If you have been in the workforce for a long period of time there is a good chance you have had to deal with/handle a horrible boss. This is a subject really close to my heart because not only have I felt the effects of a horrible boss, but also, many of my friends have also experienced, and or still are experiencing the wrath of a horrible boss. I’m going to tell my story. If you’re not interested in that, skip down to second centered heading to see my tips on how to handle a horrible boss. But seriously, my story is a prime example of how to handle a horrible boss. If you wanna know my story keep reading!
My sophomore year in college I got a waitressing job to help pay for tuition. It was my second job. I had high expectations to do well. That made it all the more crushing when I had my first encounter with someone who my old coworkers and customers commonly referred to as Satan in disguise. For the first week, she and I got along fairly well. I was commended the first day by the employee training me for not getting yelled at. I was told that never happens. That, however, did not last long.
Very soon her true colors came out. She began slamming things, calling group meetings and filleting all the employees together. She made snide comments about my body in front of other employees. If she couldn’t see something to yell about, she would create something. On several occasions, customers saw her yelling at me and tipped me $20 and apologized for what I was dealing with (that’s how I knew it was bad). On several other occasions, I caught her gossiping about me to other employees.
One day she changed the schedule the day before I had to work and put me to morning shift without telling me. She fired me as I walked in front of all of the employees and customers. Luckily I had a photo of the schedule posted the day before on my phone. I showed her with shaky hands and she quickly rehired me. Yet, when I asked her to set things straight with the owners she turned nasty again and threatened me if I said a word.
There’s More. . .
On another occasion, I requested a day off because my family was coming to town and we had too many people scheduled to work. She agreed to let me have off. Then the next day she told me I was crazy and couldn’t have off. So I went to work only to discover she told other employees she really did not need me and she was just making me work out of spite. On top of all of this, I walked out of work many days making less than minimum wage because there were too many people working. I finally quit after working a 7-hour shift and making only 10 dollars. My entire time working there I never saw a paycheck.
I walked out every night and cried the whole way home. I know this was a long rant/story. But hopefully, in all of this, I learned something that I can share to help you, or at least show you that you are not alone if you have a terrible boss. I know how depressed, and angry, and disappointed you can feel. My self-esteem plummeted initially. But I promise it does not have to be like that. Keep reading to find out how to handle a horrible boss.
Tips on How to Handle a Horrible Boss
Focus on the Positive
Despite all of the negative things I went through above, I realized I did not go through them in vain. I gained patience, a thicker skin, a broader outlook on people, and a desire for more. If you are in a bad situation with a bad boss, the best thing you can do is look for positive aspects within your working environment. Try to ignore the negative and focus on the positive.
Don’t shoulder the blame
My friend works as a hairdresser in a salon. She was put in a managerial position, which gave her boss more of a license to blame her for everything that went wrong. While I was working one day, I got blamed when3-year-old threw up at my table (like I could help that). Listen to me, you are not to blame when things go wrong. If you are in a similar position where your boss blames you for EVERYTHING, don’t shoulder the blame. Let it roll off. If you carry the weight and the pressure of all of the negativity on your shoulders your self-esteem WILL drop. You are not to blame for your boss’s inappropriate remarks and behavior.
Adopt a Dog
I think I say something about adopting a dog in all of my blog posts. That’s how much I think you should do it! Anyway, if you are in a position in your life where you are able to get a dog, I highly recommend it. One time I was having an extra rough week at work my boyfriend surprised me by picking me up with a puppy in the car. I named her Kuai Le (happiness in Chinese) and she brought me what her name means. Without her, I’m positive I would have crumbled beneath all the stress. Dogs are proven to be relaxing and calming. After holding a sleeping dog for 10 minutes, I promise you will feel a lot better.
Have Someone to vent to
This is a big factor in learning how to handle a horrible boss. If you are stuck in a place that buries you in negativity, find someone to talk to after you get out. Don’t bottle it all up inside. That’s how you get sick. Call your mom, your grandma, your husband/boyfriend. Know your support system. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, please, go to the contact page and email me. Vent to me. I am here for you!
