Finally a nice relaxing weekend. After multiple weekends keeping busy, I got to sit back and relax. I even got to catch up on some good old Disney flicks. Fantasia (the original version) still remains one of my favourites.
As I mentioned before, I worked in a family restaurant for over two years. In those two years I went through five different managers! FIVE in TWO years! Utterly ridiculous. I’ve had some pretty awful bosses in my time. Hearing others’ stories about their bosses from Hell can be a hilarious type of therapy.
After visiting some hilarious websites and reading your terrifying stories, I’ve broken down some seriously disturbing bosses from hell into three main categories:
1. The Bully: I’m sure you’ve all experienced this power-tripping ego-maniacal psycho. They scream out those cliché lines like, “I WANT THIS DONE YESTERDAY”, that make your eyes roll so far back into your head, they roll right back to the front.
They take your short-comings and laugh at you, and they work you WAY harder than need be. I had a friend tell me their coffee machine broke down before a big meeting, so she ran down to get some coffee at a shop, and it took a few extra minutes. She returned to inform her boss of the delay and in front of board members, chairpersons and directors she clapped, “Well then, Run! Run! Run!” How jaw droopingly degrading is that?! I realize as the new grads we kind of get the grunt work nobody wants to do but there is such a thing as too much.
The other day a partner at my firm asked me to take care of getting some papers signed. I agreed (because he’s the boss, am I going to say no?) Just as I was about to leave, he said:
“Andrea, is this too degrading for you? I mean, is this below you?”
That was the first time anybody had ever said anything like that to me. It was honestly so touching and kind I couldn’t believe it! I told some friends and they were just as shocked and touched by it as I was. They wish they had him as a boss! If you preface any ridiculous task by such a kind gesture, I’ll do any scanning, photocopying or stapling job you require.
Even a simple “thanks” is nice. But that’s in an ideal world.
2. The Inept Tool: These bosses fall into 2 categories. They either don’t care or don’t know. They typically get their job through favouritism, brown-nosing or nepotism. There are way too many of these out there in the world. If your boss is too brain-dead to do their own task, it usually falls on you, making your job twice as stressful. Worse, you get paid the same amount, and they usually skip paying you the overtime.
I see this occur way too often in the accounting field. Tax season hits hard in April and June, and juniors are forced to work 60 hour weeks (legal limit is 44) without any compensation. And I dare you to try and ask for a sick day.
3. The Sketchy Boss: This is daaaangerous territory because this is where you can be forced to enter the legal arena. Sketchy bosses tend to be those who sexually harass employees, steal from the company and cut corners on products making them unsafe. These are not issues to be taken lightly because somebody is put at risk in these situations. Luckily these are some of the easiest to deal with as there are legal avenues for you to pursue. You can talk to the head of the organization or contact authorities. Never EVER let these situations sit and simmer!
Back at my old job, the manager who stayed the longest actually got caught and fired for stealing over $25,000! I did return there for lunch one day and found out that pretty much every new manager has been caught stealing. Another friend of mine was constantly sexually harassed at work. Not just by other employees but by partners! Luckily we both worked for large organizations with an HR department so you know exactly who to talk to. For those who work in small organization, talk to authorities, a lawyer, or just leave!! Is your happiness at work really worth getting filthy comments every day?
The big problem with this whole Boss from Hell situation is that right now with the terrible economy, it’s hard to find another job to get you out of that situation. Don’t use that as an excuse to take the abuse any longer though. Speak up! Confront your boss, talk to HR or talk to their superior. You really don’t deserve to be treated like that! At the same time, I implore you to sit back and look at the situation from their point of view. Maybe you’re not the greatest employee; maybe they’re forgetful. Give them
the benefit of the doubt.
One more piece of advice from high school employment experience; never EVER sign a contract if it lists all your specific job responsibilities and then at the bottom says:
“…and whatever management asks you to do”.
That one line opens up a flood gate of never-ending demeaning tasks. My tasks included emptying out the outdoor ashtrays and plunging toilets at least once a day. Try doing that on a Hillary Duff (The 1990’s Miley Cyrus) concert night. Never. Again.