Last Updated Dec 3, 2009 3:40 PM EST
Most people have some complaints about their manager, but how can you tell when your boss is a truly bad one?
Oh, let me count the ways:
- The knot you get in your gut whenever you have to deal with him. You never know which person is going to show up -- the nice, benevolent manager or the insane, angry hophead.
- The feeling you get when you have to get dressed every morning. You know, the sensation that life wasn't meant to be like this, that nobody knows what the day ahead will hold -- and not in a good way, either.
- He's either absent -- or omnipresent. On days when he is supposed to be there, leading the way, guiding his people with a firm and gentle hand, he is nowhere to be found. Yet on days when everybody is executing the plan with distinction, there he is, standing in the middle of everything, gumming up the works, micro-managing, driving everybody crazy.
- Her word cannot be trusted. She lies when it suits her, and worst of all, she believes her lies once they are uttered.
- He is never wrong. Sometimes he may be "misinformed," or "misled by others," but he is never, ever, wrong. Those who think he might be in error had better keep that opinion to themselves.
- All credit goes to him. All blame goes to others.
- Her only loyalty is to herself. More times than you can count, you have seen her sell people down the river who used to be her favorites. If there is trouble, she's the first one to throw her colleagues and subordinates overboard into the shark-infested waters. Strangely, she is also the first person to question other people's loyalty.
- Work hours are hard to predict. There are long stretches of unmanaged, vague, pointless activity or inactivity, followed by short bursts of frenzy. Weekends are not safe. Vacations are not honored. Your time is not your own.
- His door is closed most of the time. Particularly after lunch.
- She's the main topic of conversation. Wherever coworkers gather, all they talk about is what an annoying, hurtful, scary, irrational nutbag the boss is. And when a bad boss goes, she dies unmourned -- except perhaps by the one person at the office who did her bidding.