Work: Nightmares & Dreamscapes

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.

11 thoughts on “Work: Nightmares & Dreamscapes

  1. Well, that’s a lot of complaints to absorb, but first off:
    “Don’t pay them for the time they suffered with you for at least two months.”

    You are stating that you were not paid for two months that you worked. That’s hard to believe, unless you are an illegal immigrant and afraid to call authorities. I have been an employee and an employer and the one complaint (to the local labor board, a phone call away) that invokes an *immediate* response is a charge of unpaid labor. It’s really a heartwarming sight to see how quickly a labor board will correct that, and with almost draconian measures. (They will actually freeze your employer’s bank accounts.) Believe me, if you worked two months without a paycheck (that’s incredible in itself, what were you thinking?) you have easy recourse. Have you actually tried to get paid?

  2. I think she meant that it took her two months to get a paycheck, not that she never got one

    Syntax, yeah? (in a Ricky Gervais voice)

  3. That would be: “Don’t pay them for at least two months for the time they suffered with you.”

  4. (Hi, Natalia!)

    According to the manner-place-time rule for postverbal prepositional phrases, I actually think Natalia was correct, even though lexically/semantically you do have a point. She certainly wasn’t unclear, though; “for at least two months” couldn’t be the direct object without a defining article.

    My God, I’m even annoying myself right now.

    And this sentence isn’t the point, anyway, heh. Don’t you wonder how people who are so incompetent got to managerial positions in the first place? Is it all nepotism, or are they promoted by other morons, or what?

  5. “We’re working in a male-dominated environment”

    That sort of us versus them thinking might suggest what her “qualifications” were. Any guesses whether a male employee would get a fair shake from her?

  6. ***Any guesses whether a male employee would get a fair shake from her?***

    No employee would get a fair shake from someone like that.

    With women – this person used the gender card.

    With men – this person used the gender card, only she flipped it over.

  7. “No employee would get a fair shake from someone like that.”

    You sure, Natalia? You sure that remarks about dominating women and women taking over wouldn’t concern you if they came from your male supervisor? Especially if you heard him and another male employee talking about it? You wouldn’t wonder if a gender agenda could affect your chances for advancement etc.?
    NOW would be looking to sue.

  8. How about a nice honest “I don’t want to answer that question because it might tend to expose my equal rights advocacy as a fraud.”

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