How to work effectively with a difficult boss


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    Key Books

    Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up

    The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense

    Work Smart: The 250 Smart Moves Your Boss Already Knows

    Ten Warning Signs of a Toxic Boss

    "We've compiled 10 warning signs of a toxic boss. Watch for them in the interview and you might be able to avoid a negative work environment."

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    Comments: [add a comment]

    User: anonymous
    Date: 7/31/2008 3:25:00 PM

    I have a boss who says one thing and does another. He signs us up for jobs and then goes and tells others to do the job his come back is he strongly believes in "cross training"...I really dislike that about my boss.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 8/12/2008 5:44:00 AM

    The boss must be a leaderman, and i think the one ur talking about not a boss

    User: anonymous
    Date: 8/17/2008 7:08:00 PM

    I think for the most part, people who come to this site are ingrates who have no appreciation for the fact that 1. they are getting paid to be assholes and 2. they have no potential to actually run a business and no concept of what all it takes all they want to do is sit around and complain. If you are unhappy in your work , then do something about it besides wasting your time on sites that promote your misery. In other words, get a life

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/6/2008 12:17:00 AM

    we should be a team and work together its difficult when you work w/a wishy washy boss females can be the worst i'm a female and stop times the way a female boss treat other females is downright rude and sarcastic i'd rather work for a male

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/9/2008 9:42:00 AM

    I think this is a great place to vent. Sometimes it is not as easy as just doing something else. Also, why should great employees be displaced because of one bad apple, even if that apple is your manager?

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/15/2008 4:49:00 PM

    I have a toxic boss. I'm looking. I was told early on but held back judgment. But there is no more denying it. He is incompetent and just lucky. He thinks his employees are his slaves. He can be overly friendly but it's not sincere.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 9/19/2008 2:10:00 AM

    I just hired into a company. I'm a tradesman coming to a company that never had any skill level they would just call a rep. or a tech. in. now that I'm here the boss feels reall threatend he dose not have a clue on what I do because he has no skill as a maintenance mechanic or a electrcian. Every chance he gets he likes to project his power and it's starting to get reall old . The stuff he dose is way past petty he can take no reall issue with me I work hard and do my job very well. He likes to say rasist comments to people in front me and have told him I do not care for that kind of leadership. He leaves for four to five hours a day and no one knows were he's at or can contact him ! I would bring it up to the big boss ,But he is part or the leader of this good old boys club so I stand there and bite my lip. I could go on for hours and I've only worked here for about a month. So sad my bad should of stayed up north in Detroit

    User: anonymous
    Date: 10/9/2008 10:30:00 AM

    Whoever said only losers come here to vent instead of doing things is a real jerk. Of COURSE people in bad jobs want to change them or get out of it. But economics or job availability makes it hard sometimes to make immediate moves. And if WE are all losers, why did that buttmunch even come HERE to comment? LOL

    User: anonymous
    Date: 10/9/2008 1:46:00 PM

    My boss is either Dr. Jekyll one day and Mr.Hyde the next. Picks on people, complains about them to others. Claims she never raises her voice (while she's raising her voice) and claims she never lies (over and over, again while doing so) She is extremely reactive and once she does react, its over - won't listen to reason or anything. Favoritism is unreal. You're told to do something then next time you get in trouble for it. Who needs to come to work every day with a pit in your stomache?

    User: timeout
    Date: 10/22/2008 12:34:00 PM

    my boss is just a plain ole' fool

    User: anonymous
    Date: 10/23/2008 11:09:00 AM

    I'm a female stuck in a small town engineering company and not only is my boss an idiot that takes everybody elses ideas and screws with your head when you get mad at him by having you suspended for a week without pay .. he treats you like you don't know ANYTHING because you are a WOMAN. And when you come up with ideas that are necessary and make sense and you could make them work from a technical standpoint .. he says .. "that'll never work" .. then a year later brings the idea up to management as his own taking all the credit. oh yeah ..

    User: anonymous
    Date: 10/27/2008 11:02:00 PM

    i just quit my job 'cus my boss sucks. i sent an email out to all managers telling them why and how bad the boss is...the IT dept then recalled my email. trying to make it like i never sent it. Non profits are a big political joke!

