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I recently started a new job at a startup (1 month). When I had my first interview with my manager, things went extremely well. However, now that I’m on the job I am extremely unhappy.

My boss is constantly telling me to be more proactive and ask more questions. However, any time I ask a question, he never answers it directly. He feels the need to answer it and then point out how the answer was easily available via Google or some internal doc or simply that I should be more proactive about figuring it out myself. However, often times these things are blatantly incorrect: the answer isn’t available easily via Google, the internal doc he links is missing the information, etc.

Recently, we had a meeting and after he finished talking I said “that makes sense” to try to communicate that we were on the same page. He snapped and said: “don’t say that, that’s annoying.”

Often times, I feel like I’m the public punching bag for passive aggressive humor. Before meetings he’ll jokingly say things like, “Oh looks like we all better stop goofing around, right [my name]?” One time in a public meeting I made a statement and he said that it was “fucking stupid” in front of everyone.

Sometimes after the meeting my coworker will say that I shouldn’t worry about it and that they’re sorry about the situation. I don’t want to talk about my manager behind his back, but I’m not sure I made the right choice moving jobs. I turned down a higher paying promotion at my old job to work here because I thought the company was a lot cooler; however, I am now regretting it. I even had an old friend that used to have this same job say that this boss was one of the best bosses they’ve ever had, so I’m often questioning if I’m doing something wrong.

I’m torn about whether this situation is a common thing in companies with employees that put in tons of effort. Perhaps, my manager is just trying to get me to work harder? Perhaps, I’m being overly sensitive. Or perhaps I’m not and I should go talk to HR about it. Has anyone had a similar experience?

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    Making offensive jokes and calling you stupid in front of others is certainly not a "common thing". But I don't think reporting this to HR will get you anywhere. It might make more sense to try and find another job. – Peter Jan 28 at 19:04
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I turned down a higher paying promotion at my old job to work here because I thought the company was a lot cooler; however, I am now regretting it.

This is why I always advise people not to move jobs unless they need to and there is an actual problem at their current workplace. While "cooler" might seem like a good idea, you're essentially making a horizontal shift and your risks increase because there are many factors outside of "coolness" that come into place. This is a perfect example of that.

You now have an actual problem that needs to be resolved. And that resolution may be... changing jobs.

I’m torn about whether this situation is a common thing in companies with employees that put in tons of effort. Perhaps, my manager is just trying to get me to work harder? Perhaps, I’m being overly sensitive. Or perhaps I’m not and I should go talk to HR about it. Has anyone had a similar experience?

First step is to identify what the problem is. So right now your boss is saying you need to ask more questions and when you do ask questions, your boss refer you to guides or go on google. So right now you need to figure out if your boss has a legit reason to tell you this advice. Are you unable to deliver something because you failed to ask something? If not, then it would mean your boss has no reason to tell you this.

Second thing, this isn't a problem that came over time. This is a problem that came right out the gate. Perhaps your boss is upset that you were hired. I don't know how the hiring process went but it would not be uncommon for someone else to hire and simply plant you in the team and no one has a choice. It could be that you're replacing someone that boss really liked or had in common with. So maybe their frustration is because of something that happened previously.

Third thing, I would look into getting your old job back. It doesn't hurt to call your old manager and simply say you made a mistake and want your old job back. If you left on a good note, perhaps they will hire you back. However, you need to be quick with this because your position is no doubt listed and your position may get filled. So you need to act today, right now.

Fourth, if you decide to stick with this job, I would sit down with your boss. Explain exactly how you explained here. And also make sure you state your deliverables and that you have met them. Say, "Boss, I met my projects and done my deliverables. But you are saying I don't ask questions and then when I do you refer me to guides or google that don't seem to answer my question. I'm not sure we're on the same page or not and wanted some clarification on what I need to do and you expect?"

If he can't answer or is very snappy, I would go straight to HR next. Actually right after that meeting followed by me turning in my 2 weeks after I found a new job.

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