2019年11月9日 星期六

What Should I Do About My Awful Boss?

His behavior crossed a line.

I just finished a big project working under a male manager with whom I don't get along. (I'm a woman in my 20s, and he's significantly older.) We work in teams and our members spend a lot of time together — working, traveling, socializing. People who haven't worked with this manager see him as charismatic and friendly. When he gets stressed, however, he has temper tantrums, snaps at people and digs in to defend his positions, rejecting all opposing points of view. This behavior is unpleasant, especially when it's directed at me.

I'm equally troubled by a number of specific occasions when I felt his behavior clearly crossed a line. Once, over drinks, he mentioned that he thinks most of the women at our company are "weird." Another time he said, seemingly jokingly, that he thinks women are the future and should run the world, but that men should "still be in charge of entertainment — seriously, men are funnier." After he snapped at me in front of a client, a (male) member of the client team came up to me and said, "It must be hard to be a woman on your team." On another evening, we were hanging out as a team and watching music videos. I put on a video in which a female pop singer looks amazing and does a lot of dancing. He proceeded to cross-examine me and the other woman in the room, trying to force us to agree that the pop singer's behavior was a step backward for feminism. We defended ourselves and asked him to read about third-wave feminism. He got upset and said he just wanted his daughter to be "like you two" and "not like her." It was really awkward; he apologized the next day.

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All of this has occurred within a frustrating work-life merge space (which tends to happen in my kind of work, or might just be our modern condition). Co-workers are friends, managers are mentors, our office has a beer tap in the kitchen and company leaders are casual (while also holding a lot of power). I'm upset that this guy thinks I'm a willing audience for his anti-women remarks when I'm really just trying to preserve my standing as a good worker, as well as my emotional well-being by not engaging with someone who rarely changes his mind (believe me, I've tried).

I think my company needs to know about my boss's bad behavior, but I'm not sure what's relevant. I know how I feel: His behavior is anti-women, and his professional development should be curtailed, or terminated, until he works to change himself. If I don't say anything, nothing happens. If I do, I need to be precise about my accusations. What's fair in this situation?

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