someone made a mean “self-evaluation” for my boss, and she’s punishing us all

A reader writes:

Last year, a new manager, Rhonda, took over my team.

In my company, it’s quite common for deadlines to be extended, and the manager decides which projects should take priority. Rhonda prioritized some projects that typically allow for many extensions and did not prioritize some that were more critical. Some team members and I asked her if she was sure about the changes. She replied that as a manager, she had information we didn’t have access to. We accepted it and proceeded with the projects in the order she indicated.

At the end of each year, we are required to perform a self-evaluation of our performance and submit it to the manager. The manager will read it and conduct their own evaluation. Both assessments are used as a basis for salary increases and other benefits.

Recently, Rhonda held a meeting to inform everyone that our team’s average performance had dropped significantly and began citing observations about the team. All the observations she marked as mistakes were things she herself had instructed us to do, such as prioritizing project X. She wrote something like, “Even though I told them to prioritize project Y, the team continued prioritizing X.” This caused a huge uproar because internal promotions and bonuses take these evaluations into account.

Someone printed a copy of the self-evaluation form and filled it out as if they were Rhoda, but in a clearly malicious way. Questions like “where do you see yourself in the company in a year” were answered with “fired because I’m incompetent and a liar,” and “describe your successes this year” was answered with “successfully worsened the performance of an entire team and jeopardized several projects.” Multiple copies of this filled-out form circulated throughout the company during the Christmas season.

When Rhonda returned today and discovered the “self-evaluation,” she freaked out. She started hunting down copies and tearing them up, but many people had already read them. So, she decided to punish the entire team. No one can have flexible hours anymore because she wants all of us working at the same time, focused on the same thing. She wants a daily report on the progress of each person on each project. And she said that if she finds out who created the forged “self-evaluation,” she will ensure that the person never finds another job.

Do you have any suggestions on how to mitigate the anger of this manager? I understand that she may be upset, but she is punishing the entire team based on the actions of one person.

Rhonda sucks, and while you might be able to mitigate her anger in this one situation or convince her not to punish everyone for one person’s actions, you’re still going to be working for a manager who sucks, and she’s highly likely to do more things that suck in the future.

It’s understandable that the fake self-evaluation that Rhonda found stung! No one wants to learn that the people they work with think of them that way. And who knows, maybe Rhonda thinks this was the act of the whole team and you all were having a group joke at her expense. Still, though, a manager with any amount of self-awareness, humility, or competence would it this as a flag that they needed to do some serious self-reflection and figure out how things got to this point and how to address it in a meaningful way (“why do people on my team think I’m incompetent and a liar and what do I need to do to change that?”), not just lash out and punish people.

So again, Rhonda sucks.

But you already know that.

You could certainly try attempting to reason with her. You could talk with her and say, “I’m really sorry that happened, that must have been awful to see. I had nothing to do with it and wouldn’t participate in something like that.  But having flexible hours was important to me and something that made this job work as well as it does for me, and I’m asking if you will reconsider punishing the whole team for one person’s actions.” Will it work? Maybe, who knows. Framing it in sympathetic language and distancing yourself from the fake evaluation might make her see you as less of an enemy. But she seems like a really bad manager, so it’s a crapshoot.

Are you willing to go over her head, to HR if they’re competent or to Rhonda’s boss (who probably isn’t terribly competent if Rhonda has been managing like this with no intervention) or someone else senior who’s known for acting rationally and whose ear you have — not just about the fake review aftermath, but the whole situation with Rhonda’s mismanagement? In some companies that would make things worse (because nothing would be done and it would get back to Rhonda that you tried), but in others it would get some much-needed attention on how Rhonda is operating.

If that doesn’t feel like a realistic option, or if you try and it doesn’t work … well, you’re working for a terrible manager. The best thing you can do is to actively work on getting out, because this won’t get better on its own.

{ 235 comments… read them below }

  1. Fikly*

    The real problem is that you’re starting with a manager who lied on your evaluations about the entire team’s performance to begin with, which is what lead to what you’re describing as a mean fake self-evaluation.

    And these are all evaluations that are tied to promotions and pay. And this is how the manager acted _before_ the fake self-evaluation.

    The manager isn’t going to change, and is only going to get worse. Document, document, document everything she instructs you to do, so you have proof. If you can’t find employment elsewhere, it’s the only way to protect yourself.

    1. Janet*

      Yeah – everyone hates a manager tantrum, but this tantrum sounds like an incompetent manager throwing static and trying to assert their authority. They’ve already lied to cover up their incompetence and scapegoated an entire team to avoid having it become known. They can’t withstand any scrutiny. They threw the tantrum to preserve their nominal authority and silence any pesky kids in the crowd who might mention that the emperor is naked.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Or even worse, Rhonda’s boss/bosses told her to do that wrongheaded prioritizing in the first place, either out of misguided thinking over what needed to be done when, or worse, to blame the team and not give out raises/bonuses because of their “average falloff.” Then, when it all blew up, she got the shrapnel and is blaming her reports.

    2. A (Former) Library Person*

      Yes, this seems to be one of those situations where it makes sense to get, in writing, a confirmation of “Rhonda, we have just agreed that I should currently prioritize project X, which means that projects Y and Z will be my secondary focus”. OP should do this immediately going forward, even if they decide to look for employment elsewhere.

      If communications like this already do exist in OP’s department, that might help sway their decision about whether or not to approach HR and/or the grandboss. We all know from years of reading this blog that there is a nonzero chance that hard evidence might have little to no effect on the higher ups, but their actions will provide some pretty good signals either way. Of course, all the usual risks do still apply there.

      1. My Useless 2 Cents*

        The problem here is that Rhonda will get annoyed at always having to clarify priorities. Based on reaction to the fake self-eval, Rhonda is not going to respond professionally to that annoyance. Yes, OP needs to document what they can but seeking clarity and double checking are not going to have a positive outcome.

        Really OP’s only options are to get out or go over Rhonda’s head (if anyone will listen).

        1. alice*

          i actually think there’s a way to get everything in writing that could work with Rhonda’s overreaction and controlling behavior. the LW says “Rhonda wants a daily report on the progress of each person on each project.” so maybe LW could send daily reports with that specific wording of “as discussed, i’m prioritizing project x over project y” in a greater daily status report, which will make Rhonda feel like she’s in control but really it’s helping document things to protect LW

        1. Just Another Zebra*

          Oh, I had that! Manager was a perpetual flip-flopper, so I started emailing to CYA. He, too, eventually stopped responding.

          So I started closing emails to him with the line, “If any adjustments to the plan stated above are needed, please let me know. Otherwise, I will proceed as discussed.” Read receipt, delivered receipt.

          1. Florence Reese*

            Yup yup yup. If they won’t put things in writing, it’s even more important that *you* put things in writing and include language like this. That’s neglectful at best, sus at worst.

    3. TheBunny*

      Yuk. And UGH.

      One of two things are happening here and neither of them are good. Either Rhonda IS a liar and is letting the team take the fall for her error or she really believes she directed the team differently than she did…despite the fact that the entire team behaved in the same way.

      I’ve worked with both types and neither are tolerable for long. It’s impossible to do a good job under a manager who lies or isn’t consistent.


      1. goddessoftransitory*

        And at least liars know they’re lying! “I rewrite history and reality on a minute-to-minute basis” is even worse, because they’d swear on a stack of Bibles that they said X when an entire office heard them say Y, because that’s what they remember doing.

        1. Chas*

          Ugh, you just reminded me of the saga of a 5th lab book from an old technician of my exboss that he insisted he had brought with him from his previous lab, despite her 4th lab book being half empty (implying that it was the last one). For weeks he was asking me and our new technician if either of us had taken the 5th book home to read (neither of us EVER took work stuff home, and these books were huge) and had a huge strop and yelled at me when I tried to tell him there’d never been a 5th lab book (again, these were huge lab books, so very distinctive, and I’d helped move them from his old office, so I knew how many there’d been), including, very clearly, telling me “Stop saying there were only 4 books!”

          Then, months later after visiting the old technician, he walked into our lab, picked up the 4th book and went “Oh, hey! This missing 4th book showed up!”
          Cue me and the technician looking at each other for a moment before I tentatively piped up with: “…Didn’t you say there were FIVE books?”
          “No…? It was the fourth one that was missing!”

    4. Csethiro Ceredin*

      Agreed. That was why I left my previous job: my boss blamed me for a decision she had made. It was on a much smaller scale than this case but I never trusted her again and started looking for another position.

      Confirm her instructions over email if given verbally! And I hope you have a better boss very soon.

      1. birb*

        I will never understand bosses who expect the people they manage to cover for them at their own expense. It feels so much like my abusive toxic upbringing.

        1. Goldenrod*

          “It feels so much like my abusive toxic upbringing.”

          Yeah! and you can bet Rhonda also had some kind of unhealthy upbringing herself.

    5. ferrina*

      There’s one other trick to try. This is only something to do at last resort- if you can leave, I recommend doing that first.

      Be a comforting force for the manager. Managers like this are ego driven- figure out how to feed the ego at the right cadence, and you can fly under the radar. They are insecure in their power- become a non-threat that makes them feel safe to be around you. Play into stereotypes and lean on “I’m just a lowly ROLE, you’re the boss.” Don’t be too smart- only be an expert in certain areas, and defer to the manager for “strategic guidance”. Repeat the manager’s orders back to them several times so you can “double check that you understood”. Email them updates to “keep them in the loop” (i.e., document that this is what’s going on). Make them feel smart/powerful (but not too much) and they’ll have reason to want to keep you around. It’s not necessarily flattery, but bolstering their image of their own power.

