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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Belle Rose 3 years, 11 months ago.

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    Belle Rose

    I used to be a pushover and a doormat. The pendulum swung the opposite direction, and through life circumstances and experiences… A lot of experiences where I was either taken advantage of, or hurt, now I am different. I have been told that I am too “hardcore.”

    Somebody told me today that I needed to soften up just a little bit. Maybe.

    I am in another work situation where my direct superior is kind of an asshole to me. I have been putting up with it. But this weekend I had to put him in his place.

    I don’t recognize myself anymore. I see through people’s bullshit in ways that nobody else around me does. The thing about it is that people like that always have a good reputation with the people who count. So when you try to say something, it always comes back to hurt you.

    Last week I tried talking to the “HR” person. Big mistake. He was like, “oh wow I’m really surprised! He’s one of our best mentors!” To which inside I was rolling my eyes thinking, “Of course….here we go.”

    I do not want to meet with this guy at all anymore. I thought about sending him an email and telling him that our mentor / mentee relationship is over. But one of my longtime business mentors told me that something like that could backfire and he could forward it on out of context.

    The good news is that the main boss is the one who hired me and is genuinely there to help me.

    I’m not sure what to do.


    Simon Paynton

    I think “hardcore” is good, especially with manners.  “Hardcore with good manners” is the best kind of old-school charm if you ask me.

    something like that could backfire and he could forward it on out of context.

    The good news is that the main boss is the one who hired me and is genuinely there to help me.

    It seems to me this answers your question.  Your big boss provides the greater context of you complaining about your direct supervisor, and your point of view, and s/he obviously trusts you to talk sense.  I would have thought the big boss would be grateful for accurate feedback on one of his/her employees.

    I was in this situation once, and if I’d have acted, I might still be in work.  My direct boss was a narcissist whom I said “no” to on a number of occasions, and therefore, she set out to ruin me, including lying about how much work I was doing.  I should have gone over her head.

    In other words, if your big boss is your friend and on your side, try talking to him/her.


    Instead of using the word “hardcore” as it can appear militant would it be better to think in terms of having a “low bullshit tolerance”?

    Somebody told me today that I needed to soften up just a little bit.

    Ask them what they mean by that. If you let things simmer too long then you will appear to be too confrontational when it comes to any kind of conflict resolution. It is better to be assertive at an earlier stage to prevent things escalating to the point of needing a third party or manager to resolve it.

    “He is one of our best mentors” OK, I would ask what standards is that based that on? What qualifications does he have to teach? What courses have the company put him on to be a mentor?

    The HR person needs training too.  Hiring and firing people is not a qualification.

    Raise issues early and keep notes.

    Can I assume the person who suggested you soften up is a man that suddenly feels challenged by your change of attitude? The pendulum can be in the middle too.



    Ivy, start with HR. Ask for a new mentor. You can indicate that it is a matter of interpretation whether your mentor is inappropriate/asshole or you have some gut reaction that others do not but you need a new mentor as the current guy is affecting you personally.

    If you don’t succeed that way in getting a new mentor then confront the mentor privately. Tell him you don’t appreciate (be specific as to his offensive conduct/words/actions) and if he ameliorates his past transgressions then the issues are put to bed and this conversation remains private. However if it continues you will avail yourself of whatever internal grievance procedure and barring satisfaction there you will go to court.

    If you don’t want to be that confrontational you can be indirect but certain he will get the message….my friend had the following things happen to her and her boss got in big trouble…i have been reading these case studies of how power dynamics make certain men behave as follows…



    Record your interactions with HR and your mentor if you can. If it doesn’t have an audio record function built in, you can probably get an app. In a pinch, start a video capture but put the phone out of site (pocket, purse) and it will record audio even if it can’t record video.

    BTW, if you’re still in Washington State, which is a 2-party state for recording conversations (you’d technically have to inform the other party they are being recorded), so any recording would technically be illegal and for your private use only, to help remember what was said, for example. If you’re elsewhere, this is something to google.

    Of course, you just be up front, too. “If we’re going to talk, I want a record of it, so I will record this conversation or we won’t be having a conversatiion.”



    But this weekend I had to put him in his place.

    I got a good feeling as soon as I read this, but am hoping that current job market shrinkage doesn’t hurt your prospects.


    Belle Rose

    I work in a very cutthroat industry. And I already know that since I did what I did, and he’s already in good with the company, I am the new B.… Nobody’s going to do anything to help me. I’m going to have to help myself. But if I do with the company needs me to do then they won’t fire me. If I don’t… They most definitely will.

    It’s still a white man’s world



    If that is the case it behooves you to understand the legal issues.

    If the company fears liability you may get some relief.


    Belle Rose

    @jake there is no relief and honestly they don’t give a shit. I’m not too worried. I know what I have to do. I just have to do my job

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