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Post Info TOPIC: Detachment and Confrontation


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2141
Date:
Detachment and Confrontation


Hi Everyone,

It's been awhile since I've posted here and would really love to read your sharings on this topic as it relates to the workplace. I have started a new job and am having some issues with my new supervisor. Despite discussion of micromanagement in the interview, she seems to be one. I am hoping she'll calm down some after she has finished training me (if that will actually happen).

I took the job because it's reflective of my field of study, the salary was decent as well as the benefits. I was aware of some red flags during the interview but promised myself if I didn't feel I could work for this person long term, I would do whatever it took within reason to keep the job then look for another opportunity within the company and transfer. Had I not taken the job, salary and benefits would have been a lot to give up.

She is literally on me every moment of the day teaching me the most basic of things using a motherese tone of voice. More than once she said "good job!" to me. The flip side of this is that when I dare to do anything independently and I don't mean assuming I know something more than I do concerning the job itself, she gets angry and stops me from proceeding. I put her in her place about this. I told her that I understood that I don't yet know about the duties of the job itself but that I am not new to the workforce and expect to be allowed to practice basic habits of business in a way to which I am accustomed without interference. She then accused me of misunderstanding her intention. I hadn't misunderstood her intention but maybe she'd missed my backbone when hiring me.

My new supervisor is also an over sharer. I know more about her with a short period of working for her than I really want to know. I don't respond to her sharings. I just listen. She asks inappropriate personal questions. I have been responding with limited information. I would like to keep my personal life out of my workplace as much as possible and related private information about myself and those closest to me. She has a right to my skills and talents as they relate to the job but no right to be trying to extract personal information. She went home and searched me online and reported back that she knew my age and that I was closer in age to her than she anticipated when hiring me. I mentioned that such information was considered confidential by HR standards. She assured my age didn't matter to her and that she would not tell anyone. It felt creepy to know that someone who claims to be so overburdened with work due to a shortage in personnel in her department found time to go poking around for information about me. I didn't confront her about it in any way. Maybe I should have?  I was quieter than usual during the day. She didn't like it and insisted I respond when she was done teaching me something to know that I understood. In actuality, I didn't respond to her only when she was showing me the most simple of things that most people working know how to handle. I did respond to her when she showed me processes related to the job.

My new supervisor is extremely hyper focused on others. She has commented concerning many things concerning my physical appearance, where I come from, my work future (as she has it planned), my personal likes and dislikes (as she presumes them to be). She is a man basher who makes derogatory statements about men in general. She shared the icky details of her divorce with me as I sat boxed into my work space with no escape. Suggestions needed.

She shared where she attends church and it is the same church my bf's children attend. How lucky is that? Since we're more spiritual than religious people, avoiding that venue won't be a great hardship for us. But of all the places she could go, it had to be where we have family.

She introduced me to individuals through documents that we reviewed. As she read names she stereotyped people by race bringing forth was she perceived to be complimentary aspects of who they are as people "Oh she is such a strong woman, very opinionated and she has the most beautiful braids." She is very physical appearance "beauty" focused. The men don't fare quite as well. They are in need of help in one way or another. There are a few exceptions that meet her standards. wink She has a physical disability and comments on physical pain the day following lashing out at me. So far, she has not apologized for any inappropriate words or actions.

So... can you help me?  It's mother's day and I would like to be able to be devoting my day to the memory of my mom and celebrating her. It part of my reason for sharing and trying to release a very heavy week. I need the job and welcome any suggestions. Folks, I don't resent her. I know it isn't personal but honestly, I don't know how to manage a situation like this which is so constant and keep my head above water.  Thanks in advance for your insights and experience and thoughts and suggestions.

Hugs, TT

 



__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 262
Date:

Hi tt. Everything about that woman sounds creepy. You may be in a spot where setting your work vs personal boundaries with her is a must. The odds are high that everyone else who knows this woman also thinks the same thing you do. That fear of her gossip and being judged would effect most people in someone that way??? Hugs and prayers. I hope someone comes on who has been thru this before.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 550
Date:

TT, that sounds like a maddening situation. It would certainly drive me nuts!

I will say, that in my work experience once I had some program tools, I was able to see positive things about people who annoyed me. But a bad supervisor is a really tough situation. And the personal snooping is very creepy.