      This strategy is a constant political game. It’s exhausting and you’re constantly wearing a mask. If you do this long term, it is pretty much guaranteed to hurt your soul. I have only used this when I wasn’t able to leave right away and needed to buy time until I could leave.

      1. Been There Done That*

        This approach is also a CYA as it creates a paper trail of what they asked you to do.

      2. Bunny Lake Is Found*

        This was my strategy in school with “difficult” or “impossible to please” professors. You could learn the subject as much as you wanted, but if you couldn’t answer a question in the way the professor understood/agreed with, you weren’t getting an A or A-. So I analyzed all the practice exams, sample answers, prior years class notes, anything I could get my hands on and looked for what came up most often. I did this for substantive questions, but more for what about an answer made the professor say “yes” mentally.

        Obviously it is different because I was trying to give my “excellent” exam answer the edge over other “excellent” exam answers so that I got a better grade on the curve. However you are doing the reverse–you need to move yourself DOWN on her shit list and being “excellent” at your job is just not going to do that for you with this person. You need to do “excellent” by her subjective view…and ferrina is right, the most likely way to accomplish this is to figure out what she thinks/believes she wants to see in your actions, and just do that (to the extent it isn’t illegal or terrible).

        You need to stop playing the game and start playing the player, so that you can get out of this office of bees on your own terms.

    6. Momma Bear*

      If there is a formal grievance process for arguing against a manager’s evaluation, I would do so. En masse. With receipts if anyone has these directions in writing.

      I agree to document EVERYTHING. Do the whole, “Per our meeting, you directed us to…and the response to Sally’s concern was that you have information we do not” follow up email thing.

    7. OMG, Bees!*

      Yes, and very likely some people on the team have emails from the manager that says the team was to prioritize Project X, while the manager’s evaluation said she told them to prioritize Project Y. If this has meaningful impact on raises and salaries, that could be enough to go above Rhonda.

  2. soontoberetired*

    This brings me back to my high school days with group punishments for infractions where someone pulled a bad prank. Never got any of us to rat the responsible person out either -and most of us didn’t have a clue who was responsible.

    I would hope her management is looking at how priorities were set and not just assuming her account that her workers ignored what she said. If this is an older group that was consistently good before she became the manager, it should raise some red flags.

    1. Ink*

      That’s a good point. If Rhonda were telling the truth, waiting to address everyone ignoring her instructions for so long would still be a red flag!

      1. Magpie*

        This is what stood out to me. No matter how Rhonda spins it, she’s still ultimately at fault for projects not getting completed. Either she made the call to prioritize other projects or she did nothing when the team went against her directions for an entire YEAR.

        1. Irish Teacher.*

          And the whole team disregarding a manager’s orders doesn’t exactly say much for that manager’s management skills either. Especially if the team have never been flagged as a problem before this. Yup, there are people who ignore their manager and think they know best, but when a whole team is doing it, assuming that team hasn’t a history of toxicity, it does raise questions about why (were the manager’s instructions clear? Have they somehow lost the respect of their team? and so on).

          I mean, even if the team is toxic, they should still have dealt with it.

    2. Irish Teacher.*

      It reminded me of primary school when the teacher would say “if anybody misbehaves, I’m cancelling P.E.”

      Now, personally, I was delighted because I hated P.E., but it was just a terrible policy, especially as this applied even if the teacher knew who had misbehaved. My classmates once begged another teacher not to report somebody to her and the other teacher said she wouldn’t do that because the child had misbehaved but she would say that everybody else was behaving and didn’t deserve to be punished for that person’s transgression.

      1. Random Bystander*

        Oh, boy, collective punishment … do I have stories about that! Months of “silent lunch” because someone spoke when not allowed (to the point that no one remembered who really was responsible), standing in line for recess (the whole class) because one person was acting up.

        The worst was the case of the trees. Third grade, substitute teacher (long story why we ended up with a sub permanently from November to the end of the school year) brought in two trees with ribbons tied to them, divided the class into two teams and any misbehavior, not having work completed meant that you would have to remove a ribbon. We were told that the team that emptied the tree of ribbons first would have to do math problems while the other team got a pizza party. I was on the team of the worst behaved child in the class (he would have lost if he had a tree all to himself equal to everyone else’s number of ribbons). So I knew where it was going, and I kept track of who removed how many ribbons. Inevitable day came when my team’s tree last ribbon was removed … and that’s when I stood up and said, “I object. First of all, [name of someone with ribbons on tree] removed xx ribbons, [name of another person on that ribbon tree] removed xx ribbons. Second, I and [list of six other students on my team] removed zero ribbons during this exercise, while [list of four students on my team] only removed a single ribbon each. This is not right.” Wouldn’t you know, the math punishment was revoked, and we all ended up with a pizza party. Collective punishment to this day riles me up.

      2. Carl*

        Re PE. Has this teacher ever met a child? When one of my kids is acting crazy, the FIRST THING WE DO is take the child for a VERY LONG walk, run, play ground trip, swim, whatever – anything to wear the child out! Solves the behavior issue at least 80% of the time.

    3. Number Blocks*

      Yeah, Rhonda’s game plan makes no sense. If she allegedly told her team to prioritize X and they prioritized Y instead, she’s implying that she wasn’t overseeing her team in the weeks or months that they worked on project Y. That makes her look just as incompetent as the truth (that she told them to prioritize the wrong thing).

    4. goddessoftransitory*

      It reminds me of the series Band of Brothers, where the thing that unites the guys into a fighting unit is their shared distain for their CO, a terribly incompetent, self-important ninny whose only genius is making everybody hated him for his awful decisions and wretched leadership.

      (I loved how this character ends up being stuck at the training base permanently because his higher ups recognize he’s going to get any troops he actually leads in battle killed within fifteen minutes, but his “everyone detests me” superpower is invaluable at creating cohesion in his trainees.)

    5. Clare*

      My understanding is that the goal isn’t to make the kids rat out the misbehaver, it’s get them to all bully the misbehaver afterwards so they’ll suffer ‘social consequences’ for their actions. This never works, and actually undermines the teacher’s social licence amongst all the children, even the good ones, leading to increased difficulty with behaviour management down the track – even years later as children do pass gossip between grades.

      1. allathian*

        It’s probably a bit of both, but all collective punishment does is make everyone hate the teacher. Good teachers work to prevent bullying in the first place and to eliminate it as soon and as completely as possible when it pretty inevitably does happen. Teachers who do nothing when it happens are complicit in it, and those who actively encourage it shouldn’t be teaching at all.

        1. EvilQueenRegina*

          I had one ex-boss who used it as a means to try and unite a team that didn’t really get along – she thought that by going after us all for excessive chatting leading to a backlog of work building up, she’d be uniting us all against her and somehow thought this was a good idea.

          There was excessive chatting but there was a specific culprit for that, and also there were a lot of factors leading to that backlog, I could give a list but basically a lot of it boiled down to the fact that that boss spent so little time with us, had very little idea of what actually went on on the ground on a daily basis, formed her own conclusions about what was going on and acted on that rather than doing any real investigation, and didn’t seem to realise that a dialogue about what was going on, what else might have contributed, what could be done to make her goals easier to meet or even discuss if they were realistic at all, might be a better means of getting to the heart of the problem than a two hour monologue about excessive chatting. (If the boss I referred to in another comment was Umbridge, this one was Cornelius Fudge).

          Yes, it did succeed in making Fudge unpopular, but also just caused resentment towards Chatty Cathy that we’d all been told off for chatting, and in the long run achieved nothing. It wasn’t a big shock when Fudge was later relieved of her managerial responsibilities.

      2. BethDH*

        I think bad behavior in a group is also often incited. Kids know that they can make the kid who talks all the time say something or act out.
        I don’t think it’s effective to punish the whole class, I should say — explain to students that encouraging bad behavior is disruptive too instead. But it’s not always nefarious.
        Of course when that happens it often means the student who can be egged on has other issues that need treatment not punishment too, but that’s a different thread.

  3. Ink*

    It sounds like a good chunk of the team is upset about the whole mess, and obviously at least some of you are willing to act on it in some way. This might be a good time to assemble a group to approach hr or Rhonda’s boss. One person might have a clashing work style, or be misremembering/fudging whether Rhonda really did prioritize X, but the more people you have the harder it is to ignore. It might get her punishmets to stop even if no one believes your story, as it begins to look more like retaliation that could get the company in legal hot water.

    1. Butterfly Counter*

      I wonder if there was an email paper trail with Rhonda’s expectation of changing priorities and the workers’ pushing back that this was unusual, followed by Rhonda’s answer that these were definitely the new priorities.

      So yes, going as a group to explain to the higher ups that the team failing on certain things was Rhonda’s doing, and having evidence with the emails or memos would be helpful in sorting a lot of this out, I think.

      1. Serenity by Jan*

        I had a Rhonda-esque boss, but unlike Rhonda, she was with the company for years and was well-established. When I was called out on my review for not addressing something, I pulled out an email from several months earlier where I specifically stated that I only had capacity to handle task A or B, but not both and I needed my manager to confirm the priority. She replied that I should address task A. When I was penalized for not addressing B, I pulled out that old email and forwarded it to her. Oh, the look of anger on her face when she was caught. It was clear that lousy manager wasn’t going anywhere soon and her management and HR weren’t going to hear me out, so I got the heck out and never looked back.

        Rhonda might get less leeway since she is fairly new unless she is in really good with senior management.

        1. ferrina*

          This was what happened to me when I worked for Rhonda. I worked for a few versions of Rhonda, and in each case, management had no interest in replacing her.

          Depending on how good your HR/management is, it may be worth flagging, but make sure you’ve already started your job search. I wouldn’t escalate this without a safety net.

