Your Jewish Fairy Godmother is available to anyone with a question about coping with contemporary life. She’s clever. She’s wise. She’s relentless. She cares. And she’s on your side. Everybody needs one.
Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I have recently been promoted to the supervisor position in my department. My excitement has dwindled however because my new boss consistently yells and screams at me about things not in my control. I told him I won’t tolerate it anymore, and now he’s accusing me of insubordination. The whole situation makes me want to quit. What should I do?
If the doctor is the top dog in the organization, you may have to retreat. Otherwise you’ll have to enlist more support to end-run him. His behavior is like that of any bully throwing his weight around: It is rude and unlikely to win friends, favors or respect. You should get help immediately from the human resources department as well as your supervisor.
Start with a memo addressed to HR and your boss detailing your job title and responsibilities; what the doctor has asked you to do; how he has communicated; and how you have responded. Give specific examples and dates of these events. Explain that it feels like harassment (a word that’ll get attention) and you are now asking for support and intervention.
Explain that you have always striven to be polite, do your job and be responsive within the limits of your authority. (After all, that’s how you got promoted.) If you have positive performance evaluations, attach them as well. State explicitly that you have worked hard for the organization, worked your way up, wish to keep your job, but to be treated respectfully and appropriately.
Send the memo and stay out of the line of fire. Make the people with power fight your battles. If the bully yells, stay calm, take out a paper and pen and take good notes. Then walk away and report him.