I originally joined my workplace on a verbal agreement to create a website, and carry out admin work at the same time. Now I find myself just doing admin work, point-and-click-paper-pushing, and nothing skilled whatsoever.

My manager likes to ask to ask me to drop whatever I'm doing and make tea or coffee for everyone, but at other times goes and makes a beverage for themselves and doesn't offer anyone else.

I already feel a complete lack of respect from various incidents. However I feel this is a sure-fire indicator that they don't care about anyone else, and see me as an unskilled subordinate who's here to fulfill their whims.

I can't just drop the job, as much as I'd like to, but I am working on setting up a local business to get away from this as soon as possible.

In the meantime, how can I command more respect? How can I indicate that my time is better spent elsewhere?

Just FYI: This is the kind of person who answers most honest questions in a tone that implies you're stupid and you should know the answer.

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of How to gain respect from more experienced co-workers Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 19:57
  • 3
    why is this question closed? Seems a perfectly legit workplace issue. The OP is being treated as a tea lady (which is a perfectly respectable profession if that is your role) which impacts on how his colleagues perceive him/her and is asking for strategies to mitigate against this. I'm sure there are strategies to gain respect in the workplace and deal with such bosses.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 22:18
  • 2
    @Kilisi I would suggest creating a meta post explaining why you feel it should not have been closed (I agree with you, by the way), and it may get reopened.
    – Jane S
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 0:19
  • 3
    Also, @Chad, I think there is a large difference between this question and the one you linked. Your question is about someone new to the workforce who is looking to prove themselves so that their ideas will be considered. This question is about a manager who does not even give the opportunity to show one's abilities and treats the OP as completely unskilled.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 15:27
  • 1
    @Chad, I disagree that the answers apply to both. The linked answer assumes that other senior colleagues have a neutral impression of you, as opposed to what appears to be a negative impression in this case. Also the linked answers generally say to do a good job with your work so people will value your opinions more. Continuing to do the work in this case might make the OP respected as a secretary, but not as the web developer he thought he was hired to be.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 21:08

3 Answers 3


Is it worth raising any issues with them, or should I just keep my mouth shut and move on asap?

My advice is to soldier on just until you can get out. I have done demeaning jobs many times just for the money, and if you know you're going to leave, don't let it worry you. Focus on doing the best you can as cheerfully as possible and walking away with a glowing reference.

You're not in a position to 'command' respect in this situation, they already have you doing low level work anyone could do, they don't need you. Walk away with the most valuable thing you can get off them, (a good reference) and chalk it up to experience.

In a similar situation I told the manager to make his own expletive coffee and made some conjectures on his ancestry, because I had another job lined up, but in retrospect I regret the outburst even though it never hurt me in any way. I did do some good work there and would have liked a reference for my scrapbook.

  • You might get the checkmark for this one, just waiting a few days to see if anyone provides any more insight.
    – Dom
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 20:06
  • good idea, let it ride, you might get some better insights, good to see it was re-opened anyway
    – Kilisi
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 20:08
  • This answer shows that this question should have been left closed. Just quit answers are not acceptable, which is basically what this is. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 20:31
  • 4
    @Chad, the OP already stated that they are planning on leaving this job. This answer simply takes that into account and states that it's not worth it to make waves if they will be leaving.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 21:04
  • Well in that case... It is still not an acceptable answer. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 21:05

My two cents: If you believe your time is honestly best spent elsewhere, you should at first absolutely excel at what he has you doing in this moment. At that point you can discuss moving into something more interesting.

I've known plenty of managerial staff who examine their employees, and out of everyone who does task A through E well enough, from the pool there are workers who do each task slightly better than others. They get assigned to that task constantly, even if it's not in an area they would normally enjoy. From there, two groups of people pop up: (1) people who excel at their assigned role and take on side projects, and (2) people who do average in their assigned role but give more effort on side projects. People from group 1 normally get the better chance of transitioning to something they would prefer doing within the company. People who're giving a mediocre effort at their assigned task aren't going to garner any freedoms, and they're certainly not going to be thrown into a more complex task.

Some side projects due to complexity will garner you some reputation with managers, but more often than not I think it would be more beneficial to excel at what they assign you before asking for more.

In some cases you will have a genuinely bad boss, too, and I think to some extent what to do about bad bosses has been answered time and again on this site. But, I've also seen people wrongly perceive what are objectively normal interactions between boss and subordinate as disrespect from one or the other. If you can't simply drop the job, at the very least be the guy who's always good for what is assigned, and if you eventually leave it'll be with a positive reference and another section on your resume.

TL;DR Do whatever you're assigned really well, and then go on to ask for something more. I'd also recommend having a rational discussion with this boss about your expectations for your work, what you can do, and what he has you doing as it doesnt seem from your question that you've talked to your boss about this problem.


If it was just lack of respect from some coworkers, I'd say the only thing that matters is the opinion of your boss/manager.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you have a bad boss.

It is not worth the effort to fix - people like this never change their behaviour, and your attempts will appear pathetic.

Start looking for a better job. If you do have an exit plan - tough it out.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .