I have a boss who served in the military in Afghanistan. From time to time he says things like, “You should listen to what I say. I’ve killed people.” It really bugs me. Other than ignore the comments, what can I do?
The next time he says it, whisper this in his ear: “Me too. Isn’t it the best feeling ever?” If you are really daring, freak him out even more by caressing his arm when you say it.
If that is too personal of a response for you to carry off, ask your human resources manager if you can start bringing a weapon to work because your boss’s comments are making you fear for your personal safety. That should get their attention.
— Evil Skippy
I had a colleague many years ago who used to say the same thing. It was obvious that he was joking as opposed to trying to intimidate any of us, so I started replying, “I hope you do not mean recently.” After a few times, he responded to me that my joke was getting stale. I just raised one eyebrow (I’m good at that) and stared at him while smiling slightly until it dawned on him that the same description applied to his own “joke”.
If your boss is also trying to be funny (as opposed to actually trying to intimidate people), he is failing because this isn’t funny. Comments that might be entertaining when spoken by fictional action heroes in the movies are not necessarily a good thing in the workplace. These types of comments are a form of bullying and your boss needs to knock it off.
Tell your manager or human resources director what is happening if you do not feel comfortable addressing this directly with your supervisor. Most employers are going to jump all over this and coach the dickens out of your boss about the meaning of appropriate workplace communications.
Readers – what would you do?
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