“My Gaslighter Boss Is Poisoning My Career!”
I’ll cut to the chase. I’m good at my job and horrible at office politics.
My boss is incompetent and threatened by me or anyone who sees his duplicity. I don’t know what he’s going to do first, cause someone’s death or ruin my career, but I’m pretty sure both are going to happen if things keep going the way they are.
My job is high status, high pressure, and very few people can do what I do. That’s not ego; it’s a fact. Many people would find what my boss is getting away with scary, but that seems only to make him an expert at concealing his ineptness and discrediting anyone who might reveal the truth. Because I’m tone-deaf to office politics, I’ve inadvertently threatened my boss and have just learned he’s launched attacks that are damaging, potentially career-ending. All anonymously, of course. He’s my boss and has been dripping poison on my career whenever he can. This terrible situation has continued as long as it has — years — because I am good at my job, and I never imagined another professional could do this. I thought it was me! Even now, I’m self-conscious about these claims making me sound crazy. However, time and recent events have shown me my boss has been gaslighting me all along. Others are aware this person is corrupt, but people are afraid to speak up and mostly talk among themselves and exchange knowing looks. Complaints have made it up to management, but their primary concern seems to be preventing damage to their reputation.
My career is everything to me. I can’t believe this is happening, but I’ve finally accepted it. The problem is my boss has been so good at undermining me if I go after him now, I fear it will look like vengeance. I’m seriously thinking of leaving my job, but doing that makes me feel like my boss wins. How do I manage this?
Gaslit and furious
Dear Gaslit and furious,
I’m sorry this is happening to you. You open by saying you’re going to “cut to the chase.” Good, I’ll repay you in kind and do the same. Here goes. Get out and get out now.