Professional Communication Skills: A Failure to Communicate

Posted by Bridget Beirne
September 5, 2013

What we've got here is a problem caused by a lack of professional communication skills.

Today, this headline caught my eye, from a story that had already made the rounds of Reddit and Gawker:

Abused Retail Staff Quits With Epic Resignation Letter

Yikes. Of course, I had to read it. (You can read it too, here.) Suffice it to say, some employees of a footwear store had suffered long enough (their story sounds pretty harrowing...). They decided to go out with a blaze of glory as a result of their boss's alleged- hey, I wasn't there!- long-running abuse. In fact, they didn't just want to quit- they wanted to Q.U.I.T. And so, they posted this on the outside of the store (credit for this photo belongs to Imgur/Reddit, btw...)


resignation letter Imgur Reddit


Which, of course, made me think of this:



And then, this: 



The AOL Jobs article pointed out that, clearly, the lines of communication in this footwear store were broken beyond repair. Once communication breaks down in such a way, the damage is often irreparable- pride is slighted, feelings are hurt, and work suffers. Not to mention the damage done by abusive work situations. Can this relationship be saved?

We've all had a lousy boss. Or three. Business relationships take work, and some are harder than others. Here are some things to try BEFORE we get to the public decree pasted on the door of our place of employ:


1. Address the situation head on. Just not with your car. In the parking lot. Into your boss's Bentley.

2. Consult your HR rep. Or, just ask if they want in on this epic sitch.

3. Schedule some time to talk. If your boss in unavailable, mean tweet them until they cry.

4. Acknowledge that you are having a problem. And that its name is "Your Boss".

5. Give your boss the opportunity to respond. Many times, communication breaks down over a simple misunderstanding. Of course, the misunderstanding may be that they just don't like you. So, there's that. 

5. Resolve to ban all abusive language. Actually, there's nothing funny about that. Don't use abusive language.

6. If you realize it is time for you to go, respectfully give your two weeks notice. In a company-wide email. BCC your boss's Mom.

7. Don't do any of this. Unless it is in bold.




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