retro comic


By Nina Rubin


Hi Nina,

I’m working in a hostile work environment. My boss doesn’t trust me to do my job, but I know I’m doing good work. I believe that my boss’ insecurity with his own performance is bleeding into his evaluation of my work.

I’ve tried not taking it personally, detaching, turning it back on him, being calm/reasonable, defending my performance, engaging, not engaging, etc. I think his treatment has crossed the line into abuse. What do I do?




Hi Lobster,

This work environment sounds awful, pure and simple. Without knowing about your industry or the size of the company, my obvious and initial reaction is to address your boss’ behavior with the HR team. I realize, however, that many startups or other companies don’t have an HR department, so you’re pretty much left to other devices.

Your boss sounds like a bully. It must be really challenging to show up to work everyday and do work you’re proud of. Are there other managers with whom you can address the situation? Does your boss treat other people like this? Is there a possibility of working from home some days, just so you can avoid his wrath? I’m glad you’ve tried various tactics of communication. Have there been any that are more effective than others?

We all need jobs, and we all need a paycheck.

Perhaps it’s time to update your resume and start networking. Start spreading the word with people you feel close to that you’re considering looking for a new job—and see if they can make introductions for you. You might feel less tense if you take steps on a daily basis to get out of this hostile work environment, knowing that you’re making every effort to place yourself somewhere better.

Write in again and give an update!


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Photo: ForgottenCool/tumblr

Editor: Dana Gornall



Nina Rubin

Nina Rubin, M.A., is a native New Mexican living in Southern California. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, she runs her own Gestalt Life Coaching practice and is starting a food company called The Gourmet Therapist. Originally trained as a Gestalt Psychotherapist, Nina practices as a Gestalt Life Coach working relationally with clients in the present moment. Helping clients gain insight and awareness, identify their needs and create action plans to achieve their goals is her primary focus. An avid cook and baker, she is constantly trying new recipes and looks forward to hosting a breakfast pop-up restaurant. Having flirted with the idea of writing for many years, Nina writes for her blog, Afterdefeat. She is always trying something new or connecting with dear friends and can be found at Sunday meditation sanghas, yoga classes, playing scrabble, and hosting dinner parties. To learn more about working with her, visit Coaching by Nina Rubin.
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