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What Defines A Bad Boss?

Have you ever worked at a job you really liked even though your boss was a jerk?

Were you scared to confront him or her knowing that you would suffer the consequences for voicing your concerns?

Did you lack support from your co-workers because they didn’t want to become the next victim?

Ever consider going over your bosses head but didn’t because he or she would retaliate making matters worse?

You like your job, need the income and can’t afford to be unemployed so you tolerate the physical, mental or verbal abuse. How many people out there have kept working for a boss, foreman or supervisor that needs to be exposed for their lack of people skills. They may well be excellent bosses in the eyes of the company that you both work for. It’s easy for some people to display a completely different persona when they are under the gun for their actions and bosses are no different. A boss that hides their true colours from their superiors and gets away with it needs to be eliminated from the workplace. Just because the company turns a blind eye when told about abuse of any kind doesn’t mean that the worker is handcuffed. The company is part of the problem and needs to be held accountable for not addressing a complaint made by one or more of their employees.

So what do you do. You can go to the Ministry of Labour if you don’t have a union and state your case. Then wait for the wheels to be set in motion, go back to your job for more abuse only to get frustrated, angry and eventually quit while the bad boss is still collecting their pay check. Something is really wrong here and no-one is doing anything to help me nor do they seem to care. I’m unemployed, have no money to support myself let alone my family, have to wait a couple of months for my unemployment check to come in if I even get UI benefits. Can things get any worse? Maybe the next job will be better or maybe it will be the same or even worse. Depression, anxiety and guilt set in having quit your job losing the income to support your family.

Been there, done that. Now it’s payback time. This my story.

Worked in the same field for 40 years. Collected one UI check in my entire working life. I’ve been through three plant closures, had to move my family once and over the last ten years watched to steady decline of the industry I worked in. I’ve been lucky to land on my feet maintaining my employment while others lost their jobs. Good people treated like disposable lighters by the companies they worked for. Yes, I was lucky. That was around ten years ago and I was given the opportunity to become a supervisor at another plant. Jumped at it, proved to the company that they made the right choice and created a working environment for my employees that I wanted and thought would be fair to everyone. Be a good boss was my mandate. I had taken a management course years before but never thought I would have the chance to put what I learned to use. Having worked for a couple of bad bosses I promised myself that I would never abuse my position and treat my employees with respect as long as they had respect for me. Had a good run for five years but ultimately that plant closed due to the decline of the business. I was offered another transfer or a severance package. I also had the option of continuing my employment with another company but not in management. Took the severance and went to work for the competition. That’s where I worked for the bad boss for five years.

From day one I knew my new gig was going to be difficult since my new boss also worked side by side with his staff. I’ve done that before and there were times when it wasn’t very pleasant but I made it through nine years until that plant closed. I had bills to pay, a family to support just like everyone else at work. Even having received a substantial severance package I needed to keep working. My new boss made it quite clear to me that this was his shop to manage and that he was an expert second to none in his profession. I had 35 years in the business and had to prove myself to someone I knew for a few hours. He wasn’t the one who hired me and I truly believe to this day in his messed up mind that I was a threat to his position. His superior was mine during the previous five years and had jumped ship before that plant shut down and he gave me the opportunity to continue my employment. I might have felt threatened too but would never have spoke to a new employee the way he spoke to me that day. I knew that some day him and I would be at a crossroads.

Over the next four years I experienced good times and bad times. My boss realized that my experience was an asset for him to exploit. I didn’t have a problem with that and showed up ready to go to work every Monday morning looking forward to the week ahead.

Unwittingly became his model employee but never gave my co-workers the impression that I was the bosses golden boy. Just did my job and tried to get along with everyone. About 6 months ago I started having serious problems with my back and missed a few days at work. My boss seemed concerned at first but his attitude towards me started to change. As my health deteriorated, in became apparent to me that at 56 years old, my body was saying that’s enough and my doctors confirmed my fears. But I needed to keep working. I was put on temporary light duty but after talking things over with my doctor due to the constant pain I was in, he wrote a letter to my boss stating that I should remain on light duty indefinitely. This was the beginning of the end for me and I knew the worst was yet to come.

The bad boss rears his ugly head.

When my doctor recommended that I remain on light duty indefinitely, things went from bad to worse. My boss made me feel lesser than my fellow employees. There were several blow ups initiated by my boss adding stress to the physical problems I was already dealing with. It became extremely difficult for me to function knowing that he was watching my every move. He would vent his anger at me, slamming doors when he left the room but never did anything if another employee was present. Accused me of faking my pain even though the letters from my doctor were very clear about the reason I was having difficulties with my back. Giving me demeaning task, glaring at me from across the room simply because he had to take my spot since I couldn’t do it. There came a point in time where I had an emotional outburst because of him leading to a calm that lasted for a day. Talked things over with him to resolve our situation but things deteriorated again leading me to tender my letter of resignation. Like the five employees before me over the past five years, I was now a victim of his lack of management skills. Three people had quit on the same day because of him. Now it was my turn.

It’s not over till it’s over.

I’m unemployed but that was my choice. What’s my next move? I didn’t want to quit but at the same time I couldn’t work for a boss that lacked the people skills need to be a successful manager. So what have I done about it? First I went over his head to advise his superior that he doesn’t know the whole truth about my situation and others that quit before me. He needs to have a talk with my ex boss so he can explain why I quit. Might not go anywhere but it’s a start. Next I will be filing for unemployment not because I need the money, more to give the reasons why after 40 years I decided to quit my job. For physical reason AND harassment from my superior. Maybe they will look into my claim a little deeper. I already quit my job so what’s the risk. Time for some payback not just for me but for the other five people that quit because of a bad boss! Yes you can do something about these lowlifes and I’m determined to put my bad boss under the microscope!!

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