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Bad Boss - how to deal?

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  • Jan 19th, 2018 7:03 pm
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Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
2816 posts
637 upvotes
Edmonton
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 1:25 pm
If something becomes more urgent - you meet with your team to explain changes and/or deadlines. Treating your employees like garbage is deplorable and employers need to deal more strictly with managers doing this.

I hate bad managers; having had one for over a year, I have no empathy towards bad management. These are people's lives and everyone takes work home at the personal level. If you cannot manage yourself, you shouldn't be managing others.
I don't know about you but people SHOULDN'T take their work home. It's supposed to be a nice life work balance. You finish work and you forget about it. I know many people who don't take anything work related thoughts, and I believe noone should.
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Jul 1, 2017
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tmkf_patryk wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 8:25 pm
I don't know about you but people SHOULDN'T take their work home. It's supposed to be a nice life work balance. You finish work and you forget about it. I know many people who don't take anything work related thoughts, and I believe noone should.
Agreed - you shouldn't. But people do and can you blame them? People spent more time at work or in a work environment than anything else. Of course issues will have significance behind closed doors.

You have to realize people cannot turn off a switch and ignore whatever happened during the day. Stress is a serious issue - bad bosses contribute to this significantly.

I cant tell you how many times I took issues home with me; trying to figure out what to do, or even venting to my significant other.

I'm not alone either - Google it.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2009
4242 posts
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C_C ,

Sounds like you might have a boss that became such because of years rather than ability to manage/supervise.

Being a technician/worker is different than a managerial position. They require different skillsets and to be honest, some of the best managers may have no real clue what the technicians do.

Not everyone can be a manager. Putting in years don't make you qualified at doing something.

This issue is a big problem in the public sector that we all pay for. You know, the place where working 15 years as a PSW makes you qualified to be a CEO of a crown corporation.
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Oct 28, 2004
20096 posts
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Toronto
I think everyone who has worked for someone will have a bad boss (if they haven't already) - it is inevitable.

As renoldman posted - some people become people managers because of the years. Perhaps the person was an expert in something (i.e. technical, coding, communications etc) and been an expert for many years. Well, some big boss eventually decides to promote this expert into a people manager role because what else is there for this expert (in terms of growth, motivation, pay increase etc)? This person is an expert and pretty much knows everything, only other thing is to become a people manager.

I've been in this situation a couple of times - the most recent was where someone I know (colleague in a different department) got the promoted role that I was vying for. Big boss said they needed someone with more "experience" but bring in this guy who has the same yrs of experience as me (clearly they are of the same network and looking back, I shouldn't trust what the big boss says).

What I learned from my experience - play nice and gtfo (either different department or different organization). Butting heads and going against them may set your career back if you stay in the same org (which it did in my case).

My story: New boss who got promoted was someone I knew and we both went for the same job (new guy came from a different department)

First year - since new boss is new at the promoted level - was all nice and chummy with me to learn what I do and I know. Me - being the team player - walk him through what I do and tolerate his mirco-managing given he is new

2nd year - boss starts taking away the "juicy" work that gives me exposure to leadership (presenting, reports etc) - he knows I'm also keen on moving up. Starts dumping crap work onto me without warning or context and giving near impossible deadlines. I try my best but give him what I thought was constructive feedback throughout the year on the work (i.e. provide more context, possible to delegate to another member with me managing given how stretched I am etc).

At the end of the year, he gives me a scathing performance review saying my work was not satisfactory. I pretty much lost it! I let him know that this people management is a 2way street - I've been giving him constructive feedback throughout the year and why didn't he? If my work was not satisfactory, he should let me know asap and not wait until end of the year to deliver. It wasn't a pretty meeting and the guy is so petty - he pretty much held a grudge after that. He went to include that into my year end performance report (and I included my feedback on him).

I got really lucky as I was able to find a new role in the same org within a month (pretty much same role but different group) but made sure to mend bridges before I left. I basically parted saying we both learned something from the experience and it was good for my growth (some BS like that).

Funny enough, after I left - he canned 1 person and the other original members all left. Then a re-org happened and his team got absorbed into a much larger team. And a few years later he got promoted again! I have no idea - dood is a big arsehole and pretty much tries to take all the credit when things go well and throw people under the bus when things don't.

