A bad boss can make your work life miserable. But new research shows that a bad boss can also hurt your family life, your health and your personal morale.
We read a Washington Post story on bad bosses and all of the Daily Circuit producers had a story to tell. We wanted to find out more about the research on the topic and get some advice on getting out of bad work environments.
Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of management at Florida State University, will join The Daily Circuit Wednesday to talk about bad bosses.
"There are two real drivers in a lot of these employer-employee relationships: communications and trust," he said. "People like to know what's going on. They like to know news. They like to have information as a resource available and deal with things good or bad. And the trust part is you kind of have this assumption that the person who is responsible for a lot of your work life is going to take care of you to the extent that he or she can."
How should one cope? And when should one just jump ship and try to find a new job?
"The real rub on a lot of this stuff is that people can't leave," Hochwarter said. "I mean, they've got nowhere to go."
Annabelle Gurwitch, actress, NPR commentator, author of "Fired!" will also join the discussion.
VIDEO: Annabelle Gurwitch on "Fired!"
We want to hear your all-time worst boss story and how you dealt with it.
From Jason B:
A bad boss is someone you don't look up to or respect, who doesn't lead, who fails to even appear as a mentor, or who doesn't even provide some level of expertise to indicate that he or she deserves their position. In short, they appear to only to be interested in protecting their image and job at the expense of anyone else. They are the antithesis of a leader.
My past 'bad boss' was all these things. He was insecure and his interactions with people were mostly about managing his image. And at times he was almost a caricature of duplicitous behavior.
Earl from Mpls: Had an engineering boss JIM who would scream in my face and swear at me "Why the F are you here? Etc.
@KerriMPR I quit a job in mngt with a fortune 500 company because my boss was driving me to near suicidal depression
My sister works for a non-profit in Wisconsin.
Her director sent out an e-mail last month, February, informing all employees that no one will be allowed to take any vacation leave until July. She, the director, promptly left the next day for a one month vacation in the Carribean.
Miranda Priestly is alive and well.
Had a boss who would walk away from me and others in mid discussion if you were trying to explain a situation, then proceed to slam his door as hard as he could for something that was pretty trivial.
I once took a job at a small shop, working 40+ hours a week for $10 an hour, about 4 years ago. At the time, my grandmother was dying of cancer. I told my boss about it when I was hired, and was open about how upset I was about it. There was a week where I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom - crying - not in front of her - and within that time period, I was accused of having a urinary tract infection and ADD.
The week my grandmother died, I needed time off for the wake, the funeral, and for my great-grandmother's funeral the next day (yeah - bad luck there). I was expected to come in and run the business for her the morning of the wake, and then overtime the week after.
I was not offered health insurance, vacation days, or any kind of benefits package. She continued to post my position as a hireable position on craigslist, and I was the one answering the phones.
After about a month there, I started the search for a new job. I ended up only working there three months. In that time, she'd had 3 people quit - one of them to go back to rehab.
Worst. Boss. Ever.
From "Not My Real Name":
I worked at a private career college teaching graphic design, computer animation, and photography for six awful weeks for the worst boss ever. When I went in to interview for the position of admissions advisor, three people I passed on the way in literally told me to "run".
The owner of the college yelled so loud at his employees that his spit hit their faces. He had us tear down and reorganize the admissions booklets daily. He broke into my computer at night to email fraudulent press releases under my name. He directed us to install the his one version of stolen animation software on 250 computers. He directed us to dissuade students in wheelchairs from applying so he wouldn't have to install ramps. He coached us on how students could lie on their financial aid forms to get the maximum grants, which coincidentally, matched the tuition. He withheld bonuses from women sales people since he assumed their numbers were lies since "girls just aren't good at sales."
I wondered how he could avoid consequences from such blatently abusive behavior. By hiring very young employees and his four codependent ex-wives, he consciously picked employees who wouldn't fight back.
Well, his method wasn't foolproof. Two of us notified the Department of Education and the FBI. The feds swooped in one day with guns, told everyone to back away from their computers, and found all the stolen software and charged the school full market value for all of it on the spot. The DOE took away their eligibility for financial aid. That put them out of business.
As awful as the experience was, it was almost worth it to take a bad boss down.
