Boss is a Bully

I was hired three years ago to underwrite (sell) media time for a PBS system. At that time, the management team realized that nearly all their contributors were very large corporations or foundations and that to grow their overall brand image, they need to associate with more “companies on main street.” especially since our area is made up mostly of smaller, rural towns. That’s MY job–selling the benefits of association with PBS. When local business runs ads, it connects with local viewers; they in turn are more likely to support PBS. This is a job I love.

In February, I got a new boss…a woman from an accounting background, not a sales background. From the start, she isolated me from the rest of the team. I have not witnessed her doing this to others. Instead of my being able to collaborate with production and scheduling coworkers, she insists on all communications going directly through her. She is petty and particular about details that don’t matter to our clients. She seems unable to acknowledge that the person running a small town business is not the same type of person running a large nonprofit foundation. I work hard, get a lot done AND make occasional mistakes. She is the most passive/aggressive person I have ever known. After not giving clear direction on a project, she will broadcast or email company-wide notes about my mishaps, small or large. She literally scowls at me until her lips turn white, but won’t have a decent conversation about why.

I have tried to let my enthusiasm and motivation about the job override the negative experience of working with her. I have tried convincing myself that maybe I just misunderstand her. Two weeks ago, she did berate and yell that “we don’t offer bonuses” after I negotiated a contract with a business that should have been applauded. The anxiety I now have when she walks in the room or calls has me missing work occasionally and I am considering leaving this job. THAT is not what I really want.

I am having a hard time knowing where to go after trying to put this in a model:

C: Boss yelled “we don’t offer bonuses”
T: I can’t handle this woman’s toxic behavior any longer
F: Fear
A: missing work, afraid to make mistakes, so I don’t pursue new leads, cry in private
R: performance at work suffers