    User: anonymous
    Date: 10/30/2008 9:34:00 PM

    My boss is an idiot and is toxic. He seems very nice and courteous but is an incompetent manager in a big automotive supplier. He is too insecure and likes to have pleasure by threatening his employees.So many people left the company this year alone.I am happy to leave the company.I found out that most people were afraid to lose their livelyhood because of their jobs and they are taking slow death every day just to keep their jobs and their investments such as a house and car. I'm happy that I wont see him in the future.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 11/14/2008 1:29:00 PM

    I work for a major banking company and what my department is going through is absolute madeness. We just recently got a new supervisor who used to be a manager in another department, her position was elimated so she took a pay cut and came to our department. She has changed the process that we were doing prior to her arrival, and when approached by manager she said that the entire team is lying she never told us to change the way we were doing things, she is having a hard time doing work so she changed what we do to cut down on her work and now she is mad that she has been put on blast. It wont be long before she starts taking it out on the entire team. Wish us luck.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 11/24/2008 6:24:00 AM

    Not my boss, but the guy who is his boss is the WORST! He brates people all the time, humiliates people, and sits there complaining about how nothing gets done. With him, the glass is never half-full, it is always half empty, and even if you fill it up to the top, he would go looking for any drop that spilled over so he can point it out to every one. He has the highest turn-over rate among all departments and when it is pointed out, he just shrugs his shoulders, siles, and cmes up with lame excuses. Needless to say, I am looking for a new job, but I will even take unemployment even in today's economy than deal with this jerk.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 11/26/2008 1:31:00 AM

    Wow, mine falls into so many of these categories. Mainly the eyeing from the top to waist as well as being overly friendly. Man when I first met her I thought she was so nice. Now I can't stand being put on the same shift.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 12/2/2008 10:07:00 AM

    Beware the boss who says "With this economy, it's a Managers market." What a nice way to justify abusive behavior.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 12/5/2008 12:21:00 PM

    My boss is an idot. He puts me down at least once a week. With the economy I have to stay working here. Today he told me he is taking a gamble on me, and he is hiring someone to supervise me next year. Ive worked so hard implemeting a new system causing me to have tons of backlog. Thus he thinks Im not working hard enough. I feel depressed and frustrated. I feel better knowing this support group exists.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 12/15/2008 5:28:00 PM

    a boss that turns a blind eye to a hostile work environment is fail all the way. it's so much easier to neglect the situation and remove the victim. as if that solves the inept management that created the problem in the first place. all management should be forced to take a course and definitely a personal interaction course. girl, you know who you are!

    User: anonymous
    Date: 12/31/2008 8:12:00 AM

    My boss is horrible. She's possessive, aggressive, and abusive when dealing with people. She absolutely "must" get her way, is sneaky, and tries to manipulate others. She has a temper and a "don't mess with me" attitude, is extremely selfish, and always takes 100% credit for everything I do. She demonstrates all the warning signs for a toxic boss. I just joined the department a few months ago as a contractor with a promise that the position would go full-time. Originally, my boss treated me with respect as an "employee, not a temp" and was proud to have me on the team. She listened to my ideas, appreciated my work and recommendations, and welcomed my initiative. Over time, the relationship became a fatal attraction. She began ignoring my emails and blowing off our weekly one-on-one meetings. She started monitoring my calendar, restricting my access to meetings, and even yelled at me when I tried to reach out to others for help or mentoring when she was traveling. She took away responsibilities and gave me more administrative "grunt" work. I became more and more of a personal assistant to her. I know that the problem is not me, as I learned that she has had several contractors work in this role before me and she didn't get along with any of them. Another person on my team made similar complaints about my boss and told me about conflicts between my boss and her last employee. Luckily I am interviewing for a couple of good full-time positions at other companies, so hopefully I'll get out of there in another month or so. It is extremely frustrating to work for a difficult boss and I feel sorry for anyone who is in this situation. It's abuse and to have to deal with it every day to pay the bills is torture. They treat you like they own you and try to have control over everything you do. I don't know what's worse- getting laid off and looking for work in a recession or being stuck working as an office slave for an abusive boss where you can't do anything about it.

    User: goodwill
    Date: 1/7/2009 11:34:00 PM

    as employees we got together and wrote a letter and had a meeting with gm. concerning our boss.boss is never at work. boss says has to go meet someone. you can leave messages on cell only. Makes big bucks and bonus. nothing changed after letter and meeting. Boss has very serious drug problem. What the hell is going on. Boss is friends with owner of company.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/26/2009 10:43:00 PM

    i have a bad boss... and its a shame i had a good one before sometime i wish i took his advice and listened

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/27/2009 6:01:00 PM

    what a comfort to know that I am not alone. Hello fellow workers! I am new to being an employee, as I spent the first 17 years of my career self-employed. I no longer wish to deal with the stresses of self-employment, yet I've just traded in one set of problems for another! The grass is always greener..don't be fooled into thinking "they" have it easier or better than you. The thing I miss the most, is I cannot make any real decisions at work, am under a microscope of scrutiny that never relents..and my boss will suck everything she can out of us so she can build her empire. She makes mistakes and blames me for them, which infuriates me beyond belief. I was literally only 2 minutes late the other day and was reprimanded sternly and told I'd be written up if it happened again- 2 minutes late- it was like I'd sold our secrets to the Russians, how big a deal that was. Nevermind the many times I've stayed late, arrived early, worked thru breaks, that is all expected, but when I am human and am late 2 minutes- I get humiliated. I'll tell you- I don't want to have a boss or be a boss somedays.

