When they aren’t yelling in your face about everything you’ve “done wrong”, they are sending you off on the world’s most impossible tasks and then bullying you when you fail to live up to their expectations. Ugh. We’ve all had that one really bad boss at some point in our career (and if you haven’t yet, just wait!) And if you are unfortunately the poor soul who is stuck dealing with this disastrous scenario as we speak, read on. Collected from real life experiences, here are our seven rules for dealing with a bad boss.
1) Don’t give an eye for an eye
Nine times out of ten, when your boss pulls jerk moves over and over again your automatic response at some point (also known as your breaking point!) will be to shoot it right back at them. DON’T! Breathe deep and vent to your boyfriend or your best friend. Believe us, your boss is NOT worth getting a black mark on your record over. It is never easy to explain to potential employers why you got canned for screaming at and/or slapping your boss.
2) Always keep evidence
Is your boss complaining that you never make a deadline when you know you do? Are they saying that you miss important details when you go over and over them to make sure you never miss a thing? Start keeping documented details of all your transactions with your boss. Keep records of every email you send to them, every phone call you have with them, and every document you place on their desk. They won’t be able to accuse you of anything if you can prove them wrong (and don’t be afraid to do just that…but see below first!)
3) Always take action at an appropriate time
Even if your boss decides that the middle of a meeting with all the company big-wigs is the perfect time to belittle you and make you sound like an idiot, trust us when we say this is NOT the right time to confront him about it. As much as you want to boil over, wait until the meeting has commenced and you can sit and talk about it as civaly as possible. And if you plan on yelling, make sure the door is closed first.
4) Don’t be afraid to go to a higher source
So you’ve approached your boss about your unhappiness with their treatment and nothing has changed? Don’t be afraid to go to a higher source including your HR department, their boss, their boss’s boss, and even as high up as the biggest boss. Believe us, it may sound intimidating (and they may even throw threats around for this kind of action) but a majority of the time these higher ups are very unaware of these kinds of problems and if someone doesn’t eventually step up then nothing might ever get done about the issues.
5) Wait it out
In addition to the previous point, it is often the case that if your boss really is a complete jerk then the chances are that you aren’t going to be the only person in the company who has a problem with them. With enough people working against your boss, you can usually be assured that their career might be more in jeopardy than yours. If you can, ride it out. You might be next in line for that promotion when they get canned.
6) Don’t burn bridges
If all else fails and the only real option for you is to leave your position then do so, as hard as it may seem, gracefully. Dig deep and try and remember something positive about your experience working for him or her and thank them for providing you with that experience. It might leave a severely bitter taste in your mouth but in the long run you will feel better knowing you went out being the bigger person.
7) Always remember how awesome you are
Always document all the nice things people say about you. Whether it is emails, telephone conversations, or even just things coworkers have said in passing. Write it all down in a journal that you leave at the office and look at it when you need a pick me up. You’re boss might not appreciate you but there is always someone who does!