I know - this is not a pretty topic to talk about, but it is a part of some of some of our lives, unfortunately.
I am writing this post from a place of need more than anything else. A very good friend of mine (it is not me, I promise, haha) has been working in a medium-sized startup (post purchase) for the past year, as a full-stack developer.
I can vouch that he is and was a dedicated and hard worker. Delivering tasks on time (or faster), a great team-player and a wonderful employee all together - from day one.
He is loved by his other team members and has a great interpersonal experience with everybody in the office except his direct manager (team-lead).
Every week, they have a one-on-one session between them that is mandatory. In my friend's experience it is an hour long session where the team-lead mentions how suboptimal he is as an employee, and constantly listing what he should change in his behavior. When I ask him why does he endure this on a weekly basis, his answer is that the team lead is insane, but he loves the job and other people are amazing.
No matter how hard he is working, or how many tickets he delivers, the team-lead will constantly be looking for things that he is doing wrong. The team-lead is that sort of person that will destroy your self-esteem to feel superior (I am assuming, I don't really know).
The nitpicky, micro-managing behavior is something all members of the team can say they endure daily - and no body on the team actually enjoys their daily jobs ever since that team-lead came along (team-lead started a bit over a year ago, other team members have been there for over 5 years).
It has come to a point after a year at the job, where my friend dreads every single day, and is crying on a weekly basis after their one-on-one sessions. His mental health is deteriorating, and I don't want to see him suffer anymore.
From my personal experience, the only solution to a toxic manager is quitting. I personally left 2 development jobs because of toxic managers (not as bad as this one). But my friend would like to exhaust all options - because he really loves his workplace, is good at what he does and doesn't want to blow anything up just yet.
From your experience, is there a way to fix this situation without quitting? Have you ever experienced something similar? Would love to hear your thoughts on this.