What's your Problem?

A senior manager has made threats against me...

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Q: I recently instigated a grievance procedure against a senior manager after enduring years of mistreatment, culminating in an incident when he humiliated me in front of his staff. After several weeks, the management team ruled in my favour. I assured them that that was it; I just wanted to do my job and be treated with normal courtesy and respect.

Since the ruling was made public he has told a number of his staff that I should 'watch my every step', as he would be seeking revenge. He is well known for his aggressive behaviour and has been with the company since he left school. I am relatively new, well-travelled and with an impeccable professional record. I am not afraid of him but this would be an unwelcome distraction. Should I just dismiss these threats or inform my superiors, gather evidence or what?

I am a man in my late forties, successful at my job and much respected by clients and suppliers. My instinct in earlier years would have been to leave and find somewhere else, but my age is against me. Besides, I love my job.

A: You need to make just one assumption - and stick to it. This senior manager is a known bully who has just, very publicly, lost face. His threats about you to his staff are empty bluster, made in the vain hope of regaining their respect. The chances are that nothing will come of them and they'll soon fade.

But if he really is stupid enough to humiliate you again, your management already knows the score. The fact that you honoured your own side of the ruling and put the whole thing behind you will count strongly in your favour. However reluctantly, your management will have to give their truculent senior manager a final warning.

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