Limits



  • My new boss tried to give me an unethical and possibly illegal order during a meeting. When I tried to explain that I needed the consent of the other party (which I did later obtain) he became livid, would not listen and cursed me out, "Don't $&#* with me, Chozang!!!" This is not something I have seen him do to anyone else, even though I have known him for a couple of years. I am thinking of privately informing him that he does not have the right to speak to me that way, especially in front of others. However, I am worried about the potential consequences. It is quite likely a symptom of a deeper personal hatred he has for me. Would you inform him as I am considering, or would you wait to see if it blows over?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @chozang said in Limits:

    Would you inform him as I am considering, or would you wait to see if it blows over?

    I would start looking for another job.


  • sockdevs

    @FrostCat said in Limits:

    @chozang said in Limits:

    Would you inform him as I am considering, or would you wait to see if it blows over?

    I would start looking for another job.

    agreed.

    another job should be obtained worthwith.



  • @chozang Are you like @Ascendant and in North Backwards Fuck-istan, or are you in a country with sane employment laws?

    If the former, take it up the ass and hope no one executes you for insubordination. Consider defecting.

    If the latter:

    1. Document every incident this happens. Time, place, what was said, who else was involved / overheard
    2. Contact your local labor board. Inform them of the abuse in the workplace. There will be a paper trail
    3. Stoutly refuse an illegal order. You may wish to discuss it in private, and even frame it as "Not sure if you're aware, but the law says..."
    4. If he insists on the action, get it in writing. Mention you'll need to run it past the legal team (if there is one)
    5. After it's CYA documented, don't do it. Refer to any worker's rights you have, which always include "you cannot be punished for discussing these laws or following them"
    6. If there's no chance this hostile environment will change (small company where Asshole is the owner and/or entrenched management), be prepared to get another job. It isn't worth fixing or putting up with that shit.
    7. Always respond calmly to any situation. You are free to mention things like "respectfully, I don't believe this is how we should be conversing as professionals" and other high-ground. Remember to document everything.
    8. FORWARD ALL ABUSIVE EMAILS TO AN OFFSITE ACCOUNT FOR WHEN YOURS IS SUDDENLY CUT OFF!
    9. If pushed, feel free to casually mention "constructive dismissal" and "workplace harassment" in conversation. Bullies don't like to be challenged, but know a threat to their power when they hear it
    10. It's him, not you.
    11. The worse he can do is fire you. So fucking what? You need to start thinking of this job as "over" anyways.
    12. If you are prematurely fired, or forced to quite (see "constructive dismissal") take all your experiences and evidence to a labor lawyer. You've got a pretty open-and-shut case. You'll be taking them any praise and/or good performance reviews you've received (AGAIN FORWARD ALL THIS SHIT OFFSITE) to prove you are a good employee, plus all your documented evidence you were abused. You may need to sue for your last wages since assholes love to fuck around with payroll. Throw in a few tens of thousands for emotional and putative damages. Hand it all over to the lawyer on retained and let him run with it.
    13. Look for a new job that will treat you with respect-- where professional adults can conduct business like professional adults.

    Oh yeah, and on future interviews, you left your last job due to downsizing, or looking to advance you career. YOU NEVER BADMOUTH A FORMER EMPLOYER IN AN INTERVIEW, EVEN IF IT IS TRUE>

    Also also, find someone else in the company to give you a reference. Someone you trust, preferably who could be considered a superior / manager. See if they'll put down their cell number instead of work number.



  • @FrostCat's right. But if you do want to resolve this issue with your boss, you'd be better off asking a lawyer. I mean, I'm pretty sure that as far as the laws that I am familiar with are concerned, making a good faith attempt to sort it out with him is the correct next step, followed by bringing it up with hr if you feel like it's still not resolved. But if he does have a deep hatred against you, whatever you do now could become very relevant further down the line, so you're better off consulting with a lawyer from the start to make sure you do everything that is expected of you.



  • @chozang Do you have "fuck you" money in your savings account? Do you have your resume in order? You need to get out of there.

    Your best bet, if you need to keep the job, is to go over his head and talk to his manager. Ask for a transfer to another manager. But probably nothing will come of it*.

    Talking to this boss is useless though. It won't accomplish anything.


    * It's not impossible: two co-workers and I managed to talk our way under another manager after being put under a terrible manager, but we:

    1. Went as a group, making it clear that we all agreed with the assessment and if we weren't made happy there were enough of us to cause that part of the business to quickly fail
    2. Had plenty of documentation backing-up our position
    3. Had already approached the other manager (who had employees in positions similar to ours) and gotten his consent

    That bad manager wasn't nearly as bad as yours, though. The worst beef I had with her is her giving me a "this isn't an 8:00 to 5:00 job!" during a 1:1 meeting where literally the night before I'd been up working until midnight. The other people I worked with had bigger problems.



