How To Handle Your Unbearable Boss

If you happen to have the misfortune of working for the boss from hell, then going to work can seem like walking on eggshells. Your boss may drive you crazy by setting unrealistic expectations, harassing you or being overly critical of your work. Before you decide to quit, here are some things you can do to help you deal with your unbearable boss.

  • Be fair. Before you start talking trash about your boss and complaining to the high heavens how bad you have it, look at the big picture. Your boss is likely under a lot of pressure to deliver. For example, if you aren’t meeting your sales goal, then there is reason for your boss to breathe down your back. Consider your actions and attitude at work before you start criticizing your superior. Perhaps there is something you can improve on or do to improve the situation instead of complaining. If you’re always coming to work late or you don’t deliver on your promises, then your boss has reason to bear down on you. However, if you feel you are delivering more than what is expected, then perhaps you may have a valid complaint.
  • Avoid being talking badly about your boss behind his back. It can be career suicide to talk negatively about your immediate superior to other people. Even if the rest of the group agrees, it’s just bad form to bitch about your boss. Don’t discuss your feelings with other co-workers because what you say can come back to haunt you. If you must vent, talk about it with your partner when you get home, but not with other co-workers. Not only is it counter-productive, but it may also paint you as a whiny and unprofessional employee.
  • Determine what exactly is unbearable about him. Make a list of specific actions that were done to you that you feel is unfair. Cite dates and instances that you feel were bad calls on your boss that have affected your productivity. For example, if your boss required you to come in and work 16 hour workdays including weekends but did not give you proper compensation or credit for your efforts, then write it down. If it’s a matter of personality differences, there may not be much that you can do about it. However, specific actions can be corrected if you’re able to point it out.
  • Talk to him. Discuss your concerns with your boss before you go off and tell on him. You may ask a third party to be present to make notes on the conversation for your protection. When you bring up your complaints, be specific, concise and clear.
  • Bring it to a higher up. If you don’t get results or your boss doesn’t take your complaints seriously, talk to his boss. It will be his duty to investigate your claims and see what can be done to address the situation. You may even be called for a group meeting with your boss to have an open discussion about it.
  • Be aware if it’s abuse. If you feel your boss is unbearable because he is intimidating you, making a pass at you or constantly makes threats, you do have rights under the law. If you feel you are being discriminated or harassed, you have every right to file a complaint. Companies take these complaints very seriously so you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if you know what is being done to you is wrong.

If after your best efforts and you find that you still cannot get along, perhaps you should consider looking for another position. If you move to a different department, you may still have some occasional run-ins with your ex boss from hell. If you determine that your mental, emotional and physical anguish aren’t worth the pay or position of the job, start interviewing elsewhere and hope for something better.


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