Be nice. Or else.
I could be wrong, but the impression I've been getting is that 'acting professionally' is escalating to HR, confronting the boss, and essentially handling it. I hate to say it, but Jordan here pretty much kept quiet, and left because he 'didn't' do those things....
I could be wrong.
Like Jordan, I've been in similar situations. I think it's safe to say we all have at one time or another.
What ultimately makes the difference is how we handle things.
When a cat like this abuses his authority, the best thing to do is go to HR, or have a little chat with the guy... tell him to knock off the jokes, or...hell....throw one back at him.....maybe the guy just has a messed up sense of humour and is looking for someone to josh around with.... hard to say... either way, I'm sorry for Jordan....it sucks to have a dream gig like that meltdown in the way that it did...but use this as a learning experience....try and think, 'what would i do differently next time. my guess is that just from reading these comments, Jordan has probably learned a thing or two....(usually the reason for sharing something big like this is to learn a thing or two from other folks experience)
Neither of those options are realistic.
There's a large power differential in any relationship between an employee and a boss. Good bosses do what they can to mitigate that problem, but to simply say "Just confront him about it!" assumes a level of equality between two parties that often doesn't exist—it certainly doesn't exist in this situation.
Frankly, I'm quite surprised to see how many people think going to HR is the right move. It's so widely known that HR is not going to advocate for employees, Google autocompletes the search term "HR is not" with "HR is not your friend" and "HR is not on your side".
Here's study on workplace bulling, which found that 83% of the time, when HR was told about the bullying, they either did nothing or took negative actions against the target of bullying.
Most of the time, bully situations are resolved by the target transferring (11%), quitting (38%) or getting fired (44%), so despite all the advice to try to work it out, this is statistically unlikely to be effective.
The lack of support for Jordan in this comment thread is consistent with the data, which shows that coworkers are the least likely to be supportive of targets of bullying. Given high chance of retaliation, it is in the self-interest of coworkers to try to distance themselves from a target to avoid sharing the same fate.
Be nice. Or else.
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