Sadly, in the meantime, the owner racked up another ex-wife who got him into a mail house business. So watch out, he's still out there.
The takeaway is take action against an abusive bosses - not just for yourself, but for everyone that person affects. And if you on the way into the interview someone tells you to run, do it.
I was being evaluated by my new boss when I was teaching a course. I had over 35 years experience at the time teaching and training adults.
My boss sat at the back of the classroom, clipboard and pen in hand, and proceeded to take notes, all the while drawing little smiley faces when he was pleased and frowning faces when he was not. He never conducted an honest or constructive discussion of my instructional style. This went on for weeks, and then he fired me.
I used to work at a small local non-profit and during elections the director would tell employees who to vote for. Beside politics, she would also talk about other hot button issues like religion on a weekly basis. Not to mention her extreme outbursts of anger during stressful events towards certain employees and bashing of other employees behind their backs.
She’s the director!
Glad I’m out!
Currently I am working as a temp administrative assistant for a small business.
My supervisor is a nightmare. She treats me like her child periodically rifling through materials at my desk and demanding to know what I'm doing. She has periodically told me she'd prefer that I not talk to people when they come in even though it is part of my job.
I was told I would be up for getting the job permanently when I first began and then months later was told that I was never going to get it, they'd already promised it to someone else.
Despite my years of experience in the field she feels it necessary to belittle and patronize me whenever she can.
Anonymous 4: I deleted the first part of your post when you wrote that it wasn't complete. Now I only have the second half. Sorry. Your story is great.
To make a new paragraph, hit SHIFT and RETURN at the same time.
I worked for a local non-profit and the director and one of her managers, who she supervised, were obviously having an affair.
What made it obvious was their inappropriate conduct with one another while at work. Instead of one of them leaving their position, a good friend of the director's was hired to supervise the program manager! They both still remain in their positions.
How do you respect an organization that lets this type of behavior happen? I left the organization, as staying would have meant I condone their behavior.
JE wrote to me:
Bad bosses can actually have good leadership qualities that are sabotaged by the poison they inject into the work environment.
Specifically, I had a boss that divided the workplace by having favorites (golden girls & boys that could do no wrong), enemies (whipping girls/boys that could do no right) and the rest of the staff that placated the boss so as not to fall into the enemy category.
A boss that made unprofessional comments about clients during staff meetings like, “she made me so angry I wanted to tear her face off.” Doesn’t that message translate as, ‘don’t cross me or I will exact my revenge’? Who actively and openly made derogatory remarks about people in our department and in other departments, causing some of those people to quit and move on to other companies.
Bad bosses cause added stress to already difficult times, are demoralizing and, I would say, are abusive in their own way. Just like abuse in a family, people are afraid to talk about it.
@KerriMPR I had a boss who made me so miserable I spat in his Starbucks coffee. He drank it and said, "That was really good coffee". No lie.
In this economy, everyone needs a thick skin. - Annabelle Gurwitch.
I left one nonprofit because there were affairs happening in management that led people who had little to no experience to higher positions.
I went to a nonprofit where the boss played favorites and pinned employees against each other.
It leads me to wonder if I should quit the nonprofit game. :(
There do seem to be a lot of people mentioning non-profits.
I work for government office that works with farmers and landowners. I was once told by my boss that we were not "zoned" for children in the building when my daughter stopped in the office after school for about a half hour.
He also tried to force employes to get a doctor's note anytime a child was sick (even if for a day). If we wouldn't, we would be forced to take vacation. Needless to say, he was fired by our board after we fought it.
Worked for an entertainment complex. Owner broke the only hand he had with a thumb. One night while at work in the comedy club got word boss wanted to see me. Go to his office where he's with two ladies in black dresses - drinking champagne. He wanted me to cut the check for the entertainer in the main room - and then wanted me to forge his signature since his had was broken. Said no to the signature cuz knew that check was bouncing all the way downstairs. Shortly after that I got new job - they went bankrupt.
I was a temp who kept getting renewed on a month-to-month basis.
Once, my boss didn't tell me I was being renewed for another month until 3 days before my last day, even though she knew a full 2 weeks before that.
I'm convinced she did it on purpose just to watch me stress out.