If this helps:  I worked at the same company for decades.  I lasted there longer than any of the "bad bosses" I had, and my last several years there were with a very good boss.  Somehow the bad ones were all let go or moved to other positions, so maybe this too shall pass.

In the meantime, it sounds like you have a good plan to do the best you can at this job, and once you have achieved some good accomplishments, start looking for your next job. Think of it as a limited-time engagement. Maybe some of our Al-Anon tips would help when she says inappropriate things about others, like "Mmm-hmmm," and then redirect to "So, what's the deadline for those reports we have to do?" Sometimes when hearing complaints or criticisms, just saying "I understand" can defuse the situation. (Understanding doesn't mean we agree.)

There is a blog I like called "Ask a Manager," where the blogger offers helpful suggestions for work situations like this.

Happy Mother's Day!



-- Edited by Freetime on Sunday 13th of May 2018 11:23:20 AM

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2141
Date:

Thanks (((Tude))) It's difficult when someone is your boss to find where the line is concerning asserting boundaries. I think I do get what you mean though. I think will have to try to keep it simple and just speak about work when communicating with her. Good morning, good Night and Hope you have a good weekend along with common courtesies such as thank you are likely safe things to communicate. If the need arises, if she asks any more personal questions I may need to assert a boundary concerning that. Thanks also for the hugs and prayers.

Thanks (((Freetime)))) Yep, I too went down the positive things road concerning my new supervisor because this is basically about self preservation. She seems to be a loaded emotional cannon and I don't feel safe around her. She unpredictable and I'm guessing it's going to take a little time to find a place of balance. I have to answer to her, she's my boss. If I'm true to myself by standing up for myself, it could be taken as a personal affront. For all I know, she could be passive agressive and use her authority over me to retaliate. She's exhibited some extremely controlling behaviors. What I do know from the positive standpoint is that she is dedicated to the work and chose me because she felt I would be as well. I think it would benefit me to lead with this feeling of mutual dedication to the work, offering her respect as a supervisor and acknowledging her expertise in the area of work. With time I will know more. I will be able to work independently. When I am capable of working on my own, it will be interesting to see if she remains as micromanaging. At that point, it would be to her benefit to back off rather than have me leave. If she likes my work, she should want me to stay and save herself the trouble of the hiring process and training of someone new. I can buy some time with this strategy and see what time reveals. Thanks for those statements that may help stabilize things in the moment. Thanks as well for "Ask a Manager." I will check that out. Happy Mothers Day.



__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Online
Posts: 8454
Date:

TT - congrats. on the new job! It does sound as if she's lacking some personal boundary understanding. It's been a long while since I've been in a professional setting yet I do believe you have a right to feel safe and delineate between personal and professional. I don't know the size of the company or if there is a HR department, yet if it continues to make you feel uncomfortable, that is an option.

I do know that for me, using I statements has always been better received that you statements....many of our tools have been of great service to me well beyond my guys! Hopefully she and all things will calm down a bit once you are trained. That would be my hope for you and for the job!

I'll send some positive thoughts and prayers your way - keep us posted! Great to see you!


__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2141
Date:

Thank you (((Iamhere)))) for you positive thoughts and prayers.  I actually got to try out "I statements" today. Although I don't think my "I statements" were at all reflective of the ones typically offered in therapy such as I feel, I would like, I am. My "I statements" were more of the nature of someone who was fed up and needed to assert a boundary.

My supervisor belittled me today because I was unable to perform a job task that she had taught me yesterday. I didn't remember all the steps to get the result. She told me in a ridiculing tone that she couldn't understand how I couldn't perform the job duty. She snidely told me that even a high schooler would be able to do it. She'd demonstrated the task once yesterday. She hovers over me every moment and makes me nervous. She has no patience. She has no one else in her department. It's a mystery why my predeccessor is no longer there and there is another job open in the department as well. Whether that is a new position or one that was vacated, I don't know. 

Upon hearing her snide comment, (audience within earshot) I said to her, "I can do without the sarcasm." She responded that she had not been sarcastic. I repeated two comments she made. I followed that by saying, "I don't want you speaking to me that way." She told me firmly to please lower my voice. She told me she was going teach me the job duty again. I said that I want to get some paper and pen to jot down instructions. She told me to stay where I was that she planned to demonstate the task again. I said, "I would like to get some paper and a pen."  I walked away and did just that. 

