T Nation

Problems at work

I’m having problems with a guy at work, and I need some advice. Here’s my problem: I started working about a month ago at a car dealership, selling cars. Its really small, with a total of 10 employees.There’s a guy I work with, the lot technician (basically the guy who moves cars around and washes them) who is driving me up the wall. The dealership is a real good ol boy environment, where you can expect to be made fun of and ripped apart on a daily basis. Being the new guy, I get ripped on more than anybody else. There is also a lot of free time in car sales, because if there are no customers on the lot, there’s almost nothing to do but sit around and make jokes and fuck around. Well this guy rips on me constantly and talks down to me. He talks to me with so much disrespect I can barely stand it. So today I made some smart-ass comments back to him, which I rarely do, and we almost got into a fight. I CANNOT aford to get into a fight. I need this job desperately. I moved to this city 5 months ago, and for 4 months i waited tables barely making enough to scrape by. I could not find a full time office job anywhere, not even for 9 bucks an hour, not even with my college degree. I have high monthly expenses, and a decent amount of debt. I can make a lot of money selling cars (3 grand last month) and I’m very lucky I work here, because the boss is willing to train me and he ignored the fact that I’ve never worked in sales before. It would be very hard for me to go another dealership because I have so little experience.
So I don’t know know what to do about this kid. Every time I come back at him with jokes/insults of my own, he seems to get angrier and angrier. I have no idea why he dislikes me. My guess is its a combination of many things: 1) I’m not from around here, so I’m an outsider 2) I’m college educated, intelligent and well spoken-he’s not 3) I come across as weak to him because of 1 and 2, and because I’m not a good ol boy type of guy 4) i know nothing about cars and he does-he went to a trade high school and used to do body work on cars.
Basically, he has no respect for me.
What can i do about this? Please don’t tell me to call his ass out and beat respect into him. Not only will I probably lose my job, but he’s a rough kid from a rough part of town. if I beat the shit out of him, he’ll come back with a bat or a gun or his friends. I’m new in town and have no backup. Plus I have a lot to live for!Also, he has a criminal record, as does his brother, his father, and his friends. I have sat in an office as he went to the local sheriff’s website and checked out the various court cases he and his friends were involved with. Plus, the kid is dumb. I mean really dumb. If we get into a fight, he will do something stupid, I know it. What can I do?

Just some Ideas, dunno what will work

Go to the sherrif and write a criminal complaint, if you get fired for that, sue them for retaliation against you for defending yourself, or even conspiracy.

face your fear of poverty, get a different job even if it almost kills you, youll get thru this, I work for $9 and hour in a very expensive area to live, I’m a programmer that hasnt worked in I.T. since march, but I godda do what I godda do, a degree doesn’t make you special
sounds like you need to get out of dodge, sell everything you own and take a bus to another city even.

alternatively just remain still and silent and grin when he harrases you, tape record everything.

Go rent ‘fight club’

If you really need this job, you’re going to have to thicken your skin a little. When someone else’s words begin to change or ruin your life, you’re in trouble. If this guy is such a loser, you should be taking his insults with a grain of salt–if that. What is this, junior high? Lastly, what’s that on your shirt----haaaaa, got ya!!! HAHAHAHAHAAH! Now, take a lap around the lot, newbie!

Get another job. Many sales jobs will hire people with no experience, especially car dealerships. If another job is not an option, talk to your boss about the situation. If that still doesn’t work, then take the hits and dish a few out on your own. Or avoid making any comments when he decides to make fun of you. If he doesn’t get to you, the novelty will wear off.

From what you say - you are probably right that this guy is bad news and will try to get even with you in any bad number of ways that you cann’t predict. As much as you would want to kick the livin shit out of this guy it would not be worth it or advisable as no tellin what he may resort to. I would completely ignore him as much as possible and be civil when forced to deal with him (as hard as it is) rather than lower myself to his red neck standards which would be acting smart rather than dumb. Don’t antaganize him no matter what he says or does. Protect your job and take the high road as this will impress your boss much more than getting in any kind of pissin match with this dumb kid. With any luck, the dumb bastard will be in jail or move on soon anyway - they always do.

I would say pretend he doesn’t exist when he insults you. Or laugh it off. I think making fun of yourself when he insults would be the best bet.

Do the best job you can do. Find ways to improve your work capabilities so you won’t have to be near him when you have nothing to do.

Also he probably thinks you think your better than him. Do you think that? Does he have a reason to believe that? Good luck man. :slight_smile:

lessee… here are your options:

fight the guy…

bad opion for reasons you mentioned above

insult the guy when he insults you…

didn’t seem to help last time

quit your job…

you need the money

talk to the boss…

he seemed to like you well enough to hire you without experience, be sure not to whine like a little sissy girl

talk to the guy and ask him why he finds you so objectionable…

couldn’t hurt could it?

