Dear Jido – November 2020

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Dear Jido,
My boss is a very intense person. He’s passionately angry about the state of our country (I am too, for the record!) and he can’t talk about anything else. Everything is negative. Everything is outrage.

I can hardly stand to have a conversation with him anymore because it’s always about politics, it’s always very intense, and it always stresses me out. If I try to chime in with some more nuanced thoughts about the problem in a calm voice, he thinks I’m being condescending. I’m at my wit’s end. I’m concerned that if I tell him how I really feel I will lose my job. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Signed,
Shell-shocked

Dear Shell-Shocked,

In the olden days, when there used to be a big contest with a foregone conclusion, like the World Series or Super Bowl, we used to say, “It’s all over but the shouting.”

Well, by the time you read this, it still might not be over yet and, for sure, the shouting has just begun.

And in truth, there’s a lot to be upset about. The pandemic, the economy, the protests, the mayor, the governor, the president (whoever that is).

There’s plenty of positive things to shout about too, of course, Baruch Hashem, but that’s not the topic of your question.

While it’s never proper or acceptable to chew someone’s ear off, as it appears is happening to you, many people are having a hard time coping after these long months with the new normal and this might be his way of dealing with that pressure.

Therefore, I think you have two options. Number One is called Modified Active Listening. When he starts on his tirades, assuming you are forced to listen due to circumstances, respond often, “Yeah, uh-huh, wow, I hear, you’re right, I see.” Let his words go in one ear and out the other, but give him the respect he deserves as the boss.

Second Option: “Hey boss, something just came up, gotta go.” And go back to your desk. If he follows you to your office, make sure you have something important to do. He can’t get angry with you if you’re going back to work.

It ain’t easy. People are stressed. Be very grateful he’s yelling at THEM and not at YOU. But if he still continues even after things settle down, then consider your Third Option – SBH Careers Network.

Hashem should quickly bring an end to these crazy times and may He give the president the wisdom to deal effectively with our country (whoever that person will be).

Jido