By Nik Lemmens
If you wake up smiling everyday, eager to get to work, then count yourself lucky! With long commutes, tight deadlines, and annoying co-workers, it seems that there is always something to complain about and make you dread your daily trek into the office. But if you find yourself in the position of hating your boss, what should you do about it?
How did the situation arise?
Getting stuck with a ‘bad boss’ can be as easy as having your nice boss leave and management replace him with someone else, or perhaps you are the one who has moved into a new promotion and it is your new superior who is causing problems for you. There may just have been something that went wrong and altered the relationship you had with your boss. However you got yourself in this situation, you need to figure out what to do about it.
What type of boss do you have?
First of all, you need to understand what you are dealing with, in terms of your boss’s bad characteristics.
The Smooth Talker
This manipulative boss will be more concerned about themselves, rather than the business and will lie his way to success. They will always blame others for failure, but take all the credit when something goes well.
This hard-working boss will set unrealistic deadlines, assign weekend travel, and call you at home for updates. They never offer recognition or reward for your hard work, but simply demand more.
The Arrogant Steamroller
This patronizing boss uses intimidation, sarcasm, and fear as their key motivators. They will make decisions without consulting others and feel that they are always right.
The Incompetent Drone
This useless boss always seems to make stupid choices, but as they never rock the boat, they are safe in their position.
Who really has the problem?
Now, stop and think for a second. Is this really an accurate portrayal of your boss? Has anyone else in the office complained about him round the water cooler, or gone to Human Resources with an official complaint? If it is common knowledge that they are not fulfilling their role of boss in the best possible way, then you may have the right to be upset and expect something to be done about it; however, if nobody else feels that there is a situation that needs addressing, it might be time to take a look at your own personal situation. Is it something at work that is upsetting you and should be dealt with or is something going on in your personal life, such as moving house, problems with your spouse, or a baby on the way? If you think some time off would help you resolve what is causing the issue, request some leave.
What can you do? / What are your options?
File a report
Depending on your company, running off to HR may not have the desired effect, especially if nobody else has voiced any displeasure at your boss’s management style. However, if you are feeling sexually harassed or physically threatened then you should definitely report it as soon as possible.
Quit your job
Obviously this should be the last resort, but if you feel that the situation is not able to be resolved, it may be the best decision. Don’t quit before you have lined up another job and try to leave on good terms as you are bound to want good references to help with your job search.
Deal with it
Find a way to handle the situation and make your life at work more manageable, but this is easier said than done!
How can you cope?
If you are determined to stand your ground and not be driven out of your position or the company where you work, try these ways of dealing with your problem boss:
Communicate like them
learn their styles and methods of communication and imitate them. If your boss prefers formal memos or informal emails, do the same as them.
observe your boss’s pet peeves and make sure not to push their buttons.
Copy your colleagues
scrutinize those who are chosen for promotion and try to be more like them.
Document bad behaviour
detail any offensive comments, outbursts, etc. in case you do decide to file a complaint.
Having to deal with a difficult boss makes the workday drag on forever. It can be a chore to get up and go into the office and, in extreme cases, can lead to resignation. If you have a boss you can’t stand, before handing in your walking papers, take a look at the situation to figure out what is causing your frustration and anger. If it is really your boss who is at fault, try to deal with it before quitting your job.
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