Listener# 543A32 Story # 6732B
My boss… is OBNOXIOUS. He is an egocentric Alpha male who is racist and sexist and misogynistic and on top of that has a level of bipolar disorder (in my opinion) BUT I need this job. So sometimes he comes in..and we can tell he is in a bad mood. Every time that happens he picks on someone… it could be anyone. This time he picked me. He kept showing up at my office door and bombarding me with questions regarding the work I was doing. His feedback and questions are valid but he wanted a specific answer that I was not giving him. I was trying to humor him and did everything from validating his concerns to taking responsibility for problems in the coding that I had nothing to do with. He still badgers me. Nothing is a valid answer. His demeanor is so confrontational it makes me uncomfortable and nervous and I start to stumble in my answers and start to believe that I am horrible at my job because I cannot answer him clearly. Eventually he calls me into his office to have ‘a talk.’ To shorten the story, I know the only thing that will calm him down was flirting. If I flirt with him, I know he will be ok. If I stroke his ego, I know he will leave me alone. I don’t want to do this… but i needed him to leave me alone. So I do… I flirt, I infuse the conversation with innuendos and flirty smiles while I apologize for whatever it is that he is claiming is bothering him. After 20 minutes he is calm, satisfied and leaves me alone the rest of the day. I, on the other hand, feel like a schmuck. Friends tell me I should be empowered by the fact that I can use my sexuality as a way to change a situation in my favor while others tell me I should just give him a piece of my mind. I can’t risk losing this job. I get a great salary and some great bonuses. I just have to put up with a very unpredictable ego that can derail everything anytime without warning. I will also say, I can’t see how standing up for myself would keep this situation from happening. I think if I was to do that I would get fired. HIs ego is larger than his logic. What is the right call on this?