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My boss is a control freak nut-job

Aries

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They created a new layer of supervisors last year. Now instead of 12 of us reporting to a program chief, we have 3 unit coordinators who report to the chief. And us lowly slobs report to our unit coordinators. For some reason they picked this woman to be a coordinator and she loves to find something to nag about.

Last month she kept complaining that I take long breaks. I sometimes take 70-75 minutes, but I always work work for 8 hours. I asked her if there was a rule about how long we can take and she finally found a memo from 1996 that said maximum break time was 90 minutes. So I'm sticking with 60-70 minute breaks. But she made me fill out a form about WHEN I take the break. I put down 12-1 but sometimes I start early at 11:45. She kept sending me nasty e-mails and finally forwarded one to the program chief and executive director. They finally told her to stop it.

But now she's doing it again. I took break from 1 -2 and when I came back she chewed me out, saying she had to look all over the building for me. She didn't. We have an in-out board where I put down that I was coming back at 2 pm. But she insists that I need permission to change my break time if it's not exactly 12-1.
 

bin_tenn

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Yikes. Micromanagement is a huge red flag for me, and it's a primary reason I left my last job. I don't really have any advice, other than going above her for help.
 

Aries

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Yikes. Micromanagement is a huge red flag for me, and it's a primary reason I left my last job. I don't really have any advice, other than going above her for help.
I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. Some days I get busy in the morning and can't take a break until 1 pm or so. Eventually she will do what she did before and e-mail the program chief and get told to cut it out. It's still annoying though. I can't believe thy made her a supervisor.
 

Don Piano

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She sounds like a narcissist from your description of her behaviour. My opinion is that it is fundamentally unacceptable to treat people like this.

I don't know what country you live in, nor what industry your work in so it is hard to even try to advise. The only thing that popped into my mind was to find out whether you could offer the same service that she is without unreasonable behaviour. Perhaps then offer it to management. You need to carefully think about this, don't just do it.
 

Aries

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It's unionized- but the union mainly protects the people who deserve to be fired. No one likes my boss. The program chief made that pretty clear to me. The new girl who started a couple of years ago told her one day that she didn't ave to talk to her and send an e-mail if she wanted to say something. That was funny. I saw the stunned look on her face and asked what happened. They had to pull her out of the organic chemistry section several years ago because she wouldn't stop feuding with the woman who ran that section. They even made them go through conflict resolution, but it didn't help. Toady I got busy and took my break 38 minutes late. She noticed that I can back 30 minutes late and sent me an e-mail saying that I needed permission for that.
 

Don Piano

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A strategy that some people deploy when they are dealing with people that they perceive to be difficult is to get others involved on their side. The aggressor probably treats other people the same way, if a group of people respond negatively to the aggressor consistently that person may reevaluate their behaviour because of cost-benefit.
 

Aries

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A strategy that some people deploy when they are dealing with people that they perceive to be difficult is to get others involved on their side. The aggressor probably treats other people the same way, if a group of people respond negatively to the aggressor consistently that person may reevaluate their behaviour because of cost-benefit.
The guy who used to be a program chief before he got demoted told me to write and e-mail to the current program chief complaining about a hostile work environment. He can't stand her either. I remember one day a few years back he went into the lab to get a piece of tape and she stated nagging him about wearing a lab coat. Everyone got a laugh when he yelled at her about not needing to wear a lab coat to just get a piece of tape. No one else has to tell their supervisor their exact break time. Everyone varies it depending on the workload. I could complain but I'm trying the passive aggressive approach first. That seems to work best. The other women I work with is an expert at it. If she gets a duty she doesn't want she puts it off and puts it off until it gets assigned to someone else. She's out sick now after heart surgery so she hasn't had to deal with the control freakishness yet.
 

Izthewiz

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Your sanity is worth more than all the money in the world.
I am self employed and if a client is in anyway abusive or a pain to deal with they're gone in a heart beat with no problems.
If you can I would find a solution to her contacting you all the time if that doesn't work maybe find a new job.
 

Courage

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They created a new layer of supervisors last year. Now instead of 12 of us reporting to a program chief, we have 3 unit coordinators who report to the chief. And us lowly slobs report to our unit coordinators. For some reason they picked this woman to be a coordinator and she loves to find something to nag about.

Last month she kept complaining that I take long breaks. I sometimes take 70-75 minutes, but I always work work for 8 hours. I asked her if there was a rule about how long we can take and she finally found a memo from 1996 that said maximum break time was 90 minutes. So I'm sticking with 60-70 minute breaks. But she made me fill out a form about WHEN I take the break. I put down 12-1 but sometimes I start early at 11:45. She kept sending me nasty e-mails and finally forwarded one to the program chief and executive director. They finally told her to stop it.

But now she's doing it again. I took break from 1 -2 and when I came back she chewed me out, saying she had to look all over the building for me. She didn't. We have an in-out board where I put down that I was coming back at 2 pm. But she insists that I need permission to change my break time if it's not exactly 12-1.
I think she really missed you !
 

Aries

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I think she really missed you !
Nope. She just wants CONTROL. And she finally went over the exec's head to HR and got the answer she wanted. She called me into a meeting with her and the program chief and handed me a paper saying I had been taking inappropriate breaks for the past 3 months and that I was in violation of policy and would be punished if I continued. This really freaked me out because the program chief was on my side a few months ago. I complained about having a migraine and went home. I called the lawyer who helped me 10 years ago and he said he would represent me if they took action against me. He asked if the union would help me and I said no. He said he gets lots of clients who hire him after saying the union refused to help them. Then I went to bed and stayed there in a fetal position until morning.

Then they called me into another meeting to follow up and gave me another paper explaining more rules like how we code our time in 6 minute increments or 0.1 hours. If I am 6 minutes late I must report it. My understanding of the rules is that the executive director sets break and lunch period policy. They didn't tell me that she was even in the loop on this. I just told them that these rules don't make sense. We have all kinds of procedures that are posted but none on out breaks. They refuse to post them. I took my break 30 minutes early because the food they deliver to us arrived. I told he I ate it and she e-mailed back that I was in violation and would be punished. I requested 2 weeks off and got it. I don't know what happens next week when I return to work. I just spent 5 days in bed and finally got up and took a shower yesterday. I need to take my car to the shop tomorrow.
 

Courage

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