Angry’s post regarding bad bosses has inspired me to take a stroll down memory lane – or back alley, considering how much I would like to forget the things I am about to tell you.
I have been very lucky with my bosses – as a high school student, while in college, and now, in what passes for “the real world.” I think I am at the point in my life where I can appreciate a good leader, and humble myself before them.
There is one particular past experience that still gives me nightmares, however. It happened a while ago. I had just gotten a new job at a company I’ll refer to as Y. My new boss, X, seemed like a fairly decent individual, but within the space of twenty-four hours or so, X began showing the classic signs of Shittyleaderitis. They were:
No expectations – And by this I mean that X had plenty of expectations, they just didn’t tell us about them. What’s the point? We probably have ESP anyway!
No adequate equipment – Here’s a great idea: give someone a very lengthy, detail-oriented task that requires the usage of a computer in order to be completed in a timely and neat fashion – and then take away all the computers! Proceed to meet a reasonable, polite request for machines with anger and suspicion – “hey, it’s not my fault the computers are gone, don’t look at me!”
Play the gender card – After you’ve screwed up by not expressing your expectations and not providing equipment – never admit your mistake! Oh no! Just tell your employee that “women have to meet higher standards. We’re working in a male-dominated environment, and everyone has to prove herself. I want you to succeed – I’m just testing you.” Brilliant!
Throw in a little harassment – Threaten the employee’s job 24 hours after she starts it, after having given her the wrong work/project description. Be as rude as you can about it. Berate her in front of her co-workers while you’re at it. What? We’re all friends here – we have no secrets from each other.
Threaten to take away breaks – Who gives a crap if they’re required by law?
Change your mind halfway through the project – Make everyone scramble to accommodate your inability to make decisions. If anyone politely asks you what’s going on, snap “THINGS CHANGE” in an irritable voice.
Force your employees to do unpaid overtime – Because, you see, they’re the ones that made all of the above mistakes. They’re the ones that can’t hold it together. They’re the ones who made the computers disappear. It’s not your fault that the work description was completely off – they’re just illiterate morons who probably wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway. You were just trying to save paper… or something.
And finally, after said employees quit in disgust and exasperation:
Don’t pay them for the time they suffered with you for at least two months.