My supervisor takes a lot of prescription drugs, which is affecting his ability to make reasonable decisions. Even without the drugs, he has a tendency to be snippy in verbal and written contact. Management appears to be aware of the supervisor’s shortcomings but is tolerant because of the medical problems and the supervisor’s long history (over 15 years) with the company. The office is short handed as there are currently two positions unfilled. When one person is out on sick leave or vacation, the supervisor will assign additional work to the people left in the office, which does not leave us time get our own work done. Then the supervisor will make snippy remarks about the workers falling behind in their own work. Any suggestions?
You are saying “snippy” as though it’s a bad thing. What’s up with that? Snippy is better than boring so stop griping.
— Evil Skippy
Sorry about that. Someone seems to be a bit sensitive today.
Who would not be sensitive to find out that more people “like” BEETS on Facebook than “like” Evil Skippy at Work. It saddens me.
Nice plug. You’re hoping people will click that link, “like” you and then tell their friends. Subtle. Let’s get back to Overwhelmed, shall we?
Overwhelmed, it sounds like there are many layers of problems at your office. People are over-worked due to the vacancies and your supervisor is not treating you in a respectful manner. You seem to be focusing on your supervisor’s behavior, so I will focus on that issue as well.
Taking medication or having lots of seniority is never an excuse for treating co-workers in a snippy manner. In fact, there is no excuse for such conduct. Forget the fact that medication is involved and do the following, in the following order:
1. Meet with your supervisor independent of any “snippy” moment. Do this when you feel calm, cool and collected. Tell him that you would appreciate it if he would drop the “humorous” comments when he is acting as your supervisor. (Describing his comments as “humorous” takes away most of the sting carried by “snippy.” The comments are not funny to you, but for the time being assume that your supervisor is attempting to be funny as opposed to being intentionally rude.) If he feels the need to ask why you’ve made this request– and he shouldn’t – tell him that the comments are condescending and degrading to you. Note that you did not tell your supervisor that HE is condescending or degrading. You have not made it personal and that is a good thing. Leave it at that. Thank him for his time and expect that your request will be honored. If it is not, the very first time that a snippy comment is directed at you, proceed to Step Two.
2. If another snippy moment is directed at you, tell the supervisor right away that this is what you meant by “humorous” comment and ask that he respect your request. Document that you have done so by sending an e-mail to yourself. If the supervisor give you a hard time about standing up for yourself, or if he refuses to stop being snippy, proceed to Step Three.
3. Report him to his boss or to Human Resources.
At this point, management may decide that the “snippy” comments are not bad enough to violate your policies. Then again, they might discipline or remove your supervisor. It all depends on exactly what the supervisor is saying and how he is saying it.