Bad Boss – Sooner or Later We All Have Them

Bad Boss – Sooner or Later We All Have Them - Introvert Whisperer

I’ll admit right up front: I’m here to ask you to share any Bad Boss stories you might have. I’ve heard several and have had my own.

In my case, my first Bad Boss happened early. In fact, it was the second job I held while in high school.

The place I worked was the best fabric store in my city. As a seamstress myself, getting a job there seemed like nirvana – until I actually worked there. The woman who owned the store apparently was legendary throughout the city as being a Bad Boss.  In fact, I think the term for her was an “Old Battle Ax.”

As part of my training, she lectured me on how I was there to do two things: sell her merchandise, and make the store attractive so people would want to buy her merchandise. The rules were:

  1. Never speak to other employees
  2. If I had a question, she was the only one qualified to answer
  3. If she was absent, there were only 2 people I could seek out for answers.

I obediently complied.

In my year there, I learned to “fly under the radar.” You didn’t want her to notice you – ever. I had seen a person quit after being there for only an hour. I had seen her torment a fellow employee, a woman my mother’s age, to the point that the woman was crying, as she was measuring out fabric for a customer. The Bad Boss stood there, spitting in my co-workers face, yelling at the top of her lungs all while the customer (who was cringing and cowering herself) had to watch. That was only one episode in a job that witnessed daily doses of outrageous behavior from the boss.

I had my own encounter with her. One evening as she entered the store, she saw me speaking with a customer. She thought I was speaking with another employee – a breach of a cardinal rule in her mind. A few minutes later, after she had dropped off her stuff and the customer left, she approached me yelling and shaking her fist. I had no idea what had set her off, so I asked. It infuriated her more. I explained I was talking to a customer, which made her even angrier. She yelled “Do you think I’m stupid?”  Well, I answered her: “No, I just think you are mistaken.”  She was stunned to silence, which I took as a sign the conversation was finished – but apparently it wasn’t.  I had started to walk away when she grabbed me from behind, spun me around and began a high-pitched tirade.

When she finally stopped long enough to suck in air, I brushed her hands off and told her “You don’t have permission to touch me or yell at me. I work hard for you but I draw the line there.”  I walked away but this time, dead silence. She didn’t fire me and we kept a polite distance until I went away to college.

Meanwhile, she kept doing what had made her my town’s worst boss.

So there you go. That’s my first Bad Boss. I have more stories, but I’d like to hear yours. Either post yours below, or if you prefer privacy, post here:

Image: Photobucket

Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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