Crazy Bosses

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast the boss.


A reader from suburban New York City writes...

Several years ago I landed a job with a great company making a very good salary. I was one if the initial employees in this new start -up department. Over one-and-a-half years our department added ten more people.  My territory was quite large as well as filling in for vactioning/out on leave employees in that new department.  When it came time for 'senior' to be added to my title I was overlooked in favor of a person with less time in the department & co., much less territory & case load.  I let it go. I had been  mentally & emotionally jumping through hoops to please this boss & accelerated this behavior assuring myself next time you will definitely get the raise.

Well, it didn't work.  Same results.  That did it!  I refused to sign the evaluation &  requested a mtg with the boss from her assistant. I did hear a 'gasp' come out of her and she remarked, annoyed; "It will take weeks before you get an appointment."  "So be it," I said .

What a sense of freedom came over me to have finally spoken up. Nothing I could do would have ever made the grade with her and calling her, this BULLY,(as she was to a couple of other people in our department) on the carpet I figured my days were numbered. I no longer asked 'how high' when she said 'jump'.  We had our meeting within days and and 2 mos later she stated she was resigning. This woman had a fabulous paying job, why would she jeapordize it by acting like an idiot?  No managerial skills, highly insecure.  I just didn't get it !

About a year later several 'reps' approached me to say she had been asked to leave, had lied to them & took credit for many of their ideas. I did not offer any comment to these remarks but was actually surprised. As it turned out when we relocated to a new office, her former boss provided me with an 'office with a window'  (we only had desks). Believe it or not I think about this woman from time to time & think how foolish she behaved & feel somewhat sorry for her.  I hope she learned her lesson.  And still today I don't fully understand these kind of people & the reason for their behavior.

Oh yes, shortly thereafter I did receive my title of 'senior' which included a healthy raise.

7 Comments Add Comment

It sounds like a case of "Empire Building"...a new start up deptartment, new promoting the "Yes" people (less qualified, but so much more potential!)the Boss gets a chance to set up a dictatorship...using the promotions to reward the most loyal individuals. Glad to hear it all worked out for you in the long run.

well it paid off for you.

People complain too much about work. But I guess complaining about your job is better than smoking methamphetamine. Hey wait a minute, smoking methamphetamine is cool!

The reasons for why seemingly less qualified people get promoted are many. I can tell you a few. Bias (as in gender bias. You are a woman. Your boss is a man. You are a top-performer and train all incoming new hires, only to be passed over for promotion because the new hire is a man). The boss may have put him/herself in a compromising position with the less qualified person, or made promises that person is now asking them to honor, and won't listen to reason. The boss simply has a thing for the less-qualified person.

Simple. They view you as a threat. Be chirpy, be excited, but do not be too threateningly bright. A good boss wants to hire people better than her because this is what makes a great company. Working your way out of a job is the best way to leave it in good standing.

I'm no psych major, but it seems to me that most of these types of managers are in over their heads and lack experience / education & sometimes are looking for validation from their staff rather than giving it... like a teen parent looking to their child for love rather than giving it.

I've seen this routinely happen where I work. It's confusing. The harder someone works here, the less likely you are to be promoted or given a raise. In fact, if you ask for a raise it will be denied and then it's routinely granted to someone who never asked for money!