How to work effectively with a difficult boss


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    Key Books

    A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell

    Your Rights at the Work Place: The Things Your Boss Won't Tell You

    Work Abuse: How to Recognize and Survive It

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    Dictator Boss and How to Deal With It

    Posted by: davisimom
    Date: 5/19/2006 4:18:27 PM

    I am a publicist for a comedian. His office is in his home, and there are only three of us in there, including him. While he is quick to give monthly tokens of appreciation such as gift cards, or a lunch out, etc., he is an absolute dictator in the office. His biggest beef is doing any work at all, and I mean any, that was not expressly assigned by him. For example, a few months ago, my toolbar on my computer was jumbled. When I went to fix it for MY convenience, he told me not to. A few minutes later, when we were between tasks, I made the 30 second adjustment. He went balistic, telling me he told me not to do that and I had gone against his authority. Since that time, I have "slipped" up on several occassions. The latest was yesterday when I printed something off of my computer to help my collegue. Today, I am told that type of conduct is a "deal breaker" and he needs to know he has my absolute obedience. If I ever do any activity again not assigned by him, I am fired. In addition, he is rarely wrong, knows more than everyone else, has worked harder than everyone else and is never open to discussion on ANYTHING once he decides on something. Yesterday the computer I am on sent out 80 of the same e-mail, but he absolutely wouldn't hear that it might be a virus. Nevermind that the computer hasn't been scanned for viruses in 9 months. Unfortunately, I can't just walk out b/c I need the income. I am looking elswhere though. Until then, I could use some balanced, sensible feedback!

    Reply from: Slider397
    Date: 6/8/2006 11:55:00 AM
    Reply: Control freak. I had a similar situation and used this as a coping approach. I made a list of all task assignments in a 30 day period. This is segmented by his assignments and those that are requested from the outside. Ask him then to prioritize to his standards. If he still says no to doing any requests outside, ask how he would like you to say no. When you follow through, I bet that he will get a call from someone someday to object to his direction to you. However, make sure you highlight any and all outside tasks that come from his superiors or those who he wants to influence. At least this is a fair approach to getting clarity. Make it his plan.

    Reply from: PWAdmin
    Date: 6/21/2006 6:02:00 PM
    Reply: Oh, dear. You don't need the income THAT much, do you? I once worked for a Danish couple who started a company out of their home here in town (hate to say it, but they're now quite successful). I was the "ugly American" under the stairs, who did all their account collections, repaired returned product, made sales appointments, shipped orders, etc. They'd come in first thing in the morning, give me the tasks to be done that day, then spend the rest of the day speaking to each other in Danish. I lasted a week before I walked. There is NO reason to be treated like an underling. Find a job where you recieve the same respect that you show to your boss! Oh, and when you do walk, pitch that computer with the funky toolbar out the front plate glass window! (Kidding, but wouldn't it feel good?!?)

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