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Am I right to feel offended by my boss's improper comment?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 January 2018) 10 Answers - (Newest, 11 January 2018)
A male age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hi.I teach at a higher education institution, where I had an incident with my boss today. While I was having coffee with four colleagues, he told us to not use electric heaters because the central heating system - which has never really worked – was being tested again. Half in jest I stated that we should then have a reduced schedule. He snapped at me: “Don’t be like wicked women”. In my language, this expression means being ridiculous and gossip/rumor-monger. I didn’t lash out at him but just said calmly that it’s our right to not be cold.

After a while, I walked into his office and told him that he had offended me, and that I had not reacted properly against his statement due to the presence of the others there. It turned out that he had taken my comment personally, which was not the case. I told him to never behave with me like that.

Am I overreacting or I have a point here?

Thanks

( In the end, I should add that we’re the only higher education institution at home having no flexible schedule. My former boss managed to have a reduced office time, since we finish class at 13:00 at the latest, whereas this one doesn’t bother to do anything about it.)

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 January 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

BillyBathgate..I was primarily offended because he compared me to a woman like that!

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (11 January 2018):

Aunty BimBim agony auntLet me recap

Your Manager made what seems to be a reasonable request of you and your colleagues, to not use the heaters because the heating system was being tested.

You responded, half in jest, so I assume it was half seriously as well, about a reduced schedule. He snapped and told you not to be a rumour monger .... I'm guessing you discuss your preference for a reduced schedule often, hence his comment.

If, as you say, the heating has never worked properly and this manager is getting the system tested again that suggests he is aware of the heating issue and trying to resolve it.

I think you spoke out of turn, and your manager reacted to what he saw as a personal attack.

What your former manager did is not relevant, the new guy is your boss and you need to acknowledge that.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 January 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Youcannotbeserious..You have a point here. My comment was out of place. [In hindsight, I admit, I have asked him frequently - too often maybe? - to do something about us having a flexible schedule again..]

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 January 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks for the feedback.

Well, he doesn't set the schedule, but he does nothing about having a flexible one by discussing it with higher authorities.

To make my point clear, he told me that he taken my comment on reduced schedule personally, not that I offended him in his office. There I just asked him not to talk to me like that again.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (11 January 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntI think, if you have issues with your work conditions, you should be raising them in an appropriate manner with your manager, rather than "jesting" about them in public and then deciding to feel hurt when you get snapped at. I find, if you treat people respectfully, they tend to treat you the same way.

Admit it: you were playing to an audience (your co-workers). Your attempt at humour fell flat because your boss was probably already stressed and didn't want additional hassle from his team. Your boss was not suggesting you be cold; he was telling you how to stay warm using an alternative heating method.

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A male reader, CMMP United States + , writes (11 January 2018):

I just think it's really cool that you had the courage to say something to him. I wish more people felt comfortable saying how they feel.

If you became offended by what he said, and he became offended by what you said, it sounds like you both are in the same situation. I think you shouldn't worry about it. If you feel compelled, you can tell him that you're sorry that you offended him in order to smooth things over.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 January 2018):

Were you angry at what he said, or the fact you aren't given a flexible schedule?

If he sets the schedules, I guess you have little choice but to work according to those schedules.

My advice? Choose your battles. Don't pick fights with the boss, if you need your job.

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A female reader, holeymoley Australia +, writes (11 January 2018):

holeymoley agony auntNipped it in the bud. next time he may think twice about doing it to you or anyone else for that matter.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (11 January 2018):

Were you offended because he compared you to a woman or because his comment was a put down of women?

Well either way you felt offended and you told your boss about it. If it doesn’t happen again you got your point across. If it does happen again you may need to go to his boss.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (10 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntYou stood up for yourself, nothing wrong in that. The fact that you went and talked to him face to face (and not in front of others is also good).

As for how he chooses to NOT let you all have a flexible schedule, well if he is the boss then HE is the boss... Maybe you and your co-workers can suggest you do things like the predecessor?

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