• Some bosses will get on your case for any number of reasons
  • Be flexible and adaptable to improve your working relationship
  • Take care of yourself mentally and you’ll get through this
The moment you see their email, “Please come to my office”, your heart sinks.

You automatically think to yourself, “Ugh, what the fuck did I do this time?”

Anytime you see this kind of email or when they come by and ask you for a one-on-one meeting, you know that you’re gonna get shit on.

It happens more often than it should. Everyone has their ups and downs with their boss but you’ve been going through more tough times than most. And recently, it seems like your boss is always on your case about something.

At a minimum, it’s usually at least one or two things that your boss gets on your case about each week. On bad weeks, they get on you about something every fucking day of the work week.

There’s no letting up. The stress just keeps on piling up as the week progresses. It makes managing work stress an insurmountable ordeal. It makes you feel like quitting and getting the fuck outta there.

Why Your Boss Gets On Your Case

If you’re an office worker, then chances are that at some point or another, you have had a boss who is always on your case for no good reason. You know the type - they harass you and always seem like they are singling you out for every little mistake.

But why do some bosses behave this way? Is it just because they’re a bitch boss from hell? Or, maybe they’re just the common asshole boss that every company has.

Well, not necessarily.

Here are some possible reasons why they’re acting this way.

Mismatched Or Unmet Expectations

Most people don’t realize this but a stressful relationship with a soul-crushing toxic boss has the same fundamental characteristics of a terrible marriage or dating relationship. And, one of the main sources of anguish is when there are mismatched or unmet expectations.

Your boss may be expecting you to do something a certain way but you do it differently. Or, your output isn’t up to par in their eyes. In either case, this creates friction and angst between you and your boss.

Personality Clashes

In a perfect world, everyone in the office gets along and has fun at work every day. Well, that shit ain’t happening. It’d be ideal if your working relationship with your manager was a good one, but it’s not - at least for now.

Sometimes, people just don’t get along due to personality differences. Neither side is wrong here. Some people are laid back and others are driven. Some prefer burgers while others prefer hot dogs. You get the idea.

Bullshit From The Top

In some cases, your boss might be on your case not because they want to but because it’s coming from the top of the organization from some clueless empty suit executive. They complain and/or yell at their direct reports and it flows down the org.

You’ve heard the saying, “Shit rolls downhill” and unfortunately for most of us, it ends up with us at the working level. It fucking sucks. So, it’s possible that your boss is getting on your case because their boss or someone else up top got on theirs.

Redirected Anger Or Frustration

This happens to everybody. When someone or something pisses you off and you can’t or aren’t able to vent your anger, you end up internalizing all of that bad mojo. Then, at the very next thing that triggers your anger, you unleash all of that pent-up angst.

It’s quite possible that your boss is simply having a really shitty day and that someone or something just pissed them off. And unfortunately, you and/or your work were the final straw that broke the camel’s back and so they unloaded on you.

What To Do When Your Boss Is On Your Case

There are reasons why some bosses turn into drill sergeants. However, it’s not the end of the world. There are strategies you can use to smooth out any bumps in the road between them and you. Here are some ways to turn things around and cultivate a better relationship with your boss.

Check Yourself Truthfully

If you've ever had a difficult relationship with your boss, then you know it's not exactly the most fun experience. But rather than pointing fingers at your manager for their bitchy behavior and attitude, take a look in the mirror – there may be an underlying reason as to why you keep getting into hot water with them.

Have you been dropping the ball on your projects and/or tasks? Are you perpetually late to work? Or maybe, you’re blatantly coffee-badging into the office?

If you’re not doing your part, then it’s to be expected that you’ll get some heat from your manager.

Talk With Your Coworkers

One good way to check if it’s not just you is to talk with your teammates and/or coworkers. Ask them if they’re also getting the stink eye and the overbearing attitude from the manager.

If they’re also on the receiving end of the same bullshit, then it’s not something specific to you. It could be universal. It would be a good idea to voice the group’s disdain, complain to HR and have a group intervention

Have An Honest Conversation

If your manager’s angst is solely with you and not with others, then it might be a good idea to have a frank discussion with them. You gotta go directly to the source. You’ve gotta manage your boss too. It’s a two way street.

Timing is critical here. They are almost always not happy with you but if you can find the best time when they’re somewhat in a good and/or approachable mood, that’s when you should have a one-on-one meeting.

Be honest and let them know how you feel and how it’s affecting your work. The overall message you want them to know is that you want them to be happy with you and your work. Find out what will satisfy them and keep you in their good graces.

Be Adaptable And Flexible

Some of life’s biggest struggles and challenges get amplified when you refuse to adapt yourself to the situation. This most definitely applies to your working relationship with your superior.

If your boss is a bullshit micromanager, then it’s not likely that they’ll accommodate your working style and preferences. This is when you gotta be flexible and do your best to mold around their quirks and oddities because that’s essentially what they are.

Document All Your Work & Comms

With all that is going on with your manager, it’s important that you keep as many things on email as possible. It’s a “Cover Your Ass” tactic that will save your bacon in the event that they try to throw you under the bus.

Always be professional and diplomatic. Don’t lose your shit and go off on them on email. That’ll just tank your personal brand at work. Only you can save yourself because sometimes, HR fucking sucks and won’t help you even though they know what’s right and wrong.

Change Your Mindset Perspective

One of the best ways to manage work stress is to reframe your perspective on things. If you can disassociate yourself from the situation mentally, then you can see things in a totally different way.

Think of these encounters with your boss as if it’s a science lab experiment where you as the scientist observe the odd behaviors of a struggling manager and why middle management sucks.

Alternatively, you can also see this as a real-world on-the-job training session on relationship management. This is a key skill that top executives look for when promoting employees. Those that don’t have it typically don’t get that promotion.

Take Care Of Your Mental Health

So many people neglect this. Taking care of your mental health is priority number one, especially in these kinds of shitty situations. When you don’t take the time to heal and build greater mental strength, you open yourself up to more unrecoverable downward spirals.

One of the best ways to deal with boss stress is to meditate at work or at home in the evening. Yes, the simple act of meditation can wipe away the stressors from the day. You can even do one-minute meditations for immediate relief.

You can also just do other relaxing activities after work to destress. Do whatever things that allow you to decompress and disconnect from work and leave all the bullshit behind. This is mandatory for your mental health.

Keep Your Head Up & You’ll Get Through This

Hey, we know that you’re going through some tough times right now. But, just know that it’s not going to last forever. Things can and will change for the better when you devote some effort toward making some adjustments.

This doesn’t mean that you need to be a different person. Just a few small changes in your working style, attitude and mindset are all it takes to turn the corner toward better days. Even the simple act of practicing gratitude makes office life easier.

Just like how you can’t choose your parents or neighbors, you can’t choose your boss. It’s predetermined by your position and the reporting structure. So, you gotta make the best of it. You’ve gotta train your mind to keep a positive attitude at work, even when it sucks.

Keep your head up. Get in the zone and focus on small improvements and changes. You’ll get through this.

Feel Better,

more on cubicle life