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View Diary: WYFP: When Bosses Go Bad (143 comments)

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  •  Ah, bad bosses... (24+ / 0-)

    ...one in particular crosses my mind. Let's call him Ken.

    Ken was one of two men who interviewed me for the job of traffic engineer II, back in 1983. Ken would be my immediate superior for the next 20 years.

    He would always give me glowing reviews in my employee evaluations, then we would get into arguments and he would write me up for insubordination. He seemed to make it his mission in life to have me fired from the City of Chicago, and made my life miserable with a number of suspensions. I tried hard to figure out what he wanted out of me, and how I could limit these incidents. Problem was, Ken was insecure: he had a college degree, but it wan't in engineering. He had gotten his titles by apprenticeship and promotion, and he did not feel comfortable having me working under him. I eventually taught myself to not rise to the occasion, and I managed to limit our arguements for the last 6-7 years of Ken's tenure. He retired in 2003, and moved to Arizona, which is probably hell for his Mexican wife. I managed to make it to 2010 and early retirement.

    I've had a couple of other bad bosses, but none that I had to deal with as long as I had to with Ken.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:24:24 PM PDT

    •  Insecure bosses do suck, but doesn't it feel (14+ / 0-)

      good to outlast them on the job?

      "Truth catches up with you in here. It's the truth that's gonna make you hurt." - Piper Chapman

      by blueoregon on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:32:55 PM PDT

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    •  Bad bosses.... (11+ / 0-)

      I've had my share.
      People (who happen to be bosses) who know what they're doing and are secure in their competency seem to love my work, my quirkiness and my sense of humor. When I work for someone like this, it's exhilerating.  Sorta like playing tennis with a pro, you rise to the occasion.  And it's so satisfying.
      However, people who have had their boss-ness thrust on them (or have gotten it through some major ass-kissing) and are in way over their heads (yoohoo Peter Principle) and couldn't tie their own shoelaces definitely do not like me and life within the workplace walls is like a living hell.  Besides being hellish, it's truly enervating.  Unfortunately, that's what I have now.  Cross your collective fingers I get another job soon, cause I'm really done with this.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:39:38 PM PDT

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      •  The maddening thing about Ken was... (11+ / 0-)

        ...sometimes he was the very picture of a good boss, like with my evaluations, and at other times he seemed out of his depth. I finally managed to just tamp down any frustration with having to re-do stuff just to stop the danse macabre with upper management and my union stewards, dealing with his attempts to suspend me. I did luck out once, and that may have been the turning point, thinking back. I was due for a pre-disciplinary hearing the day the old freight tunnel was breached by the Kinzie Street Bridge, causing that big flood. Upper management did not want to suspend me, and they used this as an excuse to postpone the hearing, then conveniently forgot about it when Ken had cooled off. That was a funny-once!

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:03:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well.... (9+ / 0-)

          You're lucky you had a union.
          I've had supervisors who run rampant with bad behavior.  The employees know they're jackasses, and some kiss their asses, some stay well outta their way and others (like me) seem to be magnets for their bullying tactics (I don't kiss ass, never have, never will).  As one supervisor said to me (in front of my co-workers) 'I was warned about you by xxxx who said you were 'fill in denigrating adjectives', among other equally unprofessional statements in front of my co-workers.  If I had a union to go to, this guy would have been reported to them ASAP.  I did go to another supervisor about this, but....nothing.  I had/have no other recourse. That particular supervisor is still there and still making people's lives miserable.  I took a different job (that I didn't particularly want) with a different supervisor, just to get away from him.

          I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

          by Lilyvt on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:28:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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