Manager FAIL | Boss speaks to me like 'gum on the bottom of his shoe'

Boss speaks to me like 'gum on the bottom of his shoe'

A worker has taken to Mumsnet claiming that her boss speaks to her and colleagues “like a piece of chewing gum found on the bottom of his shoe”.

Taking to Mumsnet, user/backtoworknightmare wrote: “I work in hospitality and my boss is a nightmare, basically. It isn’t an environment that values icy professionalism, it’s more off hand, fast paced and people can be snappy, but he is insufferable.

“He simply cannot manage his own stress and finds outlets in having a go at his staff. He flies and flaps around being shouty, dismissive and just really really unpleasant.

“It stresses everyone out and does nothing to increase productivity, but I’ve never seen anyone do anything other than accept his outbursts,” the Mumsnet user continued.

The worker went on to ask others what else they could do aside from look for a new job as they had never dealt with a boss like this before. This garnered several responses from others on the forum.

One wrote under the username Londongram: “You can't change people – look for another job – over and over I see people stay in unhappy work environments – unless you really can't get another job, move! You might have a chat – they might accept what your say, they might even be sorry, they might even promise to change, they might even mean it – for a short while but then you will be back to square one.”

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Another asked whether there was anyone that the employee could go to about the boss’ behaviour – perhaps someone working in HR.

User/Deedyn continued: “He sounds unbearable and whilst I can understand you wanting to argue back, I’d not waste my time. He’s obviously a very unhappy person himself and I’d spend my energy on looking for a new job instead.”

Further down in the thread, u/backtoworknightmare explained that her employer is “reopening more parts of the establishment after a long time in lockdown and it’s going to be bedlam. He’s going to be unbearable”.

Supporting staff in the workplace

While it is not clear if the poster was UK-based or not, in England various industry sectors are starting to reopen – including parts of hospitality – in line with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.

This has seen many employees return to a central place of work already and will see more go back as more sectors reopen.

Employers and line managers should be thinking about how they can effectively and professionally communicate with staff in the workplace.

In addition to this, they should also provide support to staff given that the pandemic has created a wealth of uncertainty and anxiety for workers.

It is possible that this could see line managers take on a more supportive role, that helps to coach and guide staff members.

In a previous interview with HR Grapevine, Jason Fowler, HR Director & Head of HR Northern & Western Europe at Fujitsu Global, talked about how the line manager role has altered during lockdown.

He previously said: “Now, managers genuinely and sincerely have to think about the care they’re giving to their team and have to want to know and care about how they’re feeling. They’re there to coax, coach and guide,” Fowler added.

While this was discussed in relation to working from home, the importance of supporting staff can be applied to a physical working environment too.

As such, employers and managers should consider how they can support staff going forwards, regardless of where they are working, and communicate with staff in an appropriate manner.

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