Know Your Worth
Know your worth going in, and know your worth going out. Most importantly, know that your worth does not fluctuate on someone else’s opinion. Your worth is not determined by your boss. Your boss might think it is, but don’t let him/her fool you. For example, I know the value that I brought to the table when I was a waitress. I know that customers specifically asked to sit in my section because they liked my service. I know the gratefulness of the elderly lady with tears in her eyes as she asked me to pray for her after the passing of her husband earlier that morning, as I happily obliged. No one could tell me I didn’t have value because I know I added value. On top of that, I know my body looks fine just the way it is.
I just listed some of the positive things I knew about myself that my boss tried to contradict. Now, you list out the positive things you bring to the table. And if your boss makes nasty comments about your service, your looks, your body, or anything else, remember your list and all the reasons those remarks aren’t true.
Don’t let there be any dirt on your name
I told myself this ALL THE TIME. Don’t do anything that will leave dirt on your name. If your boss is in the wrong don’t stoop down to join him/her. There were so many times I wanted to slam something, cuss my boss out and leave. But I knew that would put dirt on my name. I would have done something that was wrong. Now that it’s all in the past, I am SO thankful that when I look back, my boss is the one who was always the one being hateful and rude. Do yourself a favor and restrain yourself. Be the better person.
Find a way out if you can
If you can find another job, then that might be the way to go. I know as a college student it was slightly easier for me because there are a trillion other waitressing jobs available. Maybe you have children and can’t afford to leave. My dad was in that situation when I was a little girl and never appreciated his circumstances until I had my first horrible boss. I appreciate my dad’s sacrifice so much more now. So if it’s any consolation, know that your children will have so much respect for you as they get older.
With that being said, if you can get out, do it. At least start looking. You never know what may pop up. Besides that, you can always do some kind of freelance work online. Start a blog, do freelance work on Fiverr, or look up some of the many ways to work from home. Check out this post that talks about embracing your gifts. If you can turn your gifts and your hobbies into your job, there is no better option. Having a horrible boss was really what made me realize my desire to be my own boss. Out of that revelation, this blog and many other business ideas were born. If you are able, see what you can come up with as a way to make extra income.
When you leave, explain why
This is probably the most rewarding part. It feels the best. The night I quit I told the owners in person and I wrote text to my boss explaining why she wouldn’t be seeing me on my next shift. It felt really good to politely explain to her how horrible of a manager she was. She replied “Thank You” and that is the last I hope to ever hear from her. I also made sure to explain to the owners why I was quitting. It’s funny because almost everyone who works there quits after two months. And if no one ever tells the superiors why they would never no. I implore you not to neglect the opportunity to send in a text message or even pull your boss aside when you quit and take time to explain how you feel. Don’t leave anything on the table or else you will regret it.
*As you are explaining why be sure not forget the above concept of not letting there be any dirt on your name. Having a professional demeanor will leave a lot more poignant statement.
(I’m attaching the message I sent for your convenience and to prove I’m not making up this whole story) I had to be brave and if I could be brave, I know you all can be too! Learn how to handle a horrible boss from what I did.
One last thing
Finally, guys, praying can help a lot too. It brought me a lot of solace when my esteem reached an absolute low. You might not be a Christian, but being completely honest my faith helped me a lot. Because according to my faith the Creator of the world loves and values me. When my self-esteem plummeted, it was knowing how much God loved me that built my confidence back up.
Hopefully, all of this helped you out. Remember not ALL bosses are horrible. I promise that there are some amazing, supportive bosses out there. With that being said, f you’ve had a really bad experience with a boss please share below. No one is alone in this. Share your story, and if you’re still under a bad boss, share your struggle and share how you are coping with it. If you haven’t had a bad boss, share some ideas of how you would handle a horrible boss. Above all, stay strong my friends!
Also, check out this post about apps that can make you some extra money. They definitely won’t make your rich, but having some extra spending cash for coffee is always a good thing.