If your boss is usually cranky or hurls off-putting remarks your way on a weekly basis, you're sure to find that going to work can sometimes be a drag. Last week your boss gave you the name of her spray-tan artist -- unsolicited -- and this week you've already heard twice that your desk looks as though it were in combat. Your boss's petty, unwelcome comments are most likely a result of her own insecurities and workplace issues.
When someone is jealous of a person's possessions, relationships or status, it often comes out in snarky remarks or petty, time-sucking conversations. For example, if your boss got wind of a party you threw -- to which she wasn't invited -- and decides to make snide comments about your alleged alcohol intake, she's probably upset she wasn't included. She could be wondering what conversations were about and if her name was brought up. She might also be thinking that the team likes you more than her. Whatever the reasons, her unwelcome remarks probably stem from being jealous of your co-worker relationships, likability or party-throwing skills.
An insecure boss might belittle your work, poke fun at your nail polish color or make underhanded remarks about your clothes. These unwelcome remarks show disrespect toward you, might have you second-guessing how others in the workplace perceive you and leave you wondering how to handle this odd behavior. The important thing to remember is that insecure bosses will do anything to make themselves feel better. Shaun Belding, author of "Winning With the Boss From Hell," says you should understand that your boss's clothing comments reflect her insecurities about her own apparel rather than anything you wear.
The harassing boss will make all kinds of unwelcome comments, ranging from how nice your legs look to belittling your accent. These kinds of discriminatory remarks are in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that all employees have the right to work in a place free of sexual, racial, age and disability harassment. If your boss consistently makes crude remarks, unwelcome physical advances or snide comments about your gender, ability or age, you could nail him with harassment changes. He likely does this because he views women as inferior, wants to feel powerful and needs to remind himself about his masculine roll in the world.
A boss who takes to criticizing, micromanaging or belittling as a means to making herself look good to others or to feel better about her own accomplishments has poor self-esteem. An unprofessional boss often has distorted views about what's acceptable or not and doesn't do enough self-checks regarding her language, tone of voice and conversation topics while in the workplace. If your boss consistently uses your ideas but feels the need to tell everyone how long it took you to produce the actual results, he probably has a difficult time seeing you in the limelight. He doesn't like to give credit to others for fear that he won't shine in the eyes of management.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.