So happy I left and my current boss is amazing. And my performance reviews since then have been exceptional so that is great. But again, it took me a few years to get back to the level where I'm promotable. I was up for a promotion before the arsehole became my boss (and I got a crap review) - I'd estimate that my career was set back 3 years because of this.

I learned a lot from that experience - I probably should have left the org at that point but I've invested years in the org and developed many valuable networks. Plus, I was happy with the org aside from the arsehole as my new boss.
Member
Feb 19, 2017
332 posts
141 upvotes
I'm going to just go ahead with the assumption it's a you problem. You have a well documented history of employment problems.

Until you are in a position to dictate the type of team, boss, colleagues you have, suck it up and just chug along. Or work for yourself.
[OP]
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May 4, 2010
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Walch1102 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2018 5:00 pm
I'm going to just go ahead with the assumption it's a you problem. You have a well documented history of employment problems.

Until you are in a position to dictate the type of team, boss, colleagues you have, suck it up and just chug along. Or work for yourself.
I had posted a response to this, came back and deleted it. You didn't read anything in the thread and I'm not sure what the documented history of employment problems refers too - the period of time where I had a hard time finding a full time job? Not sure how that relates to this particular situation. In any case, don't bother reading/responding in this thread if you don't have anything constructive to say. Thanks!
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 8:47 pm
Agreed - you shouldn't. But people do and can you blame them? People spent more time at work or in a work environment than anything else. Of course issues will have significance behind closed doors. You have to realize people cannot turn off a switch and ignore whatever happened during the day. Stress is a serious issue - bad bosses contribute to this significantly, I cant tell you how many times I took issues home with me; trying to figure out what to do, or even venting to my significant other.

I'm not alone either - Google it.
Man...me too. Its so easy to say 'leave it at work' ....I spend 8-9 hours a day with these people. More than I do with my family, its hard to keep the lines separated. I think a key part is to keep the emotions out of it, I care about my work. Maybe too much. I have to realize its a job, the job is giving me a paycheque to give me a life outside of work. That's it. I need to keep this perspective. I need to play the game. The 'game' involves putting on a bit of an act. Pretending to like someone, even if I don't.

I also realize that relationships are more important than the work itself. I wish the work spoke for itself but it's highly coloured by the perception and opinion of the boss. I'm worried about what this person will say if I was to use them as a reference. They are so up and down with me, it's hard to know how they really feel or if it's just another phase. I hardly ever hear any praise but the second there is an issue a big stink is raised. It's demotivating to say the least.

I'm learning though, I'm trying to keep my cool - forcing myself to wait before I respond and giving him what he wants to hear, even though the work is done, I know what I need to do, I'm on top of everything etc.
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Oct 28, 2004
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honestly - if you plan to stick around the same org then play nice, thank him for his feedback, brown-nose a little bit while looking for the next role with a better manager (key is to make sure you are not leaving a bad situation and jumping into a worse situation!)...

only when you secure the next role and it is a done deal - then can you ease up on the brownosing but make sure to not burn any bridges when you leave...gluck!
[OP]
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ji2o0k wrote:
Jan 14th, 2018 11:13 pm
honestly - if you plan to stick around the same org then play nice, thank him for his feedback, brown-nose a little bit while looking for the next role with a better manager (key is to make sure you are not leaving a bad situation and jumping into a worse situation!)...

only when you secure the next role and it is a done deal - then can you ease up on the brownosing but make sure to not burn any bridges when you leave...gluck!
You're right. I can sense that he knows I don't respect him or even particularly like him and this bugs him. I've never been good at pretending but in this instance I think this is the way to go until I figure out what the next step is.

Yes, definitely don't want to end up in the same spot.
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C_C wrote:
Jan 14th, 2018 9:55 pm
Man...me too. Its so easy to say 'leave it at work' ....I spend 8-9 hours a day with these people. More than I do with my family, its hard to keep the lines separated. I think a key part is to keep the emotions out of it, I care about my work. Maybe too much. I have to realize its a job, the job is giving me a paycheque to give me a life outside of work. That's it. I need to keep this perspective. I need to play the game. The 'game' involves putting on a bit of an act. Pretending to like someone, even if I don't.