    2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

      Retaliation is only legal hot water if it’s retaliation for something that is otherwise protected, such as making an EEO complaint or whistleblowing.

      1. Freya*

        Concerted activity is protected, and to me, this reads as retaliation for someone engaged in communicating the issues within their workplace to fellow co-workers.

        1. 300 awkward blind dates later*

          Discussing terms and conditions of employment with coworkers is protected. Filling out mean satirical performance evaluations for your boss and circulating them throughout the department is not.

    3. Lucia Pacciola*

      “This might be a good time to assemble a group to approach hr or Rhonda’s boss.”

      I think the good time to approach HR or Rhonda’s boss was *before* resorting to Mean Girls slam-book nonsense.

      1. Hannah Lee*

        Since LW was not the one who created the fake evaluation, they had no control over when and if it even happened.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          True, but it sure makes me think that LW’s company is a terrible one to work at regardless of whether the Rhonda situation is resolved. With coworkers like that, who needs an awful manager?

        2. K*

          But HR and Rhonda’s boss do not know that. They’re likely to be more concerned about one of their employees being ridiculed like that in the work place than OP losing some flexibility in scheduling.

  4. UnemployedInGreenland*

    I think this whole situation calls out for a trip to Rhonda’s boss and HR. Rhonda clearly does not know how to set priorities for the team and she wrote evaluations the were critical of the team when they were only doing what she said they should do. This is blatantly wrong and needs the attention of upper management.

    1. TheBunny*

      Nothing to say other than I love your username which is clearly a Princess Bride reference as anything else is inconceivable.

        1. TheBunny*

          I notice all references to that movie. They are like lightning sand…easy enough to avoid when you are clever enough to know what to look for.

    2. Shift Work*

      I hung on by a thread working for a boss like this. They made a slew of decisions with the expressed purpose of “slowing down the flow” thinking it would prove to upper management that we needed more staff/space/etc… Except, when we got to the end of the fiscal year and the big plan backfired, the group was told that we were “complacent” and should be worried about our jobs. Never mind that the things that caused the situation were 100% their doing with the group having zero influence or control over it. If that wasn’t bad enough, when the group called out the boss they first insisted that they “never said that” (uh, there were 30 of us in the room that heard you) and then changed gears to “well I wanted to light a fire under you…” It was nearly a mutiny. Fortunately it was also the beginning of the end and that boss left within 6 months much to everyone’s relief.

      1. UnemployedInGreenland*

        Ugh. I hate that kind of behavior. “Do what I say but if things go sideways, I never said that and you are all incompetent!”

        People like that should NEVER be allowed to manage a team.

        1. birb*

          I feel like those are unfortunately the qualities that get a lot of people hired in management positions.

        2. I am Emily's failing memory*

          “Well David, I’ll be honest with you, I do want all the credit and none of the blame.” – Michael Scott

    1. Csethiro Ceredin*

      Especially if it affects bonuses. HR should really care about the evaluation process, especially if it’s directly tied to compensation.

      1. not nice, don't care*

        I wonder if lying that causes financial harm to employees is actionable in a risk-management kind of way.

    2. ferrina*

      This is not guaranteed to have desired results. I did this with a Rhonda (she loved to change the goals and blame me for her decisions), and she changed the goals on a different project so she could say the end result of the evaluations was the same (i.e., she boosted my score in the area I pointed out; she lowered my score in a different area).

      Know that Rhonda will retaliate. She will learn of this, and she will make your life hell. It will get worse before it gets better- if it gets better.

      1. Sandals*

        “This is not guaranteed to have desired results.”

        Of course, but what is? Besides, we don’t know who or what is “up the line,” so it seems a given that “desired” results might or might not be. Better to have tried, carefully, than not have tried at all.

  5. Giant Space Pickle*

    I had a little sympathy for a boss who may potentially be out of their depth until I got to the part where she was falsifying performance reviews that are tied to bonuses. That just means Rhonda is The Worst. You don’t **** with people’s pay! Even though the prank in question is inappropriate and unprofessional, I can’t help but think that Rhonda deserves it. Hopefully LW is able to go over Rhonda’s head and get some light on the situation from someone with a good head on their shoulders.

  6. pally*

    “Even though I told them to prioritize project Y, the team continued prioritizing X.”

    You’d think that if everyone was prioritizing X over Y, that the fault may be with the instruction given, and not with the folks carrying out the instruction. Maybe someone in upper management might realize this.

    I sure hope someone has Rhonda’s instruction to prioritize X written down or otherwise documented somewhere. That could disprove this statement.

    In the future, suggest getting all of Rhonda’s instructions in writing or otherwise documented-if at all possible. Clearly, she’s good with throwing her reports under the bus. CYA mode!

    1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      And, as another commenter pointed out, if the team was ignoring Rhonda’s instructions on what to prioritize and she didn’t figure it out and do something about it, that’s still a Rhonda problem.

        1. The Terrible Tom*

          …people in power acting like they don’t have any power so they don’t have to do anything but complain…

      1. amoeba*

        True. But at least that would warrant a less-than-stellar rating for the employee. (Whereas this situation… really doesn’t).

    2. Venus*

      This is one of those situations where they should be documenting everything. If Rhonda isn’t sending emails then they should be responding at the end of meetings with “This is to confirm that the new priority for work is X and that we shouldn’t work on Y, as per your instructions during our meeting at 10am today, 30 Feb 2023”.

    3. HonorBox*

      Your second sentence brings back memories of a college class I took… but good memories in this case. A prof said that if 50% of the class missed a question on a test, he would throw that question out because if half or more of the class didn’t get it right, the fault was in the instruction. Kudos to you, Dr. Bill!

  7. Hills to Die on*

    Someone higher up has got to see reason on this. I hope there’s an HR department or an exec who can manage her back into some semblance of a Normal Person.

    Also…I would be tempted to go scorched earth on Glassdoor. You can’t write about an individual person there but you can write it so that it’s still clear who the comments are about. Let her try to tear that up.

    1. Hannah Lee*

      And you can frame your review to focus on management and evaluation, compensation practices in general, with this situation as an example of the kind of stuff that goes on there.

      Because any company that has an ENTIRE team focused on non-priority items, while critical items languish undone, and no one notices, addresses it and redirects them for a year, and that has an evaluation/bonus process which allows one bad actor to lie and impact ratings, compensation of an entire department in a significant way is demonstrating that there are giant issues with how it’s operations are managed. (ie Rhonda is not the only awful manager in that food chain and the processes are bad)

      Useful information for potential employees.

  8. blah*

    Here’s a letter that I’d love an update to, especially regarding whether or not anyone disputed Rhonda’s claims about the team prioritizing the wrong thing!

    1. ferrina*


      I’m very curious how Rhonda’s boss feels about how well she’s been doing. I’ve found that often this hinges on what the terrible boss’s boss feels. If the Grandboss already has concerns, they’ll start digging in. If Grandboss is happy with Rhonda, this can be swept under the rug all too often.

      I’d love to hear about how this situation turns out. Good luck to the LW!

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Ironically, the Rhondas of the world are often valued for making sure bonuses and raises aren’t given out, thus saving the company money…

  9. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

    She’s a poisonous liar in a position of power:
    She made a bad mistake against the advice of the team, then after it turned out bad, blamed them so that their raises and reputation suffered instead of hers.

    Raise this to whoever is higher in management and has a working brain cell, or if no such person, then try HR.
    They may not be very interested that you lost out on money, but they definitely should be if the company did.

  10. WellRed*

    The first thing the team should have done was to have this addressed a professional manner. Did anyone bring this up with HR or whoever is appropriate or did it go straight to the fake evaluation?

    1. MsSolo (UK)*

      Yes, this does feel like the first response to a bad situation was to find a way to make it worse, instead of better. I can understand the impulse, especially if the team are feeling disempowered by the wider org to address Rhonda’s behaviour with anyone who can take action on it, but there’s no way the creator of the satirical review wasn’t hoping she’d see it and feel bad (especially with the extent to which it was circulated). It’s a choice made by someone who thinks they’re best path forwards is to bully her into quitting, rather than see her disciplined professionally, and that makes me worry there are more issues with professionalism in the workplace than just Rhonda’s behaviour.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        The dysfunction is coming from inside the office.

        OP, things that are bad:
        Rhonda’s management
        Rhonda lying on the evaluations
        No one found a way to report the lying up the line
        Someone instead making a mocking performance review for her
        Everyone else passing this review around the office

        No one involved in this seems to be either good at resolving problems, or to have faith that anyone with the power to resolve problems will do so. That’s a sign to climb out of the simmering water yourself and then watch the chaos from afar.

        1. Goldenrod*

          Even though the mocking performance review was childish, and only made the situation worse…I kind of love whoever did it.

          I wouldn’t have done it myself but I find it hilarious.

          1. Lab Boss*

            Yeah I feel about it the same way I feel about a few people I’ve seen punched in the face, or when a little kit says something really inappropriate- the behavior is not OK, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t laughing inside a little.

      2. Observer*

        ? It’s a choice made by someone who thinks they’re best path forwards is to bully her into quitting, rather than see her disciplined professionally,

        Could be. Or it could be a choice by someone who thinks that the only way to get any traction is to create a bigger fuss because no one is going to keep Rhoda in check otherwise. Or someone who thinks that Rhoda is someone who can’t really be “bullied” in the normal sense because she is so contemptuous of the people she is supposed to manage. Or that even if someone does try to keep her in check, she’s so toxic that it will just scratch the surface, if that. Or any combination thereof.

        that makes me worry there are more issues with professionalism in the workplace than just Rhonda’s behaviour.

