b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: The Verdict’s In… As If We Didn’t Know

10/02/2006

 

The Verdict’s In… As If We Didn’t Know

So I read this article today that further bolsters the belief that working in a toxic environment results in negative physical consequences. Well, no kidding!

What is interesting in this article is something that the head of Working America points out. Karen Nussbaum remarks that while people have suffered through bad bosses for years now, the types of bad bosses that we see these days are much worse than they were years ago. Nowadays, bad bosses aren’t laughable; they’re horrifying.

There's a funny story of a boss who made his staff wear a rubber chicken around their neck when they made a mistake (I would have tied a cinder block around my boss’ neck and tossed them off a bridge), and an agonizing story of a boss who refused an employee the afternoon off when their mother was dying. You know, if there’s a dying parent in the picture, you know that employee isn’t taking off for giggles.

Furthermore, a quote from an HR rep in the article says that they don’t “have time” to be nice to employees. Oh I’m sorry, since when has it been okay not to have the common decency to show another person some respect? And please tell me why this person is working in HR!?!? The sad thing is, this isn’t the first I’ve read or heard about this phenomenon. What I don’t understand is why no one does anything about it. It really costs nothing to be polite to someone.

So, the people that are trapped in these situations (and I used to be one of them) need to have alternatives. They need to do a little of something everyday that makes them feel better. Personally, I don’t think it’s enough to pick up a new hobby. Hey, my job sucks because I have a mean boss, but hey; I know how to crochet now so I can make my own noose to hang from! Yippee!

No – people need to do things like work on their resume and either contact a couple of people each day in their network looking for a new job, or take a class that will give them a new skill to use to make them more marketable for a new job, or make preparations in order to quit. These things do not happen overnight. However, if a person can take these small steps on a daily basis, they will at least know that they are making progress toward a goal that makes their current stressful situation more finite.

Keep in mind: help is out there and there are always options.

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