b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: When the Boss is a Coward

7/12/2006

 

When the Boss is a Coward

There are many unpleasant things we endure when we work for someone else. Of course, there is the rare occasion where we actually like our jobs and our bosses, but for the most part, people either simply put up with it or are flat-out miserable.

Most times, you know what kind of person you’re dealing with when it comes to your boss. If you’ve been in your job long enough, you know who your boss is and the things that make them tick.

If you’re lucky, your boss is a good, intelligent, and wise leader. They’ll be upfront about your strengths and weaknesses and let you know where you stand almost all of the time.

If you’re unlucky you won’t see any of that. You’ll constantly be in the dark about what’s happening, what your boss is doing and even what it is you’re supposed to be doing.

But the *truly* unlucky are people such as myself, who have had bosses that possess a natural look of a deer in headlights. If there is such a thing as a “natural” look as this, these people have it.

Here’s an example of what I mean by this: you were given a project that’s been changed over and over so that you no longer have any idea what the objective is. On top of that, you’re being criticized and you don’t know why since you’re only following the last set of orders given. Then, to rub salt in the wound, when the boss berates you and you ask why, they say NOTHING.

A good boss will tell you the answer. A bad boss will lie to your face. The ultimate in Idiot Bosses will simply stare at you. No words, no nothing. Just a blank stare. There’s no other way to send the signal of “we don’t want you here” than by not giving any response when one is requested.

In my book, this is cowardice. If you don’t like the job that I’m doing, it is your responsibility as my manager to tell me so that I can fix it. If you tell me nothing it makes you a bad boss with no spine.

Go find a book. Read it to get a clue then steal the spine and attach it to your back. It may be temporary, but you’ll get the feel for what having one is really like.

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