sexual harrasement

Difficult or outright bad bosses, read on!

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of them, maybe that’s why bloggers try to make a living blogging – to escape the corporate world of small cubicles, broken office equipment, office politics, confinement, that one weird employee and bad bosses.

I found two great articles in one day, actually less than 15 minutes apart…

is it “Bad Boss’s Day”?  #horriblebosses2

Both of these are great articles..

The first by Amy Rees Anderson a contributor for @Forbes; her article is entitled, “How a Bad Boss Can Make You Sick” and it focusses on noticing the physical stress and health risks of the noted 77% of employees who experience physical symptoms from bad bosses.  That’s staggeringly sad. Three (3) out of (4) employees report that their boss is the worst part of their job and they’d rather give up a raise for a new boss.  I can relate and if interested, I’ve detailed some of my boss trauma below.

human workplace drawn logo yellow sun

The second article is by Liz Ryan of @humanworkplace   I just adore Liz, she has written so many amazing Human Resource articles that if you’re working in any corporate situation, I’d recommend you follow her or review her website (human workplace.com).  Everything from “How to Fix Your Manager to articles for job seekers or anyone needing HR advice.  And note in the article, “fixing your boss” is really more about “understanding your boss” and when it’s time to give grace or move on.

I have had bosses and work situations that literally made me so anxious I would panic on the drive in to work.  Not even horrible things like discrimination, safety issues or sexual harassment; though when I was younger, much younger, before sexual harassment was a “thing”, I had a boss that told me my butt looked so good in my jeans (and he really thought that was a compliment) that he offered me up as payment to the UPS man; jokingly of course, but really? and though I was uncomfortable (I was like 19), I had no idea that was just wrong.

…and my worst case of sexual harrasement was when we had a new President for our company come in (and sorry, he looked like an old frog) and he, we gals sadly discovered, had a penchant for blatantly kissing the young office girls.  I was able to steer clear of him for quite some time but then as a reward for a job well done (ugh), they promoted me to his Assistant and gave me a desk just outside his office, a desk I tried never to sit at.  I made it a point to only deliver his mail, etc. when he wasn’t in the office, thinking that not being in his office with him would be my safest route.  Well, I was wrong, it didn’t matter, during a meeting with another man present (of authority and who I thought was a nice guy) ole’ frog lips grabbed my face before I knew what was happening and planted a kiss on my lips – he was an old Italian fresh over from Italy, don’t know if maybe there they thought that was OK as he surely didn’t seem to realize this behavior was not OK.  In any case, no one in authority (and many people knew of his constant and far reaching abuse) ever spoke a word about it. That was in the early 80s before it was really recognized or given much concern; and we girls were young and didn’t know how to respond or who to respond to when the authority folks already knew and didn’t do anything. In hindsight, I think they just wanted to keep their jobs.  It’s funny, but it was only a few months ago in discussing this type of thing with a friend, that I realized I had been sexually harassed and a number of times long ago.  Anyway, those are, though difficult, pretty clear cut cases that HR will handle for you.

The other kind of insidious negative boss behavior I think is almost worse because it’s just human behavior, just a boss who doesn’t care to be on his/her best behavior.  Its that slow drip of disdain or disrespect that bosses can inflict upon their employees, that “kick the dog” behavior because the dog cannot fight back.  Dare I say, I despise bosses that take advantage in any way of their authority over you, but I think most of them are just human and either untrained in management or just have low social IQs, which is the gist of Liz’s article.  Bosses are human, they have frailties and insecurities and sometimes we unwittingly walk right into those.

The list could go on and on – so many uninformed, untrained, misguided, authority hungry, insecure bosses out there and we have to learn to deal with them, but there is also a time to move on.  With all this negativity let me also share that I’ve had one boss in particular, who really sincerely walked the walk of a leader, he was my greatest joy and a wonderful mentor and we’re still FB friends – good ones are out there but can be hard to find.

Having said all that, I start a new job on Wednesday!  Fingers crossed that this role of the dice brings me a seasoned veteran of socially savvy, ethical boss stock!  Sadly, blogging will now have to be my “moonlighting” activity.

Some fun links below and if you’ve had some particularly interesting boss interactions, feel free to share them in the comments, I’d love to hear other’s survival techniques!  🙂

Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses2 (link starts with a trailer, so speakers off if you’re at work!) hits theaters November 26th

and there is always this classic, one of my favorites, Office Space.  (Speakers off if you’re at work!), naughty, naughty employee!

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