Saturday, April 14, 2012

What is it with……Terrible Bosses?

What is it with……Terrible Bosses/'people managers'?

Gee I could go on for ever about terrible people managers and bad bosses, but I won't bang on about things because I am all about ‘be here now’ (Whenever I say that phrase, I fear people will think I am an Oasis fan. I really dislike that album cover and I do much prefer their earlier works). I think I am also about keeping nephews and nieces occupied.. just stepping off topic for a moment -oh yes,  the joys of being an uncle. I firmly draw the line at changing nappies and wiping bottoms. At a recent family event, I was the only one free to accompany my six year old nephew to the toilet.  I was cool, calm, collected and said assuredly 'I can do this'. I smiled thinking- I am a great uncle!, seriously... how good am I.. till I saw my nephew wriggling about.. almost ready to explode.. 'Umm what do you need to do in the toilet'... I went white as he replied 'number 2'.. OMG.. I panicked, grabbed my sister, practically shook her and asked at a million miles an hour "He knows how to wipe his bum right?? cause I don't do that stuff.. does he know.. yeah??!!!. My sister just laughed and said.. yes, he knows how to wipe his bottom'.. I was calm again.... reached for my nephews hand and said with a big smile- 'lets go to the toilet, yay!!' the whole 'be here now' thing, it works every time!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand- terrible bosses. I seem to be a magnet for terrible bosses/people managers. Unfortunately I am not alone in this. Sadly, I have so many stories, but as I just spent half the blog talking about taking my nephew to the toilet, I now only have enough time to share just a few stories of the terrible, the horrible, the sad and the incompetent bosses/people managers who have been in my life.

-I once took a male manager aside to talk through some things he had said and done that had really upset and offended  me, only to have him respond with 'what?!! are you talking about feelings? I am trying to be pragmatic here and get things done! I don't understand this!'... As our conversation wound up, I told him that I was left feeling worse than I did before. He shrugged his shoulders and said 'good'.  

-I once worked for a large bank and would need to take signed blank cheques off-site on a daily basis. My boss often signed them for me. As part of my role I would take some documents to an external agency, if they could take them off me to finalise they would and we would have to pay them on the spot.  These cheques could be made up for amounts ranging from $65,000 to over $800,000... all dependent on what this agency could take and do.  One day, my boss was in a meeting with upper management and was asked why we needed to do this, as they were concerned about signed blank cheques leaving the workplace. Unfortunately she had no idea why we did this, or what it was I did, so she had to leave the meeting to come and find out...

 -I once had a female manager who thought she was much younger than she was and dressed to make sure that we all knew just how young she thought she was. I could never understand why anyone, let alone a people manager would think it was appropriate to wear boob tubes to work, especially when working in a bank. Mind you some of these ‘tops’, for want of a better word, had writing across the front that went from one nipple to the other. You just couldn’t help but look at what was written. It is not about being a pervert, but as humans we are all sticky beaks!!!  I often feared that people would think I was staring at her very large and perky breasts..I kept wanting to go up to people, shake them manically and yell 'you know I’m gay yeah?!, I"M GAY!!!!  I’m not staring at her breasts, I reading what is on her TOP!!!” This workplace also had half yearly staff satisfaction surveys and this manager was always rated TERRIBLY by her large team. One year her manager came in and talked about how the business itself has ranked well in the latest survey and had improved against the last survey, but our direct manager has not fared so well and her ratings are EVEN LOWER than they were in the last survey. He said that he will leave that with her to discuss with us. I will point out that some of the poor ratings where about our direct managers communication, how supported we felt from our direct manager, our direct managers openness, staff moral etc.. suffice to say that when this manager left and our direct boob tube wearing manager took to the front of the room, she put one hand on her hip, glared at us exasperatingly, took a breath to calm her self down and then said ‘I don’t even know If I want to talk about this’… and she never did.

Terrible Bosses/people managers... Bless them for making us really appreciate the good bosses out there.. who are few in number and are worth their weight in gold.


  1. What's the problem with terrible boss #1? Not everyone does warm and fuzzy ... but I do try Matty, where you are concerned, I really do ;)

    1. Thank you for trying, who ever you are :-)...but I can't believe you asked 'what's the problem with terrible boss #1' ??!!

  2. OMG! Can't believe you've had bosses this terrible. How do these people get to be managers???

    1. well, sadly I must say that most of these people were 'managed up'.