Just tell him ‘Oh yeah? Well I had sex with your wife!!’ (or girlfriend I guess)

Here’s a few more things to help add perspective to the situation. 1)The more that I think about it, the more I realize that he doesn’t really rip into me like the salesmen and the boss do. He is always talking DOWN to me. He’s probably teased me less than anybody else there, but he always seems to have hostility and disrespect in his tone. Whereas with everybody else its a “normal” tease and be teased scenario.2) Today he pretty much called me out when we were outside. he threw some shit of mine on the ground- he challenged me and I backed off. At the time I didn’t realize it, i was just trying to see what his problem was. Stupid of me. He was insulting me and I didn’t even react to it. He probably has less respect for me than ever. Damn I’m frustrated.
My friends seem to think that ignoring him and staying as far away as possible from him is the way to go, even though they’re pissed that I didn’t respond to his challenge. Another friend says i should ignore him as well, but slice into him when he and I are alone. this is kind of hard to do because like I said earlier, he doesn’t really join in on the teasing, he just talks to me like I’m a piece of crap. If I were to do this, I would definitely be instigating something.
DC- Everyf’n day at work I say to myself “I thought I left all this shit behind in HS.” It is absolutely the most unprofessional place I have ever worked at.
later boys, keep the advice coming. It is appreciated in my time of need and frustration

you are a punk!!! deal with it. say what you want but that is what you ARE! you have NO testies so don’t even act like you do. if you don’t know what I mean then you are even more pathetic then I think.

I worked in the corporate arena for a number of years and in that environment you need to either have a thick skin, or a thirst for cold hard revenge. From now on you must not consider this person to be a human being. He is now ‘your mark’. Befriend him, attempt to appeal to his sense of humor on a 1 on 1 basis. Allow him to believe you are his bitch and don’t mind it that way. Do your best to figure out his daily routine at work. Follow him home or find another way to discern his home address discretely. When you figure out his home address, drive past his house every night during the week (either very early in the morning or late at night) and discern which day his garbage is taken. Begin stealing his trash and searching it. Look for credit card, birth date, bank account and credit card #'s. I once found nude pictures of a mark and had 30 copies printed up with the their phone numbers (office and home) on them, which I discretely posted around the office, and on random cars in various parking lots.

Take the information you get and shut off his electricity, phone, water, gas, and other utilities. There is a minimum of roughly $50 to turn these back on, plus the hassle. Cancel his and his roommates credit cards and have their bank accounts closed (you can tell some banks to send him a cashier’s check in the mail). Radio Shack as some high end voice sramblers which are typically made for women who don’t want unknown callers to know they live alone. They sound very realistic. Buy one. Before you cancel the credit cards, order up things to his house (and work), things that he might ‘like’, such as gay porn, Tony Little’s Gazelle, magazine subscriptions, Craft Matic Adjustable beds, and more! Then cancel the card a week later and inform them to send him the bill of the remaining balance. Slash the tires on his car, go to Home Depot and buy the “oops paint” (They sell gallons of mistakenly tinted paint and many desirable colors such as pink, pastel blue, brown…). Being a low class piece of white trash, I’m sure he has a really pretty car (and nothing else in life). Make it prettier. A Big Gulp size cup of Paint remover works wonders as well.

When you eventually meet trusted friends in your area, have them call your work, more specifically his direct supervisor at all hours of the day asking for him. Make sure they’re very rude to whoever answers the phone. By very rude, I mean “Tell that little fuck that if I don’t get the money for the COKE I fronted him last week, I’m going to come in there and break his fucking legs BITCH!” (payphone)

Buy a Playgirl and cut out the most graphic pictures and send it to the big boss "from” your mark. It would help to get a handwriting sample with his signature on it. Use tracing paper for the signature.

Buy some pot, heroin, or other controlled substance and ups it to him. Make sure he is required to sign for it. Make sure you write on the outside of the package “This week’s delivery”. Include a note on the inside stating that you weren’t able to meet him this week and that this was the only way to get it to him before the big sales this weekend. Make sure to divide up the drugs into several different Baggies. Coke is good because you can cut it down with baby powder and increase the weight. Even if there is tested to be 1/100th of a percent of coke –vs- Baby powder, he will be charged with distrobution of the total weighed. Then call the police from a payphone and ask to speak with a narcotics detective. Inform him that he “your former friend” has been a major supplier of cocaine in town for some time and he is expecting a package in the mail in a few days. Give the detective the tracking number. Make sure when you mail the package it’s from at least a 2 hour drive away and send it from a place without video cameras. Put the big boss’s name in the ‘from’ category.

Here are the RULES.

ALWAYS use payphones. ALWAYS use rubber gloves (dishwashing gloves work fine and come in large sizes). ALWAYS buy your materials at least two towns away. ALWAYS pay in cash. NEVER lick to seal an envelope. NEVER use your own handwriting, use block characters. NEVER tell anyone that you did this, not even friends until many MANY years later. Friends today can easily become enemies tomorrow. WHENEVER on field operations ALWAYS park at least a block away, wear some sort of disguise, and carry pepper spray.

You now have the power to destroy your enemy. I suggest you practice with the little stuff and progress from there. Study books such as the Art of War (Sun Tzu), Book of Five Rings (Musashi) and On War (Clauswitz).

Why are you working for a place that is unprofessional?

