People don’t often have the opportunity to know their supervisor and his/her habits before they accept a position, and it’s probably a good thing. The first thing to keep in mind is that nobody is perfect, and that includes bosses. The second thing to keep in mind is that most supervisors are made supervisors for a reason (in a hypothetically good and healthy work environment, that is.) They are usually good at their job, know the ins and outs of the industry, and have a reputation of excellence. However, that doesn’t always mean your boss is easy to work for or even an especially good human. In fact, they may be super obnoxious and difficult. Just because someone is a pro at crunching numbers doesn’t mean they are kind or even fair. Unfortunately, in a competitive workforce, chances are you are going to have some good bosses, some mediocre bosses, and some horrible bosses. We are going to talk about the horrible ones…and what you can do about them.
The Three Worst Types Of Bosses And How To Handle Them
- The Micromanager
- The sexist/racist/discriminatory type
- The completely Inept
Ah, The Micro-manager. Ever get the feeling you’re being…watched? Someone’s timing your bathroom breaks or casually slipping in that they noticed you left five minutes early yesterday (even though you came in thirty minutes early today). Meet the Micro-manager. This person sends you emails every thirty minutes to see what you have accomplished (which would be a heck of a lot more if they would quite emailing you.) The Micro-manager may not be evil, however. They might be a very anxious person, and they also may be being micro-managed. How to handle this situation? Head him/her off at the pass. Make a detailed itinerary of your day and send it to the Micro-manager with a friendly “hey! Just thought I’d keep you in the loop”. After a while, your boss will see that things are truly getting done without them looking over your shoulder, and maybe you can go to the bathroom in peace.
There’s no getting around this one – the discriminatory boss who tells sexist or racist jokes but them slaps you on the back and says “Oh, I was just kidding! Can’t you take a joke?” while the whole office stares is THE WORST. Unfortunately, while this behavior is illegal, in many companies, everybody lets it slide. So, your first step should be to immediately start documenting it – who was there, what was said/done, the date and time. The next thing you should do is confront your boss, in private. Tell them that the things they are saying and doing make you feel uncomfortable, and ask them to stop. Maybe they will apologize profusely and it will all be behind you. If they don’t, you now have more ammo to take to Human Resources. If Human Resources doesn’t help you, you can always go the legal route, but chances are, your life will be made unbearable in the meantime, or you will be fired for a bogus reason. Your best route, unfortunately, is to brush up on your resume and start looking for a new job. This is one situation you will never change.
You may have a boss that is completely inept. These people generally mean no harm, but they are gifted their position because they are someone’s niece or something of that nature, not because they are great at what they do and understand the complexities of the business. The best route to go with this type of boss is to learn everything you can from someone else in your office (there’s always someone that’s really good at the job.) Include them in your discussions, but don’t count on them for any guidance.
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