From Scolding to Soaring: My Journey from Doubt to Departing a Toxic Boss

At noon, I received a WeChat message from a former colleague: “My boss scolded you again during the meeting today.”

I couldn’t help but find it funny: I had left my job three months ago, but I didn’t expect my former boss to still miss me so much. No need to ask me to know that she must be using me as a negative example to warn others, especially new employees.

Sure enough, as expected, a former colleague told me that recently several colleagues in the company were preparing to resign because they could not withstand the pressure from their bosses. After the boss found out, he talked to them one by one and mentioned me as a “pioneer” in the small meetings of the conference and repeatedly criticized me to set a warning for others.

A former colleague said: “The boss said that she has actually been training you to be the head of the department. She deliberately put pressure on you to exercise your abilities and polish your character. If you could withstand the pressure at the beginning, now You have definitely been promoted. It’s a pity that your ability to withstand pressure is too poor, you can’t stand the test, and you will destroy your future…”

I was originally a science student and have been working in sales since graduating from college. But outside of work, I also like literature and art, and often visit major art exhibitions, concert halls, theaters, etc. By chance, I saw that a performance company was recruiting a project manager. I had just resigned from my last job at that time, so this recruitment message aroused my love for literature and art and allowed me to see another possibility in life.

But after all, I was applying for a job across industries, and without professional training, I still felt a little guilty. Fortunately, the first two rounds of interviews went smoothly, and I received the final interview notification within two days.

That afternoon, I sat alone in the conference room and anxiously waited for the interviewer. On the one hand, I was excited because I was only one step away from my dream job, but on the other hand, I was worried about my lack of professional background and ability.

Just when I was restless, a middle-aged woman wearing a black trench coat walked into the conference room. I recognized her as the owner of this company and said hello quickly. She nodded, looked at my resume very seriously, and then asked a few more common questions.

Finally, she said firmly: “We are a professional company. Given your conditions and abilities, we generally won’t consider you.”

I was a little unconvinced. The question she asked just now clearly had nothing to do with my major. Why did she think I was incompetent?

But then, she changed the topic and said, “But I personally think you still have great potential, so I am willing to give you a chance to try it out.”

I was already discouraged, but immediately became excited after hearing these words. All the doubts about the interview just now were forgotten. I thanked her very gratefully for giving me this opportunity, and promised that I would work hard to improve myself and make up for my shortcomings in my future work.

After joining the company, I found that the job was actually not as difficult as I thought. My job tasks are mainly responsible for purchasing various performance products, negotiating with Party B, and signing contracts. What these jobs require most is communication and coordination skills. As a former salesperson, these abilities are exactly my strengths.

But at the same time, my weaknesses are also obvious. Because of my lack of professional background, my professional abilities have been denied by my boss since I joined the company.

Every week, our department has to report to the boss at the regular meeting the new projects it plans to purchase, and my proposals are always criticized one after another. From the layout of the PPT to the content of the report, from the selection of the project to the follow-up promotion plan, the boss can find countless reasons from various angles to prove that I am not suitable for this job.

While I was still in the probation period, I was trembling with fear every day, feeling that I might be fired at any time. So I made up my mind to take the college entrance examination and started to improve my professional abilities.

During that time, I was like a clockwork robot, tirelessly reading information, taking notes, and visiting the market. I never missed any opportunity for professional learning or anyone I could ask for advice. According to the company’s attendance records, my overtime hours in a month even reached more than 120 hours.

And even when I returned home, my thoughts were all focused on maintaining client relationships and handling work tasks, so much so that my wedding, which was originally on the agenda, had to be postponed.

Hard work paid off. In my first year of work, not only did I successfully become a full-time employee, but I also signed two of the most profitable projects for the department.

But even so, my boss’s attitude towards me is still more negative than positive, and he almost scolds me at every regular meeting. This also made me start to wonder if I was really not doing well enough?

Perhaps because he saw that I was about to give up, my boss had a deep talk with me. This time, she affirmed my potential for the first time, and at the same time encouraged me: Don’t want to desert just because you get scolded. Being scolded is the only way for a person to grow, and it is also the fastest way to grow.

My parents said to me: “A strict teacher will make a good disciple. If the leader is willing to scold you, he is helping you.” When I thought about the progress I had made in the past year, I actually accepted the boss’s “scold theory”.

It wasn’t until a few months later that a partner came to me with a new project. I thought it was a very promising project, so I tried my best to recommend it to my boss at the regular meeting. Not surprisingly, my boss rejected the proposal on the grounds that I was “not professional enough.” But maybe I personally liked this project too much. A week later, I reported on the project again and cited sufficient reasons for recommendation and a large amount of market data as support. But my boss didn’t pay any attention to my research results. Instead, he publicly criticized me for taking things for granted.