She apologized just as she had when she lashed out at me last week (my first). She told me that she would try to do a better job of showing me respect. It sounds good doesn't it? I'm not expecting much. My next tactic is to walk away from her if it continues and tell her I am giving her time to consider her words. Given she is behind concerning department work, she will have to make a decision. She can continue to have outbursts and be left standing there with no one to help her with the work or regulate herself. The last straw will  be reporting her but likely I'd come out on the losing end of that. In Alanon we say "we teach people how to treat us." I would have preferred not to have to do what I did today but I needed to show I had self respect and won't put up with verbal abuse. She was a peach to me the rest of the day just like the last time. Geez, it's like the misbehaving alcoholic filled with remourse the next day. Ugh! 

Thanks for you insights, support and suggestions. TT



__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 4970
Date:

There was a reading recently in ODAT that I keep going back to, it talks about how every situation is a gift even if we don't see it or we interpret it as a problem. Could this woman be a gift to you? If so then what is she in your life for? I often think of the workplace as a school of tolerance and acceptance where I get to be in contact with other flawed people who will challenge my views, perception, patience, the whole lot. That doesn't mean you don't need boundaries or to take action but its a bit like ok get your mind straight the right action will follow.

Alcoholism has given me a mind that wants to always think I'm a victim of people, places, things. Knowing this and accepting this puts different situations into perspective. Its not a criticism of me or any of us, for me its just a symptom, I go to self pity quickly and can find lots of evidence to defend my thinking. So if this is common for me, actually not even common but 'normal' go to response then I get relief when I see it because then I know I can let go of the idea I'm a victim because I'm not and this gives me freedom from resentments.

I'm a critical and judgemental thinker - I criticise others because I feel they have control of their behaviour, I do believe this is wrong so any resentments I have or judgement is based on the false belief that people behave as if they can choose not to. People are behaving from a far away place and find it difficult to see themselves let alone get honest enough to begin working on their defects. We are in program and look how hard it is, lol. So, she is likely doing the best with what she's got and our proper response in recovery and awareness would be understanding and compassion. That doesn't mean we put up with unacceptable behaviour but we need to get to what is unacceptable or do we need to change a flaw in us?

For me, usually my higher power tells me that the world is actually perfect just as it is, in other words my inner peace happiness serenity can exist alongside any and every external situation put in my path and actually maybe the situation isn't what I'm getting out of it but maybe the deal is Its me that is the giver. Ive been put somewhere to help someone or something, to get to practice over and over tolerance and kindness and love and I get huge rewards from that, I get self esteem, closer contact with my higher power, so much comes back to me. I find it hard to live these principles but its comforting to me to know what they are, I keep thinking that as I go along my journey knowing this it will become easier to flow with life, go with it, not see problems where maybe they don't exist.

I get the feeling this is not what you are looking for, you want practical solutions to the 'problem' as you see it? maybe or maybe not. Your a wise woman who I believe will do the next right thing.x

 

 



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a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 879
Date:

Sounds tough TT.  Sometimes the only way out is through.  I guess I'd try killing the supervisor with kindness. And smile and maybe ask her some questions and then thank her for her answers so that she feels valuable. Maybe she is just insecure. I do know that when people get my defences up, I am less likely to flow and that creates more antagonism which is sometimes unavoidable but sometimes can be diffused.  Humility helps. Softens people. OF course only you know your situation, but i send you my best regards for this situation.   



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1092
Date:

Ok, I will just say that someone breathing down my neck and micromanaging me would drive me nuts. I like to figure things out on my own and then ask for help when I need it. I am having the opposite problem with my current manager. She isn't giving me any direction and when she asks for things from me, it's very vague and I am the type of person who wants the expectation set and I want to know when she wants it done by, how the formatting should be, where can I go for help with this, etc? NOTHING. It's been infuriating and I've only been under her for a month now. There are 3 people on my team, who are under her, who are actively seeking new positions in the company because they can't stand working for her.

Anyway, I guess I can relate. I also know that I am not allowed to change departments for another year at my company. I often repeat some of the 'just for todays' when I'm struggling like this one, "I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime."

For me, I see it as a chance to practice my people skills and to learn something new about how to relate to difficult people in some way or another. I'm still working on my solution and I wish you the best in yours! HUGS!

