Bully and manager are friends

Nov 22, 2019 421 Comments

There is a bully in my team he sometimes public shames me, micromanaging, telling me to not side with specific people, being secretive about his work, talks to my manager in private multiple times per day, very gossipy guy, being nosy with my work and others work.

He also resorted to personal attack when I provided a different design idea.

He is my masnager’s friend and seems like a little bird whispering to my manager everyday which makes me feel very uncomfortable workng in an open environment.

I cannot take another day working here as his behavior disgusts me and my manager has also distant himself from me which I have no idea why.

How do I deal with this type of working environment? It is very toxic for me and Im losing sleep plus emotionally drained.

Update: Spoke to my skip, there are couple options within his team for me. Also previous team welcomes me back but just have to go through the interviewing process. Trying to figure out if it makes sense to go back to old team or consider another team under my skip.

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TOP 421 Comments
  • Bloomberg emtn47
    Contact hr
    Nov 22, 2019 16
    • Dropbox lQBE77
      Build alliances and look for another team.
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Tesla / Cust. Srv. yJzf25
      Make sure you date and document occurrences. If you have witnesses, have them write a statement. Document via email anything you can or keep as much documentation as possible. Also make sure that you are also doing your job and performing, otherwise is not going to look good on you. Know that HR will have to talk to your boss. If he is doing this to you, there’s probably others. Make sure to document conversations with HR and send follow up emails
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Amazon dg1234
      Documentation is good from different angles; if by any chance u are overreacting; u’ll realize that when u read it later. Another person can read and give perspective on it. Worst case scenario, if/when u get to legal issues, written docs will count.

      Don’t let any nonsense affect your work or professionalism at any time.
      Nov 22, 2019
    • New EKtro
      Don't contact HR. Repeat, DO NOT contact HR. That backfires every single time. Lay low and just try to get out without burning bridges. Life isn't fair, but it's the best thing you can do.
      Nov 23, 2019
    • Tesla / Cust. Srv. yJzf25
      That’s what HR is for. Retaliation is against the law and as long as you have everything documented you should be ok. If you don’t want to talk to HR call your awareness line, those are confidential and you don’t have to provide your personal information.
      Nov 24, 2019
  • New pNKY35
    Leave the team immediately. HR is not going to help you.
    Nov 22, 2019 1
    • Apple / IT
      dnxF68

      Apple IT

      PRE
      Microsoft
      dnxF68more
      This is the correct response. I can vouch for this one with personal experience.
      Also look at number of likes for this comment ! That should tell you something
      Nov 22, 2019
  • New kuav52
    Punch him in the forehead
    Nov 22, 2019 4
    • Google undfdbhvr
      Assert dominance!
      Nov 22, 2019
    • SAP pWhJ04
      Lol is this a Silicon Valley reference 😂
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Weedmaps AUFy44
      Fuck yeah
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Amazon / Eng KHCr70
      Shit on his desk
      Nov 22, 2019
  • Facebook / Eng
    mturtle

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Amazon, Facebook
    BIO
    ex-AMZN, ex-fb
    mturtlemore
    Leave. Either transfer or switch companies
    Nov 22, 2019 0
  • Amazon johnyquest
    This is very similar to a situation I was in in my previous team in AFT. A Sr Engineer who is a bully or ultra-aggressive (my way or highway) and good friends with manager is a very tough situation to deal with.
    Well, the solution I found is that I moved out. And so did most of the engineers in that team. Unfortunately I wish I had a better solution in my case, but it wasn't. I tried communicating with the Sr Manager, but he was completely unreachable and he was more like a Hitler than an ideal leader. My immediate manager was not very strong to be able to counter the Sr Mgr. There were times I protested that we are prioritizing the wrong projects for someone's promotion (you can guess who ), but my words reached deaf ears.

    So you can try doing skip level 1-1 and provide feedback in subtle way. Or move out. All the best!
    Nov 22, 2019 2
    • When something similar happened to me I started confronting comments immediately. Without emotion, I would ask what she meant by that. Like, I don’t understand. What do you mean I messed that up. How? I took on every single BS affront immediately. I’d ask her to explain a so called joke or snide remark and I did it right in front of everybody. It pissed her off something fierce and she’d call me into her office, so every time and I’d bring my note book and purposely write down everything she said. She found it incredibly unnerving. “She would gas light and tell me I was being disrespectful and that we would have to speak with HR if I kept it up, and I would say that’s fine I’ve been taking notes and keeping careful documentation of what you’ve been saying to me and I would be happy to meet with HR and find a more respectable way of communication.” Never fear a bully! They are super weak and very powerless in their own head, so be smarter than they are. be much bolder. Think about it. You have nothing to lose. Go at them hard, but don’t lose your temper. Stay calm and watch them start twitching. get your power back, turn in all your notes to their manger so that they are revealed and shamed for their behavior and then leave.
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Boeing SkepticM
      Exactly right
      Nov 22, 2019
  • Walmart outofmemry
    One of the issues with us engineers is that, we think technical skills are only skills and nothing else matters. But in any company soft skills play a major role in their growth. Most of us call them "politics".

    My suggestion is, look at the situation you're in as a problem, that is to be solved, just like an engineering problem that we solve day in and day out. Think from other's point of view. When the "bully" and manager are hanging out a lot,, they may simply building work relationship, which you obviously are not working on.

