Mean Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss who overloads and curses when employee is ill:

I have a very stubborn manager who always is putting her work on me and then acts as if she does everything and has not time to catch up when really the time is being wasted. I have so much work I often come in sick. Today I called in two hours before my shift to tell her I’ve been up ill all evening. She starts cursing and saying that I have to come, that she has an apt and never gets any time off. What should I do, I find myself getting extremely frustrated?

Signed, What’s Next?

Dear What’s Next?:

Work is hard and harder with a bad boss. You don’t say how you have responded when an unusually lot of work is piled on you and when your boss curses. I assume you bit your tongue and steamed inside. The issues are: load and lack of consideration.Load: Being assigned and completing a reasonable load is a matter of negotiating.

Most employees assume that their job is to follow orders, not to negotiate. That’s generally the way it works; however, when a boss expects too much, resentment grows and the bossed must sweat it out or speak up. Apparently you and your boss each have different ideas about what is possible and fair, and so far rather than clarifying what you can and are willing to do within the time available, you have bit your tongue and fumed inside while doing your best to get the assigned tasks complete. Right? Or you might have simply worked at them and even slowed down just to show her that she shouldn’t expect so much.

Now it is past time to speak your mind. You know what is possible and what is reasonable. For example, you know about how many words you can type without error within a minute. Such tasks as entering data and doing computation are more subjective. You can only estimate approximately how much you can do on certain tasks with interruptions or when required to compose something.Some jobs are not easy to estimate time wise, so what kind of understanding do you need to negotiate? Here are some sentences might make this clear:

1. I have a can-do attitude and that means I will use time wisely.

2. I want to add value to this place. I am not here to simply earn a paycheck. I want to help this play make our internal and external customers happy and money.

3. I will perform at a reasonable pace, and take breaks to stretch or walk from time to time when my muscles are tense and my eyes need rest. I am stressed when you pressure me to do more than I can do at a reasonable pace.

4. When tasks in my basket are too many for my workday, I will simply inform you what is not done before I leave, and I will work on as many as is possible the next. Is that not better than fuming inside? Have you ever met with your boss to express such statements?Consideration: Cursing might be a habit of your boss when she is displeased, but that is no excuse, especially if angry words explode at you when you call in to say you are ill. You probably know that a boss hates to learn on short notice that you will not be in. She told you what was in her mind, saying that when she is ill she shows up anyway and more than that, she never gets time off. Obviously such venting us meant to make you feel guilty about calling in sick.

So what will you do about this kind of ill will? Bite your tongue and fear to say when you are anything but deathly ill? I hope not.Now it is past time to have a time-out meeting with your boss. That meeting will only benefit both of you if each of you is candid. I will suggest several say SOS that are needed if your talk is to be candid:
· You want to know if she is pleased with your work or not. So ask. · You want to tell her that you think she is dumping too much work on you. So say so.
· You don’t want her to curse when you inform her you are ill. So say so.
· Then before you leave you and she want to know if you can work together productively and in harmony
. So say so.· You want to this not to be a one-time head-to-head, but a meeting of minds. So say so and plan for weekly review of what has gone well and deserves applause by her of you and you of her. Also you two should talk about what to expect for next week, and most of all you each need to agree that is good to ask and talk candidly and civilly about how things are going.

A meeting-of-minds entails being explicit about the dos and don’ts of good communication. Obviously one of the don’ts is to curse each other when something goes wrong. A positive do is to be generous with thank yous and praise. · Consideration also means enlisting your boss to see your job as not just a job. Wise bosses think with those they boss about their jobs as careers and dreaming about what they want to do in the next years or years. To do that they talk about what training and work experiences are needed on their career paths. Not incidentally, bosses also should not think of their own jobs as just jobs, but as steps within a career. They too dream about how they might make their jobs meaningful and of what else they want to do in the next year or year. The bossed are not expected to help their boss talk about her/his career, but real boss-bossed teamness does not rule that out talking about what makes one’s boss truly satisfied. You ask, “What should I do?” Weigh these suggestions and then choose those that make sense. Assert yourself. You have a voice. Use it. Will you then get back to tell us what happens? Building a boss-bossed team is an on-going process; so don’t give up on talking about how you communicate. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden