Impossible to Please

Handling hypercritical people at work and at home

The Toxic Workplace

Today's workplaces are more stressful and toxic than ever before. So, how does yours shape up? Read More

The Toxic Workplace

I once worked in an environment that could be described as toxic. I loved working for my supervisor, but one of the employees drove me to distraction with her cutting remarks and disdainful attitude toward me. I eventually quit. It was a part-time job that I loved doing, but being in contact with her made it almost unbearable.

Toxic Workplace

To Barbara Altman,
Thank you for sharing your experience in the toxic workplace. You raise an important point that sometimes the toxic person can be an employee and not necessarily a boss or administrator. It’s unfortunate that you left the position because of this individual but sometimes that is the healthiest option. What’s even more unfortunate is that there were other aspects of the job (and co-workers) that you liked. This type of individual does exact a toll on companies and organizations who end up losing good people and loyal employees. Thanks for your comments. Alan

At Wit's End

I work on a small farm my supervisor has been running the sprout operations for a long time. So my main boss does not have to be bothered with unnecessary day to day problems. There are only three people working at this time including me, her and her boyfriend. my problem is that when I ask a question she acts as if Iam questioning her ability and gets angry talks down to me if I do not say any thing then Iam giving her the silent treatment and gets mad. Help do not know what to do have tried a lot of different things nothing seems to work do not wait to quit.

reply to post "At Wit's End"

Hello Wanda,
Sounds like you're in quite a bind from what you posted and you've already tried many ways to approach your supervisor. Also sounds like she's not very friendly even when you try to approach with with non-work related issues? Is she dissatisfied with the work you're doing or just when you approach her with questions? Also sounds like you're working for someone with a lot of personal insecurities, especially if she's feeling threatened by your questions. Do you come to the job with more experience than she has or is she frustrated that she expects you to know more? If you do have more experience than she, than I can see where you need to "walk on eggshells" when it comes to approaching her by prefacing your questions with things like, "I don't mean to bother you but I just want to make sure I'm doing this right..." or "I need to get your advice on something so I don't mess things up". With people who are insecure it sometimes help to acknowledge their expertise and that you're "on the same team" and not out to sabotage them. How do you get along with the boyfriend? Is he easier to approach? Is your supervisor also threatened if you have any interactions with him. Looking forward to hearing from you. Alan

Toxicity from clients/customers

As a former public defender, not only was the administration toxic, and my coworkers suffering in record numbers from burnout, but many of the clients (indigent persons accused of crimes) were hostile, belligerent, overbearing, ungrateful, psychotic, mistrustful, manipulative and/or downright evil. Finally, given the disdain towards defense attorneys of the general public and the other legal professionals' in the system (prosecutors, judges, police officers, etc.), I HAD to get out before it destroyed me.

My point: don't ignore the potential toxicity of the "customers" and others outside the office.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Dr. Cavaiola is a Professor in the Department of Psychological Counseling at Monmouth University (New Jersey) where he is a member of the graduate faculty.


Subscribe to Impossible to Please

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.