Arbeiter says the principal told her to help the coach get better

A woman on TikTok says the manager hired over her just before the COVID-19 pandemic was a disaster. And when she complained to the director of her company, he told her that she had to help the new manager to be better.

The woman, who goes by the name Sarah (@sarahssparkproject), shared the story stitching another TikToker (@coach2elevate) asking workers to share “the most toxic advice” a manager had ever given them.

@sarahssparkproject #stitch with @coach2elevate What was the most toxic thing a leader has ever said to you? Oh let me count the ways… #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #toxicworkplace #worklifebalance #workingmom #workfromhome #toxicleadership #grassisgreener ♬ Original sound – Sarah’s Spark Project

In her video, Sarah says she applied for a managerial position at her job three years ago and was told by the hiring manager that she was their first choice. She says one executive “got in the way,” and instead someone from outside the company was hired for the role.

The new manager was hired on March 12, 2020, just as the pandemic hit. As a result, they were forced to plunge into a fast-moving but well-functioning workflow, says Sarah.

The TikToker says she tried to agree with the new manager when there was no doubt, although she was still “a bit bitter” that she wasn’t hired for the role herself. This plan didn’t work out, she says, because the new manager “immediately” clashed with everyone, including Sarah.

In a second video, Sarah says the new manager didn’t like the close bond between Sarah and her team. She also didn’t like how they worked together professionally or what processes they used. It became clear early on that communication was also an issue, says Sarah.

@sarahssparkproject Part 2 of the toxic thing an executive said to me #toxicleadership #toxicworkplace #bridgingthegap #worklifebalance #grassisgreener #workingmom #workfromhome ♬ Original sound – Sarah’s Spark Project

“If you had 30 minutes of status with her, it would be 40 minutes of just talking at you,” says Sarah in her video. “There was never a conversation, she never wanted to hear what you had to say or what you were working on. It was just nonsense and a lot of us really started to wonder, ‘Why is she here? What’s happening?'”

Sarah claims the new manager’s troubles were not only annoying but also hurt the business. Throughout the disaster, Sarah tried to be honest with her principal about what was going on, she says. But the director would always try to defend the new manager, she adds.

Finally, Sarah sat down with her director to explain that she needed to improve things and asked how they could work together to make things better.

“He told me that I had to help her become a better manager,” says Sarah. “He compared it to a bridge. He said, “If there was a bridge and you stand on either side, you can’t meet it halfway. You have to go all the way across because she doesn’t even realize there’s a bridge.” And I’d like to understand how fair that is.”

Viewers reassured Sarah that her situation wasn’t fair, but unfortunately it was pretty normal.

“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for leaders to be empowered to lead. That’s what your director was trying to get you to do (right or wrong),” one viewer commented.

“I had to tell some people that I’m paid to do a job, not train a supervisor,” commented a second viewer.

A third wrote: “I never understood how we don’t get promoted and then are expected to train toxic managers out of their toxicity. Isn’t that his job?”

The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via a TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: September 22, 2022 at 5:29 pm CDT

Cecilia Lenzen

Cecilia Lenzen is a freelance reporter for the Daily Dot.

Cecilia Lenzen Arbeiter says the principal told her to help the coach get better

Jaclyn Diaz

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