        I don’t think it’s possible that you are mistaken. In fact, I would say that there have to be significant issues here. A lot of things point to this, but the thing that really stands out to me is not that someone pulled that prank. But that “multiple copies” circulated throughout the company. And no one had the sense to try to tamp it down, talk to her department to find out what in heavens name sparked such an ugly prank (because Rhoda *is* bad news, but it’s still an ugly prank), or warn her about the situation.

        1. EvilQueenRegina*

          One thing I’m wondering about all these copies, if it circulated that widely throughout the company, did Rhonda’s own manager/HR really not find out about it and try and investigate it/look into why someone might have chosen to do it/get rid of all the copies before she found out? Sounds like they have their eyes off the ball.

          1. Lea*

            It seems like if you’re going to go to the trouble of the fake review you should make it a fact based critique and drop some anonymous copies with hr and her boss

    2. Observer*

      What difference does it make?

      Sure, I hope that the “uproar” included going to HR / up the management chain with evidence. But that still does not excuse Rhoda’s reaction to this phony self-evaluation. The fact that she’s calling it “forged” speaks to her total lack of self-awareness. Sure, it’s mean and unprofessional. But this is not a forgery in the sense that anyone is expected to think that she really was the one who filled that in.

      1. WellRed*

        I’m not talking about so called forgery??? I simply think there should be a step taken before going nuclear. They fanned the flames, rather than try to douse them. Ronda is by far the bigger problem here, of course.

      2. K*

        I think your focus on the word “forged” is bizarre here. It’s just not the key element. Making the fake review was absolutely innapropriate for the workplace and, even though Rhonda is not a skilled manager, she was right to be upset about it.

    3. Pastor Petty Labelle*

      This was not a professional way to handle. Oh you did bad reviews, I will show you a bad review.

      The way to handle it was to pull out any documentation about the priorities and then either show them to her or go over her head. Pulling a mean prank only destroyed any credibility the team may have that Rhonda is the problem.

      1. LWH*

        100%, now it’s a lot easier for Rhonda to say that the members of the team are the problem. Doesn’t exactly make them look good. People love to hear a petty revenge story but in practice stuff like this tends to just cause you more problems for yourself.

    4. Winstonian*

      Seriously. Rhonda sucks, absolutely no doubt, but there was infinite of other ways to handle this issue than the juvenile mean girls way that happened. LW, neither you or your coworkers are angels here and some genuine self-reflection needs to happen pronto.

      1. Seashell*

        I agree that whoever did this was acting like a middle schooler, but if LW wasn’t involved in the creation or distribution, they didn’t do anything wrong.

      2. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

        “neither you or your coworkers are angels here”
        No evidence that any coworker other than the author knew about this.

        Even wrt the author: many people aren’t angels when they suffer injustice and feel TPTB will do nothing to help them.

        The manager above Rhonda is not doing her job to either not realise how Rhonda has been behaving or not to give a damn.
        The author is far less in the wrong than either,

    5. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

      Probably written by someone who felt there was no “professional” means of redress that would have actually worked, so just went for public shaming as revenge.

      When people feel wronged and powerless they don’t always act in the way one would recommend.

      1. AngryOctopus*

        This. You can say the fake self-eval is immature and not helpful till the cows come home, but it seems to have been written by a person who 1-has been thrown under the bus by their direct manager, 2-sees those above their direct manager apparently saying “oh you poor dear how awful that your team would go against you that way!” (or at least doing nothing about what a reasonable person would argue is a total failure of Rhonda’s management) and 3-feels totally powerless in the system. The feelings happened to come out in a fake self eval.

      2. birb*

        I also think that a kind of darker version of “quiet quitting” that people sometimes do is essentially “I hate it here so I’m going to just do whatever and say whatever and I no longer care if I’m fired / know that firing me would put the company in a huge bind… so they’re just assholes.

    6. Lea*

      Yes at my job you can click that you want a higher level review on performance ratings if you wish to dispute it.

      I imagine if everyone did something similar, kicking them up to her boss, you might see some traction?

      But the fake self assessment going around at work was absolutely the entire team bonding over laughing at her so I’m not surprised that didn’t go well

  11. AnonInCanada*

    Rhonda sucks. Big time.

    Rhonda’s also lying about these evaluations, likely to cover her own ass because her bosses are noticing her poor management is causing all these issues. I hope, for your (OP) sake and everyone on your team’s, you have some documented proof that Rhonda instructed your team to prioritize X, and her evaluations are showing the exact opposite. Then present that to her bosses and HR and let Rhonda weasel her way out of the even bigger mess she’s causing.

    Hopefully, I can get a balcony seat to that meeting. I’ll go grab some popcorn.

  12. Capt. Liam Shaw*

    Creating a fake evaluation and passing it around is pretty bad here. Where she crossed the line is the evaluations, that is retaliating. Tearing up the evals, losing flex hours and creating a report of daily tasks completed seems mild to me. .

    I would start looking for a job though.

    1. Observer*

      losing flex hours and creating a report of daily tasks completed seems mild to me. .

      Why? None of these are remotely related to what the person did. So it’s purely punitive Now, if retaliation is bad, this is retaliation on steroids. Or are you saying the retaliation is bad for employees, but bosses hare perfectly fine to do that?

      Group punishment is never a useful way to get good behavior out of people. And it’s flamingly unfair.

    2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

      I think losing flex time is only mild to people who don’t need flex time. It’s going to rough on people who do need flex time, like those with caregiving responsibilities or medical issues.

      1. Magpie*

        Exactly. If I were to lose the flex time I get at my job and could no longer pick up my kids right after school, I’d suddenly be paying $200 a week for after care.

      2. birb*

        I’m sometimes gobsmacked by the lack of empathy, reflection, and creativity of people who do not get that for some people, remote or flex days are what allow them to be employed at all.

    3. Irish Teacher.*

      I think the point is that she tore up the evals for people and ended flex time for everybody without knowing whether they played any part in creating the fake evaluation and passing it around. I agree it is a horrible thing to do, but those who did it got no more sanctions than those who did not, which honestly tends to incentivise poor behaviour. After all, if you do something really nasty, you get no more sanctions than you could get anyway if your boss finds out about something you had no part in and knew nothing about.

      I think if I were a member of the team and I knew nothing about that false evaluation but got my flex time removed and my eval torn up because of something I didn’t even know happened, I would be pretty annoyed.

      1. K*

        You’d be annoyed that the fake evaluations were torn up? Why? She didn’t destroy any real ones which almost certainly are stored digitally.

    4. Cassandra*

      I wouldn’t say any of those are mild. It’s purely reactive and punitive – the goal clearly isn’t to address the mistakes, it’s to punish the entire team for the actions of one person – and honestly, she’s trying to punish the team for her own choices. Which, frankly, shows how little she understands effective management and the basic foundations of employee/employer relationships; she’s choosing to affect their compensation through the evals and adjusting their work hours because she can, not because it meets business needs. Daily reports from the entire team just takes their time from work onto an admin task that isn’t necessary – it’s busywork for the sake of punishment, not an actual method to improve communication on the team. It’s not an effective way to get better work done, and is pretty likely to slow the team’s progress further, which she seems likely to blame them for. She’s already actively set up the team to fail, blamed them for her failures, and is now actively creating a situation where her team are likely to perform *worse*, which she will likely blame them for as well. Could more regular checkins be appropriate, or ensuring instructions are given in writing – sure, but that’s way down the list of things she needs to do first.

      Yes, the fake eval was bad. But it’s a symptom of a problem she created, and none of the measures she’s taking is a good way to handle it. A good way to handle it would be to take it further up the chain, talk to her own manager about it, get advice and further training, and work very hard on changing her behaviour and showing that she can be trusted with feedback. She needs to stop throwing people under the bus and realise that if she’s driving the bus, any casualties are her responsibility. If the person who did it was found out, then it would be appropriate to have a serious conversation with them about appropriate behaviour and how to handle grievances in the workplace – though given the levels of trust it’d be sensible to have HR sit in or do it, or get coaching on how to have that sort of conversation. But punishing the whole team is both ineffective, inappropriate, and, at this point, actively shooting herself in the foot. These measures aren’t mild, they’re purely for the purpose of punishment, which isn’t how workplaces should function.

    5. The Unspeakable Queen Lisa*

      So you think a business should run as though the manager is a parent punishing children? Or having a temper tantrum herself is mild? Compared to what?

      Sure, the joke evaluation was unprofessional. So what? The boss fucked up but is trying to push responsibility for that off on her team. Which means they didn’t get bonuses. Or raises.

      A tiny rebellion of mean words from the people without power is not retaliation.

      1. allathian*

        Children should face consequences for their actions that are proportionate to the misbehavior, but not arbitrary and unreasonable punishment that’s designed to humiliate them for misbehaving. And collective punishment for one misbehaving sibiling is no more acceptable than collective punishment for one misbehaving employee. (Granted, collective consequences for kids are sometimes unavoidable, a single parent taking three kids to the movies and deciding to leave in the middle of the movie because one of them is being disruptive doesn’t have much choice, after all.)

  13. Tiredofit all*

    Rhonda’s boss is the problem. If her boss does not notice that the entire team is tanking, it is hopeless.

  14. baseballfan*

    I quit a job where the boss was like this – She didn’t actually lie, but she told me to do X, and when I said that I thought Y was the better option, she insisted on X. Then later, she called me out in front of a group in a meeting asking why on earth I did X when it was clearly the wrong path to take.

    A few months later, I was written up for doing something that, while it was in fact wrong, was following the process laid out by her. No ownership of the fact that she created the problem.

    I knew I had to get out of there because I could not work for someone who I could not trust.

