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How to Deal With an Unpleasant Manager

Ask Savvy: Like Job, But Dislike Work Environment

This reader posted in our Ask Savvy group — she wants to know how to deal with an unpleasant manager.

I've been in the workforce (financial services industry) for about three years now but have only been in my current job for a few months. I like my role as it is challenging, interesting, and diverse. I get along with my supervisor and my colleague (there are three of us in the small team). Our team sits within the finance department, which is headed by one manager.

Compared to my old workplace, the environment here is very different. This finance department is more cutthroat and has less of a social/friendly culture. The manager has introduced time sheets in order to monitor how long we are taking to complete tasks. This doesn't sit well with the team, and we feel as if she is micromanaging us.


There are also many occasions where she would pinpoint and blame someone when an issue arises, before she is even clear about the entire story. There have been a few situations that show us that she really doesn't know the business inside out and doesn't fully understand the team's roles/responsibilities/functions. At the same time, she appears tough and intimidating. She likes to demand and never admits to her own mistakes. She points the finger before clarifying the situation. We don't respect her. We fear her.

Read on to find out more.

A person in the department was made redundant recently and was given no bonuses this year. The entire department agrees that he is extremely hardworking and knows the business inside out. He went for a role (in another business owned by the company), and the manager was supposed to sponsor him for the role, but instead, she discouraged him and said, "You won't even get an interview." We later found out that one of the supervisors had applied for the role also. This supervisor is her obvious pet favorite (she talks to him differently and is always making conversation with him — it is obvious they have lots of rapport). So it is obvious that she is sponsoring him for this role. It seems extremely unfair.

My dilemma is, I like my role and I like my team. But I feel as if my job security is in jeopardy. There is extremely low morale in the department, and we are being lead by an incompetent manager.

Has anyone had a similar experience to mine?

I want to stay in this role for about two years in order to gain as many skills as I can, but I'm scared that I won't be able to stay that long considering how horrible the environment/manager currently is.

What should I do in order to protect myself? I feel that even if I do perform my job to the best of my abilities, I can't trust that she won't try to destroy me if she dislikes me.

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

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