Those of us with really bad bosses suffer more when times are rough
I was talking to a friend of mine recently, a hard-working, intelligent guy whose skills are in high demand. When he learned his employer was folding and layoffs were looming, he wasted no time finding another job. Within a couple of weeks, he’d accepted an offer with another company. Three months into the new job, he realized he’d walked into a company with serious management issues. Frustrated, he tried going through the proper channels to have the problems addressed. First he went to the offending manager, who basically told him to get back to work. When he went to that manager’s manager, he was told to hang in there. A trip to human resources sent him straight into the proverbial brick wall. The final straw came when in a meeting with both managers he was actually asked “where do you think you’re gonna find anything better in this job market?”
There have been times in my own career when I’ve felt like my bosses must have been thinking that very same thing. “Where are they going to go in this job market?” And because they felt that way they either took us for granted, or worse, knowingly and willfully continued to mismanage and mistreat us.
When times are bad, bad management seems to get even worse. It’s a disorder that primarily affects companies whose management is already pretty horrible. Whether you blame it on cockiness, their own fear of job instability or plain old stupidity, bad bosses are notorious for making bad situations even worse. Managers who can’t function well during good times will most certainly fall to pieces when times get rough, and we, the employees, are the collateral damage.
For obvious reasons, I look forward to our current economy turning the corner and returning to its former glory. Another perk of the economic turnaround will be witnessing the mass exodus that occurs when good employees feel it’s safe enough to finally leave their really bad bosses.