How to Deal with a Terrible Boss
Everyone, at some point in their life, has had to deal with this situation. You wake up every day dreading work; not because of the job, or the colleagues, or the customers—but the boss. How do you deal with him or her? For many, the answer is simply quitting. In fact, there’s a well-known saying about how people don’t leave companies, they leave managers, and this is extremely true.
I had a friend whose manager was so unprofessional and made each work day so unbearable that my friend ended up quitting. Even though she enjoyed her position and made a decent amount of money, the thought of having to continue working under her boss’s leadership was unbearable and just not worth it.
Yet, in today’s job market, not everyone can afford to make this type of decision. So, you’re stuck at the job with a barely tolerable boss. What do you do? Below are two different types of annoying bosses and how to deal with each one:
1. The Ghost
This is the boss who’s never there, or at least never there when you need the person. You pull your eight-hour shift and then some, putting the files in order or the store back together. You know your boss is somewhere in the building, doing something vaguely related to his/her job, but isn’t there something more helpful this individual could do?
The fact is, quite a few of these bosses fall into two subcategories. One is the boss who doesn’t want to be there. This is the boss who likely hates coming to work as much as you and avoids responsibility like the plague because he or she simply doesn’t want to do it. With this type of boss, your best bet is to ask for help. If none is available, and you really feel this person is shirking his/her duty, perhaps a call to the person above your immediate boss is in order. If you have the rare boss who is actually doing work behind the scenes and you feel you and your needs are being ignored, simply asking for help is usually the answer. Maybe when things have slowed down, ask to have a day where your boss shows you what his or her position entails. It will show that you are interested in promotion while also helping you understand all his/her required duties (and whether or not the person is actually fulfilling them).
2. The Micro-Manager
Maybe you have the opposite of the ghost—the micro-manager boss. It seems like this person’s entire mission in life is to sit over your shoulder and remind you of things you already know. Maybe he or she reminds you via emails or in passing conversation of work that is due hours from now. These kinds of bosses can be especially grating because they can make you feel like a child who needs extra special, around-the-clock surveillance.
Dealing with a micro-manager is oftentimes very difficult if he or she has a short fuse. If these types of bosses fly off the handle easily, the best way to deal with them is to over compensate for a while. Turn in things early, make sure your job is done and your station is clean well ahead of time. It might mean a few weeks of tough work, but after a while, you will notice you are no longer the target.
If the person is more pragmatic, you can usually prove your point by just ignoring your manager when he or she bugs you but still turning in your work on time. As long as you are on time, rarely is there a reason for your boss to bother you, and eventually, he or she will leave you alone.