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This is a question My Arch-nemesis

I lived in fear of a Darth Vader-esque school dinner lady who stood me perpetually at the naughty table for refusing to eat mushy peas. An ordeal made worse after I was caught spooning the accursed veg into her wellies. Who, we ask, has wrecked your life?

Thanks to Philly G for the suggestion

(, Thu 29 Apr 2010, 12:01)
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bad boss but over it...
So many parallels with others experiences of their bosses...
I started the same week as ‘Jane’ and after about 3 months realised she wasn’t up to the job and then had a further 5 years of her incompetence, lies, bitching and backbiting and cover up for her abject failure. As I write this I realise there is no anger or tension as I remember it when at one time my blood pressure would have gone through the roof and I would have been reaching for the prozac.

What made it worse that despite the grievances and complaints (not just from me) feedback from exit interviews, internal clients office survey’s and me like twat thinking it would change, forgiving each time, she never did.
I kept remembering the cartoon of Charlie Brown and Lucy with the ball she always took pulled away despite reassurance that she wouldn’t.

After a the second grievance we reached an unspoken compromise that she would do the minimum supervision/interference and we would play the game. But it would still send me mental that she had control of my salary, bonus and promotion and felt I had to be on the verge of paranoia to make sure she wasn’t doing something to put me into deep shit.
She could be sneaky and just slightly change feedback into criticism ‘forget’ to do stuff and absolutely never took any kind of responsibility when things went wrong and always blamed other people and downright lie to your face when you have the evidence in front of you.
She also had the knack of finding your weakness and using it to manipulate and control, mine was always looking at what I did in a situation and taking responsibility for that and seeing the positive in others. This is an insidious type of bullying as we tend to think of the usual type with aggression and intimidation. Like using shit nicknames for people that was to appear rapport building but was mildly degrading and heavy use of her ability to patronise.

She also had the habit of when you assertively made a point about something she would become aggressive and say don’t you dare shout and talk to me like that and completely divert what you had been trying to say.

She once took nearly a year off with ‘stress’ after one of the sales trainers accused her of bullying him and that really endeared herself to all of us, unfortunately he was a bit of a cock and she again got the benefit of the doubt and no company ever likes to be accused of causing stress so she had them over the proverbial barrel. But the benefit was the team had a great time despite the uncertainty over what would happen and her return was difficult as we had all been great at running our teams without any input from her.

I loved my job, I had a great time with my internal clients, the work was rewarding and challenging , the company was fun with trips all over the world. The department had the best bunch of people I ever worked and had such a laugh with in and out of work but she hung over the place like a Bhopal cloud and just had a constant, grating toxic effect on me that if I thought about it too much would just send me mental in frustration.
This was especially true when she got the credit for the success of the department and a massive salary.

I think she really disliked me as I tended to be vocal in team meetings or in the office and stood up when things went wrong and had great relationships with the business which were pretty untouchable.

Nobody really warmed to her but she managed to get on with and give the appearance of a caring boss while being the laziest manager I have worked with. The HR director just seemed to be blind to all the negative comments until it finally clicked that it might just be her at the root of peoples unhappiness.

I can honestly say she did not make any contribution to my progression, helped me learn anything about my job or how to manage in the whole time I was there. It did, however, demonstrate how not to be a great leader and manager.

I transfered to an even better role internally when I got to the point of realising I would never move up in the company where I was, and had 2 more fantastic years still having a great job with the travel.

When the company downsized last I took the generous package on offer and now run a successful consultancy and have loads of time with my family, I heard she had applied for her job and was completely uncomprehending and bitter that she was turned down, although the huge payout she got, which even a year later, feels wholly undeserved.
And I really don’t give monkey’s where she is now or to what she is doing, I do though feel sorry for the people or company she is working for though as these patterns of behaviour tend to be consistent over a long period of time.

She wasn’t a bad person, she just had the ability to present herself as being more effective than she was and was able to manipulate people and situations to her advantage.
She was no doubt scared of being shown up as not having the skills or capability to do her job and she probably saw herself through a mirror by my ‘feedback’ which was she was desperately wanting to avoid hence all the manipulation and snide behaviours to cover it up as it psychologically would all come crashing down.

Hey ho, apologies for the length but you like them long, don’t you...
(, Fri 30 Apr 2010, 9:46, 2 replies)
Man, I'm in the same situation you were in. How did you cope?!
Seriously. How did you cope? I need tips, before I develop acute coronary syndrome!
(, Fri 30 Apr 2010, 17:00, closed)
thats 5 years of frustration condensed
being told to man up, talking to people and venting my frustration, being assertive and collecting evidence. having a clear goal in a situation and not being diverted. remembering what a cunt she was and people like that never win out in the end.
always remembering to mention/shoehorn her upbringing in south africa to when talking to black folk in the business and the servants she used to have. damning her with faint praise asking her if she had lost weight recently when she clearly had put it on.
having good people around you makes a great difference.
when you get to the point where i could have wept in frustration getting someone to help you see it in perspective and look at what you can do to change it really does make a difference.
(, Fri 30 Apr 2010, 17:17, closed)

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