When she finally told me, she said "Oh, I realized I might have forgot to mention you can stay on another month, maybe more."
She said it like it was no big deal and we weren't talking about my impending unemployment! Most stressful time of my life, working for her.
I work at a non-profit and my Boss is always opposed by improvements in the department.
The odd thing is that she was promoted to director and in the 5 years I have been here she has never once reviewed the work in the department and/ or reviewed the standards of care. She also has made it sure to lose approximately 5 contracts with the state and our department is hurting. She made sure to bring in the vice president of the company to tell us it was our fault because we weren't bringing in money.
My days are counted here, I need a change...
After 20 years with perfect reviews and sequential promotions, I ended up in a department with a boss who put me on a PIP (Personal Plan for Improvement) after working with her for only 4 months.
Subsequently, I was laid off (reduction in workforce).
Exactly one-year later, she was put on a PIP and -- laid off. What comes around goes, around.
Karma is SWEET!
I hope you take a minute to correct your guest who commented that Woddy Allen called her "retarded".
Disspointed nothing was said, and not sure I want to support a station that feels that's funny and appropraite. An MLB player was just called out for using that word, and I hope this is addressed on line.
@ Kimmer, I keep trying to believe in karma - but haven't seen it come around yet.
Worked at my high school the summer after my 1st year of college doing maintenance, painting, etc for $7.25/hr. I worked with 1 more lady and 3 other guys.
The guys could do no wrong but halfway through the summer we girls were separated for "being too chatty" and before that he would nitpick everything we girls did but not the guys.
We got twice as much done together, PLUS going back over all the work the guys did. After separation we just laid around & didn't do anything...
Last day of work he says "I really appreciate all your help this summer," but the next summer he told the new employees what a bad job we'd done - the other girl's sister among them!! Like we weren't going to hear about THAT.
SO glad I didn't have to go back there.
I was an admin assitant at my last job--my boss got away with coming in around noon everyday, delegating every little task to others, and spending her time at work trolling dating sites.
However, she wan't very adept at nuance or sarcasm. So whenever she sent an abusive email to all the admin, I would send a reply with a jab at her that flew under her radar.
All the other admin got it, but she didn't.
I didn't care, the laughter was essential to our survival.
I thought that this was an interesting program until your guest repeatedly chose to use the R-word.
One does not need to be disrespectful to developmentally challenged persons to make a point on the radio. Persons with any understanding of how demeaning the usage of this word is to disabled persons, to describe someone who is acting as a nincompoop, would never use the word.
I expect more from MPR, and not have a host chuckle along with its usage.
You should address the amount of people commenting on nonprofits.
Possibly because the board of directors aren't ever really as involved as they could be - especially when its the Executive Director causing the pain. I literally went to the ER and all possible tests done - conclusion?
I believe in the mission of all these nonprofits, but it makes it difficult for me to dedicate my time and life to it....
I had a job where one of the firms bosses was a beast.
She would swear and shout at you, micromanage, and had no sense when to stop yelling until another person drags her away .
Needless to say, after one round of screaming I got up from my desk, as she followed me out, and walked out the door.
I came back to talk with another partner regarding the problem, no resolution, I found another wonderful job and gave no notice.
My apt building had a huge fire in the early hours of a Friday. I came into work on Monday (after staying with friends all weekend and being allowed to pick up a few necessities from my vacated building) and my boss said I should have been responding to comments on my online story over the weekend.
I reminded her that I wasn't really online over the weekend since I had been dealing with a majorly traumatic life event.
She said, "We all had rough weekends."
I was working overseas. My boss was having an affair with her boss (the owner of the company).
So they decided to move our team to another country so they could avoid being near the owner’s wife (who also worked for the company).
For weeks on end, living in company housing in the middle of nowhere, no means to go anywhere. And the owner would text in the middle of the night and expect an answer on a trivial matter at 2am. At times, we all thought we were on some reality show without knowing it.
@KerriMPR Passive Aggressive Bosses that ignore u and don't tell u how your doing is awful also!!! Think about it.
My mean boss was horrible and degrading towards me but only when nobody else was looking. She was sweet as can be to everyone else in the office. When I finally got laid off I could hardly contain my joy.
