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People Explain How They Put A Toxic Boss In Their Place And Didn't Get Fired

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Reddit user Relevant_Grape_4106 asked: 'What was the best/most satisfying way you dealt with a toxic superior at work that put them in their moral place and didn’t get you fired?'

Working with people you enjoy sharing a space is the key to productivity and overall positive vibes.

But you never know what the work atmosphere will be like until you start the job and the employees who have already gotten secure positions there get accustomed to the new hire in their midst.


What you can never prepare for, however, is a superior that is not easy to work with.

How you deal with a potentially hostile boss can ultimately determine your fate at the job. This leads many employees who need job security to put blinders on and do the job they're hired to do without complaining.

Until there's someone who breaks the pattern.

Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor Relevant_Grape_4106106 asked:

"What was the best/most satisfying way you dealt with a toxic superior at work that put them in their moral place and didn’t get you fired?"

Redditors shared their experiences where confronting their bosses didn't get them sacked.

Taking Credit

"I had a manager that tried to steal credit for a excel spreadsheet I created that would make reviewing and submitting expense reports 100x easier. After I showed it to her, I overheard her telling her supervisor about it, but said, 'I created', not 'my employee created'."

"So I immediately changed the spreadsheet with locked cells that were password protected, with a glaring and bolded 'Created by: (My name)' and resaved a copy on my drive. Then it came time to present it at the managers meeting and I copied my file over the original and when she opened it, she couldn't do anything with it and of course my name was on it."

"She ended up calling me into the meeting, giving me credit and I unlocked the cells and then began to explain how it worked. She was red-faced for the rest of the meeting, with her boss glaring daggers at her."

"*edit - I'm shocked this blew up and some people asked about the fallout afterwards. Well there was a closed office meeting in between my manager and the Controller who hired her. The CFO didn't really like this hire, so the Controller's rep was hurt here a little when the Accounting Manager (My manager) was forced to admit this wasn't actually her creation, but someone on her team (me)."

"My manager afterwards pulled me into a small room and said, 'I'm a little confused as to why you locked the spreadsheet and changed it, I had planned to present it at this meeting and got a little embarrassed in there when I couldn't access it. It didn't make me look good.'"

"I said to her, 'Well you didn't tell me about this meeting; I would have been happy to tell you about the changes I made. I added the security to it so that sales guys couldn't change the formula and since this file is the original, I wanted to make sure the integrity of it was maintained.'"

"She couldn't really say anything and I didn't let on that I knew she tried to steal credit for my work. She definitely took a big hit in reputation, and anything I did after that, I password protected and made sure to copy in the Controller."

– agent_x_75228

The Grudge

"My first job was at McDonald’s. One of the managers had worked for my mom a few years before and hated my mom. She was a dogsh*t employee, and my mom fired her because of it."

"When she realized who I was she started treating me like sh*t and making me do all the sh**ty stuff, cutting my hours when possible and giving me bad shifts like overnights on the weekend then lunch shifts during the week just to f*ck with me."

"One day, she yelled at me because my hair was too long. I literally shave my head to 1/4' every other week, so it was at most 1/2' long, maybe. My response was 'my head is shaved you f'king a**hole' and took my hat off to show her."

"The main store manager was there. Luckily I had been reporting all of the mistreatment and the store manager agreed that my hair has never been too long. I got talked to about cussing at her. She got fired."

"I am 100% sure she hates my entire family at this point."

– iamacannibal

Mad Scientist

"Worked at a lab. New Lab mgr was psycho. Started having meetings every morning which was good until it wasn’t. He’d pick one person and after their report he’d start berating them."

Moved around day to day…diff person. Even our mild-mannered scientists. He started on me one day (I was the one that handled reports on what was late but had no recourse to add staff, schedule or affect anything that would help late results) I pushed back and said scheduling needed to change to improve production."

"He seemed to put me in his sights after that. Would accuse me of ignoring emails (that turned out I wasn’t cc’d on), tell me not to do parts of my job description that others relied on me for and other crazy behavior. He even moved my desk away from where it was grouped with my coworkers to a hallway as a subtle punishment."

"He’d light into me every day. Told local HR but she was scared of him too I could tell (she did say something because it was after that he moved my desk). Got fed up."

"Called the company report hotline on advice from an HR (diff company) friend. They opened a case, hired an outside lawyer to investigate who interviewed me and many of my colleagues and he was fired."

"Turns out he was saying horrible untrue stuff about me to coworkers to undermine me, was doing similar things to others, took furniture home from the office to his apartment among other things."

"I never have felt so vindicated. TLDR: abusive bully boss—called the company report line—investigation—he got fired."

