There was one who used to call his staff “Idiots” and slam his office door several times a day. Another would grab at a young, female staff member’s breasts and joke he couldn’t find them – too small. What a hoot, (albeit a little one, or two). These are just a couple of real life horrible boss stories I have encountered.
The success of the recently-released Horrible Bosses movie may stem somewhat from the way it touches on the reality of maniac managers, sexist supervisors, and dire directors faced by some workers every time they walk into the office.
Suffering through the torment
In July 2011, an OfficeTeam survey of 441 US workers found that 46 percent of them had worked for an unreasonable boss. Almost two thirds of these workers stayed in their job regardless, and either tried to deal with the issue or resigned themselves to “suffering through the torment”.
Bad bosses aren’t necessarily bad people
OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking said “Bad bosses aren’t necessarily bad people, but they certainly can make work challenging for those who report to them. Often, individuals are promoted because they excel in a given job, but that doesn’t mean they have the skills to be effective leaders.”
OfficeTeam identified five types of bad boss, along with tips on how to deal with them:
- the micromanager,
- the poor communicator,
- the bully,
- the saboteur,
- and the mixed bag.
Bad bosses cost
New Zealand is no stranger to bad bosses. Recently, an article on Stuff suggested horrible bosses were to blame for our brain drain. This was from Auckland University Business School economics associate professor Dr Rhema Vaithianathan, who called for better managerial training.
Meanwhile, Augusta Dwyer in Canada’s Globe and Mail quoted Christine Porath of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington DC as saying a Cisco audit of its operations discovered bad bosses were costing the company US$12 million every year. Dwyer went on to suggest ways companies can deal with poor managers.
Then Stuff blogger Moata Tamaira wrote about her own experiences of a horrible boss. The comments that followed gave an insight into the poor management practices that some workers have had to endure in New Zealand workplaces. From boasters, to bullies, to princesses, to boozed-up adulterers, it seems we have our fair share of Horrible Bosses.