(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?
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.