    1. Sparkles McFadden*

      I had a boss who would tell me one thing via e-mail and the opposite thing in person later on in the day. This way, I would be wrong no matter what I did. Either I ignored her written directives, or I ignored her verbal instructions. The first time she did this, I sent her an email saying “Just confirming per our conversation in the hall way that you want me to do the opposite of what your email said” and she screamed at me like a lunatic for the email. She kept trying stuff like this, though. It was kind of sad. I left after a year because it’s exhausting reporting to someone like that.

      1. Hank*

        My wife had a similar manager with selective memory who’s SOP was to state in executive meetings “I never said that / told you to do that.” I instructed my wife to start crafting “CYA emails” exactly like this in the format of “Per our discussion today in your office at 14:15 you directed me to do the following. If this is incorrect please let me know your intentions in writing immediately.”

        Said manager went absolutely nuts and screamed bloody murder the first time my wife did this – per my instruction my wife said she was just documenting the manager’s direction so there would be no future misunderstandings about what she was directed to do or not. Manager said not to do it again but my wife continued anyway.

        In a future exec meeting manager pulled the same stunt and my wife pulled out the email corroboration – the exec team was not pleased with manager and berated her for attempting to throw a report under the bus for her errors.

        1. aqua*

          my boss specifically asked me to email her a summary of any meetings/discussions to make sure we both remember the same thing!

        2. LCH*

          yup, any good manager would welcome these CYAs so that they know everyone is on the same page. as a manager, it would be good to see if my employee’s interpretation of what we discussed was different from what i thought we discussed. good to know early if there is a discrepancy.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      This underscores the importance of removing yourself from the bad dynamic, rather than stay and try to demonstrate that you are Right.

    3. EvilQueenRegina*

      Yeah, I’ve had that one. A typical conversation would be along the lines of:

      Umbridge the Ex-Boss: We’re doing X.
      Any member of the team: The problem with X is, that might cause confusion due to ABC. If we did Y instead, that would fix that.
      Umbridge: No. We’re doing X. (It was entirely possible she hadn’t listened properly to what the issue was.)
      ABC causes confusion.
      Umbridge: Um, we’re doing Y….

  15. ZSD*

    I’m unclear on the nature of the “huge uproar” that the false evaluations caused. By this, do you mean that the team reminded Rhonda that she had told you to prioritize X? Or do you mean that behind the scenes, people were upset, but no one directly told Rhonda that what she wrote was false?
    I’d say it’s 80% likely that Rhonda directly lied on these evaluations, but there’s a 20% chance that she legitimately forgot the conversations and thought she had told you to prioritize Y. (And so forth for the other inaccurate information.) Even if it is the case that she was lying, calling her on it directly would have been a much better way to deal with this than the mean fake self-evaluation. (I realize that the LW isn’t the one who wrote it.)
    But it’s not clear to me whether anyone took the step of correcting Rhonda’s inaccuracies directly with her, or even in the section where you respond to the evaluations.

    1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

      If she literally forgot she told them to prioritze X, then failed to notice all year until evaluation time that they were not prioritizing Y — she still sucks as a manager. In fact that’s worse than just lying about because it means she failed to notice all along what the team was prioritzing and course correct.

      No one looks good here. The fake eval was wrong and childish. It actually hurts the team ability to address the real issue. But Rhonda is the root cause of the problem by either being incompetent or lying or both.

    2. Sneaky Squirrel*

      Yes, I think we need more information on the “huge uproar” too. Rhonda may suck as a manager and may or may not be lying about what was put on the evaluations, but it’s unclear if any legitimate steps were taken to push back on the inaccurate evaluations before the mean spirited self-evaluation was cycled around. Did anyone raise the concerns with Rhonda/Rhonda’s boss/HR before this point? Did the team connect with each other at all to discuss how to address their concerns about Rhonda’s incorrect evaluations?

  16. Sparkles McFadden*

    The Rhondas of the world eventually blow themselves up, but they hurt a lot of people until that happens. If you all have Rhonda’s directives regarding priorities, that would be a way to rebut the bad evaluations with the grandboss or someone else senior, but that really depends on how effective your management is. In some cases, this will make it worse. Since Rhonda has already messed with your compensation and corporate reputation, it might be worth it. Only you can decide how long you can work for a boss you can’t trust.

  17. Zzzzzz*

    Yes, Rhonda’s boss is ALSO the problem. R is a new manager and her manager isn’t concerned that the whole team is failing? ALL YEAR?! Where has R’s manager been this whole first year of managing a team in a new company? LW, if you can, get out asap.

  18. Peter the Bubblehead*

    First step: CYA!
    Get all instructions from Rhonda regarding prioritization of projects in writing! If she refuses to give any written instructions and insists on verbal, use a follow-up email asking to confirm her verbal instructions. If she does not confirm, bring your concerns to the next higher manager saying you believe Project Y should have higher priority but Rhonda refuses to acknowledge this fact and will not give written authorization to change priorities. Make sure everyone involved receives the documentation and has it stored where it cannot get easily lost!

  19. Double A*

    I wonder if in all the history of humanity if anyone has every genuinely pondered the question, “Why do people on my team think I’m incompetent and a liar and what do I need to do to change that?” and then enacted change.

    Maybe after years and years of therapy inspired by hitting absolute rock bottom but yeah. Rhonda’s not going to change because of anything a colleague can do.

    1. perstreperous*

      This. In 25 years of management I have had one such case – someone who said they were no longer up to the job and resigned. That was genuinely shocking.

    2. Irish Teacher.*

      And certainly not people who are liars. Rhonda knows she’s a liar or at least she knows she lied (she probably doesn’t think “I’m a liar,” but she knows that she lied about her team) and at some level, she seems to know she made poor decisions and at least that her priorities make her look incompetent as well, that’s why she lied and said she made different decisions and her team undermined her and made the poor decisions.

      If she were the type of person to genuinely ponder such a question, then I reckon she would have pondered far sooner, realised that her decisions were poor and taken responsibility for them.

      This is somebody who has shown her response to a problem is going to be to find somebody else to blame and exonerate herself at all costs.

      1. She of Many Hats*

        In Rhonda’s mind she’s not a liar, the team heard wrong or misunderstood or the information was wrong when she got it.

    3. Laser99*

      Correct. Remember the letter about refusing to recognize an employee born in a leap year had a birthday every year? And then doubling down?

    4. Cat Tree*

      I think for managers who are already pretty good, they would consider that after processing their hurt feelings. Of course, decent managers are less likely to have something like this happen in the first place, but it could still happen especially if they’re new to management or had a blind spot about something.

    5. New Jack Karyn*

      Old-timers to the site may recall the LW who worried that the work environment she’d created for her team was too exclusive. In the original post, she commented as Letter Writer, and things went sideways in a hurry. She took it on the chin in the comments.

      But she eventually took a lot of it on board, and started to make some needed changes in her life. She gave a couple of updates about that. That was back in 2017, and I hope someday she writes back in that she’s now doing well.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        For those who haven’t read it, here’s the letter:

        The first update where the letter-writer dug her heels in:

        And the second update where the letter-writer realized what she had done wrong:

        As New Jack mentioned, the letter-writer commented on the original letter and the first update as “Letter Writer”

  20. A. Nonymous*

    I’m not getting a great impression of you and your team, OP, if the fake evaluation was how you all chose to handle things.

    It doesn’t speak highly of your professionalism, and that can then give way to observers wondering about other potential performance/team issues (including- what projects to prioritize)

    Food for thought.

    1. Watry*

      But it isn’t how they all chose to handle things, it’s how one person, who is not OP, chose to handle things.

      1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

        They passed it around. No one stopped it. Even if they didn’t write it, they saw nothing wrong with it — until Rhonda blew up and took it out on the entire team.

        Remember the interns who signed the petition? The only one not fired refused to participate.

          1. Boss Scaggs*

            I don’t know if they could have stopped it or not, but it’s still a dumb idea by whoever did it. It makes their criticisms of Rhonda harder to take seriously and could really hurt their case – just an unforced error

          2. Pastor Petty Labelle*

            We don’t know if she passed it around. She most likely read it since she knows what is said. She could have refused to read it. She could have said this is wrong.

            She might be the least culpable here, but least culpable is not no culpability at all.

            1. AngryOctopus*

              And yet this was passed around after it turned out that Rhonda threw them all under the bus, having a direct negative impact on their raises/bonuses. Not one person above Rhonda appears to have questioned why the whole team went with X instead of Y, just went with what Rhonda said. I’m going to guess that morale is lower than it had ever been, and even though the fake eval wasn’t a great way to react (the distributing it, not the writing it, I have no issue if someone wanted to get their feelings out that way), a whole team which feels very negative and just had their livelihoods directly impacted is probably going to feel a little karmic retribution reading the fake eval. My guess is that most of us here would feel the same in this situation, because it would be the only chance we had to ‘fight back’ against management that clearly didn’t care.

            2. Irish Teacher.*

              We don’t even know for sure that she read it. For all we know, she may only have found out what it said when Rhonda started complaining about it. Or far more likely, she may not have known what it was until she started reading it and then it was too late to unsee it. Given how this letter is phrased, it sounds to me like multiple copies of the fake evaluation were left around the office and if I saw a document like that on my desk, yes, I would probably read it, because I would assume that if an official looking document were left on my desk, it was something important.

              And we don’t know she didn’t say it is wrong. Assuming she even knew who to say it to. Without knowing who wrote it, it’s hard to know who you’d even tell off if you just found multiple copies of such a document around the office.

              Sure, if she saw people laughing over it, it would be nice to say, “hey, this is kind of messed up actually. Nobody deserves to be mocked like that” but we don’t know either that she did hear such a thing or that, if she did, she didn’t tell them to stop.