__________________
Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be!


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2141
Date:

Thanks (((everyone))) for the support, insights, suggestions, encouragement. Sorry to not have responded sooner. I've just been so tired when I've gotten home. I've actually gone to bed early a few night.

Well... here's the update. Confronting my new supervisor was likely the best thing I could have done. She is being much more careful in her communication. I do hear her on her phone speaking inappropriately to colleagues. She's speaking to them in the same manner she'd spoken to me. So I don't know how long she can keep respecting me but I think it was a good move to assert myself. She knows I have boundaries and self respect. She has intentionally pointed out her positive behavior now. LOL I just don't respond when she does this. I'm cautiously optimistic about her miraculous change. Today she was rude. Her word not mine. I responded with self-respect. I didn't call her on her stuff in any way. She responded, "I'm not being rude." Uhhh yes, you are. I was thinking but said nothing else. Odaat lol We'll get to know one another. We are both invested in our own way. I want the job and she needs my help. 

She admits she hasn't had to teach anyone else what she does. I told her not to worry that I will have lots of questions for her and some of them I may even ask you twice. I then looked her in the face and said, "...because one thing I'm not, is an insecure person." 

She is still having trouble changing the condescending tone she uses when I don't understand something. Well.. Rome wasn't built in a day huh. I'm using QTIP. It's about her, I'm good with me. Tomorrow is Friday and I know more than I did two weeks ago about how to do the job. Honestly, she's not great at teaching but she isn't shutting me down now when I stop her to ask for clarity. She is listening and even self correcting. I told her that I realize this all comes rather naturally to her but for me it's entirely new and I laughed. She laughed too. Ultimately, I think I will always have to speak up to her if she begins to get out of line but for now she's being appropriate. Obviously, she knows how to be respectful if she cares to be. 

I'm doing a good job. She acknowledged it by saying how relieved she is to have a lot of stuff done now. She made some mistakes, herself today and mentioned them to me. She said, "See I make mistakes too." This was not a revelation to me but perhaps to her wink I didn't respond, didn't smile, didn't laugh. It was like it was never said. She initially acted so freaked out I just don't trust her not to do it again. And how she acted and what she said was serious enough for me to report her to HR. So, I am being professionally friendly toward her but I'm not engaging when she passes remarks related to her behavior. I will take care of my side of the street. She told me that she hoped to be calm like me. I didn't respond. Tomorrow is my first pay day. Yay! I'm going to see whose on the other side of the office and introduce myself. She was going to do this two weeks ago. No need, thanks to Alanon I don't need her to hold my hand and bring me around. We've all been practicing that a long time haven't we? :) Hi my name is..

Thanks for responding and offering help. (((everyone))))  TT

 



__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 671
Date:

My sister has had some of the same problems at her job. What she has done is record the conversation on her phone. That was it won't be he said she said. Good luck and hope it turns out okay for you!

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Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 446
Date:

Lovely update tiredtonight. Sounds like the Alanon principles are serving you well.

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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Online
Posts: 8454
Date:

Way to go! I see program and patience in action TT - super great update. I'm still sending positive thoughts you way - just because I can....Yay for the first paycheck - that's always a great feeling. Make this Friday a great day - the weekend is almost here - celebrate...you...

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 581
Date:

I love the discussion of confrontation and detachment. Layer that with denial, and you have yourself a real need to get to an alanon meeting. LOL.

Detachment, as a concept, is amazing. As a tool, it is as well. However, in my mind, it has to be applicable -- to the situation, the person, etc. One cannot detach, in exactly the same way, from a boss as they would an alcoholic. Even if it were polite, respectful, etc. -- I am a boss, I have plenty of people who work for me -- if an employee "detached" from a conversation they were having with me, that could be a potential problem. For me, generalizing is a futile exercise, but conceptually, using detachment with an alcoholic vs. detachment from a superior...the one lacking element is accountability. That's critical for me as a boss. If it's about business, professional, and it's not outside the confines of normal, professional, employment, etc. -- then a superior is a superior. I may not like it, but it is.

In an employment situation, you have to be careful. It may not matter who is right and who is wrong. It may just matter what the King says. Or what the superior says.

I like detachment. Confrontation doesn't have to be a negative word. One can confront a person. Why not confront an issue? I confront issues and I don't make it personal. Never. Let's -- and that means let us -- solve this problem together. Let us get resolution.

Very good topic. Thanks.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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