  • @Lorne-Kates said in Limits:

    @chozang Are you like @Ascendant and in North Backwards Fuck-istan, or are you in a country with sane employment laws?

    I am in a first world country, with moderate laws.

    If the former, take it up the ass and hope no one executes you for insubordination. Consider defecting.

    If the latter:

    1. Document every incident this happens. Time, place, what was said, who else was involved / overheard

    Done. Hopefully it will only be this one time.

    1. Contact your local labor board. Inform them of the abuse in the workplace. There will be a paper trail
    2. Stoutly refuse an illegal order.

    I did. That was the problem. Fortunately, I obtained the permission of the third party. It was when I tried to explain that it was their permission I needed, not his order, that he zapped out.

    You may wish to discuss it in private, and even frame it as "Not sure if you're aware, but the law says..."

    1. If he insists on the action, get it in writing. Mention you'll need to run it past the legal team (if there is one)

    Since I now have the permission, that particular action is no longer contested.

    1. After it's CYA documented, don't do it. Refer to any worker's rights you have, which always include "you cannot be punished for discussing these laws or following them"

    See above.

    1. If there's no chance this hostile environment will change (small company where Asshole is the owner and/or entrenched management), be prepared to get another job. It isn't worth fixing or putting up with that shit.

    And that's sort of the question. I don't know if it was a one-time thing or if it will recur. Hopefully not. I want to tell him privately that behavior like that is not acceptable, and see if he hears me.

    1. Always respond calmly to any situation. You are free to mention things like "respectfully, I don't believe this is how we should be conversing as professionals" and other high-ground. Remember to document everything.

    Yes.

    1. FORWARD ALL ABUSIVE EMAILS TO AN OFFSITE ACCOUNT FOR WHEN YOURS IS SUDDENLY CUT OFF!

    He is not dumb enough to put it an email.

    1. If you are prematurely fired, or forced to quite (see "constructive dismissal") take all your experiences and evidence to a labor lawyer. You've got a pretty open-and-shut case. You'll be taking them any praise and/or good performance reviews you've received (AGAIN FORWARD ALL THIS SHIT OFFSITE) to prove you are a good employee, plus all your documented evidence you were abused. You may need to sue for your last wages since assholes love to fuck around with payroll.

    Fortunately it's a medium-sized company, so I'm inclined to think that they wouldn't break the law for the sake of a front-line manager.

    Also also, find someone else in the company to give you a reference. Someone you trust, preferably who could be considered a superior / manager. See if they'll put down their cell number instead of work number.

    Fortunately, I'm on fairly good terms with the supervisor who just left.

    Thanks for your detailed response. Please see comments interspersed above.



  • I recommend pistols at dawn.

    NB: This does not constitute legal advice.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla I think it's very much illegal advice



  • @Jaloopa said in Limits:

    @boomzilla I think it's very much illegal advice

    But very gentlemanly.



  • @boomzilla said in Limits:

    I recommend pistols at dawn.

    NB: This does not constitute legal advice.

    But URAL.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @chozang said in Limits:

    I want to tell him privately that behavior like that is not acceptable, and see if he hears me.

    That depends on his personality, so you have to judge for yourself. As I see it, there are two options here:

    1. You think he won't listen. Leave immediately, don't try to talk it out, so that your employment doesn't end in a shitstorm.
    2. You think he's a mostly reasonable person who just had a bad day (or week). In this case, try to talk to him. Sometimes, that actually works. If he agrees that his behavior was out of line, but doesn't change, leave immediately.


  • @Lorne-Kates said in Limits:

    YOU NEVER BADMOUTH A FORMER EMPLOYER IN AN INTERVIEW, EVEN IF IT IS TRUE>

    I always see this advice over recruitment sites, however just curious, do you count saything anything like "I was dismissed due to refusal to follow order that can lead to legal consequences" as badmouthing your previous employer? (We all know the implied meaning of these words)



  • @cheong said in Limits:

    "I was dismissed due to refusal to follow order that can lead to legal consequences" ...(We all know the implied meaning of these words)

    Yes, it's "I won't always follow instructions, and I decide which ones I will or won't follow."



  • @cheong I wouldn't unless it was such a big deal that it was in the news or otherwise is common-knowledge. (That is, saying you left because you refused to do an illegal act while working an Enron probably won't count against you.)

    If you have nothing nice to say, just say nothing at all. Redirect attention to the parts of your resume you want to talk about.