              1. Nobby Nobbs*

                To prove she was a worthy and moral enough victim to not deserve to be treated like garbage?

            3. MCMonkeyBean*

              What on earth would refusing to read it accomplish? This is such a weird take.

              (And super out of line with your username lol)

        1. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

          The LW is not responsible for other people’s behavior. Her only obligation is to say “I don’t want any part in this” if someone hands her the fake evaluation.

        2. Observer*

          They passed it around. No one stopped it

          And that’s on HR and upper management. Because it was passed around throughout the company, not just the OP’s department.

          So, very much a bees nest.

        3. Dinwar*

          I’ve had a group of people working under me on a project debate which excavator operator would be most likely to accept a bribe to burry me in a foundation excavation. When you’re a manager, you’ve got to expect the team to occasionally get irked with you, and you have to expect a certain number of them to opt for less-than-ideal methods for handling it; it comes with the job. As my boss says “This is why we get paid the medium bucks.”

          My reaction was to take steps to show my appreciation. Maybe not huge steps, but cc’ing them on a few emails to their boss praising the work they did, a few breaks where I bought folks some food, and the like smoothed things over. I’m okay with griping, but I took that particular conversation as a sign I’d pushed a little too hard.

          If I’d tried to shut down the discussion it would NOT have gone well. At all. By definition, once people are doing this sort of thing they are disgruntled and you need to tread fairly lightly to avoid making the situation worse. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes the solution is to tell them “This is the nature of the job, you knew it when you signed on, suck it up.” (I work with a lot of very blue-collar types, for context.) But a good manager’s first reaction upon hearing or reading something like this is always going to be “What have I done wrong to cause this?” What Rhonda is doing is emotive strategy, and it’s always a bad idea.

      2. K*

        According to OP, the fake evaluation was widely circulated. That implies that more than one person was involved. I’m not usually a fan of management in these comment sections, but I think this was meaner than most commenters here are willing to admit.

    2. Audrey Puffins*

      We can’t assume that the fake evaluation was perpetrated by the entire team, and per site guidelines we should take the LW at their word that they weren’t involved in creating it. A bit harsh to criticise the LW’s professionalism for “choosing to handle things” by creating a fake eval that they told us they weren’t involved in.

    3. aebhel*

      Are you also a believer in collective punishment, or do you think LW is lying about not being the person who created the fake evaluation here?

      Food for thought!

    4. Fishsticks*

      The fake eval wasn’t a group project. This comment is interesting in that it echoes Rhonda’s behavior, in assigning group/team responsibility for a single person’s actions.

      1. Dinwar*

        Yeah, I’m getting some very strong “What was she doing dressed like that in the first place?” vibes from some comments here. The implied argument (the FAFO comment nearly openly states it!) is that people who do stuff like write bad passive-aggressive jokes don’t deserve honesty or to be treated with respect and decency. The fact that the fake evaluation was AFTER the entire team had been straight-up lied to and already punished (via bad evaluations based on lies) only makes it worse–these commenters are trying to justify abuse by pointing to a non-ideal response.

        1. Goldenrod*

          “The fact that the fake evaluation was AFTER the entire team had been straight-up lied to and already punished (via bad evaluations based on lies) only makes it worse–these commenters are trying to justify abuse by pointing to a non-ideal response.”

          Yes. This! Someone had a bad reaction and responded immaturely. So what?? The manager’s behavior was horrid and it makes sense that someone responded badly. But that’s not where the focus should be.

    5. ThatOtherClare*

      From a sociological standpoint, mockery of harmful behaviour serves three important purposes: it discourages others who witness the mockery from commiting similar harms, it offers some discouragement to the perpetrator when they consider committing further harms, and it provides healing social bonding for those who have been harmed.

      Food for thought.

  21. Triplestep*

    When someone lies this egregiously, I remind myself that people who lie think everyone lies. They believe their lies are within the acceptable limits of the lies everyone tells. It doesn’t even occur to them that people don’t lie to the degree they do – in their mind they are just doing what everyone does.

    That is why you should be job searching. This person thinks it’s acceptable to lie not just to one person at a time but a whole team, when every member of that team knows the truth. That’s her yard stick for lying, and that long a yard stick does not change.

    1. SJ*

      oh this comment just clarified something completely non work related for me. that makes… so much sense.

      i had been so baffled about how this person could act friendly and close with me, tell a huge lie, get caught, and then go back to acting friendly and close with me until they told another huge lie again. I couldn’t figure out how to reconcile their otherwise thoughtful behavior with the sweeping under the rug of these huge lies. but if they think the huge lies are a normal thing everyone does, cause a little bit of friction and then you get over it like it was a mild/everyday misunderstanding driven by normal/common behavior… ohhhhh that clears that up immensely. WOW.

    2. Shoes*

      I wish there was a way to pin this near the top.

      Liars view the universe through the prism of their lying. Cheaters view the universe through the prism of their cheating. Rude people view the universe through the prism of their rudeness. And so on and so forth…

    3. Irish Teacher.*

      I agree. Rhonda almost certainly thinks “everybody covers their own backside and puts the blame on others wherever they can.”

    4. Bunny Lake Is Found*

      Yes about the degrees of lying, but also I think there is an impact angle. Pretty much all lies we tell are to make things better/easier for ourselves.

      So, that means nearly all people lie for social niceties sake (which is lying specifically to avoid the hurt/discomfort of others and thus feeling bad yourself). Yes, your coworker’s 781 pictures of her grandchild are ALL amazing. That baby is absolutely super cute and doesn’t look like a prune.

      Most people also lie when the lie won’t hurt anyone, but will mitigate the negative views others have of them. Like saying you were late because of car trouble, when really you got distracted reading the internet before work and lost track of time.

      A good number of those “most” people will blatantly lie to deflect blame off of themselves, but onto “concepts” or systems–not people (“OMG, I never got this email! Something must be weird with our junk mail filters!” When they kept putting off answering the email and someone now needs the document urgently and looks to be spoiling for a fight over it).

      A few people will, if they deem the calculus sufficient, blame someone else…but someone for whom there will be no consequences. Big issue that could cost you and members of your team their jobs? It was definitely NOT caused by a bad combo of minor mistakes and unfortunate distractions causing a problem to go unchecked for months! Nope, that was definitely caused by “former employee who hasn’t been here for ages” completing the TPS reports wrong, because she MUST have been using “that weird/wrong/terrible process” that, if you recall, was created by “that flaky guy you fired last year and never really liked”. What cruel fate?! Alas! But that we had a time machine!

      The final, smallest group, are people who take the “I want to avoid negative consequences of this” element of lying and add a caveat of “no matter what.” They see all the foregoing people lying and think “everyone lies to avoid getting in trouble” but don’t recognize that implicit to most people’s lies is actually the caveat of “without hurting someone else”. Because most people just go through their lives with the “without hurting someone else” attached to their actions and motives, they aren’t living life like they are in Death Race 2000.

  22. Betty Spaghetti*

    I am going to tell you from experience to LEAVE. As soon as you can. Rhonda will continue to throw you under the bus, and her supervisor either doesn’t care or is too wimpy to intervene.

    1. Banana Pyjamas*

      This is the one. I worked for aRhonda at my most recent job. Multiple items in my termination letter were items Rhonda specifically told me to do. I called this out in the termination meeting with Rhonda and HR, and HR did not care.

      As others have said document, document, document in case things go up in smoke before you leave, but leaving is the only viable option. Forget any retiree benefits or pension you could be giving up because Rhonda will get rid of you before those have a chance to vest anyway.

      1. works with realtors*

        ding ding (and solidarity – no amount of CYA matters once a boss decides to terminate, and it sucks)

    2. Josephine Beth*

      Even if – and it’s a big if – this somehow gets resolved in a way that holds Rhonda accountable, her supervisor has shown they aren’t willing to handle difficult situations until they explode in somewhat spectacular fashion.
      I worked for someone like Rhonda a few years back, and I kept thinking “if grand-boss knew how bad this was, I’m sure he would shut it down”. Only after leaving did I find out that he absolutely did know – and as long as she kept the dysfunction contained to her own department, he didn’t care.

  23. TheBunny*

    Yuk. And UGH.

    One of two things are happening here and neither of them are good. Either Rhonda IS a liar and is letting the team take the fall for her error or she really believes she directed the team differently than she did…despite the fact that the entire team behaved in the same way.

    I’ve worked with both types and neither are tolerable for long. It’s impossible to do a good job under a manager who lies or isn’t consistent.


  24. Observer*


    Start looking for a new job.

    Rhoda is a huge problem. Her boss is a problem – as Allison said, she sounds incompetent. The fake eval is a problem. The way it was handled in the company is a problem. And all you want to know is how to get Rhoda to not punish you so hard.

    Now, obviously in the short term, that’s a reasonable thing to do because you’re stuck there. But it’s really important for you to realize that this place is Dysfunction City. Terrible management being responded to in really bad ways. It’s already apparently broken some of you norms and ability to asses behavior. Start re-calibrating, and start working on getting out of an environment this toxic.

  25. I should really pick a name*

    I’m curious if anyone went over Rhonda’s head.
    I feel like everyone getting the same critique about what to prioritize would be pretty useful in proving that they were doing what they were told.

  26. Mo*

    Yes. Gather the evidence that Rhonda lied on your evaluation. Take it to HR and ask that it be noted in your file. Look for a new job.

    Also, try to find out if Rhonda was actually told to prioritize the projects that she did. If she lied about that, her boss would probably like to know. Or she could be covering for her bosses errors by covering for him.

