All Articles Tagged "boss from hell"
“Its rare to work for someone you like, and even rarer to work for someone whom you respect.” These were the words my cousin stated to me quite coolly as I droned on and on one night about my disenchantment with a supervisor. Her profound words immediately shut me up, forcing me to ponder about supervisor-employee relations. We’ve all been here once or twice in our career. We start a new job that we initially adore, only to realize one day that we are working with the boss from hell. Maybe it’s their bad attitude, or their laissez-faire conditioning, or maybe they are just incompetent — relying on you to do their job for them, holding you back from getting your own assignments done. Whatever it is, you know that if given the chance, you’d be much more reliable and productive in their position than they are. So, such an issue begs the question: How do you maintain professionalism in such circumstances? It’s so much more easier to talk about this conundrum than it is to deal with it. But I’ve found that there are a few things one should try to exercise to make every workday (until a better opportunity comes along of course) more bearable.
One of the first things one should do in such a predicament is to be mindful of your body language. True, you are not going off on your boss á la Evelyn Lozada, and I hope you haven’t told him or her to watch their step around you. But, body language says more than words can ever communicate. Do you turn your back while your supervisor addresses you? Do your eyes pay more attention to your new nail design you got Saturday than his/her’s face or report? Have you caught yourself giving him/her the I-can-care-less-about-what-you-have-to-say-right-now stare and/or rolling your eyes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to check yourself. Although you may have the lowest opinion of your boss, you should always remain professional in your demeanor. In order to avoid conflict, awkward moments, or even losing your job (even though you may feel that that would be a blessing in disguise because things are so bad) you have to keep up a certain level of respect for your superiors. If you feel that you are a better worker than your boss, there is no better way to prove that then in your behaviors and conduct.
Boundaries. You must also set boundaries immediately and reinforce them as much as possible. Setting these confines for yourself will determine how many times you text your bestie or man a message that starts off with, “You won’t believe what they have me doing today!!” If you find that you are taking on too many duties that are not only stressing you out, but that are not within your job description, you must remedy this by redefining for yourself and your boss what your day-to-day activities are. Draft up a document that lists all the things you are responsible for in your capacity. Ask your Human Resources Director for a copy of the initial job posting for your position if need be. During a one-on-one meeting with your boss, respectfully discuss how you would love to take on new projects here and there, but don’t want to become too overwhelmed by tasks that weren’t designed for your title. Provide your boss with a copy of this job description so they won’t forget what it is that you do, or so they could at least find someone to help you. Communicating effectively on paper as well as verbally (i.e., “I am not comfortable completing these tasks as I feel that I am not properly suited to tackle them as of yet”) will allow you to protect yourself, and make your interactions with your boss somewhat bearable.
Americans are known for their career-centered lives. With most of us pushing 40-plus hours on our respective job sites, it’s hard not to build friendships and camaraderie with our co-workers. However, such friendships should not be worthy of us divulging our true feelings regarding our supervisors. I know how hard that can be. Your boss tried to embarrass you in a meeting. You want to run to your office bestie and let her know what you would have done in that boardroom if you weren’t a Christian. But, its not safe nor wise to do so. Your office walls may be solid, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that they are not soundproof. You never know who is eavesdropping on your conversation; your boss might be right around the corner as you release your thoughts to your office buddy. And although I know she is your “girl,” you never know who you can trust for sure at work. People are always looking for a leg up, so it’s best not to provide anyone with information that can incriminate you or ammunition to start some drama.
When we’re being lectured about our careers by mentors, professors and parents, rarely do they bring up how to deal with the boss from hell. It’s the subject that’s lampooned on TV and in films, but rarely tackled in serious conversations. In this economy, I know how hard it is to feel stuck in a job where you feel unwanted and borderline abused. That stress is enough to make a sister want to big-chop her hair just to release some tension. Hopefully, these tips will help you from screaming to your boss, “I should be where you are!” as I’m sure that would create a scenario for which you and I both have zero solutions.
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