I recently saw a great show on sociopaths in the workplace and how they survive and prosper in corporate culture leaving a trail of damaged and injured staff in their wake.
Two of my bosses immediately came to mind. They fit the profile perfectly. Like, to a "t". And caused a variety of good men and women to go on disability from a nervous breakdown.
My one boss, the evil gnome, caused the other three members of our five member branch to quit on the same day. One began having migraines and nightmares, the second got shingles, the third got a nervous infection. That left me and the sociopath. I eventually transferred to another dept. where I met and worked for sociopath #2. That's where both my working career and my health ended.
Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly
My boss isn't overtly bad, but she's not in the running for Business owner of the Year either. A brief overview: independently wealthy, has the store as a sort of hobby, and isn't from this country. All this comes into play, trust me, in that she has no clue on how to deal with retail or employees. She routinely changes the schedule without asking if you can be flexible about it, makes up rules as she goes along, and worst of all, patently ignores labor laws. She's docking all three of her employees for accidents that occured while doing our jobs which the law states she cannot do, unless she can prove it was gross negligence. I'm applying to Cingular. It can't be much worse.
" I look like Nigella Lawson with a $#*!ing hangover."
Not sure if this should go in movies, books, or here.
Bad American bosses exposed in rash of tell-alls
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The movie and best-selling book "The Devil Wears Prada" skewer a diabolical magazine editor, the popular blog "Anonymous Lawyer" parodies a top legal firm and a top editor dishes dirt in a behind-the-scenes book at the beauty industry.
All the dirty laundry being aired about less-than-happy workplaces might mean bullying bosses would think twice before berating their underlings. But experts and insiders say none of it will make a lick of difference.
"You have people who are ready to become self-aware and who will use these books ... and actually start to think about things they would do differently," said Judith Glaser, a workplace consultant and author. "They have to be willing."
But alas, she said, most bullying bosses and office divas won't change. Instead, they are more likely to pass off tell-alls as parody, satire and unrealistic exaggeration.
Those bosses shouldn't dismiss even the wildest tales, said Jeremy Blachman, author of "Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel," which began as a blog about a fictional hiring partner at a law firm. The book is due to be published by Henry Holt and Co. in July.
Blachman said he would write over-the-top fictional stories -- one was about a company policy allowing associates to celebrate holidays "on a limited basis" -- only to learn that, no matter how tall his tale, it seemed someone had actually seen it happen.
But he said his stories would have little impact on life in a cutthroat, high-pressure firm.
"I would expect that the people who read the book and who are amused by the book aren't the people who are actually making lives miserable for attorneys," he said.
Even if they did read these books or see these movies, the worst bosses won't see themselves, said Suzanne Hansen, author of "You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again," about her job as nanny to the family of top Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz.
"When their hearts are cold like that, when it's that extreme, I don't think they change," she said. "I think it almost makes them like, 'Poor me, I have to really protect myself now because everyone's out to get me.'"
Of course, tell-alls ratting out bad bosses and exposing workplace excess are nothing new. Michael Lewis revealed the antics at powerful Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers in his 1989 book "Liar's Poker," and the 1980 movie "9 to 5" featured women turning tables on their obnoxious boss.
This week sees release of "The Devil Wears Prada," a movie starring Meryl Streep based on the book about the fashion world written by former Vogue magazine staffer Lauren Weisberger.
The bestseller entertained fashion insiders who widely believed the impatient, demanding editor in the fictional work was a thinly disguised version of Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
"I'm sure in the 15th century, if the serfs had been able to write about the kings, it would have made for good reading," said Jean Godfrey-June, beauty editor of Lucky magazine who has written an insider's look at the beauty industry.
Her nonfiction book, entitled "Free Gift With Purchase," features battling bosses -- one coined the Playboy and the other Above the Fray -- who loathed each other and terrorized hapless employees trying to please them both.
But she doesn't name names.
"I feel like your average person who is reading the book doesn't know who these people are and they don't care," she said, adding, "I didn't want it to be all about making somebody else look bad."
In fact, she said, readers may grow to like the world of beauty, as she does. "If you read the book, you're not going to buy less make-up afterward. You'll just feel better about it."
Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly
I have a boss who owns 2 locations. When I was hired in, I was promised I would be able to go to school to get another license. A girl in the other office was going to get another license also at the same time. Last spring, I noticed talk stopped when I walked into the office, so I asked the gal I worked with what was going on. She told me,"I was told not to tell you, but A is taking the class now. He (the Beast) didn't want to send you both at the same time." Well, I was fit to be tied! I called him and asked him to show up at our office. As soon as he walked in, I asked him where A was, if she was taking the class. He said he didn't think I wanted to get that other license, which was a lie! I told him he was a liar. He ended up sending me, paying me for the class, for my gas, and for me to take the license test.
