"He Hates His Job -- and It's Ruining Our Marriage"
His TurnA Bad Situation Made Worse
"I have every reason in the world to be happy," admitted Jon, 38, a handsome man with a deliberate way of speaking. "I'm married to a terrific woman. We have a beautiful, healthy son. And I have a job that, on paper, is perfect. But most of the time I can barely get out of bed in the morning. I have no energy to talk to Lara or play with my son. I've stopped playing basketball with my friends. Sometimes I'm so tense I find myself gripping the steering wheel with all my might. I know it sounds melodramatic, but my workday is a personal hell. At night I sometimes break down in tears.
"As Lara said, the firm where I'd worked happily for 10 years was acquired. The new management asked me to stay on, but I didn't want to relocate to Atlanta. I was excited when I got this offer. I'd been warned that the CEO, my boss, was hard to work with, but I was impressed by his intelligence and goals for the company. I'd handled tough work situations before; I figured, how bad could this guy be?
"The answer is, worse than my wildest imaginings. My boss is a bully who rules by ranting, raving, and steamrollering over everyone. He shoots down ideas I've worked on for weeks and rudely contradicts me in meetings. If he has a problem with someone, he comes flying out of his office and humiliates the person in front of everyone. I've been at the receiving end more times than I can count. Any time I have to communicate with him -- in person, on the phone, even through e-mail -- I get panicky. There's no escape: The guy sends me e-mails at 2 a.m."
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