I feel like I'm getting "pushed out"

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2009
I feel like I'm getting "pushed out"
Mon, 07-27-2009 - 12:31pm

I have an evil, toxic, conniving boss- she's an older woman (in her 50s) who's not attractive, has a residing hairline, bad teeth, loud mouth and the "I know it all" attitude. She's arrogant, snarky, makes rude comments but I suspect that attitude has been reserved for only certain people and I've found myself to be in that category. Why? I think it's because she's jealous of my type: I am 20+ years younger, have a husband/baby/house, etc. She's a single mother whose boyfriend left her for another woman. This is my rationale but I don't even know if I'm on the right track, it's just an easy assumption because I can't think of anything else.

My boss only has 1 boss above her and it happens to be a man who is easily manipulated.It also happens to be the owner of the company! She's constantly in his ear, giving him "advice" on how to run his own company, what perception to have of his employees, basically how to think. I think this woman has found an ideal situation for herself- she's managed to secure her job by convincing her boss to give her ultimate control over everyone and everything.

Since there are just a handful of us in this company, her competition is not only very small but also almost non-existent. We
re all in sales so things are competitive to say the least. Yet, everyone except for me seems to accept the fact that she's a tyrant and they deal with her in their own way. I, on the other hand, loathe her so much, I am beside myself. And I am lost because I have no idea how to handle myself. I wrote a separate post about it before, this time let me give you a little more detail.

So here's a particular situation:
- my boss started bad mouthing me to my clients, a couple of them have reported it back to me

She does it in the most perfidious way: goes to their place of business, asks how things are going with me as their rep and if they have the slighest negative thing to say, such as "yes, we had a billing issue before but it was straightened out already", she jumps in and tells them that she'll be taking over the account for me, because she's the boss, she can do that

Then she tells me that my client requested that she handled them instead. LIE! Of course, I learn the truth when I ask the client what happened.

I strongly believe that she does this to discredit me and to make me quit because I am doing so much better than her at my job. This is most likely coming from a place of sheer insecurity about her own job skills/selling abilities. Knowing or even guessing her reasoning is still not helping me as I am very frustrated with my current situation. I kind of like my job or at least I have not been planning on getting a new one until the economy improves, I've been really focused on building my resume with this company because I have been a so called job hopper prior to this job. So after putting in a solid year and a half at this company, I kind of feel like I should stick around for a few more months at least. But this woman is killing me emotionally and helping me in developing anxiety issues.

I have spent a few hours at Barnes and Noble the other day looking up advice on how to deal with toxic bosses and I'm still trying to draw the appropriate course of action for myself. There's no HR dept., not that I have much faith in those, there no other boss to complaint to, just the owner of the company and as I already mentioned, he just may decide to be on her side.

I'm also afraid to say/do something I may regret later, like opening a can of worms if I was to decide to confront my boss directly. I don't have much experience dealing with this, please help me approach this situation in the most sensible way.

What would you do in my situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2006

I've never worked in a company that small but have worked in a larger company where in my department I had a boss/supervisor who apparently I was on her sh*t list.



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2008

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
you could try going to her supervisor first and if he doesn't listen to you then you might want to start looking elsewhere. he either knows how she is but for some reason won't fire her or is totally oblivious. my experience with toxic bosses has told me that it's not worth the stress and anxiety that they create. at my last job, my boss made me cry every day. i told myself that i would give it 6 months, and then start looking for another job. that made it bearable for me. how long have you been working there? can you give yourself a deadline? sometimes it helps to have an action plan. also, did you check out the "dealing with difficult coworkers" board? if not, you may want to: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-cadifficult. i think there's a "women & work" one, too. you will find a lot of commiseraters on both those boards. keep us posted & let us know what you decide to do!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007

You wrote:

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2009

Thanks for everyone's response.

I did have a conversation with the owner of the company and he pretty much summed it up as "that's just how X is", so he acknowledged her over aggressive and coniving nature but offered no real solution or support.

I am thinking of writing the co-worker this email, please tell me how it sounds to you as my intention isn't to be too confrontational.

".... I want to play fair. If you're going to approach my clients and ask them how I am as a rep (which is what X said took place), then I have the right to ask why you felt the need to take over the account without a valid reason. This isn't the first time I noticed it took place. Very similar incidents came to my attention a few months back and they were actually reported to me by people who work for the company. Those people said that you have been undermining and questioning my abilities. When you were the advertising director, I expected a ilttle more support and i got criticism instead. Please know that I realize that you have more experience in this field but I also have some strengths as a sales rep. We all have our unique strengths, style and personalities, clients know that and that's why shuffling accounts is a good idea. I just don't think it was necessarily justified in this case.
btw, a few months back I invited you out to lunch to discuss how we can work better as a team. I never heard back from you.
September will be a very busy month for me and I will probably not be able to put a lot of effort into selling but before I disappear, I wanted to clear the air once for all. "