However, I was not discouraged, and in the third week I reported on the project again. This time, perhaps out of boredom, the boss finally relented and only said: “I’ve already warned you, but since you insist on doing it, I can’t help it.”

Although my colleagues advised me not to confront my boss, I don’t know why, but I just wanted to give it a try.

Fortunately, the project became a hit as soon as it hit the market. Because we were the first company to participate in the project, we not only reaped huge financial rewards, but also won praise within the industry.

I was relieved, thinking that this finally proved my vision and ability.

However, as the days passed, the company simply praised the entire department in a staff meeting. The boss seemed to have already forgotten about this matter.

I think maybe this matter is not worth mentioning to the boss. But not long after, I learned from a friend in the industry that the boss had always been proud of this project, and unceremoniously took all the credit on himself in front of outsiders.

I was shocked and even angry when I heard the news.

I recalled everything since I joined the company, and began to wonder: Is my boss, who always questions my professional ability, professional enough?

I remembered that not all of the projects that the boss was optimistic about were profitable; I thought that most of the boss’s criticisms of me actually lacked objective reasons; I also thought that every time the boss scolded us, he didn’t give many practical suggestions. suggestions. If I am an incompetent employee, then why is she an incompetent boss? Maybe suppressing me is just a way for her to establish her authority.

Not long after, the boss planned to set up a new project team. Soon, I was asked to talk again. The boss said: “I am very pleased that I did not misjudge the person at the beginning. Your growth and progress during this period are obvious to all. The company now wants to develop its own projects. Among the several current project managers, I think you are the most promising to become The person in charge of the project. So I plan to transfer you to the new project and train you personally.”

Seeing that my boss was sincere, I was a little flattered. I thought that although my boss didn’t express it on the surface, he actually recognized my achievements in his heart. At the same time, the boss didn’t seem to want to ask for my opinion, and directly ordered me to move out of the original office immediately.

However, what I didn’t expect was that after entering the new project, my immediate boss changed from the original department head to the boss. This brought me into more frequent contact with my boss, which also led to her scolding me more intensely.

In the new project, in the name of training me, my boss asked me to put down my familiar job and start contacting a new business field. This means that all my previous resource accumulation will be cleared and all work will have to start again. But this field happens to be the boss’s old profession. She has been operating here for many years and she doesn’t care at all about the efforts of my colleagues and me.

No matter what plan we come up with, the response we get is always:

“What you make looks like garbage to me!”
“You have no brains at all, you can’t even handle such a small thing!”
“There is no way around this. Shouldn’t you reflect on yourselves?”
“This plan is no different from the third-rate products on the market!”

One time, when we were trying to come up with a new idea, she even interrupted and said, “Just do what I say and stop thinking about all this nonsense! I won’t even read what you come up with!”

Nights after working overtime until the early hours of the morning, one client after another after hard work, and one exhausting meeting after another, in the end, what they got in the end was blows and humiliations again and again!

Anxiety and depression began to creep in, and insomnia, hair loss, dizziness, and heart palpitations occurred from time to time.

Every day when I go to work, I feel as if the sun is gray and the company’s door looks more and more hideous. I couldn’t help but start asking myself: What on earth are you doing? What are you here for? Why are you enduring this now?

At the celebration banquet for the new project, the boss beamed with joy and proudly imparted his experience to several department heads: “You are motivated only when you are under pressure. You cry when you are scolded. But now, see if you have gained anything? It’s just that you have to be scolded.” Only then can we grow!”

Seeing the boss looking at us with satisfaction, I subconsciously turned my head to the side. After looking at each other with the colleagues around us, we all showed disapproval.

This experience made me begin to understand that there is no substantial connection between being scolded and growing up. The reason I grow faster after being scolded is not because the person scolding me is so wise and correct, but because I myself chose to speed up my progress under strong external pressure. My growth is due to my own efforts and also depends on the time, energy, happiness and health I have sacrificed.

In this process, what really helps growth are objective, guiding, and experiential suggestions and criticisms, rather than empty and arrogant abuse and naked verbal bullying.

The night after the celebration party, I submitted my resignation application. Within a week, colleagues in the entire project team chose to resign one after another.

Now, I have served as the head of department in the new company. I no longer need to be scolded, but I am still moving forward. I believe that I will never use verbal abuse to treat my subordinates, because I know that there are more important things in growth than “fast”, such as health, family and a beautiful good mood.

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