– nvrseriousseriously

Angry And Incompetent

"Had an RN supervisor who had it out for me due to her insecurities (was about to graduate nursing school and I would often point out things she was doing egregiously wrong) and her ignorance regarding union rules (she used to think I was leaving 15 minutes early every day when in reality I wasn't taking my last break until the end of my shift so I could ensure my assignment was completed in full)."

"She never spoke to me about these issues formally but would make constant passive-aggressive remarks and try to find other ways to get me in trouble."

"One evening she entered a 4-bedded patient room in the middle of me getting all of the men into bed for the night with a write-up. She says one of the patients I put in bed before I left the night before ended up falling out of bed and that the bed wasn't left in the lowest position. The problems here were as follows:"

"I couldn't be held responsible for an event that transpired when I was off the clock and out of the building. Another aide had assumed responsibility for my patients when my shift was over."

"She was trying to write me up without a union delegate present. Not allowed."

"She was trying to write me up inside a room filled with alert patients who overheard everything and were able to attest to the fact that she tried to write me up without a delegate present. Extremely inappropriate."

"The bed was an older model that didn't go all the way to the floor, and she couldn't prove that the bed was raised or that I was responsible for the bed being raised."

"So I refused to sign the write-up, to which she threatened further recourse for refusing. I told her I'd talk to the director about it in the morning, and if she felt the write-up was warranted, I'd sign it with a union delegate present."

"The next morning I went to the director of nursing and told her what transpired. By the end of the discussion, she was seeing red. I wasn't there for it, but apparently, she ripped that supervisor a new a**hole and shredded the write-up in front of her."

"The supervisor never messed with me ever again and quit as soon as I graduated from nursing school. I am now assistant director of nursing at this job."

– SomeDrillingImplied

Taking A Risk

"I told him in no uncertain terms that he could not speak to me the way he was and that if he did it again, I'd leave."

"I made it clear that I could walk into any restaurant on our block and get a job on the spot (true), but he had no other options - there was no one who could take my 40 hrs/week and all my responsibilities (I was essentially running half the restaurant at that point) and it would take weeks to find and train somebody to do half of what I do."

"Betting my job on an ultimatum was terrifying, but it worked. He never spoke to me that way again."

– expat_mel

Combative Colleague

"I work in IT, I do tech support over the phone for a financial institution. User calls and asks about an issue he's having, so I remote into his computer and start asking questions to understand the nature of the problem. I eventually ask him if he can inquire with his colleagues, to see if they're experiencing the same problem."

"So he opens up our chat messaging app, asks someone to check, and follows it up with 'I'm with tech support right now, not the brightest guy', which I can very clearly see because I'm still connected."

"So I immediately remind him that I can still see his screen and that I find what he just said very disrespectful. He gets defensive, tells me I'm asking too many questions and 'shouldn't you know how to fix my problem', to which I tell him that's exactly what I'm in the process of doing. Didn't take long for him to realize he's being a douche for no reason."

"In almost 10 years of doing this job at different levels, this was the first time someone apologized to me for acting out of line, and didn't just ask to speak to a manager or hang up on me. I accepted his apology, and then proceeded to not only solve the issue, but end the call on a good note."

"This happened 2 weeks ago."

– DDMenace23

Brewing Racism

"Starbucks. The manager was talking to the DM, kissing ass, and lying about her performance and the store's performance."

"The phone rang. It was an irate customer whom she had just called the N-word."

"I said, 'Hey, Michelle, that woman whom you referred to as a ghetto a** N-word is on the phone. She wants to talk to you. She has Corporate on the line.'"

"She turned so many different colors! She was gone by the end of my shift. Of course, it was all my fault in her eyes. 🤣"

– anon

Driven By Jealousy

"I had a horrible team lead who tried to sabotage me when she found out I was being considered for a promotion that would have jumped over her."

"We both had our own offices so I called her into mine, moved my chair up so I sat higher and pretended like I was her boss and asked her things like 'did you think that behavior was appropriate?' and 'what would you have done differently if given the chance to try again?'"

"I was nervous doing this because I'd literally never spoken to any adult like that ever before in my life."

"I found a new job shortly after that was a 30% pay bump and had a solid career trajectory but let management know why I was leaving and it was 80% because of that lead."

"Found out she was let go soon after I left because other people gave the same reason for leaving. I didn't exactly want her fired but I improved my situation and she got what was kinda coming to her I guess."

– Derp_State_Agent

If a work superior or any co-worker is toxic enough to make your job difficult and create unnecessary problems, it is definitely worth addressing.

But if you're fearful of your position, there are always other job personnel who can listen to your concerns, like someone from HR.

You'll never know what happens unless you speak up.

A civil discussion could be enough to make huge changes that will improve a toxic situation in the work environment.


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