The next thing he does is lie about the times he in our offices. He is supposed to be here Mon Tues and Thurs, and in the other office Wed and Fri. We have our clients who expect to see him at those times. He shows up at 12:30 (if at all) and has to leave by 2:30 to be able to pick his kids up from school. (His wife is at home, has a car, but he has to pick the kids up). When he tells us to make appointments for him, we make them, but nine times out of 10 we have to call to cancel them because something has come up and he can't make the appointments. His excuses range from "I'm a dad of 4 children" to "my wife just bought 40 gallons of paint" to "the painter is at the house, my wife didn't sleep last night and she wants me home so she can go to sleep". When his daughter graduated from high school, he had to be home the whole week to help clean the house, which I do understand, but when did work become so unimportant?
Now, he is verbally upset because our clients are going elsewhere and we're losing business. He is blaming us. We only work for him and do the work. The clients want to see the boss and have him make them feel that they are important.
We have been trying to tell him for months that he needs to choose a day to come here,... just one day, but he has to stick to it. Keep his word. Show integrity. Show up one day at the other office. We don't care about the other 5 days.
Last week, my office mate was on vacation. I am only allowed to work 40 hours a week with no overtime. We are open 43 hours a week. And we have night home visits. He was supposed to show up so I could at least go to lunch, (I did bring my lunch), but he didn't show up until Friday at 4pm when he brought paychecks. My check was wrong, so he had to take it and bring me another one. I ended up with 50 hours and will only be paid for 40, but I'll get to take off 10 hours next week, if I'm lucky.
I do try to look the the positive side of life, but it seems that I paddle up the river without a paddle half the time. And yes, I am laughing while I'm writing this because it is so not the norm in the workplace. I'm hoping my next job isn't so bad.
I wanted to share my latest story for your amusement. I've decided to stick it out for another year.
The other office is comprised of a mother-daughter office staff. The daughter just recently gave notice as she got a wonderful job with the state with glorious benefits and holidays and sick days. (We are all jealous of and happy for her!). Around the same time, the mother found that her husband's job was ending, so she decided to move to where he would be working in another state. She let our boss know that in August. She found a house in Ga. and recently closed on it. She let him know that she would need a few days off to move the bulk of their furniture down, but that she would be staying through Dec 1. He did not take that too well. He yelled that she ruined his holidays. HIS holidays. Nothing about the business. Nothing about how hard it would be to replace her. She is the one who actually built up his business. She and her daughter were the ones who babysat his children, ran them to lessons, picked them up from school. So, he told her she could just leave Nov 9. She was just tired of everything so she agreed. Now, he's come back and asked her to stay another week.
My officemate and I have just been looking at each other and wondering what he'd do if we found other employment. The sad thing is we enjoy what we do. We like our customers. We love having them come in to the office to chat. We do have a problem when we are doing all the work and are busy and he likes to come in and demand we drop what we're doing to do something for his personal life. And the job market is not the best in our area. So,...
We have decided to go with the flow for at least another year. We will continue to do a good job. We will strive to work with his weird demands. And, most importantly, we will continue to try to laugh through the sour grape times. Has anyone else dealt with people like this? What are you supposed to do?
This won't win any contests but I am loving the chance to vent.
Get rid (fire) an employee for sexual harrassment who was accused by a total moron, and coached into the complaint by an offender worse then him.
Replaced the fired employee by somebody unqualified, untrained for the job.
Hired idiot, lazy untrained workers. When his best employees complain, he tells them we need to be nicer. I will remember to be nice the next time I wake somebody up to help me transport a critically ill patient to ICU- that's if I can find them.
Moral is rock bottom. Good employees are leaving. Patient satisfaction is in the toilet. Instead of taking responsibility for his bad hiring, retention decisions, he tells his best employees that we need to work on projecting a positive image with our body language. Yeah right! I will try to smile the next time I am interupted during a code when someone asks me to get something for their dear old dad in the next bed. Did I mention I can't find the idiot aide who has gone missing for an hour?
Tells us we need to clock out on time. Ummmm-OK. So I guess I will have to shift what I haven't done to night shift, who will shift what she/he couldn't finish on to me, and there will little time left over to get things right for our patients. Little things, like test results, new IV's, ect. So what if we are late with a blood transfusion- right?
