Work: Anger in the workplace

In the previous article titled Work: Sometimes you just can’t win we described how our colleague took the decision to quit their job with no other job lined-up. They will use the time that they have while unemployed to have more time for Dharma activities.

The decision to leave was based on multiple factors and most of them related to our colleague’s interactions with their manager. The company, organisational structure, industry, and other features of the workplace mattered very little to the decision to leave. They could be working anywhere and the day-to-day experience of our colleague would be 80% determined by their manager. In other words their manager determined colleague’s experience at that company.

There was a large project run by their manager with many working parts. Unfortunately their manager was unable to articulate clear deadlines and expectations, so the project did not run smoothly. Their manager became worked-up and anger arose in their manager as it became clear that deadlines and expectations would not be met for the project. The project team were subject to their manager’s anger. This forced some workers to work through the day time and night time to meet these newly articulated deadlines and expectations. Our colleague also worked far more hours than they really should.

It was the experience of anger from their manager that really unsettled our colleague. We think that a good manager should get the most out of their team by working together and creating an atmosphere for collaboration so that the team can work obstacles as they arise. Instead, our colleague felt uncomfortable around their manager. Their manager created an uncomfortable working atmosphere that was a hindrance to  meeting the deadlines and expectations. The atmosphere featured uncomfortable silences, tense conversations, abrupt exchanges in emails and chatrooms, a sense of blame. After 10 days of this, our colleague made the decision to leave the company.

It is one matter to lack project management skills, such as articulating deadlines and expectations. It is quite another matter for a manager to treat their team with anger or creating an uncomfortable working atmosphere. Through these actions, it meant that the project suffered and in-turn the company suffered.

Our colleague had previously made three seperate requests to their manager that would alter their role and responsibilities at the company. These requests had all been denied. Together, the actions of their manager led our colleague to make the decision to leave the company. With the loss of their skills and experience at the company will no doubt delay the progress of the company.

We wish our colleague all the best in their time off, to have the opportunity to practice the Dharma, and to develop their professional skills.

Love, @happyops