Management Tip: More about Bad Bosses

I thought I would share a few of these e-mails with you. (You’re not alone if your boss is a jerk). Below is an e-mail that includes my responses (in italics):

"Just happened upon your website. I just started a brand new job yesterday. I knew in advance that this Manager was going to be difficult, but didn’t realize I would be stepping ‘into’ it quite so quickly. She manages by fear, intimidation & terror. Her entire staff quite literally fears the sound of her steps coming down the hallway. She abhors free thinking, self- direction, or taking any initiatives not designed by her. She treats all subordinates as though they are ill mannered children in need of constant supervision and micro-management. She views any thinking "outside the box’ as insubordination and usurping of power. (The power that she feels so deserving of, after many years of service)."

[Ben Mac’s Comment] Well, I wouldn’t get my hopes up that she’s going to change anytime soon. I’m a firm believer in the "leopards don’t change their spots" theory. "She is what she is" and I doubt that there is anything you can do to change her method of management.

"I’m well over qualified for this position, but this was an opportunity to get in the ground floor of a university. I’d really like to outlive this manager, but I need tips. Her idea of nirvana is a staff of brainless, non-thinking automatons. (I will have difficulty de-programming myself from active thought)."

[Ben Mac’s Comment] "Outliving" her is a good strategy, but it will take a lot of fortitude and discipline to do that. I think you should "hope for the best but prepare for the worst"… what I mean is that you should get a back up plan in case the situation becomes too intolerable- which it probably will.

If you’re working for a tyrannical boss, the best thing to do is:

  1. Keep your mind active and write down ideas for improvement in a journal or a dayplanner so that you can use those ideas one day when and if she departs.
  2. Keep actively looking for other opportunities that fit your talents. This is a good time to strategically look for something that fits your needs long term (and you can use your experience where you are now as some leverage for a new job).
  3. Maintain a thick skin during this job and just put your head down and do the tasks you’re asked to do. Realize that this situation is not YOU… it’s her. It’s not personal to you the way she treats you. She has a pessimistic view of others and "assumes the worst" of her employees—and this mindset didn’t just start recently, I assure you. Leave her no reason to get on your case— just do your job as flawlessly as you possibly can while you continue working on #1 and #2 above. Maybe you get a break and she will leave and you can "outlive" her.. but don’t count on it. You have to have a backup plan.

Below is a different e-mail I received from another person who is working for yet another mental midget. (The person who sent me this e-mail just wanted to vent and allowed me to share this with you:)

"I also have a horrible boss, who, by the way is the president of the company. I work at a small company with about 25 employees. I have been with this company for about 6 years now. (I only stay because of the money).

When I started this job, My boss would criticize my handwriting. When the phone rings, she runs to my office , which is at the opposite end of the bldg from his office, and listens to the conversation. When I hang up she will ask me "who is it", "what did they say". I have to let the phone ring at least twice in order for her caller ID to pick up the number calling.

If I miss a day of work, because I am sick or my child is sick, I get the silent treatment for 2 days, then a speech on how sorry people "lay" out of work.

I was trying to help a co-worker one day with his some information and my boss walks around the corner and asked me if I was trying to help her steal from the company. My boss also reprimands other co-workers in front of everybody.

And you are right, it is very embarassing to me and the others. I do not like it at all. I have to get his permission for every single item to be paid, a call made, etc. which goes for everyone working at this place.

We have a new female employee. (I have been one of the few only female until now because no one will stay). My boss has accused her of trying to "come on" to all the men, told her she dresses like a prostitute, and many other demeaning things I will not say. She says this in front of everyone too.

I was also accused at one time of getting "too friendly" with the other employees. He never has anything good to say about anyone or anything. This job is so depressing I have to laugh just to keep my sanity. We all do. But its a job. Se never takes the blame for anything that goes wrong, and takes the credit for everything right. She keeps the morale so suppressed. I have never seen anything like it before. I know I shouldn’t just put up with it, but like I said, for now its a job.

Please keep my e-mail anonymous.

Thanks for the insight on this situation for good, honest employees who would like to do a good job but finally get to the point that you just don’t care anymore."

Knoxvegans, Thanks

Thanks for the warm welcome I have had when meeting many of you at KAF and KAMA and during specific meetings. Feel free to send me information that you think is pertinent on the market, or press releases, etc. on your company or for your clients. Pass along the link to this site to others.