My employer, who inherited his business from his parents, just got a basic education. Recently, he made a comment that offended my colleagues and I. He bragged that even though he never went to school, he gets to travel the world while university graduates work for him. I felt disrespected because it is us, his employees who know what it takes to keep the business afloat. How do I make my displeasure known? Janette.
There are entrepreneurs who run very successful ventures even with little education, but they appreciate the gaps they have and bridge them by employing professionals to manage the business, empowering them to perform and respecting their professional advice.
The comment your boss made is contradictory, after all, if schools are useless, why employ graduates? He could be suffering from superiority complex because he is not well learned, and confronting him might make the situation worse and open unpleasant discourse that might never be concluded.
Worth noting is that his negative attitude could be a coping mechanism to cover his deficiencies.
That said, remember he is your boss, and his might accuse you of insubordination. If you have a forum or mechanism to air your grievances, you can proceed and register your disappointment, however, given your employer’s attitude, I doubt you will get a fair hearing. My take would be that you ignore the comment and find a way to stop it from bothering you.
In the professional space, you have to choose the battles worth fighting by weighing the pros and cons. Of what benefit would this confrontation be to your career?
You are an employee, and if you feel the environment is toxic and affecting your wellbeing, you could move on to an employer who values your contribution and treats you with respect.
You have a contract of employment, you are not a prisoner, therefore don’t play victim.
Heed the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. You are giving your employer too much power over you, you cannot control how others talk and behave, but you are in control of how you react to them.
Senior HR Manager,
Nation Media Group