I'm wondering why this discussion is so tongue in cheek?
Poor management seems almost epidemic, it does affect your home life, trounces on people's self esteem, and has a huge impact on productivity...from someone whose manager feels that threatening people's jobs is the best approach to motivation, it doesn't feel like a laughing matter.
@Random -- don't stop believing -- it seriously will. Sometimes it takes a while, but it will. Somehow ...
I worked for a large corporation in which I was a model employee; came in early, stayed late, never had a sick day.
When I asked my boss for an afternoon off to attend my uncle's funeral and in considering my request he asked "Were you close to him?"
I used to be a middle level manager of health care company. I hired, coached and mentored all the time, and yes, on occasion had to fire. And I can tell you that as hard as it may be to have a bad boss, flip it the other way and consider the person who has to supervise a bad employee.
It wasn't common but when I had to deal with one, it took months of conversation and documentation and stress that I brought home with me.
I had to fire one nurse who would spend 8 hours in patients homes, at night, and would not stop talking to the patients, who were trying to sleep. After many discussions and no improvement, I finally told her that one more complaint, and she would be fired. 2 days later I got a call from a son of a patient who was comatose and dying. The son told me the nurse talked so much that she woke this comatose patient up enough to tell her to shut up. So, I would love to hear from the other side on another show.
Ed Note: Great idea!
My husband is working in a really bad environment right now as a contractor.
Fortunately, he is highly valued, but the way that they treat their other employees is disgusting, yelling, degrading comments, etc. My husband considers it part of his job to redirect and council these bosses to use better tactics. He's noticed some changes within the first six months.
I'm proud of him.
I worked as an editor in a publishing company.
One of my tasks was to choose photos for book covers. Our photo people had contracts with certain suppliers, and for one book, I had to choose from bad and worse cover pictures. As soon as the book was published, a contract was signed with a new photo supplier with a wonderful picture that obviously hadn’t been available to me.
Yet at every company meeting, my editorial directory held up my choice as an example of terrible judgment in picking photos. (“Look at this crappy one. Why did he choose this, when he could have chosen this beautiful one?”)
But what can you do?
If you complain, you sound like a baby. After my next performance review (awful review, naturally), I just quit. I’ve been freelance editing and writing for 9 years.
I had a sales manager who was a sociopath - he fired one colleague by sending a fax in the middle of the night, he fired another guy by calling his cell phone right after his mother's funeral, and he fired me after he had me set up a major account, do all the grunt and schmooze work and then gave all my efforts to another salesman.
I learned so many lessons from working for this jerk!
Simple way to get rid of aggressive coworkers and bosses - give their name out to headhunters. nuf' said.
you want to talk about trapped? try the military.
In one assignemnt i had a boss who tried to force a co-worker to sign a blank piece of paper saying she had reviewed some records to "speed up the process" and when she refused he told her she was not a team player.
We did an environmental survey that showed the morale was so bad that strangers would stop us on the street and say "what the heck is going on in the med group?".
I almost had a nervous breakdown, my 9 yr old son did have a breakdown and ended up in an inpatient mental health facility. i was supposed to be there 3 years but was moved in 15 months. I separated from the military after 17 years because that was so stressful I could not have possible lasted another 3 yrs.
I had a boss who wanted me to make sure his report “fanned out” correctly while printing, and wondered why I didn’t answer his phone if he didn’t catch it within two rings, and I was hired as an accountant.
I learned a lot from my bad boss experience, and what NOT to do when placed in similar positions.... Would like to hear a show about good bosses and what it takes to be one.
I had a boss that would tell us to come in at 8:00 on the dot and he would show up at 8:30 or later.
When we would go to the bathroom, take a break, or get food, we would come back and he would ask where we were.
He took us each into a room and grilled us about "what inspired us?"
Hello? We are in sales...MONEY.
He would not accept that response so I made up a story about my mom. I stopped listening to his advice and become one of the best in sales. Got a great raise (around 10K more) then I quit right after. I remember he said, "you aren't going to quit after I give you this raise are you?"
To Liz: Great, unbelievable story. Your boss sounds like the twin of my boss. Maybe they're the same!
This is why unions are so important now-a-days.
People only talk about bad employees who can't get fired because of unions, but what about people who are abused and stressed out while just doing this job?
My husband is excellent at what he does (that's how we met) but he's taken advantage of and talked down to. His craft is so specific that in this economy, he wouldn't be able to find another opportunity.
I was straight out of college in very early 1990s- my boss could be what we now think of as Tiger Moms. When she walked down the hall people heard her heels clicking and ducked into their offices.
I started each day 2 hours early and left at least 2 hours late. She would have me in her office from 7 to 7:30 a.m. to berate me and belittle me until I was in tears.
It happened every day.
Her clients wouldn't call her, they only would talk to me because she scaird them too. After 3 years and doing a really great job, I walked out of her office at 7:30 after telling her, in tears of course, I quit and I walked out of her office.
She called me for 2 weeks begging me to come back, offering raises, extra help, etc. Telling her no each day of those two weeks was payback for her three years of terror.
Remember the movie "9 to 5" with Dolly Parton, Lilly Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dabney Coleman as the worst boss ever? Love to watch those women get their revenge!!
I had a heart attack while working for the wicked witch of the west. I never heard a word from her during my recovery and when I returned to work after 6 weeks, she told me she didn't call because she didn't want to give me more stress by reminding me of my job.
She fired me a month later.
I sued for the obvious reasons and won. She's now diseased and I am still doing a happy dance.
I worked for a contractor a couple summers ago. Not only did he never pay, but he was almost never around when he wanted me to do something he said he was going to show me. Unfourtintly I did not take records on when I worked, so I dont know what to do .
These shows ALWAYS focus on the individuals. We should be talking nonstop about why organizations continue to retain bad bosses - because it is SO pervasive!
I had a boss at a Federally-funded project with whom I got along very well until she got promoted from Deputy Director to Director.
We went from regular, productive discussions to her shutting me out. More than once I asked her to meet with me so I could figure out what had changed. Although I had several years of "above average - excellent" reviews, I was fired (not laid off) without any real reason given.
What most made her 'bad' was her inconsistancy, caving to workplace bullies and general lack of leadership skills. None of my co-workers could help explain it, nor would they do anything to stand up for me. It was truely awful and years later I still have occasional nightmares about it. (PS - I now have an excellent boss!)
Last year, I worked as a temp at a research department at one of the public universities here in the TC.
My boss was so incredibly verbally abusive, not only toward me but even more so toward the permanent employees in the department, that one or more people were reduced to tears EVERY DAY. What I found shocking was that even thought the HR department was well aware of her issues (she has been through a record number of admins, etc in the past decade) they have taken no real steps to address the problem, despite repeated complaints.
How about the boss who missed three scheduled performance appraisals then called from the airport to say he had 5 minutes before the next flight, could it be done on the phone!
@Margo I agree. It amazes me how many organizations and businesses keep horrible bosses.
My boss asked me to stop by his house to pick up some stuff for him. Stuff was a giant 15 passenger van. He was gone, the van was locked, and the keys were somewhere in the house. My boss informed me that the keys were in his dresser...that was filled with weed. "If you ever tell anybody I will fire you"
My boss owns 52% of the excavation company.
He's a nice guy, but he is very incompetent.
Every time I speak to him he doesn't really make any sense. He regularly misuses words and goes on tangents. He also cannot do basic math or write, both of which are important in winning contracts.
I really don't know how he has stayed in business the last 20 years. Fortunately, he gives me a lot of autonomy and stays out of my hair. However, I think he gives the company a poor image and people probably don't want to work with us because he's such an idiot.
Several years ago I was working for a company in a department with the equivalent of Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada.
I worked long hours with little direction but high expectations, to the point where my physical and mental health were breaking down from the stress.
Even then I was fired for "failing to meet expectations" (which meant I wasn't a clone of my boss). What I learned was to never stay in a bad job for the health insurance, to keep your resume updated, and to never underestimate the value of networking.
My wife had a truly terrible boss, who was, ironically, a pastor. He told lies to her face and lies about her to others. He put her on personal improvement plan that he thought she couldn't complete as a pretext to terminate her.
@Anon Y. Mouse: I've had terrible experience with HR departments not doing anything about complaints. What's the point of having an HR department when they ignore complaints?
I also worked in the arts and after four years I, along with my 2 co-workers, were put on top secret probation.
We never did find out the reason.
A few months later I was called into my supervisors office along the the HR supervisor. I knew immediately I was going to be fired.
The reason was insubordination for not accepting pepper spray to protect myself from the one incident of theft in the parking lot....I lived in the neighborhood and expressed my reluctance since I felt safe and just didn't want to carry the spray. In the end she didn't fire me....I quit a few months later. She lasted 6 months after I left.
Boss sexually harassed me for 3 years--start to finish.
I finally filed a formal complaint against him with the organization I worked for (major education institution) and the organization "suggested he get some training" and nothing more.
I eventually had to resign because their additional solution was for me to "sit down with him and an HR person on a weekly basis" to work out our differences.
The HR person involved also suggested that I not put anything down in writing, which was my cue to immediately document everything.
I should have sued, and even contacted a lawyer, but needed to spend my time trying to get a job. I was forced to sell off personal effects, and was initially denied unemployment since I was the only person who filed a complaint.
Thankfully I was able to finally get some unemployment, but it was short. My health is however much better since resigning.
@anonymous -- agreed! I am in (once again) a very good place. My current boss is wonderful!
I was working at a nonprofit when the executive director and I would butt heads. She would say that she "doesn't get marketing at all," but would turn around and critique my work. I quit, and she was later pushed out.
I sent her a canned ham when heard the news.
My boss was paranoid and a micro-manager. Everyone in the office tried to avoid any contact with him. Several times he stepped in to his office, closed the door and began yelling and hitting the walls.
My manager began her job one year ago. I made one mistake 9 months ago for which I was never forgiven. To add to that, she didn't like being called the "boss" because she believed it was disrespectful.
She claimed to not be a micro-manager, but I (and at least one of my co-workers) couldn't do anything right. We'd pass in the hall and she wouldn't make eye contact. She would speak to others around me and breeze past me. I became sincerely complementary about the things she was doing for the company, but, finally, 2 weeks ago (3 weeks before my 65th birthday) I was let go.
When I asked the real reason, she said my job had been "eliminated to bring it in line with the rest of the company." I said "but we're understaffed as it is." She said my work would be outsourced. But my former co-workers are having to do the work. In order to receive a pittance of a separation payout, I had to sign a document promising not to sue for age discrimination. I've also heard that the rest of the department is uneasy and many are looking for other jobs.
I had a supervisor who called me in the middle of the night to yell at me for not being respectful enough to her. I had occupied her position temporarily for a period of time, but was told by management that I would not be hired permanently because I was not the correct race.
I was registrar of a smallish college.My boss,Dir.of Adm. who allowed confidential students records to go home with a consultant.They came back covered with red wine which he had spilled while working on these confidential records .They are never allowed to leave the building!
I still can't do this: She met the program, but got fired anyway. The boss didn't have the constituition to actually do it himself.
Long story short, she had a new job a week later from a search that had been going for some time. Had the boss waited a week, the employer wouldn't have had to pay a severance or had to go through a termination process.
I share this experience with many others who have worked under this boss at a movie theatre.
From him, we basically learned how to be deviant--and how to push his buttons. He was socially inept and could be heard going into the back room and exploding: grunting, breaking brooms over his knees and throwing screwdrivers into the walls.
Our projectionist who had been there for years would often give us the play by play of his outbursts. We often left special messes, warmed up burritoes in the butter warmers, hid from him, did whatever we could do to provoke an outburst!!
We were scared of him, but he never did anything about bad behavior so we were terrible teenagers and just basically ganged up on him. I'm not sure how this affected me personally, but I do worry about how bosses of this sort may aftect young adults in formative years of their lives...
@Kimmer - I'm extremely jealous!
The Peter Principle. I think the problem is that many vocations we learn don't teach you how to be a manager for when you become one many years down the road.
In thirty five years I've quit two jobs because of bad bosses, and in both cases, within a few months the bad boss was replaced. Sometimes it's a better career move to wait it out.
My boss that I currently work for is crazy.
I work in sales and my job requires me to be out making sales. When I start to see success she changes her mind and decides that I need to be in the business more. When I spend time in the business it is a complete waste of time, she had me wrapping Christmas presents one day! She always makes comments that are bullying. Most recently she decided that I didn't deserve all my bonus and kept half of it because I didn't sell enough of that product to warrant more. (I sold 95% of that product).
Too many people don't have the right skills and having an MBA doesn't make you qualified. The problem is also the fault of the organization, they're the ones setting the tone and the pace; many of which are unrealistic, especially in these times.
I worked at a school where my boss (the principal) didn't care about children.
He only cared about checking things off the to-do list from the district.
He didn't believe in giving children or teachers a break; he said "when" he became superintendent he would get rid of breaks. He complained about vacation time and holidays that were "handed" to teachers and students. It's very hard to follow a boss/leader whose heart is in the wrong place.
Send outyour bosses resume. Might get rid of them and get their job.
We had enough. So, on a Friday we purchased a live goose and enough food to keep it happy for a few days. We put the goose in the boss's office and closed the door for the weekend. The look on his face when he opened the door was 'shock'. The goose did what geese do. The entire office was a mess. He put in for a transfer that same day.
After working for a crazy, micromanaging boss, I quit and started my own business, coaching leaders. If you think you might be a bad boss, consider hiring a coach.
I love the quick log in feature. Thanks!
Love the ideas of sending bosses' names to headhunters & sending out resumes on their behalf, Delroy! Worked somewhere once (before Facebook, Twitter, & widespread cell phones) where we were warned not to complain about the boss or else we'd never get rid of him!
These comments are cathartic. I'm now realizing that most of my bosses weren't all that bad.
It's unfortunate that, often, the only way for some employees to get more compensation is to promote them to supervisor positions. Many of them aren't good at it and don't want to do it. Everyone thinks it will be 'easy' to be the boss until they get there....
My first "real job" out of college I was hired on as a legal assistant to a small law firm with one managing attorney and two associates.
The managing attorney is horrible. Not only does he lie to the court and never maintain decent contact with clients, he allows others to take the fall for his mistakes. Both associates have left in hopes to maintain a shred of their reputation. I have written my two weeks notice but can not bring myself to quit, even though he will likely be disbarred after his several suspensions and disciplinary hearings with the Board (which I only found out about through the internet).
I was recently let go from a local, Minneapolis-based software company. I was treated so poorly by my bosses that I don't know where to even begin.
-I was doing the workload of two people, and they wouldn't hire another person to help out despite the fact that the company is making millions of dollars & doing really well.
-I was forced to take vacation days on days when I ended up working all day so I wouldn't get behind.
-I had 4 days off of work from the last week of August through mid-October (this is including weekends). When I asked if I could take a day off during the week, I was told that I was being given too much latitude.
-I had a neighbor with mental health issues who attacked me and I was forced to take an unpaid "vacation" day in order to file a restraining
-They hired someone to help out with what I was doing (the CFO's BFF's perky, 24-year-old daughter) and take on the admin half of the job. I was then told that I would be training her in on how to do my position.
-My boss sent me an instant message asking him to meet him in a conference room. When I got there, he and the CFO were there to tell me that my job was being eliminated, as my role was now redundant.
-There was no HR department. They hired an HR person one week later.
I'm broke, and looking for employment now, but being let go from that place was a blessing in disguise. My migraines are gone, and I don't have to take anxiety medication anymore. Yay!
I quit having bosses in 1986. Never wanted to have a bad boss and thought of the "workplace" as something too fabricated and too often on someone else's terms.
Around the turn of the millennia I thought this book had something for most people thinking they were stuck as cogs in a quickly obsolescing machine: "Live Rich"
by Stephen Pollan. He had four main points; 1.Make Money
Too many of us have been fed the line that "work isn't necessarily about making money." Tell that to Visa next time they send you a bill.
2. Don't Grow, Change
Be ready to change your work paradigm on a moment's notice, to morph from career to career several times as conditions--and you--change.
3. Take Charge
In the twenty-first century, you must become proactive and start taking measured risks.
4. Become a Mercenary
Think for yourself as a free agent, responsible for your own security and always on the lookout for the next great job.