I also realize that relationships are more important than the work itself. I wish the work spoke for itself but it's highly coloured by the perception and opinion of the boss. I'm worried about what this person will say if I was to use them as a reference. They are so up and down with me, it's hard to know how they really feel or if it's just another phase. I hardly ever hear any praise but the second there is an issue a big stink is raised. It's demotivating to say the least.

I'm learning though, I'm trying to keep my cool - forcing myself to wait before I respond and giving him what he wants to hear, even though the work is done, I know what I need to do, I'm on top of everything etc.
I've noticed people fall into one of two categories: give a s*** vs don't give a s***

People that give a s*** will genuinely care about their work and everything that revolves around it. These are the people that bring 'work-related issues' homes. The other class struggles to understand why issues are brought home. It's that simple: a lot of people just don't care enough.

Should you care this much? I say yes; as you suggested, your work should speak for itself. People engaged in high-quality work cannot turn-off a switch; you're always thinking about work. Work is your expression of creativity - why are these people an issue? They are not. The issues are bad management whom cannot identify these two classes of employees within their own team.

It's pretty easy and you're work (as a leader) is ten times easier when you're team is engaged in their deliverables. It just means leadership needs to nurture this engagement and ensure it remains constant. High quality teams are a direct outcome of good management. You'll never have high quality / performing teams with bad managers. The high performers will quit, or get transferred.
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Dec 27, 2007
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HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jan 15th, 2018 2:05 am
I've noticed people fall into one of two categories: give a s*** vs don't give a s***

People that give a s*** will genuinely care about their work and everything that revolves around it. These are the people that bring 'work-related issues' homes. The other class struggles to understand why issues are brought home. It's that simple: a lot of people just don't care enough.

Should you care this much? I say yes; as you suggested, your work should speak for itself. People engaged in high-quality work cannot turn-off a switch; you're always thinking about work. Work is your expression of creativity - why are these people an issue? They are not. The issues are bad management whom cannot identify these two classes of employees within their own team.

It's pretty easy and you're work (as a leader) is ten times easier when you're team is engaged in their deliverables. It just means leadership needs to nurture this engagement and ensure it remains constant. High quality teams are a direct outcome of good management. You'll never have high quality / performing teams with bad managers. The high performers will quit, or get transferred.
You are so very wrong on this. I care about the work I do. My name goes on everything I do. If I do it wrong or poorly, colleagues and friends all know it is me. So I really have to put my best into what I do every day. Since I do great work, I get jobs and contracts all the time. I can pick and choose which job to do. Do I take work home? Hell no. Do I care about performance review? Hell no. They can shove that paper up where the sun don't shine. If getting paid, means I'm doing a good job.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
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Jul 1, 2017
216 posts
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tmkf_patryk wrote:
Jan 16th, 2018 3:41 am
You are so very wrong on this. I care about the work I do. My name goes on everything I do. If I do it wrong or poorly, colleagues and friends all know it is me. So I really have to put my best into what I do every day. Since I do great work, I get jobs and contracts all the time. I can pick and choose which job to do. Do I take work home? Hell no. Do I care about performance review? Hell no. They can shove that paper up where the sun don't shine. If getting paid, means I'm doing a good job.
"I do great work" - personal assumption of performance reinforced by situational criteria (I keep my job and/or remain employed)
"I don't care about performance reviews" - external/market confirmation of performance reinforced by established criteria and/or feedback (I keep my job, see raises/promotions, and have job security)

You disagree? I think you just exemplified my point. More than this, your post really demonstrates that your own views are "above" what anyone else thinks. These are bad qualities because you're not accepting feedback. Which is a primary attribution of people that "give a s***" - they are actively looking at ways to improve, which involves stepping outside your personal bubble of perfection.

