Need a quick answer to a career or personal dilemma? Career and life coach Marielys Camacho-Reyes will answer your concerns in her column “Ask the Coach.”
I work at a fast-food restaurant and since I started working there, one of my co-workers decided that he was going to make my life miserable by using me as a “punching bag” every time he gets upset at something. I am not sure what his deal is, but every time something bad happens to him, he becomes very angry and starts treating me badly. This person has been working in the restaurant for quite a long time and now, he thinks that the other employees (including me) owe him respect for being the senior person on the floor. The other day, he yelled at me in front of people and when I told this to my supervisor, he told me to suck it up and continue working. I do not think that this man should be allowed to treat other employees as he pleases. He needs to be reminded that he is not the boss, but the problem is that the actual boss is afraid of him and I am sure he will never say anything to him. What are your suggestions on ways to deal with this issue?
R. R. R.
Dear R. R. R,
I guess is time for Mr. Bossy pants to get a reality check and realize that you guys are not his subordinates. At the same time, your supervisor needs to get his act together and make sure this employee understand what his position at work is. The fact that he is the oldest person on the floor does not mean that you guys work for him. Yes, he does deserve respect but respect is something that you earn from people, not a request. Also, respect is a two way street and if he wants to feel respected by you guys, he should start by respecting you guys as well. Do yourself a favor and have another chat with your boss and see if he can start doing his job the way he should be doing it, and tell this person to back off. You co-worker may need to hear it from an authority figure before he can understand what the real deal is. If after talking to your boss, he continues doing nothing, I guess it will be time for you to go up in the food chain and talk to someone who can really do something out it. The truth is that Mr. Bossy needs to get his act together before things get out of hand, which could probably happen at any time if he continues being a jerk with the other employees.
Would you like to contact “The Coach” for a quick advice? Send her an email at email@example.com