Keeps implying our hospital will close if our budget, our patient satisfaction does not improve. Nope- I don't think so. You will be out the door buddy. How do I know this? Heh, heh, heh. You are the 4th boss I have worked under in 4 years. If the past is the best predictor of the future- can you see the writing on the wall?
I feel a little better now.
Okay heres my worst boss experience.....
I was doing a spread for Vogue, and one of my agents came up to me and told me I was the ugliest person he's ever seen. I was exremely suprised because he'd praised my portfolio just moments before.
I realised the only reason why he was saying that was to impress and make the make-up lady laugh, which totally backfired as the Make-up lady was praising my hair and my lips and told him to get out before she calls the Agency, of whom we both worked for.
I cracked up so bad, and later he had to apologise to me.
BTW, my spread rocked!!
I lasted 2 days on the job and its taken me the rest of the week to be able to even talk about it or write to anyone about it. It was probably the most horrible 2 days of my entire life and I can't believe its Friday as 2 weeks seem to have dragged on this week. The boss was the most vile, unethical, moron in the world. As Kelly Services placed me, I actually worked for them for 3 months and then he could decide to hire me permanently which is what he wanted to do. So technically Kelly was my boss and I'm not happy with them right now either.
He expected me (among other things) to do phone and showroom sales while he did outside sales, however he would get the commission on ALL sales. When I questioned him about it he said: "Well I'm the salesman and you are the hourly employee, you can't get commission". SERIOUSLY! So I thought, "I'll be damned if I'll sell and you make the money." I actually can't believe he thought I would go along with that. And Kelly backed him up on it and I told them: Hey, if I'm selling, I want the commission. If I had wanted in sales, I would have applied for sales. The Kelly rep says: Well the job description says take care of customer service.
Well to me customer service is helping the customer, showing them around, giving them literature and making an APPOINTMENT to talk to the salesman. It isn't me selling the product and someone else reaping the benefits for something they did NOT do.
And he expected me to clean the office: bathrooms (mens room disgusting, GROSSS!), sweep outside, vaccum, etc. I called Kelly and they said that during the 3 months I was "their" employee that I could absolutely NOT do that and they called him to tell him and he flat out LIED that he never told me such a thing. I copied the sheet of jobs he gave me with what I was expected to do and showed it to her later and clean bathrooms was on there. He lied to me, he lied to the other salesman, he lied to his boss and he lied to Kelly (I could overhear all his phone conversations and they were things that I definetly knew he was lying about). So if he's willling to lie that easily and that much in 2 days, how long before I'm taking the blame on stuff?
One of the office women from the head office called on tuesday and we talked briefly as she asked if I was new and when I said yes she says: I hope you last longer than the others. Well itsn't that telling?
I later found out I was the 8th person to have this job in a year!!!!!!!!!
He was going behind the other salesmans back and taking his sales. He blatantly TOLD me this and expected me to spy on the other salesman and give him any leads that I could get from the other salesmans files. I couldn't even reply to that one.
A customer came in to buy about $10,000 worth of patio doors and he treated him like CRAP. The customer on the way out said: "I'm a retired engineer and I can afford what I want". He said this as my boss treated him like he was wasting his time because he figured he wouldn't pay what the doors cost. He probably lost that sale that I know I could have made just by being nice because he was the biggest asshat to this man I've ever seen.
So if he's not nice to customers who are his bread and butter, he's not going to be nice to me either and he really wasn't most of the time. He was beyond horrible to the other salesman in there. Talked to him like he was dirt.
It was a bad situation and I thankfully saw that before I invested too much time and got out. I do NOT need that in my life.
I'll go work at McDonald's before I work for another idiot like that.
And I went in to Kelly and told my rep I was angry at them as they knew that others had been placed in this job before me and didn't last. She wouldn't even look at me. She knew, she knew exactly that she was sending fresh meat to the lions. I am really not happy with them as I really feel I was set up and not told the entire truth about this job.
But I was so down and out on Wed. and so upset over the entire situation. I cannot convey in words how awful those 2 days were, I went to speak to our minister he said: "you should be proud, you did not compromise your values and ethics and lower yourself to this man's level. You stood up for what YOU believed in. That did make me feel better, but pride doesn't pay the bills.
However, he said he had some contacts and he would talk to them on my behalf. So hopefully something will come from that.
But honestly, the whole experience with this vile little man has left me very raw emotionally and I can't believe that only working with him 2 days could affect me like that. I mean, it has really gotten to me.
I just can't believe that there are people like that in the world adn they are the ones that always seem to get ahead.
I should be proud that I am a good person and not like him, but being good doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere.
I'm just glad to be away from him.
Que me amat, amet et canem meum
(Who loves me will love my dog also)