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Getting rude remarks from my manager - What to do?

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Anonymous User at Taro Communitya year ago

For context, I work at Apple

I’m currently having difficulty with my manager, who’s made remarks in front of others and micro aggressions, which goes against the inclusion and diversity values of Apple. My manager has been doing this in my 1:1s as well

I’ve been considering talking to HR but I am worried of any repercussions. I know Apple hasn’t laid anyone off yet but they could and I could be the one in my team to be let go (my team’s headcount increased by one person during the pandemic for context). He’s made references to layoffs in my 1:1s

What’s the best thing to do in this situation? I’ve spoken about this with him in the past



  • 8
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    Let me get this straight:

    • Your manager is making discriminatory comments towards you (I first thought it was about your quality of work, but you mentioned diversity and inclusion)
    • They do this in front of teammates as well
    • It also happens in 1 on 1s, and they're subtlety hinting (or even outright threatening) that you'll be laid off

    If this is all true, your manager clearly is a horrible person 😠

    It's pretty clear to me that you should change managers. However, it's going to be tough as I think you should coordinate the move in secret without alerting your current manager (they'll probably retaliate). In terms of tactics, here are my thoughts:

    • Create a paper trail - If your manager is DMing you these things, save those. Otherwise, you can generate testimony from teammates you get along with, (e.g. "Don't you think it was weird our manager said X about me?"). Paper trails are always useful, and this will help you make your case with whatever you choose to do.
    • Go to a tech lead or manager you trust - Ask them if you can join their team, and you can even show the paper trail to them if you really believe in them.
    • Nuclear option: Change jobs - No job is worth your mental health. If this is really getting to you, just leave. However, I understand that this is really tough in the current economy and you may have constraints around employment.

    You could go to HR, but HR is infamously there to protect the company, not you. I recommend doing it as an absolute last resort. This wasn't at Apple, but I had a friend go to HR over discriminatory comments at her tech company, and it was just a horrible experience (HR threw her under the bus).

    If you want to try salvaging the relationship with your manager, I recommend using effective communication techniques and building a coalition. However, I am extremely skeptical this will help given that you already surfaced the feedback in your 1 on 1s.

  • 4
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    Can you easily check with your teammates how they feel about the manager's behavior? Ideally, have this conversation in person with people you trust (in a walking 1:1, for example). Just knowing that others empathize with your feelings can help, and it can also help in terms of next steps.

    In general, as Alex mentioned, Human Resources is designed to protect the company, not you. So I'd recommend not going to HR unless you have evidence of others experiencing similar issues.

  • 7
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    Staff Eng @ Google, Ex-Meta SWE, Ex-Amazon SDM/SDE
    a year ago

    First: I’m sorry you’re being treated this way, it’s really outrageous. Consider carefully what you’d like to happen now. If the manager stopped and apologized, would that be enough to reestablish trust, or is it permanently damaged by their behavior to date? If trust cannot be repaired, you cannot work for this person going forward. If you’re wanting to take action to protect others that’s admirable, but you need to take care of your own mental health first.

    So now action steps. Document these things, with quotes or very near quotes/paraphrasing. Having a paper trail no matter what happens next is critical. Check in with people that have witnessed this that you trust will keep the conversation private. Do they see what you see? Have they experienced something similar? You are impacted by this behavior, but others being able to back you up goes a long way if you formally complain. Have someone else you trust see the paper trail as you’re building it so, if things come to a head, it can be shown that you did not make all of this up on the spot.

    If you cannot find a new team, or some freeze or whatever keeps that from happening, looking outside is a good idea. Just do that anyway, so you have options.

    In terms of layoffs, your manager having a chip on their shoulder isn’t great, but raising a red flag and then being retaliated against for it would likely be a much more serious issue than the behaviors themselves. This is a main reason you keep your file with someone copied on it with clear dates, etc.

    Beyond that I’m not super sure what to tell you. Having 1:1 shadowed secretly or whatever to have this witnessed is unlikely to happen, you recording without permission is a bad idea and maybe illegal, etc.

    So the short version is “get out”, the long version is document and cover your ass as thoroughly as possible.

  • 4
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    Mid-Level Site Reliability Engineer at Ping Identity
    a year ago

    There's a lot of good feedback in this thread already, but I figured I'd explicitly say something: There's a very high chance you're not the only person with this complaint.

    You haven't mentioned specifically how you're feeling discriminated against, but at a company as large as Apple it's probably safe to assume that there's other people like you (whether that's LGBT/Race/Religion/Whatever). Find people who fit the bill that you can trust with the conversation and talk to them. If you're not sure, just casually mention an example in conversation, e.g. "Yeah it's been a weird week, MANAGER said X in our 1:1" and gauge their reaction.