Author Topic: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.  (Read 5450 times)

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hobish

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When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« on: November 01, 2012, 04:51:03 AM »

I'm going to say right off the bat there may be some sexism in what i am about to post. While it is a factor, i would prefer if we didn't go off on a tangent about that in particular.

Gish works for a company with under 1,000 people. It is not a big corporation. It is tiny for what it does, but it has been doing it for many years, even where other small and some large companies have failed. They're apparently doing something right.

His boss - the one he anwers to be-all-end-all - is kind of a moody woman. She likes him. She expects good things out of him.
BUT - she talks to him like he is stupid. She will spend 20 minutes chewing him out for doing something he should have done. She talks to him like he is stupid. And she is unpredictable. And everyone else in his bit of the office are women and don't get treated that way. My personal biased opinion is if he was a lady he wouldn't
 :P If it was someone else i might think it was funny.

So:
What does he say?

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athersgeo

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 05:13:30 AM »
I think the short answer is probably: nothing, but start polishing his CV and looking for a less toxic place of employment (which, I know, is definitely not straight forward, but this sounds like the sort of woman he'll never be able to win with.)

A friend of mine was in Gish's situation (only man in an otherwise female office) and was treated in a very similar way, ending up with him losing his job. T took them to tribunal for unfair dismissal (and won) but it was stress and hassle that he could have done without.

WillyNilly

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 08:47:04 AM »
Well I think first and foremost he should look into a new job (even if just transfering depts). But I understand that's not always feasible. So next he should do two fold.

For long term, he should document. He should be specific and detailed but unemotional in his documentation.

For immediate, he can calmly respond "yes. I know. Is there a reason you are focusing on addressing this issue with me specifically?"

He sould also be introspective - maybe he's getting picked on because he's not as good as his co-workers at what he does. Studies have shown for example women tend to be better at multi-tasking then men. Men in turn tendto have more physical strength. (Of course there are exceptions,but in general.) If his job requires lots of multi-tasking and he' doing it one task at a time, he might be getting his work done, but not up to team speed, hence his boss thinking lowly of him. I know I tend to loose patience with workers who may be good but who aren't a good mesh to team workflow.

Of course hopefully its not him, but its worth paying attention to. Some bosses are just bad leaders in they play favorites/least favorites and it shows. But sometimes it really is the employee. And most often, its a little bit of both.

hobish

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 10:14:37 AM »
" I know I tend to loose patience with workers who may be good but who aren't a good mesh to team workflow."

That may be part of it. When he knows he is right he will not let it go. That's good in places with a competitive atmosphere, but in ones where they just want you to do what they tell you, not so much. After getting laid off from competitive mega-corp and going to a smaller company ... he may be a little extra. He is used to being able to argue with a supervisor.

I hope he doesn't have to look for another job. The place where he is now is ok overall; it's just the getting treated like the donkey that is no good.

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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LA lady

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 11:48:28 AM »
That may be part of it. When he knows he is right he will not let it go.

First of all, if he thinks he is the only one who can determine what's right, he will come off as egotistical and difficult wherever he is.[/quote]

Quote
That's good in places with a competitive atmosphere, but in ones where they just want you to do what they tell you, not so much.

The choice of atmospheres is not as simple a dichotomy as "competitive" and "do as  you're told"  (authoritarian)  There is also the teamwork/cooperative model (and probably others that do not come to mind at the moment.  It is not his job to change the culture of his department to the one he likes just because of personal preference.  We women are constantly being told that we need to learn to polish our spines and deal with the competitiveness of the workforce, and that women often don't know how to step out of the cooperative model.  From what you have written, Gish needs to learn more about the cooperative model and how to fit it. The fact that this is an all female department may or may not have something to do with the fact of the cooperative culture.

Quote
After getting laid off from competitive mega-corp and going to a smaller company ... he may be a little extra. He is used to being able to argue with a supervisor.

Anyone should be able to discuss and/or disagree with a supervisor, but in the end, if we cannot persuade the supervisor, we all have to do as told or get out.  That is why the supervisor is supervisor.  And the word "argue" in this context seems to carry a connotation of aggressiveness that is unsurprisingly counterproductive.  I have told younger and more hotheaded friends that I have never seen anyone argue their way out of a traffic ticket.  Persuade, occasionally, but arguing just ticks the officer off.

I think you have largely answered your own original question.  But how do you get an argumentative man who won't let go when he "knows he is right" to make any changes in his own behavior, instead of expecting the supervisor to change?


Luci45

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 12:04:56 PM »
This happens in other places in life, too, so I'm hanging on to this thread to find out if anyone knows how to handle it.

Electronic salepeople, medical personnel, cashiers - they all treat me as if I'm senile and hard of hearing. Not yet, guys. I know you are trying to make compensations , but it  makes me tired.

hobish

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 01:48:52 PM »

Don't get the wrong idea, he isn't obnoxious or anything. Tenacious, maybe; but in a field that attracts a lot of hot heads he is actually pretty unflappable. Even if he were there is no excuse for your boss to slam things around on your desk, poke you in the shoulder, and yell, "What's wrong with you?" People he doesn't even work with directly have asked why he is the department whipping boy.
As for not being as good as his coworkers...maybe i am biased :) but the opposite is more likely true. He is doing the same thing as at the last company, except whereas former company did items 1-10 with 1 being simple and 10 being crazy complex stuff this one does only 1-2.

Polishing up the resume seems like it might be the best option.  :-\
I just really don't know what to tell him that he can say to his boss to let her know she is talking to him in an unacceptable way. I really just don't know. My boss talks to everyone like that, and looks at you like you have three heads when you ask a question. That is just his way. For me, i have flat out told my boss he makes me nervous, and once it was out there we had a much easier time working together. Now it is kind of a joke. The difference is he is not toxic or unreasonable, does not bring his personal life to work, and it is *my* issue - not to mention i work for a mega-corp. Gish's situation is a little different. I feel so bad for him.

Thanks for the excellent advice.

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guihong

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 02:38:53 PM »

Don't get the wrong idea, he isn't obnoxious or anything. Tenacious, maybe; but in a field that attracts a lot of hot heads he is actually pretty unflappable. Even if he were there is no excuse for your boss to slam things around on your desk, poke you in the shoulder, and yell, "What's wrong with you?" People he doesn't even work with directly have asked why he is the department whipping boy.
As for not being as good as his coworkers...maybe i am biased :) but the opposite is more likely true. He is doing the same thing as at the last company, except whereas former company did items 1-10 with 1 being simple and 10 being crazy complex stuff this one does only 1-2.

Polishing up the resume seems like it might be the best option.  :-\
I just really don't know what to tell him that he can say to his boss to let her know she is talking to him in an unacceptable way. I really just don't know. My boss talks to everyone like that, and looks at you like you have three heads when you ask a question. That is just his way. For me, i have flat out told my boss he makes me nervous, and once it was out there we had a much easier time working together. Now it is kind of a joke. The difference is he is not toxic or unreasonable, does not bring his personal life to work, and it is *my* issue - not to mention i work for a mega-corp. Gish's situation is a little different. I feel so bad for him.

Thanks for the excellent advice.

Sorry to say that if my boss laid as much as a finger on me, all bets would be off, etiquette or no.  His boss is so far out of bounds, she's down the street.



rashea

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 09:52:46 AM »
Sounds like it might be time to go to HR. I'd document (while looking for something else) and then go to HR and ask them to mediate a discussion. Then ask why she seems to come down so hard on him? What's going on?

And I agree that I'd be saying something fast if my boss dared to touch me!
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JeanFromBNA

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 03:02:12 PM »
I'm coming in late on this, but I'll give you a different perspective, that only Gish can answer. 

Is she talking to him like he's stupid, or is she explaining more thoroughly so he will understand her reasoning and learn how to lead?  She may be cultivating him. 

hobish

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 06:27:50 PM »
I'm coming in late on this, but I'll give you a different perspective, that only Gish can answer. 

Is she talking to him like he's stupid, or is she explaining more thoroughly so he will understand her reasoning and learn how to lead?  She may be cultivating him.

Not being there I really don't know. I see where you are coming from, having been on both sides of that. She has mentioned in the past that if and when the company expands she would like to send Gish and his counterpart out to the new branches to act as the face of the company.

Hopefully this will all be moot. He has an interview in a completely different branch of the company tomorrow, and has put in resumes elsewhere. Things hit a head this week and it is just not worth staying where he is. I told him i was not expecting so many "look for a new job" responses right off the bat from y'all, and i think it sunk in. So, thanks. Fingers crossed.



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hobish

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Re: When someone talks to you like you are stupid.
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 06:37:52 PM »
This happens in other places in life, too, so I'm hanging on to this thread to find out if anyone knows how to handle it.

Electronic salepeople, medical personnel, cashiers - they all treat me as if I'm senile and hard of hearing. Not yet, guys. I know you are trying to make compensations , but it  makes me tired.

This has been sticking in my head and i wish i knew what to tell you. My BFF, god bless 'er, does that to people. Maybe from years of being an EMT and doing medical transport, or working with mentally disabled people? I don't know. She does that "honey" and "sweetie" in that high-pitched long drawn out vowel style of speaking that people use on toddlers. I don't think it is even conscious.
My mom is in her early 60's and a young woman called her "sweetie" at our campground this summer. It was dark. Mom was mostly amused. I would have wanted to smack a body  :P

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem