The Boss from Hell

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Mar 24, 2011 in , , | No Comments

Starting your first job can be stressful enough, but what if you’ve got a boss from hell?

These bosses prove their ineptness by raging at employees, being dishonest, absent, and making unwanted advances (just to name a few).

What can an employee do to protect themselves? Here are some simple tips to assist you…

The Explosive Boss

Business consultant Kevin Ford believes that employees should stick to work issues and keep emotions to a minimum in the office. In other words, if your rage-aholic boss shouts at you, don’t shout back. Instead, maintain your professionalism and calmly deal with the situation.

Lori Raderschadt, a business and career coach advises, “When dealing with an angry or volatile boss, never confront her in an emotionally charged state. Remove yourself from the situation or remain silent. Then in a day or two, schedule a discussion with your boss on how her angry comments make you feel and affect your productivity.” She suggests documenting the incidents, in detail, and report abuse through proper channels at work.

Remember, no one, not even your boss, has the right to verbally (or physically) abuse you as an employee. If your complaint falls on deaf ears, it’s time to look for another position. Staying in an environment with an explosive boss will only wear on your self-esteem and physical health. No job is worth that.

The Absent Boss

These bosses are absent either physically or mentally from the office. Unfortunately, in their absence, they often forget about their employees. You might not get the recognition you deserve, be forgotten when it’s time for a review and raise, or just feel as if you are invisible.

Raderschadt suggests that you communicate up a storm, “With an absentee boss, your communication efforts are vital. You need to be assertive in your requests. Your boss may even be unaware of how her lack of direction impacts you; tell her.” She suggests setting up periodic meetings, or updates to report on what you’ve accomplished. You must be proactive with this type of manager.

The Moody Boss

On Monday, he may be cheery and jovial. On Tuesday, he may come in quiet and sullen. By Friday, he’s wound up like a top barking orders at everyone he sees. His mood swings may have you thinking he’s manic-depressive, and you might be right, but until he’s diagnosed, protecting yourself is a must.

Raderschadt suggests, “Resist the temptation to be defensive…instead of saying, ‘Why are you treating me this way?’ say, ‘You seem to be having a rough day’. This puts the negative emotion back on him. His moodiness is really about him, not you.” She suggests scheduling a meeting to discuss how his moods affect your work.

She adds, “Whatever you do, do not internalize these emotions: doing so will impact your physical and mental health. Find an outlet: exercise or just vent to a non-coworker.” I’ll add that working for someone like this creates a great deal of stress, consider transferring to another department if all your efforts to rectify this situation fails.

The Wussy Boss

Usually, wussy bosses create a fairly dysfunctional office setting with their lack of leadership. The best way is to work with a wussy boss, not against them. Ask open-ended questions to get input and write down what your boss says. Report on your accomplishment, based on their suggestions, and say “thanks”, this will help to boost their confidence as a manager. Bring up the success you experienced, in an office meeting, again singing the praises of your boss for their suggestions. This will in turn show you are on their side.

The Oversexed Boss

Sexual advances in the office not only makes for an uncomfortable situation, but it’s also illegal. A person in a power position approaching a subordinate in this way is attempting to use their position to gain favors–it’s sexual harassment. They think you won’t report them for fear of losing your job.

Document incidents from the beginning. Write down the date, time, where it happened and what exactly was said. Don’t allow yourself to be alone with this person, do all you can to prevent that, even if you have to call in help from another coworker. Report what you’ve documented to HR and your bosses supervisor. Always keep what you’ve documented at home, not in your desk at work. If coworkers have experienced the same treatment, and that’s usually the case, go in together. Know your rights, ask for an immediate transfer, or assignment where your boss won’t be above you any longer.

Bosses are Human

We all come to work carrying our own baggage, it’s no different for bosses. They are human and possess quirks, mental illness, addictions, and other problems. The key is knowing how to deal with whatever they bring in the office door to protect yourself and your job.

If you find you are dealing with a situation which is affecting your mental or physical health, or general well-being, do what you can to network into another position in a different department, or right out that company’s door. Never stay in situations where you are in danger, that must be reported to HR and outside authorities. No job is worth jeopardizing your health and well-being.