Say yes if you understand me

Editor’s Note: It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a submission with such detailed accounts of the antics of a megalomaniac boss. And then Jonathan sent me this. This post’s title is just one of many condescending comments she made to her employees – and below is just a small sample of some of the things she did. Thankfully, after just four months (which must have seemed more like four years to her employees) this non-manager was demoted.

This is an account of a rude, condescending, commanding manager, with the social skills of a child, and the leadership skills of someone raised in the wild. I don’t want to say I’m a better person than her, but being a bit older and being college educated while she is not definitely did not help my attitude towards her when she started casting out commands.

I began working a second job at a family owned t-shirt store in the city. With-in my first month the owners decided to open another smaller kiosk inside of the public market. I agreed to transfer over to the new shop and begin working under the newly promoted manager, who was being transferred from the shipping department at the warehouse.

Tensions were high amongst the owners, managers and employees the first couple days working in the kiosk. The stress of the deadline to open, arranging the product and deciding where things should go, how things should be presented, etc., had tempers boiling over. I met my new manager and after a friendly first hour of her telling me what her expectations and hopes for the store would be, she slowly began turning into a monster. She began to pick at the way I stood, the order in which I laid out product, the direction tags of shirts should be. Although I found this to be a bit picky, I didn’t see much harm in it, she just had a certain way she wanted things, and most of her abruptness I chalked up to being under stress from the owners to get things underway and start making sales and having a tidy professional-looking workplace. I knew this was her first time ever being in charge or being in any position of power so I let most things slide off my back when she would snip about something small.

After things had settled down with the store and we had gotten into the swing of things, she did not follow suit. In fact she got progressively worse.

Here are a list of dialogues and run-ins we had over the first six weeks:

  • I show up my first day on my own. Knowing she had been stressed, I parked at a meter just outside the building to make sure I was there early enough to help her set up. After an hour of arranging, I tell her that I now needed to go park my car in the lot, which was about 1/2 mile away.  She responds “You can’t do this when you start here by yourself you know. You’re lucky I’m here.”  To which I respond: “Yes I’m aware of that, I just wanted to help you because I know you’ve been stressing about this whole thing.”

Her reply: “Just so we’re clear, I was helping YOU…Do you understand?”

  • “Is that how I told you I wanted those arranged?” “You need to smile more even when there aren’t customers present. If you smile and talk to them more, they’ll give you more money, and that’s really all we care about.” “You need to face this direction, don’t ever turn your back, even if you need to get something behind you.” “Those glasses aren’t arranged right, make them look happier.” “What would you do if I wasn’t here to save you? (Because I asked how to open the new receipt machine)” “I thought I talked to you about this, I don’t want more than 50 singles in the drawer.

 

  • Her: “Do you have any questions before I leave?”  Me: “I don’t think so…..OH wait, yes, when we get the new shipment where should I display them?” Her: “Okay, when I ask you if you have any questions, that’s what I meant. You need to ask me right away. (Because I had to think about it)

 

  • Her: (barely audible noise facing away from me which I didn’t really hear and assumed she wasn’t talking to me) Her again: “HEY. I’M TALKING TO YOU. YOU NEED TO ANSWER ME AND NOT IGNORE ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU. LOOK AT ME. ARE YOU JUST GOING TO IGNORE ME? IS THAT HOW IT’S GOING TO BE?”

 

  • “Say yes if you understand me.”

After 4 months she FINALLY got demoted from manager, in what was called “a huge mistake in judgement putting her in charge.” She then had the nerve to come in to work and tell everyone that she had actually “stepped down”, even though we were all aware of what actually happened.

Got your own personal megalomaniac boss? Share your story in the comment section, or email denised (@) reallybadboss (dot) com.

Research Suggests Your Boss May Actually be Psycho or, One More Thing You Didnt Need Research to Tell You

“Not all psychopaths are in prison — some are in the boardroom.”

At least that’s what Canadian psychologist and co-author of the book “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work”, Dr. Robert Hare thinks.  And admit it, so do you. In fact, if you’ve had a really, really bad boss, you’re thinking, “they needed to do research about this?”  My poisoned Kool-Aid pushing former boss leads the psycho-pack followed closely by the one who screamed profanities at us on a regular basis. There are more, many more, but they may not actually classify as full psycho.

Psychopaths are conscienceless narcissists who mimic rather than feel real emotions. And according to CNN.com, there’s at least one study out there that shows that people with psychopathic tendencies are “four times more likely to be found in senior management.”

British researcher Clive Boddy reminds us that the majority of psychopaths aren’t criminal and find other ways, such as taking risks with other people’s money or property, to satisfy their desires. Corporate psychopaths lie, steal credit for work they haven’t done, and are easily bored. They’re risk takers without much concern about the consequences.  Sound like anyone you work for?

