Dealing with being demeaned at work

Friday, April 05, 2013

Right now, I work for an Office of applied research for a post-secondary institution. It's a 6-month gig (I have one month left) with a high probability of renewal for another 6 months. My job is to basically help everyone else in the office with anything they need (coordinating events, translating, proofreading, creating legal templates or anything else). For the most part, I don't mind my job but I know it doesn't live up to my potential. I have a Master of public administration and am quite capable of handling more responsibility. I am, however, a recent graduate and I am simply grateful to have found employment. Many of my classmates have yet to do so.

Getting to the point... I realize I don't have an important job and my role in this department is of no great importance. However, this gives my boss no right to constantly remind me how insignificant I am. The worst feeling for me is insignificance. I am worth so much more. He does this often by making joking remarks, but they're adding up and I'm slightly frustrated by it this morning.

For example, I have an appointment at my physiotherapist at lunchtime today. I schedule them during my lunch so that I don't take time off from work. When I saw my boss this morning, I informed him that I had an appointment and just said that I may be a little late coming in at 1pm. I let him know out of courtesy so he doesn't wonder where I am. His response: "That's alright, it's not like you're saving lives around here". I just laughed it off, but it stung. He's a nice guy with social skills that leave something to be desired but as the Director of applied research, he should have taken a management class or two and learned that the last thing you need to do is demean employees for no reason.

I always show up on time, do my work (and do it well) and go above and beyond the call of duty. There is no reason for him to keep reminding me how insignificant I am. How does he expect to retain any employees if that's how they're made to feel?

Luckily for me, I will soon find out if I got a federal government job in my hometown (permanent, full-time and about 12K more a year than what I make now). I realize that I'll never have a perfect boss but like I've said, one of the worst things my superior could do is make me feel insignificant. It's also made me accept the fact that I need to start looking for a new job. Although this place was a good starting point, staying in this position for more than a year would not be beneficial to my career growth. If I don't get the job back home, I'm going to hit the job market hard and hope to find something better.

I apologize for the rant, but I thought it would be smarter to vent here than to eat a glazed donut.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    No need to stoop to a little man... U are awesome... keep job hunting1
    1775 days ago
    He has no right to do that to you. Some people are just rude for no reason. If your job was insignificant then they would do away with the position. It's probably not worth it to confront him about his behavior . . . just realize that it probably comes from him having issues with his own inadequacies. People who feel the need to tear others down usually do so because they don't feel good about themselves. His comments speak more about him and who he is than they do about you. Keep your head up and I am crossing my fingers you get that new job!
    1782 days ago
    You deserve better. Period. Don't know what his motives or underlying biases are, but it really doesn't matter. I can tell you from experience that even smart, educated, capable people will begin to believe they are less than if told enough times.

    I wish you luck in finding a job where you are valued and appreciated.
    1782 days ago
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