My Boss is a super-bitch

Workplace issues including management skills, personal effectiveness, motivation and personal development / self improvement.

Postby katie_G » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:35 am

I finally got the job I've always wanted BUT my boss is a prima-donna, super bossy, and completely unaware of the effect she has on people around her.

Some facts:

(1) I applied for the job through a friend. I was told via email "WARNING she is a bully and hard to work with. She has brought me to tears a few times."

(2) About 20 people left over the course of 3 years due to bad treatment from her. I have been told "When she managed that department every second day there was somebody else in tears".

(3) The upper management of my company did something about the problem. They split the department into 2 groups. One with the entire existing group (excepting her), and one with just her and one new employee - me.

(4) I actually like her. She can be really nice and fun to work with, and great to learn from too. She answers all my questions, teaches me a lot and can be really positive & encouraging. This is about 50 percent of the time.

(5) I'm really starting to resent her. By nature I am compliant and considerate of others. She is extremely extroverted with a very loud voice. She yells instead of speaking, and frequently puts me down in front of others. It's not her intention to humiliate me, I think she simply doesn't think about it.

(6) She treats me like a slave. It's my job to clean up the mess she leaves everywhere & collect her pages from the printer. She orders me to make rude & inconsiderate phone calls and tell lies for her own personal gain.

(7) COUNTLESS people within the company have told me I deal with her really well, they don't know how I put up with her and I must be really patient. One person (quite high up within the company) has offered to talk to my boss's boss for me, she said I must go to her and try to sort this out instead of leaving if I start to feel that way. I feel this is a bad way to deal with the probem. Often people come up to me and ask if I am OK, and I know that at least one person has complained on my behalf without speaking to me about it.

I want to talk to her myself, but am unable to get the words out when she's in front of me. I don't want to leave, I like my job, but I think it's bad for my self esteem and confidence level to stay.

...any advice?
katie_G
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Postby Michael Lank » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:27 pm

Hi katie_G,

Welcome to the Forum.

Sounds as if you're boss is a tough one!

My advice would first of all to talk to her.

Be specific, and non-judgemental, about the behaviour that you are unhappy with. 'When you ask me to clean up and collect pages...'

Tell her how you feel as a result of the behaviour '...I feel angry, upset' whatever you feel.

Express your need 'I need to feel respected, valued' (whatever it is for you)

and then make a request 'In future please could clear up your own mess, or get someone else to get your pages from the printer'.

As you say she is unaware of her effect, so by making her aware in a non-judgemental way you give her the option to change.
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Postby lil » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:32 am

I totaly know where your coming from.... I have left my previous job mainly because of the boss she was an absolute nightmare....her behaviour was pretty similar to what you have said about your boss'. I know this piece of advice probably wont seem helpful in the slightest at the moment but she will get whats coming to her. About a year later after I left all her employees apart from one were absoloutely fed up of her behaviour so all left and set up a new business. HA HA I was sooo pleased when I found out. I found spitting in her tea rather funny at times (not recomended though lol) I know its immature and not constructive at all but it was funny at the time!!!!
good luck x
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Postby An Sapphire Gael » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:25 pm

:!: My friend, do not make the mistake that you can change your boss. She is a Sub-Clinical Psycopath. Your company has not dealt with the problem and is obviously gaining a reputation (as evidenced by email to you). Whilst you may admire her and like her 50% of the time, make no mistake, the Law of Return is not on your side...she has a history and she is fully aware of the impact her behaviour has and to believe otherwise puts you in danger of following the same direction as previous employees. My tip is to deal with the situation as it arises with assertive behaviour on your part. Best of luck my friend. 8)
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Postby katie_G » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:18 am

Thanks guys for your tips. I have tried talking to her about some things, but trying to put it gently. At the moment we work in separate offices, with two offices in between us. She actually suggested that we move into the same office yesterday... so she doesn't have to walk down the hallway when she needs to ask me to do something!
I could never let this happen, we shared an office for the first month I worked here and it was no fun. She looked over my shoulder all day, listenened in & commented on all my phone conversations and frequently asked me to leave the room so she could make sickeningly mushy personal calls herself. My words went something along the lines of "I would really really really prefer to keep my own office", and after a long drawn-out conversation I managed to talk her out of it.
I told her I'm finding it difficult not being able to manage my own time, there are too many things left unfinished, and it's too hard to do all he "little extra things" and admin work for the department (when she's around she controlls every second of my time). She was a bit defensive, stressing how much work she does and saying that all that admin work was always going to be a part of my role (I am an art director). I left work that day thinking that the only option would be to find another job to go to if I wanted to work on more design stuff.
She phoned me after work (she often calls on weekends or after work) and told me not to think she wasn't thinking about what I've said, and do I think it would help if she hired another person to share the workload.
SO we will be getting another person after XMAS, which has made me happy, I just hope they last! & I'm yet to work up the courage to tell her not to treat me so badly. :?
katie_G
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Postby An Sapphire Gael » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:02 am

[ :lol: b]Well done Katie. Seems to me like you are getting the hang of it. Your boss seems to be rather lonely and unsure of herself as evidenced by her retraction and getting you some admin. I think she really wants a friend and has no idea of professional boundaries. My next suggestion is to smile, avoid over analysing the "relationship" with her and to assume that your requests are reasonable. Next time you receive the out of hours call express surprise at the call and ask if there is some emergency as you are about to go out to dinner, your hair is dripping....you get the picture :wink: Actions speak louder than words, you are clearly a capable professional and with this woman you will have to educate her on the meaning of professionalism...with a smile hiding the grimace! by the way, don't assume she will indeed get the admin, keep your eye on it...suggest that you do the advert... take care[/b]
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Postby katie_G » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:20 am

I have a strong suspision now that my boss has Borderline Personality Disorder. I have looked this up on the internet and she seems to have every single symptom. She is very irrational, has massive moodswings and simply can't control her temper. She gets completely crazy-mad at really small things, and I know she has a history of broken relationships i.e. she has been engaged 4 times but never married. She broke up with her current boyfriend for a few days and Oh My God! what a drama it was!! And I have been told that when she broke up with her last fiance she had been drinking alcohol before work every day for two weeks afterwards. She took it really badly even though it was her decision to break up with him.
I'm convinced that she needs help, as the way things are at work are getting really bad. Her temper tantrums upset everybody who works around us and we all have trouble concentrating. I am the person whom happens to be her scapegoat & outlet, and I am very tired of being the object of sympathy throughout the entire office. It seems as though everyone's talking about it. There have been multiple complaints made though nothing seems to really help, people have been complaining about her for years. They really have tried everything, from group meetings with the department she used to manage with her & a HR person present, to one-on-one yelling matches, to quiet chats and nothing has worked in the long term.
The thing is, she is really creatively talented & very good at what she does, she brings in a lot of money for the company and I seriously doubt they will fire her. I want to continue to work with her because I can still learn a great deal to help my own career.
I am stuck at how to help her. Is there an easy way to tell a very controlling boss she seriously needs psychiatric help? I do understand & I'm not having a go at her, I feel I should do something about it. :? :?:
katie_G
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