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Should I complain about my boss?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “My manager, ‘Sandra,’ recently yelled at me in front of all my co-workers because I took too long to find some information. Sandra is often rude to employees and even threw one person out of her office. She’s very moody, so we never know what to expect from day to day. I have considered reporting her to human resources, but I’m not sure if that would be a good idea. Sandra has been here for 25 years and gets along well with management. Also, I was previously given a verbal warning about my job performance, so I’m trying hard to be a model employee. However, if I ignore this incident, I’m afraid that Sandra will do it again. Any suggestions?  —Uncertain

Answer:  You needn’t worry about whether she’ll do it again, because you know she will.  Without any incentive to improve, Sandra is unlikely to abandon her abusive leadership style.

However, you are wise to hesitate before complaining. Taking on a well-established manager could be hazardous, especially after you’ve received a performance warning. If you make this a personal battle, you just might lose.

To reduce the risk, ask other humiliated colleagues to join you in going to HR. Avoid the spotlight by making someone else the spokesperson. Present several specific examples of employee mistreatment.

Since management has tolerated Sandra’s behavior for a quarter century, the odds of their taking action may be slim. But if no one raises the issue, the odds will be zero.

If you’re having issues with your manager, assess your options at Should You Complain about Your Boss?

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