    User: jonesyboy
    Date: 3/13/2009 11:02:00 AM

    My boss pays me as and when he feels like it. This means that i am often late paying my rent. If the week has not gone the way in which he wants it to have gone he simply turns his phone off and refuses take any calls. I dont know what to do. The pressure is negativly affecting my work performance but i cant find a different job as the job market in the uk is so weak right now. help!

    User: SteelMagnolia
    Date: 5/7/2009 9:08:00 AM

    I've had my share of toxic bosses. The only thing you can do is leave, they won't change. People act that way because they can. Either there are no consequences to their behavior or they don't care about consequences. I know in today's economy leaving isn't possible for most people. I would start documenting incidents. List time, date, place, witnesses. Do this on your home computer, not on your work computer.

    User: MSNAE2
    Date: 5/19/2009 1:44:00 PM

    I am a supervisor that has to report to a manager that is truly wishy washy. I have been told to tell the subordinates to do something only to have one or more of them to complain because they don't like the rule and have him to flip flop and throw me under the bus. He yells at and talks really crazy to me but only when there are no witnesses around. I have tried to talk to him but he does not listen. He has his favorite worker and needless to say she has an attendance and attitude problem. If I attempt to correct the issue and talk to her about it she just acts really crazy and I then am called into the office to be repremanded for doing my job. I don't know if they have something going on or not, but something is not quite right with this situation. How do you do your job when you have a boss that refuses to let you do what you are supposed to do.I am at my wits end. This has caused me to start documenting every conversation and bad behavior that he is a part of and if he calls me into his office to discuss something I have started to record the conversations since he denies saying some of the things that he says to me. I have also started to record the conversations that I have with his favorite person when I have to repremand her so that she can not say that I was being rude and demeaning to her and cause any problems. Its really sad when you have to go to such lengths to protect yourself from a boss especially when you like your job and the company that you work for!!!!!

    User: fed up
    Date: 5/27/2009 10:38:00 PM

    I have been working for the same company for about 3 yrs. For the first year and a half, no complaints. Then I made a lateral move and met the boss from HELL!!!! She DEFINITELY has some untreated mental health issue. I work for a major airline. When things got grim with the economy she totally chewed us out in front of passengers screaming about if sales don't improve we will all lose our jobs etc etc. That was so demeaning not to mention embarassing! She is a psycho. She blows her top and gets in such a rage for nothing that I think sometimes she'll bust out and slap one of us lol. She is a psycho. Having any discussion with her is always a dreadful affair. Her way is always the only and right way even though she knows nothing and got her job not because of what she knows, but who she knows. She gossips among other workers about info that should be confidential. She has double standards. She is a waste of a boss, and is just a plain old psycho and I am SO DAMN fed up! In the process of looking for another job.

    User: workerclass
    Date: 6/10/2009 5:02:00 PM

    Toxi Sign1: Counts number of times you went to the washroom Sign2: Requests co-workers to overhear conversations Sign3: Requests Tech support to hack mailboxes Sign4: Snoops around your desk when not around Sign5: Always watches over your shoulder Sign6: Always doubts subordinates suggestions Sign7: Never goes for vacation Sign8: Never sits with back to the door of his room Sign9: Never looks at his monitor, that is low concentration Sign10: Picks on grammar

    User: Jondoe666
    Date: 8/31/2009 11:19:00 PM

    I am a retired veteran and found a job driving taxi. My boss says one thing to one person and tells me differently. She has started to try and make other employees do her job so she can take off and do one drive for the day. She has now cut my hours way back because i told her i do not want to do her job. i dont know what to do but look for another job.

    User: catlady971
    Date: 9/11/2009 11:30:00 PM

    I have been so emotionally, mentally and physically hurt so bad--just today my boss accused me of not being at work from 9am-12 noon. I am glad I have witnesses. This comes from a very very long struggle since december 18, 2007. I will not give in...

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