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Threatening behaviour at the workplace?

  • 03-01-2023 9:07am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭

    The boss recently stated bluntly "I'll make sure, you'll never find employment in this industry again!". The statement by the boss was in relation to a business challenge which is beyond my capabilities to solve as it is too far reaching. However the tone of his voice leads to suggest it's not just a one time occurrence of an emotional outburst.

    The conversation took place in an office, no other witnesses present, nobody else overheard the conversation.

    My reaction is naturally unsure. Talking to HR is also no choice, they don't really care and are always going in hand with management.

    Fact is, I can't quit that easily, as there are little to no decent job alternatives at the moment and the hiring market seems slow. Internal changes aren't an option, I've tried it before.

    Also, I certainly won't get any decent references from this role, nor will I ever have any success in this role again, so it's a bit like a catch22.

    I don't know who strong and credible his threats actually can be. And then, Dublin isn't the biggest city, the industry I am in isn't that large as well, only a handful larger players and people talk to people, that means word does get around.....

    Any suggestions on this?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,250 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    By boss do you mean the owner of the company or is it just a manager?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    A big time manager. He certainly does not own the company, but may hold stocks as well.

  • Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators Posts: 11,011 Mod ✭✭✭✭MarkR

    Start working on your CV, and draw up a detailled report about the issue. Layout the issue, what would be needed to complete the request (number of people, their skill set, time required) and put it back to them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    To me it's not so much as to what I could do, but more, as to what the boss could do against me?

    I've tried an internal job change and it didn't work out, and looking externally seems to take ages, plus I don't seem to get the traction on the job market as well. Possibly it's the overall economic situation? or he was really able to do something behind my back and make is threats come true? But if so, what could his influence have been?

    Overall it's a situation full of mistrust, and certainly no career or any other perspective of success as long as he is my boss.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    This occurred over 4 months ago? I'd say you're grand.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭tinytobe

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,314 ✭✭✭cml387

    We had a manager once who used to throw around this threat, but I suspect it was all bluff, as it is in this case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    I don't think it's a bluff. Internally I am on some "do not hire" or "do not transfer to this or that department" list, plus I fear that these lists are leaky as well?

    Things would be pretty bad, if he'd fire me as well, as options on the job market are bleak, plus getting a decent reference from him and his organization seems hopeless.

    HR doesn't seem to care, they dance to the tune of this particular manager in question and I suspect they only consult him on avoiding any litigation issues for the business. Looking to seek a conversation to resolve is also not possible as honesty isn't part of it anymore.

    Hence my catch22 situation and myself not having any answers.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,211 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody

    We've been here before OP...

  • Registered Users Posts: 360 ✭✭Xidu

    Is it a small company or big company?

    no manager in big company dare to say that as they all been trained by HR what can say, what can’t say. As employees could sue them for this threat.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,606 ✭✭✭✭Dohnjoe

    What was the context of why the boss said this?

    In my experience people managers generally don't say something as strong as this unless there are an argument/background/history of it

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    Since the context was asked: The company is big, it's an American software business operating in Dublin ( and possibly in Dublin for tax reasons). The task is to do sales online, via videoconferences and phone calls and business partners from a sales centre. It's a revenue driven sales role with a sales target. Business isn't running as it should, as the operations in mainland Europe don't want the organization from Dublin poking around and taking their business. Things aren't running smoothly for many employees, however that depends as well on the market they are serving. The British and the Irish markets seem to be working better, but France and Germany not. Some employees, myself included want an internal transfer to another department in Dublin. However the big top manager doesn't like this idea at all fearing that people moving onward internally might look bad on him, resulting in the mentioned threats. He's also not blaming management errors, but the sales people... You can guess the kind of atmosphere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭Annascaul

    By the description you're in an inside sales role with multilingual language stills at one of these American IT companies in Dublin. Yes they are a bit of a lion's den and nobody lasts long in these roles, - rarely more than 2 years.

    People are hired directly from mainland Europe with salaries they wouldn't even dream about and often it's their first professional experience abroad.

    Very good company names, good on your CV, nice modern fancy offices, blinded by the American "everything is awesome culture", but cut throat in it's internal structure and lot's of toxic behaviour everywhere and unclear sales targets and promotions done by who knows whom. Complaining with HR won't help, they gladly play along.

    Good on the outside, - bad on the inside, that's what it is.

    In the end, they are only in Ireland for tax reasons and often the managers they hire aren't the most competent, unable to find work in their own respective countries which makes a very interesting concoction.

    By the sounds of it you're going down the same road as many others only a bit earlier, leaving this environment all together, along with the excessive cost of housing. You won't be the first, if that's an encouragement.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,166 ✭✭✭tinytobe

    Thanks for that one. I have decided that I will most likely leave this employment. The issues described here can't be resolved. Similar roles with different companies aren't of interest as the challenges would be the same, and then there are the difficulties around finding adequate housing in Dublin.

    Sometimes the only solution is sadly to simply leave and start over new.

  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭Annascaul

    The problems in those inside sales roles in Ireland are pretty specific.

    Often they don't concern Irish people, but only EU citizens of other EU counties taking these jobs, thus issues around these jobs and American companies offering them, are rarely reported on in the Irish media. Also it depends very much on your personal success in any of these roles, on which market and clients in which specific country or countries you're looking after or working in, from your Ireland-location.

    In terms of markets, UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Benelux almost always seem to be doing well, France and Germany not so much, business is more complex in these countries, and with Italy it's more how much you can dodge the company's internal business metric system.

    If you're technically qualified, and focused on your job, but still you don't achieve any of the expected results, it's often not your fault and there isn't much you can do about it, other than resignation. It's often an organizational structural issue your direct manager can't resolve. Discussing business challenges in Irish Inside Sales with your direct superior manager will only make them feel put in a corner and the reaction you seem to have experienced as they know they can't change anything.

    Also the problem exists that direct superior management is unfortunately often not really of "good quality" and experience and even their superiors often only have the job because they are either Irish or they know somebody well enough within the organization, - a good portion of nepotism and who knows whom is part of the luck one needs to have in order to be successful.

    And then there are sales targets to be achieved, and even if one achieves them, there is the question if one actually gets paid the expected commission. Remember, the overall labor and employment laws in Ireland are not that strong like in France so there is often little legal employment protection.

    Google, Meta/Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, LinkedIn, Salesforce, they are often one and the same in terms of these challenges, just the technology they are selling and the stock options they offer their employees is more attractive or of interest, depending on personal experience and preference. In the end, people come and go every 2 to 3 years at the longest, 3 to 6 months at the shortest stay.....