How to work effectively with a difficult boss


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    Key Books

    The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job

    Work Smart: The 250 Smart Moves Your Boss Already Knows

    Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up

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    Mentally ill supervisor

    Posted by: azmac54
    Date: 4/6/2006 2:35:51 PM

    I would like to share my experience with you concerning my boss. When I started a new job, my coworkers warned me about the supervisor. They said he was "a little off" and that I would see what they meant soon. I said he didn't seem so bad. Well, I did see soon enough. He was very mean and erratic and demeaning and rude. He was always angry and treated everyone like prisoners in stalg 13 and he was the sadistic warden.

    My coworker filed a grievance about him to hr and a meeting was held to "clear the air". We told them he had a problem and that something needed to be done. The end result was that I was fired.

    I don't know how else this could have been handled. Any comments?


    Reply from: dw1975
    Date: 4/9/2006 5:50:00 AM
    Reply: I can relate to having an insane boss. It is a daily struggle to maintain one's own sanity when working in insane environment. My co workers and I have fought for 5 years to have something done about our boss. A couple people have been removed, and it was probably a blessing in disquise for them. My co workers all find it necessary to take stress med's of some sort to survive (this is a workers comp condition). I have become the spokesperson for my co workers, all are in fear of losing their jobs. We have finally made headway with our board that walked around with their head's in the sand for years. As the lies started to show themselves they began investigating. If your HR person is strong I suggest starting there. File the greivances even though you don't think it will help, if another co worker complains as well, encourage them to file also. Eventually someone will take notice. There is no overnight solution. Our boss is retiring in 56 days. She would have been fired if we did not have a levy on the ballot. Staying quiet and suffering just makes you a martyr. Di

    Reply from: Polly
    Date: 5/7/2006 6:24:00 PM
    Reply: After dealing with two bosses who were mentally ill I realized that many companies mistakenly want them that way. Some narcissists are extemely meticulous and they do get the job done. Companies with inaffective management can't see beyond that point. They don't see how productivity could be improved if you remove the micromanager, they don't see how important the positions of these other employees are (sometimes thanks to the narcissist) so don't understand how they are damaging their companies. They simply over-value the position that mentally ill person is in. Micro-managers insulate themselves sometimes by making sure they are the only ones who really knows what's going on so the company is basically held hostage by the institutional knowledge that person carries. It boils down to bad management of a company. I've come to realize that the only solution is for me to leave. It is unrealistic to expect a bad management team like that to do the right thing and listen to an employee. Many companies (even unionized ones) will do absolutely nothing to benefit their employees unless its required of them by law. Quite often they sugar coat their law-abiding efforts to make it seem to the employees that they are getting special benefits offered by the employer out of the goodness of their heart rather than the truth, that if they didn't they would be breaking the law. Basically, I no longer have blind faith in senior management especially in instutitions which think bullying is management style and the impacts are just merely people being "too sensitive". I'm now looking for a company which values its employees. I'm not going to any longer be loyal to a company because they sign my pay cheque. If they want me to be loyal and dedicated then they have to protect me just as much as I protect them. I will leave, be self-employed...I dunno I will figure it out but I'm not tolerating it anymore. I'm too smart for that.

    Reply from: pnevins
    Date: 8/25/2007 12:21:00 AM
    Reply: I was quite excited to work for a company that described its self as, "On the the best 25 company’s to work in America." I soon realized that my supervisor was extremely paranoid and violent. He actually tried to assault me once at work for going to a meeting that he told me to go to. He accused me of going behind his back and trying to steal his job. I tried to reason with him, and I thought I could work though his emotional disturbance, but I found this was not possible. After 9 months, I finally found out that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, OCD and bi-polar. I also realized that the company I work for has known about his violent outbursts for over 3 years. I find this a hostile work environment harbored by my company, just because he was a good programmer, they kept him on. I do understand that people with mental illness need time to recover and heal, but to force other co-workers to experience such mental distress without addressing the issue is a hostile work environment. Though I have reported to higher level management of his repeated insane actions, still they would do nothing. He was finally removed as my supervisor after we had so many reports from contracting companies as well as freelance prospects, that they wouldn't even work there because our supervisor has such a cruel legacy of abusing co-workers that we were effectively black listed. Even all other departments in our company finial said they will never work with him again. We have the best top name clients, and the fact that we can't even hire anybody, is just a message that all company’s need to pay attention to. If you hire mentally ill people to be in charge, expect very bad results, possibly to the point where you can’t even find anybody to work for you. My supervisor became so increasingly paranoid that he was only hiring people with no experience as programmers, because he thought that anybody with actual experience would take his job.

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