I think your options now are limited. Since this has been going on for a while, a sudden shift in your response is less likely to have an effect now. You state that there is a lot of ripping going on. It’s probably too late now, but what you should have done from the outset is just to have laughed it off. Clearly this loser saw that what he said to you had an effect on you, he got the reaction that he was looking for and so he continues. You have reacted exactly the way he was hoping for. Had you blown him off like he was no more than a speck of dust on your shoulder I can practically guarantee it wouldn’t have persisted- but you f-ed up by feeding into it.
If you can, as one poster suggested, develop some really thick skin quickly you may still be ok, but it sounds as if things have already gone too far in that you’re really being hassled and are too affected by it.
If so- get a new job, but first kick his ass.

Okay, I’m going to give you a couple different angles here, so try to stay with me. First, the difference between the guy at the head office and the guy who stays on the floor his whole career is people skills – being able to relate to a wide array of people and get along with them. Dale Carnegie stuff. Bone up on this NOW. This guy is doing this because of HIS low self-esteem. Sounds like yours is pretty low as well, so don’t get into a frenzy of trying to prove yourself. Second, here’s a Zen story that follows pretty closely your situation: The Gift of Insults ----
There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him. One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move. Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior’s challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed. Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. “How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?” “If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”

Something to think about.

Will you be my friend…I don’t want you as an enemy. :slight_smile:

It takes quite a bit to get on my bad side, your safe. :wink: Usually the more obnoxious and unreasonable a person is, the more I like t hem (So long as their reasonably intelligent). For me the above scenario would be fun, I love verbal sparring. It beats dissecting the trash of trash. But then again, I come from a long line of bar brawlers and boxers so I really don’t have that aversion to physical confrontation that most people do.

In a sense, everything you guys have said is right to some degree.
ME- you’re right about me not having balls. After being broke for the first time this summer,being 9 grand in debt, and not being able to find a good job for 4 months, i have become desperate for money and desperate for a good job. I finally found a good job. then this punk called me out, and I’m so afraid of losing my job I don’t do anything. i have become so afraid of losing my job, it’s taken away my manhood. I’m man enough to admit that.
Jim- You are a cold mofo, and I’m glad you’re on my side. I have cut and pasted your response into a Word document. it may come in handy. I appreciate your taking the time to type up that lengthy response.
Nate Dogg- because I badly need the money! But your answer has forced me to consider whether it is worth it.
Goobertron- you’re answer was on the money as well. I do need thick skin, but it is damn hard to develop when you don’t have it. I do have thin skin. YOu are correct in saying I may have to look for a new job.
Brider- I understand the moral of the story. It is hard to develop thick skin though. As far as low self esteem, yeah, money problems have certainly affected my manhood.

What I am going to do right now is shower, shave (today is my day off), dress up, and go up the road to my local automile and inquire about working somewhere else. I’m not saying I’m leaving this place, but I am definitely going to explore my options and see what else is out there. Peace and thanks for everybody’s help.

Try to catch the guy alone first thing in the morning and say something along the lines of “Hey, man. I don’t know how we got off on the wrong foot, but I’d like to start over.” Offer him a handshake. If he won’t shake your hand, ask him what’s wrong. Put him on the spot in a nice way. Be courteous. Try to talk to him like he’s already a friend.

Razor: I think your method would work if the fuckwad in question weren’t a complete piece of white trash. You can’t be reasonable with these people. They don’t understand it. You have to intimidate them like you would a dog. Stare and stare until they blink, never show them any weakness. It’s all these types understand.

I believe the guy in question would probably just call him a ‘fag’ and use it against him.

It would be a very good idea for him to simply get a job at another auto dealership. They’re all hiring, as there are zero auto sales at the moment. I suggest that he embellish how long he’s been selling cars and move on. But then again, I abso-fucking despise car salesman as I find them akin to blood parasites in that they are completely unneeded in the whole process of buying a car. Buying a car oughta be like buying a T.V. dinner. Walk in, decide what color you want, what other components you want, pay and leave. After pitting two salesmen against each other for a week and getting their ‘absolutely rock bottom price’, I went to CarMax.com and got the same EXACT, brand new vehicle for $2000 less. All I had to do was drive in, sign a few papers, and leave. I promptly called one of the salesman the day AFTER I bought it and told them another salesman made me an offer $2000 less and he laughed at me and said that was impossible. I replied back, “Pat, it’s sitting in my driveway.” and promptly hung up.

Nothing against you as a car salesman, this is only a temporary thing for you. I realize these are desperate times. It’s just that car dealerships tend to procure a large segment of the scumbag population and that’s why things are the way they are politically at your place of employment. It’s typically like this a most car dealerships. They tend to adopt the ‘conman’, ‘predatory’, mentality seeking to fuck the customer for all the commission they can. They try to control the customer the second they walk in the door and this leaks into the interoffice interactions among employees. You find alot of these ape-like control hierarchies in sales offices.

In other words: You are too goddam nice to be working there. Know this, don’t allow the environment to taint you, and get out at your first chance. See the light brother! Don’t go down that road!

Disregard my previous message about being nice. I’ve reconsidered. This guy is a real dick. I think Jim Kubler’s approach sounds much more satisfying.