My life at a U.S. bank is being made a misery by a director with anger issues

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Banks have a well-deserved reputation for promoting bad managers, but I would challenge anyone to produce a manager worse than my own. He is a guy with big problems.

He's been here years and has struggled with stress for a long time. He himself was afflicted with a very aggressive manager in the past, and took some time out. Now he's back and like the playground bully, is visiting his past traumas on his team. There are eight of us, and he's our defacto boss.

He sits there, stony-faced, slamming his mouse and his keyboard for almost no reason and cursing quietly so that you can just about hear. We rarely have the guts to approach him, and when we do he says he's too busy to talk to us. The only time he perks up is lunch (always a burger) or at the prospect of a trip to the U.S., where he seems to max out his expense card (we get to see the fancy restaurants he's taken clients to). The rest of the time, he sits there, seething.

Why was he promoted? Your guess is as good as mine. Other teams are aware of his reputation and regularly commiserate with us. The head of the division likes him, though, and the feeling appears to be mutual as he's all-smiles when the big boss comes around.

I suspect that his success also has something to do with HR. They know that this guy himself was bullied in the past and took some time out and they don't want to risk him leaving again and potentially suing the bank for discrimination (he's Asian). Either way, HR are doing nothing.

The situation is untenable, but we remain here like rabbits in the headlights. Most of us have been here for years and we don't want to swap jobs now because moving banks would entail giving up our amassed redundancy packages, but working alongside our boss is like sitting in a room with a bee's nest that has to be approached very carefully.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Caspar Abeln is the pseudonym of a VP in a U.S bank

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