Situation: I work as the assistant of President/CEO of a company. I am a junior and my boss has very high expectations, so I get yelled at for making mistakes very often, to the point that I am used to it.

Recently, as well as the normal yelling at me, my boss complains about me to my indirect supervisors/coworkers (the CFO, COO).

My boss yells at everyone for mistakes, so its not personal. But recently he complains specifically about me, to all the upper management. I am famous now for past mistakes. The CFO & COO have told me "your boss wants me to tell you that ...." or I am told by other coworkers about mistakes that that happened in the past and have already been dealt with.

Question: I feel like I need to keep this job, I need to support myself. But if the CEO's intention is to make me quit. If the CEO/president is against me, I have no future in the company. What are some things I could do to deescalate the situation and counter the blame game?

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    We can't read his mind. If they want you to quit, it will eventually become obvious.... or they will fire you. Personally, if I was being yelled at, I wouldn't wait for either of those and would quit now... but we can't read your mind either, and only you can decide whether it's worth tolerating this until it gets better (and whether it will get better). – keshlam Sep 20 '16 at 2:51
  • he yells at everyone for mistakes. so its not personal. but recently he complains about me to all the upper management. I am famous now. and for mistakes that I did in the past or once in my life – shiro Sep 20 '16 at 3:20
  • In what country are you ? Are you in a contract where he can't fire you at will ? – Walfrat Sep 20 '16 at 6:37
  • I don't know the answer to your question, but my advice is to have a candid conversation with your boss. Tell him that you would really like to make this job work but it seems clear that he is unhappy with you despite your efforts. Ask him simply if there's anything you can do to make things better. Basically, acknowledge the problem and ask him for help—or go find another job. – Sarah G Sep 20 '16 at 8:59
  • I used to be in the same situation and I strongly encourage you to quit and not work for him again. – Jimmy Bauther Sep 21 '16 at 0:27

This sounds like a constructive dismissal.


By making you 'famous' in the company, the CEO is making the environment toxic. I would personally go talk to a lawyer as soon as possible, to find out the legal stance on this kind of behavior in your country.

If this manager yells at everyone, so much so that you are at the point where it's 'normal', then you're already in a toxic work environment. You have nothing to loose by exiting this employ, and taking a good payout on your way out.

On a side, if the environment is this toxic, I doubt you will want to put anyone from this job down as a reference. So dealing with this through a legal process could allow you to get a positive reference written out, and potentially a payed period of time in which you can search for another job, without the disadvantage of not having a reference from this employer.

Personal opinion: Jobs like this are not worth having. The stress is terrible for you, it's unlikely that anyone there will ever be useful/helpful to furthering your career (Would you want to work for someone else who thinks this kind of behavior is acceptable?). And the worst possible thing, is that you could become used to this kind of behavior, or think that it's normal. I would burn this bridge, you don't want to cross it again, and you really don't want anyone from the other side following you across.

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  • And what, exactly, would going to a lawyer accomplish that merely quitting won't? – teego1967 Sep 20 '16 at 10:50
  • A Lawyer would be able to tell you :) ... But to answer your question, a lawyer would help you to identify if the actions of the employer would constitute "Constructive Dismissal", and if they do, the Lawyer can help you to do LOTS of things. Like resign with zero notice, but still get paid. Get paid time off while you look for another job. Be reassigned within the business (As he said, he has to support himself). You could issue a defamation of character warning, depending on the profession, the current employ may have far reaching sociodynamic effects. A Lawyer will help things go smoothly – TolMera Sep 20 '16 at 12:33
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    thanks guys. i live in cambodia. people only quit their jobs. they don't sue companies or consulting lawyers because the labor laws are not enforced here. but its a good constructive answer. for anyone interested, I request a transfer to another department to work under another boss. – shiro Sep 21 '16 at 2:13

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