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Personality conflicts?

by Katherine
(Atlanta, GA USA)

I'm worried that I might get fired. I work in GA and it's an at-will state. If I get fired because I can't get along with my boss, does that mean he has the authority to deny my unemployment?

My current job stresses me out so much that I'm terrified I just might have a heart attack. And it's the stupidest little job, it's SO not worth it. My boss is a major micromanager and everyday is a nightmare. He calls and emails like 20 times a day - where is this? Where is that? And the crazy part is he's always saying how fast I am at getting things in and yet he's still pushing me harder!! And I get no praise and he totally ignored his obligation to give a performance review at one year - see, because it's all about him. I don't even have time to eat lunch I've been so stressed out and worked so hard. Finally on Friday I blew up at him and told him what a micromanager he was and how much me and my coworker hate it and how he made her cry.

I have been trying for weeks to find another job but this stupid economy sucks!! I pray everyday for a new job or maybe that a bus will hit me or something. It is so unfair that they give bosses all the power to use and abuse you and you have no way to do anything about it.

So can these monsters deny me unemployment if they fire me? I'm seeing all this stuff on here about "insubordination" - and while I don't refuse to do things, I certainly don't do all of his stupid little tasks with a smile either. What do you think?

Hi Katherine,

Let's get the "at will employment state" thing out of the way. All states are at will states to some degree or another. Here is a neat little pdf at the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tells us state by state what exceptions a state may have regarding the doctrine.

Can you tell me if there are people above your bosses head that you could go to about his micro-management? Does he actually not allow you to take lunches .. or do you not take lunches for fear that he'll make your life more miserable.

Employers do not have "authority to deny unemployment benefits". They pay for unemployment so they have the right to protest any claim for unemployment. But if they fire us .. they must prove it was for misconduct and if we quit it almost always has to be attributable to the employer .. or to put it simply .. the employer's fault we quit.

And yes, we might be denied
unemployment if we have a bad attitude toward our employer. If we can get unemployment for quitting because the employer has a bad attitude .. we can be denied unemployment for having a bad attitude.

In either circumstance there almost always has to be evidence showing that the other party was given opportunities to correct the offending behavior before the moving party ended the employment.

Katherine, I think you need to calm down a take a different view of your job .. and your boss. If he emails you 20 times a day .. so what? That's a walk in the park even if it's annoying.

Step back and try to see things objectively .. including your own reactions to this guy. Why is it so common for people to stress about a miserable employment situation .. or boss to the point of fearing a heart attack .. instead of approaching it in a calm rational and reasonable state of mind.

When I read about how upset people get with their bosses and how stuck or angry they feel .. it puts me in mind of a parent-child relationship ..

We are adults and we have choices, we know when something is right or when something is wrong, and even though we are financially vulnerable to unfair actions or reactions of an unreasonable boss .. we still have the ability to keep our own sense of what's fair and reasonable and when things aren't .. address it.

When we do this .. we are actually behaving in a way that protects us and greatly minimizes the possibility that we will be denied unemployment benefits, should the worst happen because we are acting like mature adults instead of giving voice to our insecurities.

He can't force you not to take lunch if the company gives you lunch breaks. (you should also check GA's labor laws on this because not all states are the same with regard to what an employer must provide).

What is the real reason you don't like this guy? Is it because he's an anal MM .. or is it because he demands more from you than what is in your job description .. maybe it's just that his particular management style is stressful to subordinate's. Is he verbally abusive? Write a list. What is common to all your gripes?

Whatever it is .. you have to take your problem beyond him and ask someone to help resolve the problems. You have to act reasonably, deliberately, and be focused keenly on the problem. You need to be clear.

That's hard to do when the very thought of your job turns you into an emotional wreck. I think the biggest obstacle to fixing a personality conflict or harassment situation is very often us.

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Uh-oh someone has a conflict, but I'm not sure with what exactly.
by: Chris -

So, what good advice would you have to offer? Especially if the point being asked from is about possibility of unemployment benefits when a job is lost, be it by quitting, or discharge that began and ended appearing to be a "personality conflict?

And what exactly was belittling?

give me a break
by: Anonymous

this is horrible advice to give someone and to be little her at the same time...i think she realizes she is an adult already and is trying to rectify her situation, telling someone to suck it up and take a different view is not the answer

Fired for Dating
by: seamedic

My daughter was just fired in Georgia because she started dating a guy and she didn't tell her boss about it, Her boss felt like she should know every aspect on my daughter work and social life,

Here's my question .. Does your daughter dating this guy somehow cause harm to the employer's interests? Is it somehow related to the job she does?

It's allowed of course because employment is at will, but for purposes of unemployment benefits .. firing someone for dating will go over like a lead balloon.

And most employers know this .. so look for the employer to say it was for a different reason related to the work .. that's all misconduct covers .. anything related to the work.

wish I knew then what I know now
by: Anonymous

In reading these situations, I have to say, that I just got out of a similar situation. and the advice i have is not one of "parent - child" but of someone who has been there - first, and foremost - you need to be the best employee you can be - without fault - do not complain to ANYONE in your workplace (Trust no one at work)- if you have a grievance, state it in a professional manner, in writing, to your HR department. Have someone else read it first to be sure it doesn't just sound like sour grapes but makes clear points about the situation and what you want done. Make sure NOTHING on your email or in your desk can come back to bite you. Comments, jokes, personal emails, etc.
keep a journal of comments made to you, hours you keep, lunches you miss, comments made about you to others, etc. DON'T keep this at work -
Then step back, realize that it is not your fault. and don't take the criticisms or caustic comments personally. be a Duck - let it roll off your back - if there is something constructive take it to heart, but otherwise, just keep your head down and do your job. And on the weekends and in the evenings look for another job - nothing is worth your health or mental health. There are lousy bosses in the world - and you can't get along with everyone - you will be successful somewhere else. Good luck.

Personality conflicts
by: Anonymous

I am working at a job right now that makes me want to quit or cry everyday all because of a Supervisor that clearly has a personality issues of some sort with me. It's not the easiest thing to prove to your boss...especially when the boss thinks the Supervisor is a God. I'm beginning to feel that I'm at the beginning of the end at this job.

I've been given a written warning for reasons that have nothing to do with my work performance. Clearly it's a personality thing. I am expected so sign the written warning and return it to be put in my file. After 3 warnings, you're fired.

I want to make it known to my bosses how I'm feeling about this inappropriate written warning. How do I proceed?


State your case, in written form preferably via email and offer it as a response to the corrective action .. keep a copy for yourself .. o

I have no idea what your end result will be .. I have not talked to you or know any of the details of what is happening to you .. I just know that instead of acting like a victim .. you need to step up and make your concerns or "complaints" about the problem known .. otherwise, you'll be easy to get rid of and it will be like there is no trace of your existence left at this job .. you'll become a non-factor .. with nothing to show that you either quit for a personality conflict .. which by the way is disqualifying without efforts from you to attempt to preserve the job .. or you will end up fired and you'll be made to look like the one that has the conflict .. not your boss.

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