  27. Dasein9 (he/him)*

    I agree that you need to talk to Rhonda’s boss or HR and you need to point out what her mismanagement has cost the company. They need to understand that this is their problem, not yours. Show them exactly how a well-functioning team got dragged into failure and link that to the company’s mission and earnings if you can.

    Yes, you’ll have to also talk about the fake evaluation, but you can frame it as a symptom of the costly mismanagement, not as the main issue, which would work in Rhonda’s favor. Her response to the fake evaluation will then be seen for what it is, the tyranny of an incompetent manager.

    1. kiki*

      Yeah, if LW escalates this, I think the focus needs to be on Rhonda’s consistent failures as a leader and less on her reaction to the snarky review. Her outsized, dramatic, and punitive reaction to the review can and should be brought up, but I feel like the focus should be on her poor prioritization and attempts to blame her reports for executing on her own instructions.

  28. Boss Scaggs*

    Rhonda sounds like a terrible manager, but honestly your team’s response was pretty immature – you should have dealt with this as a serious issue and the fake evaluation is just muddying the waters..

    1. Ahnon4Thisss*

      This is where I land on this. Rhonda doesn’t seem like a stable boss to work under, but there was NO reason that anyone on this team should have resorted to fulling out a fake evaluation and spreading it through the office while Rhonda wasn’t even there. Absolutely immature and unprofessional.

      1. Dinwar*

        I disagree. I mean, it’s not ideal, sure, but it’s a pretty normal reaction, using humor and passive-aggressive tactics to deal with group trauma. Things like this should be viewed as indicative of the situation the team finds itself in–they feel angry (justifiably so) and powerless (otherwise they’d have taken more direct action). Both are real problems, and indicate a deeper problem with the organization than just one bad manager.

        This is a situation where the 5 Why method would help. The fake evaluation is the surface issue, but you need to probe deeper to see what the real problem is.

        1. Ahnon4Thisss*

          I’m not saying that this isn’t indicative of a larger problem, I just don’t think this is a okay reaction for adults in a professional setting to have even when they’ve been wronged. I don’t disagree about using humor to cope with a bad situation, but actually filling out the form as her and making copies to pass around the office is not a good look, nor is it a healthy form of dealing with their problem. I can see the value of saying things like “If I were filling out a form about Rhonda, I’d say this [insert funny thing]!” to other coworkers, but honestly it just seems like someone took it too far.

          This should have been handled as a group by going to HR with proof that Rhonda lied on their evals. Hell, even if the fake review still got out, someone should have gone to HR about that. Instead they’ve weakened their case against Rhonda by committing a passive-aggressive transgression of their own that they’re now in trouble for. I’d be really mad if I were OP and got looped into this immature act that I wanted no part of.

          1. Dinwar*

            “…I just don’t think this is a okay reaction for adults in a professional setting to have even when they’ve been wronged.”

            This is an entire genre in its own right, and has existed at least as long as English has. Check out “Advice to Sea Lieutenants by An Officer of Rank” for a historic example. Shakespeare did it to himself at least twice. Dante’s “Inferno” and parts of “Purgetorio” are this sort of thing. If the manager were rational it would have been brushed off as annoying to those in power, but not something to be taken very seriously.

            As for weakening their case, any executive that takes “They’re big fat meany poo-poo heads that write mean stuff about me” seriously deserves a manager like Rhonda. The satire was a trauma response, and the focus should properly be on two things. First, fix the trauma. Second, establish protocols that allow employees to properly vent this sort of feeling. Was it a perfect response? No. But this raises the question of why the team chose this response and not some other one–and that indicates some deep systemic issues that this organization needs to deal with. Neither of this in any way, shape, or form excuses Rhonda.

      2. Too Many Tabs Open*

        I agree that the person who wrote and posted the fake evaluation used bad judgement. And if LW had been the one writing that fake eval, “that was a terrible idea and you shouldn’t have done that; step up and take the consequences” would be a reasonable response.

        But LW wasn’t the one who wrote it. For all the letter says, LW might not have known about it until everyone in the company knew about it. LW might *still* not know who wrote it. What’s LW supposed to do, other than step up the job hunt and find a better place to work?

        1. Ahnon4Thisss*

          Sorry, I wasn’t saying that LW wrote it, just that it was an immature act that shouldn’t have been done by anyone on the team whether it was one person or a small group who did it. I can see how it seems like I was placing blame on LW though – my bad!

      3. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

        I agree that this response was immature and unprofessional, and clearly counter-productive. But it does not sound like LW was part of this response. Nor do I get the impression that LW thought it was a good response. She just is trying to deal with the fallout of someone else’s poor judgment being held against her and the whole team. And Rhonda’s outrage is understandable, but she is still making extremely poor management decisions in her response to it, and that is unprofessional too.

        1. Ahnon4Thisss*

          Yep, I agree with you. Didn’t mean to imply LW was complicit, just that this was a bad move on whoever did it.

    2. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      The issue here is that it wasn’t the team’s response. It is pretty clear from the letter that LW did not write it and was not involved in it, and there is no indication that she knows who did. So it was a very immature and counter-productive response on the part of someone, but not on the part of the whole team.

      That said, Rhonda’s response is pretty immature as well.

  29. Keymaster the absent*

    You know this, but that is not a functional work environment.

    First step, IF you can trust them, is talk to HR about those performance reviews you got given. Point out that they are all lies and you’re being punished for no reason. Or Rhonda’s boss – however it most appropriate.

    However if your HR or higher management is crap then you need to go into defensive mode while you look for a way out. I’ve had a compulsive liar for a boss once – it can really do a number on your own mental state to have to work for such a person. By the end I was questioning if I even knew what reality was!

    But the thing with people who lie like this and often is that it takes more than a quiet word to make them stop – it takes serious consequences and often more than once. Which you may not be able to provide.

    As for the mock review? In my earlier career I might have been the one who printed it. It’s cathartic to write that kind of thing and share it with your mates but the risk of the target reading it goes up each time you share it/email it/print it. Doesn’t justify her putting you all in detention though.

    1. Oh, yeah, me again*

      I like that you step up and say you could see yourself doing this (in the past). I think the more deservedly unpopular the target is, the more likely it is to get shared beyond just a couple of “mates” and go the the whole team, increasing the need for caution. So the greater the temptation is to do it, the greater also the danger!

      1. Keymaster in absentia*

        My early work history is a clear set of examples of ‘what not to do’ and I’m very lucky that I got called out before I torpedoed my entire life (although it came damn close).

        This is why I tell people of how I used to be and how it is possible to survive it. You may never get forgiveness (I won’t in a number of cases), absolution, forgetfulness (my sister brings up stuff I did 30 years ago regularly) or even success.

        But you get knowledge and new skills when you confront the dark side of yourself and limit it’s exposure to the people around you. I still *write* those kind of emails when I’m pissed off but they’re now done on a locked word document on my home pc.

  30. Khatul Madame*

    I agree that LW needs to get out.
    I agree that the team should have saved Rhonda’s instructions to prioritize the wrong projects, but this ship has sailed. Do poll the entire team on whether anyone has saved any relevant emails.
    What you (the entire team) should also to is dispute Rhonda’s evaluations of you – every point you disagree with. Go on the record with HR so your protest goes on file. Do this even if the review cycle is complete for the year. This is documentation that you can take to Rhonda’s boss or grandboss when you complain as a team.

    Rhonda may be doing this in order to clean house and replace you with people loyal to her, especially after the fake evaluation. So make job search a priority.

  31. VP of Monitoring Employees' LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

    It would serve Rhonda right if…

    (1) the whole team quit at the same time, and
    (2) everyone cited her in their exit interviews.

    1. Nia*

      She wouldn’t care. And chances are neither would her bosses. How many letters have we seen where there’s been massive turn over due to a manager and the company doesn’t care and does nothing.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        ^^ This. And, whatever happens will probably come too late to help the LW. My horrible last boss was fired, but not before she blew up our entire department. It took three complete department turnovers before one of my previous managers was finally laterally moved to a department with no direct reports (she quit after that) because it took over three years for her boss (who was her buddy) to finally be unable to cover up that the common denominator causing 100% turnover every 12 months was her.

        It took TWELVE YEARS for the board to oust the executive director of a small nonprofit where I worked who was a not-very-functioning alcoholic and had a list of HR complaints against him that was as long as my arm, and bad enough that the university that sponsored this nonprofit finally severed their connection with it entirely. Twelve years!

        1. Banana Pyjamas*

          My Rhonda had 50% turnover in 12 months, and I thought that was bad. LW take note:Nothing good can come from staying!

          Aside that Eddie Guerrero’s theme fits the Rhondas of the world perfectly.

  32. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    This fake evaluation and punishment is a distraction.
    Someone shook up the frogs in the boiling pot.
    Now everyone is trying to reset the balance the in the department to “inept ass” instead of “temper tantrum tyrant.”
    You are trying to get back “privileges” like flex time and removing time sucks like progress reports just to get back to inept leadership and self serving manager, get back to simmering.
    And that sucks.
    I hope OP that you can find a higher level manager or HR person to step in a review this situation.
    Like ask about flex time. If it is something offered by the company, but allowed “at the manager’s discretion” that means it’s available unless there is a business need to overrule it. Feeling butt hurt is not a business need.
    Like Alison always says, stick to the facts. Ask HR why you can’t have flex time.
    And ask her boss why she thinks you were told to prioritize X over Y. Is there a problem with emails getting lost, because the ones you have state the opposite of what manager is saying.
    She goes low, you go high.

    1. Oh, yeah, me again*

      Brilliant, tying this to the boiling frogs analogy! Makes it clear, and re-focuses the issue back where it should have been in the first place, the “inept ass” that no one was saying much about.

