Working for the mean girl

My boss was the office terrorist. She was mentally abusive and fostered a negative, cruel working environment. You never knew when she would decide you had pissed her off and she would gang up on me with another mean girl superior. Poking fun at me or outright ignoring me. We would travel to Hong Kong and I would cry in my room every night. I learned a lot about design from her, but just writing this brings back the shivers. She left right before I did and when I left I was still too afraid to tell HR how absolutely horrible she was.


Did your co-workers have similar issues with anyone else in management? Maybe a work-culture thing?

Everyone at the lower level knew how toxic she was yet somehow she managed to charm the higher ups. We were a small team and all of my coworkers felt the same. The HR woman was awful and I’m positive any negative feedback I would have given her would have been shared.

The problem is that HR works for management. They routinely bury complaints unless the abuse is so egregious that there’s concern it will get out and hurt the company’s reputation or the complaint will be actionable. I’m hearing such terrible stories from people - and I had a terrible experience too- about how employers have used the cover of Covid to fire senior employees who were paid more than juniors and keep the junior severance, no vacation pay. Brutal.


This comment makes me sad. I am in HR and I can tell you that, yes it is hight priority to protect the company, but that doesn’t mean to negate the employees feelings and any abusive behavior in the work place - in the end, it puts the employer in a liable situation for hostile work environment.

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I’m happy to hear you say that @kweb2k . Historically my experience taking complaints to HR has never been successful. Most recently our team had a horrible manager and 3 of the members of his team complained to HR. He turned around and fired 3 random people, only 1 of them was part of the group that complained to HR. And nothing happened. I find that most companies don’t really care about toxic work environments because it’s hard to litigate and they know it.


Likely because they were just “HR” and not true business partners. It’s my responsibility to not only look out for the company, but also make sure our employees are happy (or as happy as I can try to make them- can not please everyone). A happy employee is far more productive. Even if the employee ultimately ends up leaving, I want them to leave on good terms and not feel like they weren’t heard. That’s how a company can end up with reviews you see on here, where people are upset and feel unheard/ un cared for.

Sounds like a 360 review would have straightened her up! Sorry for your experience!

which company are you working? Seriously interested working/dedicating my works just becasues of your comments as HR.

I worked in Fashion for over 10 years and every single woman i had for boss were monsters. Incompetent, and therefor even more cruel and mean, because they had to compensate for the actual talent they were lacking for.

I started to desperate on my own gender, until 2 weeks ago, when our new Executive Creative Director was hired. She is amazing, she has an incredible career behind her and she is extremely nice. I have hope again.

The question remains though, how do all these mean girls get and keep the job?

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I want to believe that, but I have never met an HR department that actually stood for the workers or even fixed an actual issue.

I still believe tough, I love my HR manager and I do spend a reasonable amount of time talking to her, I just don’t expect much out of it.