I work for an NGO. My manager assigns me heavy workload, and I am unable to complete all the work in time. If I refuse, she complains that I am irresponsible and uncooperative. If I do take up the responsibility, she expects the work done in her own way, which makes me feel she is not very knowledgeable.

Moreover, she always finds faults with my work. She also seems to have a grudge against me, and wants me removed from the organization. This would allow her to exert more control over the others, as I am a senior staff member here. Hence, she keeps complaining to the management about me, which has led to them having a bad impression about me.

We have a shortage of staff, but the management has been delaying recruitment of new employees. Each one of us has 8-9 clients assigned, and they expect us to give enough time to all the clients. This situation affects my co-workers too, but they are juniors and do not dare to speak up, so I feel cornered.

How do I tackle this?

  • FYI, hostile workplace also has a specific legal meaning: askamanager.org/2015/01/… which your question doesn't meet.
    – Andy
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


You only really have two pragmatic solution options.

1) Become more efficient and get the work done.

2) Soldier on until you can get a new job or the manager is replaced. Keep your back covered as much as possible and keep your head down.

  • 8
    Classic Kilisi.
    – user45590
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 9:22
  • 1
    While I usually like your frank and no-nonsense answers, in this case this does not seem viable to me. If the manager truly has a grudge against OP, no amount of "becoming more efficient" will help - she'll always find something (or just increase the workload more).
    – sleske
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 10:56
  • 2
    @sleske It would reduce opportunity to complain. Upper management are rarely stupid, they can usually see a good performer and might decide they don't need the manager at all. Sometimes you just have to put up with stuff, jobs aren't always so easy to get that you can just blow off a bad manager.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 11:13
  • 2
    Upper management can only see a good performer if they hear about them. If the reporting manager tells them you are a bad performer, they will consider you a bad performer, unless you find a way to report to them directly.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 14:01
  • 2
    Other possibility: 3) Soldier on and go to war against your manager. Most of the time not advisable.. In a general manner, I'd advise to cope with it until another job is secured and document everyting that is said and done by that manager in the meanwhile.
    – Puzzled
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 16:09

It seems you do not have a good view on your situation. You have to be more inform to take decision.

Try to be gather information by probing:

Make a very reasonnable request that has little to no impact on her.

It will give you information on what you are dealing with. If you get a direct no, you are in trouble. If she says yes. come back to her some time after, thanking her about this small favour, and ask HER what you could do for her.

The idea is to reopen the communication channel little by little. You are only guessing, but if you are correct and she has a grudge, the only way to make it work is to know/understand the problem.

In the meantime, be patient.

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