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  1. Myself, I can’t see any way that being abusive and harsh is a way to expect the people under you to get anything done, let alone keeping a friendship.

    I have seen the phenomenon where people are different at work than they are not at work. I myself see it in me, that I can be very curt and cool while I’m at work and under pressure. But there’s a difference there: am I being unfriendly? Perhaps. But abusive? Surely not. Whatever my feelings are, it’s because of what’s going on inside of me, and it’s leaking out a little, because I’m not able to put on a happy face. I am not yelling and screaming on a regular basis at customers or fellow team members.

    That said, I’ve also seen a wierd dissonance between the way my own boss treats me, and the way he treats the assistant managers under him. When I screw up or do something inappropriate, he comes to me, and we talk about my screwing up, and we have a reasonable conversation about what expectations are, and I promise to do better. It seems like often, my manager is constantly calling the other managers onto the carpet for not meeting expectations: not always screw-ups, but for doing things like not taking a lunch, or staying late to finish something (and therefore having overtime). And this isn’t just from the mouths of the managers themselves – I’ve seen icy words coming from his mouth, talking to the newest manager when I’ve been in ear shot.

    Does he treat non-managers this way? I can’t be entirely certain, although I tend to think he leaves disciplining the rank and file up to his AMs rather than doing it himself – like used to happen with me. But it seems clear that he has different ways of handling different people, so he knows that you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. And yet he still brings the hammer down a lot and I can’t figure out if it’s because he’s getting a lot of pressure to dot every eye and cross every T, and the managers are not living up to that, or if they’re all just fuckups that never try to fix their behavior – which I doubt.

    I’ve gotten off track a little, so to get back to what I was thinking about when I started this post, there was one guy that I got along well with that was an AM for a good couple years. He and my Center Manager went at it like cats and dogs often, and he almost quiet a number of times before the CM talked him down, or the District Manager did likewise. But one day, the CM showed up to a performance that my friend was doing – he was a singer in a disco cover band – and the CM was incredibly friendly (as in, not simply polite), so much that it stunned my friend.

    What it comes down to is this: I seriously think that while you might be willing to forgive more of a friend than you would of a business associate, there are always ways to handle hiccups in either sort of relationship without being an enormous Cock about it. And people that are enormous Cocks should not be surprised when someone doesn’t care to spend time with you because you were a Cock to them.

    (No, I don’t know why I’m capitalizing cock, either.)

  2. There is no excuse for his behavior, business or no. He behaved like an ass, and deserves to lose her friendship. If the situation were something like he had to lay her off, and was as contrite and apologetic as he could be but had no choice, then the division between business and friendship could apply should she discontinue their association outside of work, but it sounds like he has a long history of treating those in his employ like crap and claiming the cloak of business as an excuse. As one who hires and fires my own workers, and who often gets to be friends with them, I do my best to be as civil and sympathetic as I can be. I occasionally fail in this, and say or do things that were less than nice, but I almost always apologize after as it is usually the result of stress or frustration. There is no excuse to belittle those whom you supervise, and this man needs to learn that. In my opinion, of course. :-)

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