  33. Smurfette*

    > She wrote something like, “Even though I told them to prioritize project Y, the team continued prioritizing X.”

    So weird that she would do this, because it makes her look completely incompetent. She’s basically saying that she had no oversight or control over what her team was doing the whole year.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      The defense is a good offense.
      She is not a bad leader, THEY are bad followers.
      To be where she tactic must be working for her.

  34. Kel*

    I mean, Rhonda clearly sucks but this is a FAFO situation; the team could have been more mature than passing notes like their in highschool.

    1. Nobby Nobbs*

      “The team” didn’t fuck around, “the team” didn’t pass notes like their [sic] in high school, and “the team” shouldn’t be collectively punished for the behavior of one person.

    2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      OP says she doesn’t know know who did it.
      And if the whole department had done something egregious, the proper response from management is not this.
      It would be a conversation.
      I don’t think, if the whole team had a rager in the office over a weekend, the response would be:
      “No more flex time because you all decided to have a party in the office after hours.”
      It would be, what were you thinking? Why did you do this?
      That part didn’t happen. Boss went on a rampage.
      And we can’t trust you, do you want to continue working here?
      Boss didn’t do that, because she wants everyone to stay and be punished.
      One person did do something ridiculous.
      The response by the manager is not appropriate.

    3. sparkle emoji*

      From the letter, there was one unflattering forged evaluation, not a series of notes. It’s possible there was a group involved in the production or distribution, but it’s just as possible it was just one person. At the very least we know that not all of the team members participated, or “FA”. Additionally, the “FO” reaction from Rhonda isn’t logical or proportional. Taking away flex time and adding progress reports doesn’t address any of the issues.

  35. Dinwar*

    You ask how to mitigate the anger, but that’s the wrong thing to focus on. What you should be focusing on is the fact that your boss instructs you to focus on X, then punishes you for it.

    She LIED and used it to HARM YOU. That’s abuse, if not fraud.

    Find all the documentation you can about every priority she sets for you, especially those that relate to your performance evaluation, and immediately take it to her boss, HR, and/or whoever will listen and is in a position of authority. This is an egregious violation of any semblance of workplace ethics and needs to be addressed immediately. And start documenting everything–save every email, take notes in every meeting, screenshot every chat where she tells you to do something. The fake performance review was a passive-aggressive way to do that; you need to drop the “passive” part of that.

    This is going to really anger your manager, but that’s how things go in abusive relationships. Setting boundaries and enforcing norms are treated as attacks. But that’s on her, not you. Hopefully the higher-ups see this as the severe problem it is; if not, maybe your manager will do something so egregious that she gets fired for it. Hopefully she doesn’t get you canned, but if she does you’ll want to talk to a lawyer, there are legal protections for whistle-blowers and this may fall under that heading.

  36. BecauseHigherEd*

    Yeah, this feels like an “escalate above Rhonda’s head to her manager or HR” kind of situation. What happened to Rhonda is bad, of course, but she’s showing a seriously questionable pattern of mismanagement. And if there’s no way to escalate, then you should consider getting out.

  37. Audrey*

    Would this be a situation where it makes sense to push back as a group over the bad manager’s head? Or would that just make things worse because of the immature self eval form?

    1. HonorBox*

      The immature self eval form does give me some pause, but I think noting that it was more just blowing off steam in reaction to the poor evaluations of the entire team might help calm those waters. Honestly, I think it is immaterial when considering the fact that she gave poor evaluations that were reflective of directions that weren’t given. It is material when the group points out that she has drastically changed the culture of the office by taking away certain perks as punishment. Even in school, when a teacher punished everyone for the acts of one or a few, there was an end point to the punishment.

  38. Kelly*

    I worked for a Rhoda who loved to gaslight and punish us for any minor complaint or suggestion of changing anything he decreed. Unfortunately he owned the very small business we all worked for. Rhoda’s don’t ever change. Get out as soon as you can. I still have nightmares about that job more than 5 years after leaving and it’s a large reason I started therapy.

  39. Saturday*

    “Even though I told them to prioritize project Y, the team continued prioritizing X.”

    Well then you sound completely inept as a manager.

    1. AngryOctopus*

      Yeah, I’m surprised that in saying that, Rhonda didn’t cause her manager to sit down with her and ask why her entire team thought that they were prioritizing X over Y if she told them differently. What were team meetings like? What were 1:1s like? Why would she let her team talk in a meeting about how they progressed on X when they needed to be doing Y? What was HER failure point? This should have been immediately recognized as a Rhonda problem, and the fact that her word was used to negatively impact her team’s performance metrics with zero pushback makes it make sense that the outcome was this fake eval. Because the team doesn’t feel like they’ll be heard, so the only way to get it out was to write this and see what happened.

  40. HonorBox*

    Documentation of Rhonda’s direction would sure be helpful, but even without it, I still think the collective should approach HR/Rhonda’s boss to discuss the situation, because even if everyone heard her give the directive to prioritize project Y, that might be enough for them to do some additional digging. Especially because the evaluations are tied to compensation, it would be good for others to know what she’s doing. And even if it isn’t anything that gets fixed now, it might shine a light on Rhonda’s performance going forward so her management is looking more closely at what she’s doing. As others have said, if the entire team went a different route than what she directed, why did that happen and why did she allow that to go on for a year? I’d like to know that if I was her manager…

    In that meeting with HR, it might not be bad to bring up the fake evaluation. Her reaction in punishing everyone isn’t appropriate in the workplace. It is appropriate in middle school (even then, in very narrow instances) and she’s doing a good job of ensuring HR and others are going to be processing paperwork for new hires when the current team starts to deaprt.

  41. Procedure Publisher*

    Document everything. If it is not documented, it didn’t happen. If your documentation contradicts what your boss says, bring it up especially to higher ups.

    With the fake evaluation, it is symptom of people not being able to raise concerns of their boss to other in the organization.

  42. BellyButton*

    I had Rhonda grand boss. She was horrible. She tried to throw me under the bus while I was presenting to the CEO and COO. While she was lying, I pulled up my email and projected onto the screen her email completely contradicting what she was saying. The CEO halted the meeting and and invited her a private conversation. She didn’t say anything or look at me for the rest of the meeting. She was asked to resign less than a month later.

    Moral of the story is CYA.

    I would have taken her false reviews right to HR with all of my backup. That should never have been accepted by any of the team members. I will not let someone disparage my work or my reputation, especially when it jeopardizes my salary and bonuses.

  43. JaneDough(not)*

    LW, is there any documentation of her decisions to give priority to the wrong projects, and to the gentle pushback of staff (who asked whether she was sure about these decisions)? If so, then please consider going, as a group, to her manager to show that Rhonda’s incompetence led to significant problems with a formerly well-regarded team — and that said incompetence is affecting everyone’s income, so OF COURSE people are angry? (Not to justify the mocking self-eval, but to show that all of this began with her and her lousy decisions.)

    If her manager hired her, then the mgr is probably just as bad — but if documentation exists, then get it out there, to her mgr and to HR.

    I feel for you and I wish you well going forward — in this workplace or elsewhere.

  44. Gigi*

    Writing the fake evaluation is an example of what I call Eating the Whole Pizza. Very satisfying and feels good in the moment, but a half hour later you’re filled with gas and regret.

  45. PotsPansTeapots*

    Oof. My Rhonda would lie to my face about something she had said just a few days ago. Unfortunately, the big bosses were also Rhonda-esque and I wound up quitting without lining up another job (5 or 6 other employees did the same within a 10 month period).

    My advice is to pursue your options with HR or the big bosses, but start looking for another job now.

  46. juneb*

    I worked for a manager like Rhonda once. It took three years and over half of the staff resigning, but she was eventually told to quit or be fired. Management, to their credit, acknowledged their mistakes in allowing her to stay for so long.
    My whole point in sharing this, is that multiple people repeatedly, professionally going to HR with their concerns DID work in the end. It may not make a difference right away, but if you band with coworkers and bring HR evidence of her lies, it could be helpful down the road.
    If none of this sounds realistic, honestly, I would run.

  47. Raida*

    You go her her manager.

    You state there is unprofessional and punishing behaviour coming from your manager, this is not a complaint yet but it will become one in writing if they aren’t able to rein her in. Then say “separately, after reading the code of conduct…” (or whatever you can find that supports this) I’ve found it’s actually a responsibility to inform you of my manager lying to you to fake good results for herself – and I really don’t want to tell you that, so I’d be really happy to find out this whole thing requires an HR investigation and I don’t have to put that in writing.

    You also discuss with that manager that “she’ll calm down” will not be a feasible instruction to all her staff because she’s created a situation where everyone can point to her personally and state she cost them reputation, pay rises, promotion accessibility, both now and moving forward. Any management of this along the lines of “you’ve been very mean (staff) now everyone play nice” is likely to inflame things more.

  48. Oh, yeah, me again*

    Anyone get the sense that Rhonda is just a baby – as a manager I mean, not just her maturity level. All of this sounds like someone who knows she is seriously out of her depth. “I did NOT! You did it!” (prioritize X) and copying to the way teachers (sometimes) handle behavior that
    *must be stopped* in order to “control the class” even if unfairly. The team may be Jr. High, with their slambooks, but the manager is stuck in elementary school.

  49. Heffalump*

    The more outrageously wrong people are, the more unwilling they are to admit it. Funny how that works.

  50. Elio*

    Maybe I’m a bad person but I laughed at the mean self-evaluation because I have had a Rhonda-like supervisor (actually more than one) who tries to throw others under the bus to hide their incompetence.

Comments are closed.