In my ongoing effort to help make Monday mornings a little more bearable, here’s a repost that should help you make it through the work week, one day at a time…
Years ago when jobs were plentiful (ask you parents about it), if you had a really bad boss, you’d do one of two things. You’d hit the streets – literally – in search of a new job, or you’d bite your tongue, bide your time and wait for your pension. These days when you hit the streets, the streets hit back and pensions have gone the way of the 8-track tape and Betamax (ask your parents about that too.) So, for many of us, for now at least, we’re stuck with our really bad bosses a lot longer than we’d planned on. So, how do you deal with a really bad boss when leaving just isn’t an option? The answer is, one day at a time.
My most stressed times dealing with bad bosses came in anticipation of the things I feared they would say and do. After “disobeying a direct order” (my non-military bosses actual words,) I spent an entire weekend tossing and turning, worried that I would show up to work on Monday, only to be unceremoniously escorted out the door by our version of security (the HR manager off her meds). But after spending my entire weekend worrying about Monday, on Monday my boss never even mentioned the incident. In fact, she never brought it up again.
Then there was the time I totaled the company car. Yes, I totaled the company car…during my second week on the job. Giving my really bad boss at the time, a man who never required a legitimate reason to scream and curse, the legitimate reason to top all legitimate reasons. As he screamed and cursed at me at length in his office, I tried to defend myself – citing the helium balloons in the back seat of the car I’d hit, the full moon, and the questionable chicken salad sandwich I’d had for lunch as possible causes of the accident. It was terrible – the sandwich and the meeting with my boss. So terrible in fact, I thought my job and career were over. They weren’t. I survived that boss’ verbal beat-down and every one that came after that for the two years I worked for him.
The point is, we typically can’t control the actions of our really bad bosses, but we can control ours. No matter how bad our bosses are, we work for them, and work we must. We can either do that work in anxiety and fear, or we can choose to take the high road. By taking the high road – the road less travelled – we live above the noise and the nonsense. If we work at it, we’ll be able to see a lot more, learn a lot more and experience the phenomenal personal and professional growth not readily found elsewhere. It’s a cliché’ for a reason, but the best way to deal with any life challenge, even one of the really bad boss variety, is one day at a time.
How do you cope with your really bad boss? Tell us in the comment section. We’ll share all your tips in a future post.