  • @da-Doctah said in Limits:

    @cheong said in Limits:

    "I was dismissed due to refusal to follow order that can lead to legal consequences" ...(We all know the implied meaning of these words)

    Yes, it's "I won't always follow instructions, and I decide which ones I will or won't follow."

    I'm not asking the view for employee (it's explicitlly written in the law that employees should refuse any request on servicing activity that is against the law, say to install software without valid license), but for employers (dismissed because of refusual on those activties implies the company, or your senior, is conducting/performing such illegal activities).



  • @chozang said in Limits:

    He is not dumb enough to put it an email.

    That cuts both ways: when you don't do it, he also has no hard evidence that he actually told you to do it.



  • @da-Doctah said in Limits:

    Yes, it's "I won't always follow instructions, and I decide which ones I will or won't follow."

    After a few ranks upwards the seniority ladder you're actually expected to sift instructions through your critical thinkery filters, and, hm, come up with better ways. I think it's even that you are expected to not need instructions much where a broad and vague big picture suffices, and work out the details yourself. If they hire you as a senior anything and then try to give you very specific instructions on every matter, fuck them, they won't trust you anyway and you're in hell.



  • @cheong said in Limits:

    I always see this advice over recruitment sites, however just curious, do you count saything anything like "I was dismissed due to refusal to follow order that can lead to legal consequences" as badmouthing your previous employer? (We all know the implied meaning of these words)

    I don't think so. You don't badmouth them in a sense that you don't appear as a chronic complainer, always stirring a storm in a glass, ragequitting over petty problems like line endings or a $100 raise, or a sudden 30 minutes of overtime to help someone, or backstabbing the team by quitting unexpectedly just because you disagreed with the architect. You know, the exact type of a jerk no one would want on a team. If you had ethical reasons to quit because you found out about illegal practices by the company and didn't want to associate yourself with them, or, say, you were misplaced by the management (like automating shit for decades, and after that they put you onto manual testing grunt work for months), I think it's ok to say the truth (but in a diplomatic tone, not blaming everyone around, "they were STUUUPID!" stuff).



  • @cheong said in Limits:

    @Lorne-Kates said in Limits:

    YOU NEVER BADMOUTH A FORMER EMPLOYER IN AN INTERVIEW, EVEN IF IT IS TRUE>

    I always see this advice over recruitment sites, however just curious, do you count saything anything like "I was dismissed due to refusal to follow order that can lead to legal consequences" as badmouthing your previous employer? (We all know the implied meaning of these words)

    No. No you do not say that. As BakedRat said, unless you're fucking Edward Snowden, you don't say that.

    Hypothetical situation: You're at a pub. You start to make friends with a couple blokes. One of them goes off to the bathroom, and the other one corners you and says "That first guy's actually a jerk, and I'm only hanging out with him because he's my brother-in-law. Don't trust him, he'll steal your wallet".

    Guy A goes off to the bathroom, and guy B corners you and tells you all about how he is moving away from Guy A because he keeps trying to steal his car, and did you know he's been arrested for car theft before (though of course there's no conviction because he cut a deal)?

    Given that these are two strangers you've just met, do you:

    1. Take Guy A's word for it, and avoid Guy B?
    2. Take Guy B's word for it, and avoid Guy A?
    3. Realize you don't need Guy-Said / Guy-Said bullshit, that you're just here for a drink and maybe to play darts with some new friends, and tell them both to fuck off?

    Because that's the situation you'd be putting your potential employer in. It doesn't matter if your last employer told you to rape and murder cat fetuses. Don't be the guy who drags his dirty laundry into another person's living room and expects them to admire your shit-stained clothes (even if the shit isn't yours).



  • @Lorne-Kates said in Limits:

    Given that these are two strangers you've just met, do you:

    1. Take Guy A's word for it, and avoid Guy B?
    2. Take Guy B's word for it, and avoid Guy A?
    3. Realize you don't need Guy-Said / Guy-Said bullshit, that you're just here for a drink and maybe to play darts with some new friends, and tell them both to fuck off?

    Now change the question a bit: What if when there is only Guy A telling you something, and replace the final sentense with "Don't trust him. He'll tell you to pick someone else's wallet when you become familiar to him"?

    And what if there's Guy C, D, E, F and G (precisely the number of colleague leaved the company at that time because of said "refusal to follow order that can lead to legal consequence") also telling you exactly the same thing? You read it right. The whole team is dismissed because of that and we all compete for similar kind of job at that time.



  • @cheong said in Limits:

    And what if there's Guy C, D, E, F and G

    The place is a sausagefest. Find a better bar.



  • @boomzilla said in Limits:

    sausagefest


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