Read the full article, Bad bosses: They Psycho-path to Success on CNN.com to confirm what you’ve suspected all along about your boss. (Image: Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko)

 

Rod Blagojevich is still delusional – wants to know “What happened?”

Rod Blagojevich (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

What happened is that something finally, triumphantly, penetrated that Teflon hair and attitude of yours Blago. After deliberating for 9 days, a jury found the former Illinois Governor guilty on 17 corruption-related charges. The charges include trying to sell President Obama’s former Senate seat. NBC reports:

Blagojevich had faced 20 charges, including the Senate seat allegation and that he schemed to shake down executives for campaign donations. He was convicted on all charges regarding the Senate seat. According to Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair, Blagojevich turned to his wife Patti and whispered “I love you” after the verdict was read. Patti kept shaking her head and remained seated as the jury exited the trial room. Blagojevich is reportedly “stunned.”

Blagojevich, who’s spent the past two years proclaiming his innocence to anyone who would listen and trying his hand at reality TV, says he’s “stunned” by the verdict.

Immediately after it was read, Blagojevich turned to his attorney and asked “What happened?” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald knows what happened. He had this to say after the verdict, “The jury sent a loud and clear message that Governor Blagojevich committed very serious crimes shaking down a children’s hospital, trying to sell a Senate seat and demanding cash campaign contributions in advance before signing a bill.”

Read the full recount of the verdict and Blagojevich’s reaction here. Catch up on our love-hate relationship with the former governor and other RBB politicians here.

Horrible Bosses: So bad they made a movie about it…

Hollywood is banking on the fact that zillions of Americans hate their bad bosses enough to fork over the $10+ price of admission to see Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day plot the ultimate demise of their respective bosses played by Kevin Spacey – a white color schmuck -, Jennifer Aniston  – a sexual predator – and Colin Farrell – a drug addicted, fiercely-combed-over pig. The movie opens July 8th and I have a feeling that these bosses are so horribly over the top that even the real-life bad bosses will despise them. Can’t wait to review it…

The movie opens July 8th, but take a look at the official trailer now…

 

Foxconn: You might be a bad boss if…

foxconn_employeesyour employees must sign pledges promising not to commit suicide. After a rash of suicides last summer, Taiwanese company Foxconn, component producer for Apple products, added the clause requiring employees to forego suicide as an option.

An option to what? Well while Foxconn execs claim ignorance as to the cause of the suicides, employees report a list of grievances, including:

  • earning closer to CNY 950 ($146) per month as opposed to the CNY 1600 (about $246) promised
  • forced and under/unpaid overtime
  • living with up to six other people in a cramped dorm room
  • hostile and military like work environments
  • unhealthy and hazardous conditions

A 22-year-old woman who was interviewed about the conditions at Foxconn responded, “”Some of my roommates weep in the dormitory. I want to cry as well but my tears have not come out.”

Following the suicides, Apple went to Foxconn to monitor conditions. They found that appropriate measures had been taken to ensure worker safety.  But a report by the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) found that conditions at one of Foxconn’s manufacturing facilities don’t meet Apple’s own Supplier Code of Conduct standards.

Read SACOM’s full report here, and learn more about the conditions under which Foxconn employees are forced to work here.

So, what’s your iPod worth to you, and should we, as Apple consumers, be more concerned with where our gadgets come from?

The Great Seducer taken into custody

Dominique-Strauss-KahnThe head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, dubbed “the great seducer” for his reputation with women, was taken into custody over the weekend and in court today, charged with attempted rape and criminal sexual contact. The charges stem from Strauss-Kahn’s alleged attack of a maid who entered  his penthouse suite at a New York hotel.

The 32-year-old maid who filed the report claims that when she entered Strauss-Kahn’s suite early Saturday afternoon, Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom, chased her, then pulled her into a bedroom where he sexually assaulted her. The woman eventually broke free, alerting hotel staff to the attack. Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived.

Less than 4 hours after the alleged assault the 62-year-old married father of four was removed from a Paris-bound flight at J.F.K. International Airport.

Today, a lawyer for a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Strauss-Kahn nine years ago said she now wants to file a legal complaint against him.

Read more about the arrest of the great seducer here.

More than half of bosses haven’t received management training

You don’t say…

Career Builder’s newest survey tells us what we’ve known all along – most bosses say they’d never gotten management training before becoming managers. The survey also spoke to 4,000 workers and in 25% of them accused their supervisor of playing favorites and a whopping 40% said their company’s leadership team didn’t listen to employees or try to raise morale.

The survey also found  that 26% of managers were skeptical about their ability to manage when first hired. They were particularly concerned about being able to deal with issues between co-workers.

Read more about the survey here.

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