I used to have a very chatty manager that wanted to spend some time at work chatting about all kind of stuff. This is more or less normal I think.
What was a bit weird was that my manager used to hold a lot of opinions that I would consider somehow common (at least in the region were I used to leave) but quite wrong. Most of his opinions were not against law, but were what I would describe as "backward" and especially common among old uneducated people living in my area.
Some of his opinions for instance were:
- cyclists should not be allowed on the road and cycle paths are a waste of space
- the "mission" in life of a person should be to have kids and grow them properly. If you don't you are just wasting your life
- at the same time when you are young and not married yet you should spend your time "having fun" with girls
- a cheap car makes you look ridiculous
- climate change is probably a hoax and any effort to improve the environment is a thing for idiots
- the perfect holiday is his kind of holiday, which is on a beach resort getting tanned. Every other type of holiday destination was just a waste of your holiday time
You got the idea I think.
This gave way to a kind of environment were his opinions ended up as the baseline of any discussion since some of the people working with this manager just tended to (genuinely) agree with what he said, other people didn't agree but never voiced any different point of view and tried to talk about different subjects, and, more importantly, people openly disagreeing were often sidelined and saw their career progression stop, up to the point were they just preferred to leave.
My first reaction was to try to discuss some of these topics in a more light-hearted way, making him notice that different point of views may exist and be valid (such as by making passing remarks on what was on the news), but it never worked. I ended up just avoiding any discussion and eventually leaving.
Is the behaviour that I've seen from this manager somehow acceptable? Do you think there could have been a better reaction?
An important addition to this question is how I would describe most of the topics discussed by said manager as non-political, at least not directly. The main common characteristics of his point of views was to be very judgmental, in some occasions without any specific target and in some cases addressed towards someone (as in "You went to and spent all your days there in museum? You really don't know how to travel mate" or "you are getting salad again? You must be fun at parties" at the canteen).