Want to try this again?
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
2816 posts
637 upvotes
Edmonton
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jan 16th, 2018 9:38 am
"I do great work" - personal assumption of performance reinforced by situational criteria (I keep my job and/or remain employed)
"I don't care about performance reviews" - external/market confirmation of performance reinforced by established criteria and/or feedback (I keep my job, see raises/promotions, and have job security)

You disagree? I think you just exemplified my point. More than this, your post really demonstrates that your own views are "above" what anyone else thinks. These are bad qualities because you're not accepting feedback. Which is a primary attribution of people that "give a s***" - they are actively looking at ways to improve, which involves stepping outside your personal bubble of perfection.

Want to try this again?
Not going to bother, since you live in a world of performance reviews where that is what makes and breaks you, while we don't get any. Also you probably need warnings before u get fired, we don't get warnings. One day could go to work and they say we don't want you bye bye.
You could do a terrible job but if you kiss ass enough you will get high ratings, while it doesn't matter in my job
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Member
Jul 1, 2017
216 posts
119 upvotes
tmkf_patryk wrote:
Jan 19th, 2018 12:51 am
Not going to bother, since you live in a world of performance reviews where that is what makes and breaks you, while we don't get any. Also you probably need warnings before u get fired, we don't get warnings. One day could go to work and they say we don't want you bye bye.
You could do a terrible job but if you kiss ass enough you will get high ratings, while it doesn't matter in my job
You're perfect - clearly.
Member
Feb 3, 2013
218 posts
25 upvotes
NORTH YORK
AndrewShev wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 5:46 am
suck it up and wait for his promotion. That type of people moves pretty fast through a$$ licking and k0k sucking.
lmao!
From what I've seen, supportive authority figures often find themselves a promotion much quicker than a boss as described here but..
hopefully the OP catches a break because I know how he feels lol

but most importantly.. if you find it too difficult to deal with the boss, why not look for a similar or even better position else where?
You must believe that your labour/what you offer is attractive commodity in this competitive labour market!
Jr. Member
Sep 15, 2013
174 posts
24 upvotes
Greater Vancouver
Alright I'll bite on this one.

Had a boss in my previous work that behaved quite similarly to what is described here. Except he was the owner of the company so nobody else was above him. Let's call him Doug. Doug's management style was very sickening and, it being my first job out of university, I learned a lot from this experience. I'll share a few points:

A group of people are easily managed if you divide them. The same is true in the office. It was a small office and my two colleagues and I had a very good relationship. However, one day my colleague, let's call him Jim, completely ignored me for a whole day. And then the next day, then the next day. I tried to communicate with him but never received a response. I was stunned at how this was happening. A week later, Jim started talking to me again, like normal. Strange.

Later Jim talked to me after work, outside of the office and told me exactly what happened: my boss Doug was sending conflicting messages to Jim and myself. He created a very bad misunderstanding between Jim and I, and as a result, Jim hated me. He didn't tell me how but eventually he found out about it. He then told me that he's experienced it before and told me that he would always help me as long as he worked there. If I heard anything from Doug about him just brush it off, and don't believe a word. Jim was right and Doug did continue to create misunderstanding between me and Jim. We didn't bite. Doug eventually moved me away from Jim for no reason. He simply told me to sit in a different cubical one morning. I complied but still worked with Jim closely.

Doug seemed to be erratic and uncontrolled. Getting yelled at in the office, in front of coworkers, happens a few times a month. Towards the last quarter of my career there, things had escalated to threats of firing me. This was particularly bad after Jim had left the company.

Paycheques were delayed at a regular basis. Need I say more?

Pendulum decisions. Doug made decisions in one week, the next week completely reversed it. Happened all the time, company was losing money because of it.

"Big Picture". When Doug was in a good mood, he liked to paint a beautiful, big picture to his employees to stir hope. The new guys that came in after Jim bought into it, but I just chuckled.

In the end I found another job with a great boss. I gave Doug my 2 weeks and he asked me if I had integrity. I didn't say anything because they still owed me my previous month's pay, so I didn't know what to tell him. I left the company promptly after the 2 weeks. Before I walked out I shook his hand and thanked him.

My advice to you is to persevere. Always apply for new jobs until you land one. Get out of there as soon as you can, but while you are still there, make the best of it. Don't stress too much, it will always be over.

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