Bully Manager Advice

Discussion in 'UPS Partners' started by 30RedWonka, May 26, 2013.

  1. 30RedWonka

    30RedWonka New Member

    Does our company have a policy to protect workers from managers that bully employees? How will UPS HR respond if a complaint is brought forward? I have a documented case that confirms bully behavior over multiple years with the same manager and group of employees. This manager engages in a mild degree of bullying a few times per year. But recently the manager unleashed psychologically impacting threats that must be challenged. I am confused about the company policy because these threats do not qualify for harassment, but they may meet the definition for intimidation. I am interested in both internal and external resolutions to this problem.
  2. LongTimeComing

    LongTimeComing Air Ops Pro

    If it is a legit case, and there is plenty of solid documentation, then HR will handle it. There is also the 1-800 number where you can call it in, but I'm not sure about the effectiveness of that.

    Be prepared to continuously push the issue and insist on action being taken. Be prepared to be disappointed in their initial reaction to your report. Don't give up on it. And keep people involved who have witnessed this issue. It's always a tough subject to deal with in a work place....but people will ultimately get what's coming to them. Good luck.
  3. Integrity

    Integrity Binge Poster


    It is my opinion and experience that the internal processes to handle these situations do not do so with Integrity.

    They perpetuate the accepted deceptive corporate culture that exists and is widely accepted in the world today.

    Going to an outside concern to address these types of matters is in my opinion your best option.

  4. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    Can you provide any examples of the "mild degree of bullying," "psychologically impacting threats" and "intimidation"? Giving examples will help te board give you better recommendations. Thanks.
  5. 30RedWonka

    30RedWonka New Member

    Sure thing worldwide. An example of "mild behavior" is assigning impromptu work to a team member who is currently out of favor with the manager. The manager assigns an undesirable task to someone as a punishment. This type of task may be complex with an immediate due date. If the employee questions the relative priority of the task, the manager acts upset and threatens to reassign the task to another team member. The verbal threat usually occurs loudly in an open office area. The team believes the intent is to humiliate the employee in the presence of all team members.

    A psychological threat would be when the manager publicly commands (in demanding tone) an employee to drop everything and meet in a private office. Once in the office the manager proceeds with a barrage of ultimatums. This manager says things in the heat of the moment that they don't mean like "There's the door if you don't like it" or "I'll have you demoted".

    An event like this occurred recently after a disagreement over a minor issue. The employee involved exceeds management's expectations. The manager relies on this person to set strategy in addition to keeping the team on course. The employee is stunned because s/he isn't accustomed to begin scolded like a child and publicly humiliated.
  6. rpoz11

    rpoz11 Member

    Go out on stress.
    Establish a Medical record on that Management individual.
    Does your state have a workplace non violence department?
    Document that management person.
    Keep personal notes.
    Write down everything that Management person says and does.
    Do it right in front that person to see.
    Get a union member as a witness.
    Exhaust all of your Union's policies.
    Once exhausted, you have a right to hire a Labor Relations Attorney.
    Once an Attorney is retained, by Law, that management person must seize all disciplinary actions related to your complaint.

    Good Luck

    My Stewards turn their backs on us!
  7. quamba 638

    quamba 638 Member

    I just learned to tune everyone at UPS out years ago. I bring in headphones and play carnival music on repeat all day once the belts start.
    It's fitting.
  8. beentheredonethat

    beentheredonethat Well-Known Member

    Ok re mild behavior, you said a boss asks people to drop what they are doing and work on an impromptu task. That's what bosS do, they assign work. You said people will question the deadlines etc. if the boss says it's due in a day and it's a two day project then you should indicate that and if he goes nuts on that he goes to far, however if it is a 2 day job and he gives 2 days to do it, then do it. I'd be a bit upset if my employee questions me for why they were picked to do a task. Or, if they complained with timeline. It's hard to know with limited info but usually people put story in their best perspective. I could see it going either way but I'd give tie to the person who I didn't hear from. I'll review the major one tomorrow
  9. beentheredonethat

    beentheredonethat Well-Known Member

    OK, for the major issue, you indicated there was a disagreement over a minor issue. But you didn't indicate what it was. Again, with so little data it's hard to say what exactly happened and whether the boss was right or wrong. The way I'm reading it is that the employee and the boss had a disagreement within ear shot of others, and he said to the employee to come on in the office to discuss. (that's the way I'm reading what you wrote). If so, that's good, discussions should be behind closed doors. The threats of the person's job is old school and I disagree with it. However, ultimatums such as do it the way I tell you to, is perfectly fine in my opinion. If the boss is telling you to do something that is not illegal, or against company policy, or unsafe etc. Then you should do to the best of your ability. I also think you could offer to suggest a better way of doing it. However, if they don't want to hear it, that's fine. Do it their way. If the boss wants you to do something unsafe\illegal\unethical etc, then that should be reported immediately.

    Again, with only one side of the story, and usually the story shows their side in the best light and the other side int he worst light. Your story doesn't stand up to going to HR. If you left stuff out, then maybe there's more to it.
  10. bsmart

    bsmart Member

    If you have a documented case then I don't understand why you are confused? Have you spoke to this manager? Is it your manager or are you taking up for someone? What you're saying to me doesn't qualify as harassment or threatening.... just bad management. I have dealt with center manager's in particular that are like this. The best thing you can do is not take it. Tell them you are not going to take it and that you expect to be treated professionally at all times.

    If you are bent on this person getting grilled for harassment then stop being confused and call your HR like many have suggested.
  11. bsmart

    bsmart Member

    Yes! Someone else too! I can never get my stewards to confront my center manager when I have been wronged.

    For some reason they just stand there and laugh.... really, I am not joking.... why would they do that?
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  12. 30RedWonka

    30RedWonka New Member


    Thank you for responding. Understand I'm not trying to justify the case to nor gain favor with this audience. I seek sincere advice so I'm trying to be as general and objective as possible. This thread was posted to learn from others who may have contacted HR for a similar situation. Is it always a no win for the employee? Will HR address the case from an objective perspective?

    My previous response was an attempt to provide examples of this manager's behavior. Additional details cannot be provided without revealing identity. This post doesn't describe the event that could fit the definition of a threat or intimidation.

    I would like to clarify my point about the task assignment situation. Some background is warranted to provide the context for my comments. The manager in question knows very little (and cares even less) about the operation for which s/he is responsible. Retirement is the primary objective. This person doesn't keep up with the projects and tasks handled by the team. The team is filled with professionals that successfully operate the unit and deliver above expectations.

    Frequently, this manager receives requests from internal customers for services (can't say what type), and requests from higher level managers in the food chain. These requests are usually due upon receipt because this manager let something slip by or isn't capable of producing the material due to a lack of skills. The manager gets emotional and panics whenever requests like this occur. This is when the immediate demand or task assignment occurs to an unsuspecting team member. The person of least favor receives the call of duty. The employee is expected to drop everything and immediately deliver according to manager's request. No consideration is given to the employee's workload nor to the priorities therein. The team is sick of bailing out the manager and enduring the emotionally charged tirades associated with each request. I hope this explanation clarifies the point.

    In my opinion, a manager should never threaten to fire, demote or discipline an employee. Communication of this nature must only occur once the decision has been made by higher level management working in concert with HR. There are fully documented procedures for this situation. Using these tactics without being serious are likely to be in conflict with company policy, and may be illegal in some states. At the very very least, it indicates a lack of management education, judgement and self discipline. Qualified managers aren't usually in a situation where they have to issue threats just to get his/her way. We are talking about the lowest rung of the management ladder in this situation and the union steward route isn't an option in this case.
  13. LongTimeComing

    LongTimeComing Air Ops Pro

    This guy has "Old school" written all over him.

    This is not going to go anywhere. This is not unique or special behavior. This is old school mentalities clashing with new age thin-skinned individuals who don't like to be told what to do.

    I'm not saying I agree with that style, or even if that style is the best way to do it (it's not)....but this isn't something that is earth-shattering. This old geezer is probably more slick than people give credit, and isn't doing anything that would ultimately get him in trouble. I could tell the same part time supervisor to do the same menial task every single day for no other good reason other than 'because I instructed you to'. Now, that's not going to win me any fans, but it sure as hell isn't breaking any rules. This part time sup will not like it....claim harassment....what me to burn at the stake...but like beentheredonethat had said, if it's not unsafe or against policy or immoral....then it better be done as instructed. That's kind of the whole point of a hierarchy.