In 1986 I decided to only work for myself and humanity (including nature/Kosmos).
I got promoted once, by default, and found it extremely stressful. Wasn't prepared for it at all, didn't know how to motivate other people, so ended up just sort of doing half of their jobs in addition to my own usual work. I think a great boss is like gold: a socially adept teacher/motivator. Rare!!!
I formerly worked at a failing charter school that when bankrupt mid-year, after which the whole staff was fired via email. Then we received another email from the principal telling us to get drug tested. At the drug testing center, we discovered who was being reconsidered for rehire.
Eventually the school opened two weeks after the intended start date at a new school site, which was a series of used FEMA trailers in an abandoned school's parking lot. In total everyone lost faith; a feeling that inspired the principal to begin leading daily prayers at the morning assembly.
I reached out to the ACLU as pray in schools was not okay by me, especially given I was the Civics teacher.
Eventually I inundated with teaching six different courses- ranging from Geometry to Economics, as a punishment for my defiance after claiming that nepotism was not a good quality to have in a workplace, as my principal's brother and cousin were in charge of the ever vital school discipline structure. Drowning I decided to spend my summer vacation in Egypt to experience the Arab Spring.
And on the last day of school, after surviving a year of treachery, I was fired , once again via email. Luckily it made me realized that I never wanted to work in a charter school or education for that matter.
I left a secure job of 5 years to work in a "government" state job thinking it would be less stressful and more stable.
I was to manage a team of 3 people and finish the implementation and then manage a large project management application that had cost the state over 23 million dollars prior to the two years of me joining the team. The go live date for the application was 4 weeks after I started.
My 3rd day of starting the job I learned I had no managment or authority of my team (and they knew it) so had no meaningful authority to make decisions or direct workflow.
Within 2 weeks of looking over the project I quickly ascertained that the project wasn't even halfway to meeting the project requirements set out at the beginning of the implementation.
I walked into my bosses office for the second time since I had to work out the fact that I was a "IT manager" in title only the first time around and informed him of my assessment and that "going live" wasn't realistic. I started the whole conversation by stating that I have done enough implementations to be worried that in 1 month I would be called into his office and disciplined for not doing my job correctly since nothing was working properly.
My boss said everyone knew the project was behind and I didn't need worry about being the fall guy.
Two weeks after the go live with the software he called me into his office and said he was unsatisfied with my performance since the go live didn't go well and he had serious concerns about approving my employment probation at the 1 year mark.
I went back to my desk and wrote out a formal letter of resignation with 2 weeks notice. I later learned that I was the 6th person within a year to have started the position and quit and that my boss had been required by HR to attend at least 2 mandatory "tranings" to improve his managment and abrasive behavior.
I should have made him fire me, I applied and of course was denied unemployment because I willingly left contrary to my argument that I was in a hostile work environment. In hindsight I should have taken the issue over his head and filed an HR complaint but I chose to forgoe the battle and stress.
I pushed enter before checking my last post. I also wanted to add that I would LOVE to hear a follow up show on experience of bosses, from the "other side"
Just caught up on previous postings and couldn't help chuckle yet groan about the hospice nurse who couldn't stop talking. I'm a nurse and have worked nights and also home hospice care and I swear I've met some of these women you speak of. They just cannot stop themselves and have no intuition or clue whatsoever what others around them are thinking and feeling. It's painful when you see someone like this--talk about choosing the wrong career!
MPR prides itself on presenting both sides, equal time should be given to "bad employees". I've had bossess I thought were great that my coworkers hated.
ED note: We have had many shows on great leadership. But we usually do it with CEOs, governors, etc. I think we should do one on handling employees as a regular manager.
I like Jodi's comment about hearing the "other side". I never do this type of thing, but I like to listen to MPR often, and hearing this segment on horrible bosses made me a little perplexed. I can understand or agree with many of the things that were said during the show; but I have to say, there seemed to be little defense for the people they were complaining about. I am a manager and thought to myself, there is another side to the story of managers or bosses being so terrible. Why doesn't anyone stick up for the middle management? They have to take the brunt of it from both sides.
In fact, I just checked in with Chris Dall, our senior producer. He says he already has a segment lined up about the boss's POV.