommon to teach Intern's your job then you are gone. Companies are Importing
    new employee's. So Do your job and keep busy so you don't think of all this stuff
    make arrangements to get to school after a regular work day. You may give your boss
    the reason to let you go by times card's with higher management,If they did not
    need you,you would gone.I believe In Intern's,but not at the cost of your job.
    You may be helping with the small stuff,losing your temper Is now called work place
    violent's now. All of the thing's you talked about has new work place name's
    that Is not In your best Interest,bad for your resume. H.R. sites get all the bad
    opinion's that Is hard to change,don't be taken In by middle management. Say
    good morning to boss see how that work's. Keep busy the boss want Interfere
    with good worker.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  17. electr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 23, 2009
    I must tell you that I read your post On Saturday, and i really adopted it.
    I worked yesterday and today and the atmosphere was much better.

    I decided that i'm not gonna give up on my two evening classes that take place each week, but instead I came earlier to work, and was very concentrated on the job, did whatever the boss asked me too and did it with a smile, and also worked from home, so when I left today afternoon to my class, the boss told me that its ok that i'd leave early today.

    Thank you friend, for real.
  18. wr8y

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Sounds to me like that would make it EASY to find work elsewhere - well, in a normal economy.

    Take what the boss gives you and move on when you can.