In my case, my first Bad Boss happened early. In fact, it was the second job I held while in high school.
The place I worked was the best fabric store in my city. As a seamstress myself, getting a job there seemed like nirvana – until I actually worked there. The woman who owned the store apparently was legendary throughout the city as being a Bad Boss. In fact, I think the term for her was an “Old Battle Ax”.
As part of my training, she lectured me on how I was there to do two things: 1- sell her merchandise and 2- make the store attractive so people would want to buy her merchandise. The rules were: 1- never speak to other employees 2- if I had a question, she was the only one qualified to answer 3- if she was absent, there were only 2 people I could seek out for answers. I obediently complied.
In my year there, I had learned to “fly under the radar”. You didn’t want her to notice you – ever. I had seen a person quit after being there for only an hour. I had seen her torment a fellow employee, a woman my mother’s age, to the point that the woman was crying, as she was measuring out fabric for a customer. The Bad Boss stood there, spitting in my co-workers face, yelling at the top of her lungs all while the customer (who was cringing and cowering herself) had to watch. That was only one episode in a job that witnessed daily doses of outrageous behavior from the boss.
My own encounter with her was one evening as she entered the store, she saw me speaking to a customer. She thought I was speaking to another employee – a breach of a cardinal rule in her mind. A few minutes later, after she had dropped off her stuff and the customer left, she approached me yelling and shaking her fist. I had no idea what had set her off, so I asked. It infuriated her more. I explained I was talking to a customer which made her even angrier yelling “Do you think I’m stupid?” Well, I answered her: “No, I just think you are mistaken”. She was stunned to silence, which I took as a sign the conversation was finished – apparently it wasn’t. I had started to walk away when she grabbed me from behind, spun me around and began a high-pitched tirade.
When she finally stopped long enough to suck in air, I brushed her hands off and told her “You don’t have permission to touch me or yell at me. I work hard for you but I draw the line there.” I walked away but this time, dead silence. She didn’t fire me and we kept a polite distance until I went away to college. She kept doing what had made her my town’s worst boss.
So there you go. That’s my first Bad Boss. I have more stories but I’d like to hear yours. Either post yours below or if you prefer privacy post here: http://nextchapternewlife.com/bad-boss-entry/