    There will be idiots everywhere. But it's not that hard to fix them. All it takes is a bit of humility and self examination from ourside, and some patience to bear the stupidity for a while. There is no weapon deadlier than kindness, use it to your advantage buddy. All the best!!!
    Nov 22, 2019 5
    • General Motors / Eng baggio
      Yups totally agree. Slay your enemy with kindness or slay them with absolute competence. When all method fails, then there are much deeper problems you likely cannot solve on your own.
      Nov 22, 2019
    • New / Eng
      dudhevrvu

      New Eng

      PRE
      Google
      dudhevrvumore
      This is such bullshit advice. He’s getting publicly shamed by this guy. He probably faces microaggressions from this dude daily - and your advice is to work on building a better work relationship? Please.
      Nov 23, 2019
    • NVIDIA TheBolibic
      You assume that there is a problem. Perhaps he has the problem not the others. If in the end there is a problem, not all problems need to be solved. It might not deserve the time an effort.
      Nov 23, 2019
    • New / Eng
      dudhevrvu

      New Eng

      PRE
      Google
      dudhevrvumore
      The ole lay down and be a b*tch approach. Classic.
      Nov 23, 2019
    • Amazon nigel
      Awful advice. This person is being treated like crap. The appropriate response is to leave. Don’t waste your time trying to curry favor with people who haven’t earned your respect.
      Nov 23, 2019
  • Microsoft Amorapea
    Unfortunately there is a ton of research in this area and the best way to deal with this is to find another role or leave. HR notoriously protects these bullies unless their conduct is illegal. Bullies are often high performers and they are rarely disciplined for their conduct unless it is illegal. You can try to fight it, but if you don’t get the support from above, your only option is to leave. I have seen it go both ways.
    Nov 22, 2019 0
  • Charles Schwab gdsl14ckhA
    Life is too short to deal with this. Find a new job.
    Nov 22, 2019 0
  • Microsoft codemon
    OP
    If I leave the team immediately, I have to find another team under my skip. Do you think it’s a good idea to tell my skip about this?
    Nov 22, 2019 7
    • Amazon be_frugal
      Depends on trust level between the asshole and skip and with you. If I were in your shoes , I would only reach out when I am absolutely sure of him not being biased otherwise I would be looking at a nightmare if things go south. Reduce risk and change VP
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Amazon reInvent19
      Why do you have to move under skip? Why not change org or company?
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Microsoft kaslq
      I would definitely say go as far as possible- leave on good terms tech industry is very small and you never know. You pointing out will not change anything. Just say that u had a great time but want to spend more time on another area/tech etc.
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Facebook Unwritten
      If you trust your skip, yes.

      I've seen where the skip wasn't happy with a Manager under them and was looking for a reason to fire them.
      Nov 22, 2019
    • Microsoft v01b02
      It is indeed delicate, but I feel that the choice is pretty straightforward, prepare yourself for the switch, talk to your manager first hoping for a reasonable outcome, if that doesn't work out, talk to your skip expressing your concern, finally if that doesn't work out - - GTFO
      Nov 22, 2019
  • Uber FMHBTE
    What doesnt kill you makes you stronger and if you can get yourself out of this in a healthy way, it will give you an amazing story to tell in your behavioral interviews for your future opportunities. So, try to find common grounds with the bully and your manager, find another person and be friends with him or her who is also close friend with the bully and manager. Also run your ideas and get support before you reveal it to the bully and manager as they can back you up in design discussions. So dont quit and work on it, consider it as an opportunity to grow and develop. At the end you will be fine. Once you resolve the conflict then you are ready to quit if you want to.
    Nov 22, 2019 7
    • Uber / Strategy IXX
      Had a very similar situation in my past job. I totally agree with FMHBTE. Running away to a new job/team may be the path of least resistance, but only do that if you think you’ll truly be moving on to a better opportunity. If not, stick around and face your challenge and grow from it.

      It’s not easy, but don’t let the bully have better/more frequent lines of communication than you do. If this bully is communicating with your boss and you aren’t, he/she’s going to have a skewed perspective of you. Can’t stop them from talking to each other, so jump in and control the narrative.

      And last bit of advice, it’s going to suck, but try to make this bully your friend. Believe me there’s a LOT you can do. Figure out what would improve your relationship without giving up on your standards. Invite this person to lunch, talk about things outside of work, etc. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to manipulate people into being friends with you.

      A favorite Abraham Lincoln quote:
      “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

      Go destroy this bully.
      Nov 24, 2019
    • Microsoft codemon
      OP
      I actually started out being friend with this bully and my lead. I was being on their good side by supporting their ideas, etc. I began to notice that it got out of hand when the bully really showed the bullying side and went overboard.

      I honestly can’t stomach pretending to be his friend or be part of the lies.

      Also, I have already told my lead I’m interested in doing something else and he was really cold about it. He said he supports me and then kind of ended the convo like that.
      Nov 24, 2019
    • Microsoft codemon
      OP
      Id also like to mention if they have private convo five times a day, am I to jump in and have private convo with my lead six times a day? This is not really not my job.
      Nov 24, 2019
    • Amazon knightPar
      I’m dealing with something similar at the moment and I sort of agree with OP. It’s not their job to constantly manage these relationships and it really does hurt you long term more than help because you’re now not as focused on your job.

      Here are your options:
      1) Document things, report to HR
      2) Try to find a different team
      3) Switch companies
      Nov 24, 2019
    • Microsoft codemon
      OP
      I’ve done these types of stay and fight the bully before. With multiple strategies, it really ended up destroying me. I find myself crying everyday, it was not worth it. Its best to find another team under my skip, or find another team within Microsoft. If I can’t find anything within reasonable amount of time, I will take a vacation to be physically away from the team to heal myself. I am somewhat already damaged and self esteem destroyed. I can’t do this any longer.

      I also have a family that need me, it’s been a tough few weeks that my husband has been doing most of the work because of how this is affecting my life.

      I need it to end. I can’t take it anymore...!
      Nov 24, 2019

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