Punk Rock HR Question #9: I Hate My Boss


Dear Laurie,



Several People Who Hate Their Bosses


Oh man. People. Please. For reals? Is something in the water? Do we all hate our bosses at the beginning of the fourth quarter?

I have several readers who embarked on passionate but somewhat crazy rants about horrible bosses.

  • Bosses who spy.
  • Bosses who lie.
  • Bosses who are secretly aligned with North Korea.

I feel your pain, guys, but you can’t blame your boss for everything. Joe Manager may be a jack-ass, but he is not responsible for both global warming and rising fuel prices.

I have horrible boss stories, and I have great boss stories. The horrible boss stories are so much more fun.

  • I had a boss who thanked me for my insightful ideas and then took my ideas as her own — all the way to our divisional HR VP and a promotion to Senior HR Director.
  • I had a boss who was going through menopause, lost her composure, forgot about important (& scheduled) business meetings, and believed that her secretary was out to get her. When she confided in me, I could do nothing but agree that people were out to get her because I am a shit-disturber and I was bored at work.
  • I had a boss who inherited our team and openly criticized the former team leader — someone whom we all loved and appreciated.
  • I had a boss who openly praised colleagues in meetings and made fun of them when they left the room. I was very paranoid about being the last person to leave the meeting!
  • I had a boss who once told me that there’s something about me that makes men want to sexually harass me. This boss was a woman.

Bosses suck. Being a boss really sucks. When you are a boss, you will probably suck. It’s so easy to get caught up in the sucky drama of work when there is no texture and meaning to your own life. My advice? Go home, watch television, and hug your kids. Eat some delicious risotto, enjoy a warm cup of apple cider, and snuggle with puppies. (Not at the same time.)

In other words: chillax and stop worrying about your boss.

This is all easier said than done, but what’s the alternative? You can look for a new job, but that’s a huge pain in the ass. You could try to get your boss fired, but that never works out.

Trust me when I write this: if your boss really sucks as much as you say, justice will be served and your boss won’t last. I see this time & time again. Crappy bosses tend to move around and don’t lead teams for very long. They may get promoted, they may leave your company for another job, but the organization will find a passive-aggressive way to solve this problem.

Do what you can to keep your sanity and remember why you work. You work for personal fulfillment and money — you don’t work to have a boss-induced heart attack.

Good Luck! ~ Laurie

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