I need to use a throwaway since my main SO account is known, so I apologize in advance. This is in the USA if that matters.

On Friday, a manager above my current supervisor scheduled a one-on-one with me, and asked if I wanted to discuss any concerns with him. We have a very large turnover rate here, but I still enjoy working with most managers, and with my colleagues who are all excellent.

When we began our discussion, I told him I enjoyed working here, and that I'd like to talk about seeking a promotion at the end of the year. I felt confident in asking him this as I've gotten a lot done, and have fixed a lot of security holes. Two other managers have also appreciated what I've done for them. My hope was to discover the best process, in his opinion, to receiving a promotion at the end of one year of employment with the company, and I had to make this clear twice.

When I asked, he immediately began yelling at me, "You've only been here... how many months?! seven?! And now you're asking for a promotion!" He began yelling rapidly, and I couldn't understand the majority of his speech. Partly due to his accent (he's a non-native speaker), and mostly due to my hearing impairment.

When I kindly asked him if we could just type in the company chat, he didn't want to do that. He kept shouting, stomping his feet, looking at me with disgust and glaring at me. Eventually, he agreed to type because I had trouble understanding what he was trying to say, and he began typing to me.

Whenever I tried to answer his questions, he kept interrupting me and wouldn't let me get a word in. This meeting ended with me agreeing that I had no more concerns to share with him...

This is a complete 180. We used to get along well until I asked about a promotion. At this point, I am not quite sure what to do. This is the first time anything like this had happened since working there, and I'm finding it very difficult to approach him now.

I welcome any advice and suggestions.

  • 7
    Yelling and stamping his feet? Suggest migrating this post to terribletwostoddlers.stackexchange.com.
    – user41761
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 22:22
  • 2
    And you don't connect this at all to there being a high turnover rate? It seems fairly obvious that career development isn't exactly, uh, nurtured by your management. You may have approached it a bit wrong (you might have asked what sorts of things you need to do to get a promotion instead of saying you were going to ask for one in a few months), but this is not the response of someone who is interested in seeing you advance in your career.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 23:53
  • Asking for generic advice is off-topic here, what do you want to do? Repair the relationship? Ask if you were out of line? (You probably weren't.) Revisit the idea of a promotion or what your career will look like?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 8:22
  • 4
    Additionally, as has been pointed out below, asking about promotions within a year of starting a job is wildly premature and definitely Not a Good Thing. Unless you're talking about a raise or you know for a fact that your company has a fast progression system (many consultancies do) and depending on your tone you likely came across as entitled or out-of-touch with workplace norms.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 8:30
  • 6
    @Lilienthal I asked for, and got a promotion after 3 months. There is no inappropriate time if the situation is right. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


Step back a moment. Then answer a simple question. How many red flags do you need to see before you look for a new job?

People often worry about how to play social chess in some complex situation. Why? Do yourself a favor and get out. Do you really want a promotion in a company that functions this poorly?

  • 1
    Absolutely! Often the writing on the wall is missed. +1
    – G.T.D.
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 4:04
  • 1
    +1 Unfortunately getting a job elsewhere isn't always as easy as it sounds. But I agree, if I was getting abused by a manager I'd start job searching.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 4:05
  • 25
    Don't just quit. But start looking around. You've just discovered why your company has "a very large turnover rate". Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 6:05
  • The high turn over rate alone should give you an idea of the culture. Those people probably left because they never got promoted.
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 16:54

I'll take this in two stages, what you did wrong and what he did wrong, then try to resolve it a bit for you.

You were asked if you had any concerns, you misread the manager and took the opportunity ask for a promotion. Bad move, he was only expecting you to say no you had no concerns, and then move on. He has a high turnover and he's under pressure, and you have only been there 7 months. You shouldn't have said anything unless it was a minor issue that he could actually fix with little effort and make himself feel like a hero. You haven't been there long enough to start complaining or pushing for advancement.

The manager lost his temper over you asking for a raise. This is indicative of a bad manager under stress. It's totally unprofessional, and it may well cause you issues down the line. Be very careful around this guy, do not give him reasons to start inspecting you closely and eventually make a scapegoat out of you.

Lastly, why were you called to see him? Was everyone called up? If it was just you, then chances are he's calling you to ask your concerns because someone has indicated that you are unhappy for some reason, and he wants to find out what the reason is. If he now thinks you're unhappy because you want a promotion, then that may well be what upset him. Think carefully if you have colleagues who may have complained about your attitude. Just because people are friendly and praise you, does not mean they like and respect you. New staff upsetting the pecking order can find themselves stabbed in the back very easily.

Best policy in my opinion is to do solid work and keep your head down until you have completed at least a year and solidified your position.

  • 1
    Thanks for your input. He knew what I wanted to talk about in advance, as we had discussed it beforehand. As for being called to see him, we schedule one-on-one meetings with our head managers each month. I haven't done any complaining at all, but it seems like I really messed up here. We place great emphasis on promoting from within, so I wanted to work on that. I even asked for tips on achieving this at the end of the year. Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 2:51
  • 3
    Then he was totally out of line, either someone has poisoned him against you, or he's got issues.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 2:58
  • 2
    @Edwarden Discussed before is an important detail you excluded from the question
    – paparazzo
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 3:57
  • 14
    @Edwarden: If your manager shouts and stomps his feet because you just caused some major damage to the company, then you messed up. If your manager shouts and stomps his feet because you are enquiring about a future promotion, you haven't messed up. You just made a very lucky move that showed you why the turnover rate is high and why you should try to get out as soon as possible.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 14:06

I worked for your boss. Or his twin brother :) The same yelling and screaming at my face. I was fresh out of college. I needed experience. After 3-4 years, I was ready to throw in the towel and go look for a job elsewhere, but a carrot has been dangled in front of me and I had to take it. The next 3 years were the years from hell.

So, if this is an indicative of the years to come, get out while you have your dignity. Or start sending resumes of this manager to other companies and hope that one will be blind to the warning signs and hire him. It is obvious that, you and this manager in the same business line, will not be a match made in heaven. If he can blow up this quick, without being tactful, this should tell you something. Life is short and you really do not want an aneurysm because of your boss. Cut your losses early and get out. If you are a good worker, those losses will not be for a long term. There are decent workplaces who value good work.

And last but not the least, do not quit before you line up your new job.

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