    Again, I agree this manager doesn't seem like a peach to work for, but I'm thinking the people affected by him should probably learn to live with it, or at the very least, wait it out as they are close to retirement. Not the most sugar-coated answer, but quite realistic...
  14. beentheredonethat

    beentheredonethat Well-Known Member


    I agree with LongtimeComing, that is typical old school mgmt mentality, and I agree with LTC's opinion. Most likely, nothing really will be done with your boss if you go to H.R. Keep in mind, old school mgmt usually does a great job of documentation. So if you go to H.R. to complain about him\her. Then HR goes to him he will pull out a file about 2 inches thick of everything he has t/w you about. I wouldn't be surprised if he has sat down and had you sign papers re a failure to follow directions. So if HR comes to him, he'll break out this binder of offenses and say, this person is weak, here look at this proof. I've been trying to help him\her and protect him\her. But I should have known better and worked on getting him\her fired. He'll play the old softy nice guy routine. H.R. will dismiss the issue.

    I've had mgrs\div mgrs who were very much like the person you describe. One of them got under my skin so much I filled out my own resignation forms and was within seconds of quitting myself. (That was about 20 years ago). However, I realized it was a game with them. To them, it's almost a badge of honor to get someone to quit.

    Would I want to have another div mgr like I report to be like you describe... NO. Would I want a Supv working for me to be like this...... No.

    Keep in mind, the way you describe it. "
    These requests are usually due upon receipt because this manager let something slip by or isn't
    capable of producing the material due to a lack of skills." A manager is in charge of delegation of work and ensuring one way or another it gets done. They do not need to be able to do the work themself.

    The best advice I can give you is to do the job to the best of your ability. Meanwhile look for other jobs on the internal jobs website. While also looking at external jobs.

    If you decide to go up the food chain to show that your boss is "old school" it will be a tough fight for you to win, since many people above him ar old school too.
  15. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    Also, something that is worth considering, is not just the dirt this person may have on you specifically, but the amount of dirt they have accumulated on everyone around them after working for decades in Operations. This might not sound like a big thing, but trust me: many people learned long ago to never forget; and if your bosses know you know about their skeletons in the closet, they will be very reserved in going after your job.

    As with everything, there is a cost/benefit analysis here - if a manager is totally committed to ruining their career, then obviously the company will be forced to take action eventually. Other than that sort of brazen disregard for political correctness (among other issues), I would echo the sentiments of others that you are barking up the wrong tree.

    And I work for a very, very old school, loud, abusive, crusty, heartless SOB. Outside UPS he is a stand up guy, but inside the building he is beyond reason at times.
  16. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    Ignore them, smile, and soon they go on to someone else.
  17. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    Sometimes, in the dog-eat-dog context of management, that philosophy does not apply. For union, sure; but management, you have to be a little trickier than that.
  18. UPSBOT

    UPSBOT When UPS Was Fun

    Remember when management moved every two years.:smart:
  19. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    I will be blunt...
    There is your version of what is going on, there is his version of what is going on, and then there is the truth.

    1.Have you gone to your boss and discussed your concerns? You may just need to have a heart to heart so that you both have a better understanding of each others position.

    2.Can anyone corroborate your version?
    How many are willing to stand up with you? If nobody is willing, you may have to re-think your position.

    You lost me at getting demoted. ?? You would have to be a manager to be threatened with demotion. So I already have concerns with your version.

    3.If you can't get resolve the situation with your manager directly, go to the division manager and inform your manager you would like to speak to his boss.
    Don't go behind his back.

    4. If the division manager is not cooperative, then go to HR.

    CAUTION: Any step you take after 1 & 2 puts a lot of heat on the situation. There may be no going back. If you are not sure about how strong a position you have, you may be damaging your own career beyond repair, if your perception of what is happening is not accurate. Get with someone you can trust in your operation and ask advice or go to HR off the record.

    Best Alternative to start the ball rolling....
    If you have a lot of folks in your department that feel like you do, you may be able to set up a town hall style meeting to air out your issues as a group. (Safety in numbers). You ask that the HR rep, the manager and the division manager all be present and see what can be resolved.

    An action plan is put together, and a follow-up date is put on the calendar to see if the issues were resolved and what further action is needed to resolve anything that has not been completed.
  20. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    An action plan and a date on the calendar? My gosh.

    Are you sure you don't work for HR? C'mon .. we both know that is a BS solution and does nothing. Honestly, sir ...