Sh#tty Bosses: You don’t have to be one!!!

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My hope is this blog post will make each sh#tty supervisor that reads it look at his or her self in a new light and change the way they treat others. ¬†If you are not a supervisor, or you are already a fabulous boss this will make you thankful that you are who you are!! ūüôā

As a woman in her forties I have had my share of supervisors. ¬†I have had some that are great, some that were so so, and of course I have had my share of bosses that made me dread going to work each day. ¬†I am sure that many of you have very similar experiences, while others unfortunately fit into the category of being a Sh#tty boss! ¬†I am a supervisor myself and although I am sure I am far from perfect there are a few things that I do (or at least try to do on a daily basis for my staff). ¬†I will get to to that a bit later but first let me give you a recap of some of the “winners” I have had in the past.

The¬†second job that I ever had was in a food establishment. ¬†I was in my first year of college so I was very young and of course naive. ¬†My boss was an older man her seemed very nice at first. ¬†Then week four¬†he began obviously hitting on me. ¬†I ignored this the best I could. ¬†It got more obvious and more frequent over the next couple of weeks. ¬†I became scared to be alone with him. ¬†One evening I told him that since he was married I would NEVER be interested and it was inappropriate for him to act in such a manner since he was my boss!! ¬†I also informed them that although he owned the particular store the franchise would hear from me if it did not stop. ¬†I was also on 17 but that is another story!! ¬†After that he stopped but he also turned into a real jerk. ¬†NOTHING that I did was correct. ¬†All the cleaning, sandwich prep, etc that had been perfect for a month was not good enough. ¬†He hovered over me ¬†nit picked and had me in tears most of the night. ¬†I didn’t stay long after that.

I was working for minimum age in my early 20’s which I think was about four bucks an hour. ¬†Trying to put myself through college on that salary was hard plus I was just young and stupid. ¬†I quit college and went to work at a bank. ¬†¬†I got married and was lucky enough to have a string of really great jobs including a retail store, and then I decided to work part time go back to school and finish my degree. ¬†I worked for a company that sold investments and insurance primarily to the military.¬† This was a really great gig. ¬†My hours were flexible. ¬†I was able to pick up my step-children from school, I went to school myself and all of a sudden there was a shift in my female supervisors attitude. ¬†She complained every day about something. ¬†She often had meetings in the evening after I was gone for the day. ¬†There¬†was a list of documents that she would request prior to the meeting. ¬†These documents had to be in a particular order, and typed including all relevant information. ¬†One day she called me in her office and said to me. “Sharelle I am very disappointed in you. ¬†Last night when I was with my clients they decided to do bank draft instead of an allotment. ¬†I had to get up and get a bank form, do you realize how stupid that makes me look??” ¬†Please note that bank draft was not requested. ¬†And come on…who would think someone was stupid because they had to quickly grab a form. ¬†Her attitude became very erratic over the next year. ¬†I was thankful that I was able to quit work to go to school full time. ¬†I found out later she was going through a divorce at the time which likely was the cause of her shift in behavior.

Once I received my degree in accounting I was lucky to work for a great¬†¬†string of pretty great supervisors. ¬†I worked in three different CPA firms and decided that I would prefer to work at a company instead of a CPA firm. ¬†I went to work for a manufacturing company. ¬†I took an entry level position with a really super boss, and when an opening in the accounting department opened I jumped at the chance to increase both my salary and my business accounting knowledge. ¬†My new boss was an older gentleman who had probably been at the company since it was created in 1954. ¬†My hours were 8am-5pm. ¬†During my time there I never had a late task, never received a negative review, he never complained about my work. ¬†After I had been working there for about a month he informed me that just because my hours were 8-5¬† that did not mean I was to leave at five every day. ¬†I asked if something was not being completed in a timely manner, and he informed me that everything was done but he worked over 8 hours a day and he expected me to do the same. ¬†So every day for the remainder of my time there I stayed until HE left every single day. ¬†I worked so many hours that I would run out of things to do and would sit there and act like I was working the last few hours¬†of the day. ¬†Mind you I was working on my masters, had two children at home and a husband that was deployed. ¬†I wouldn’t get home until after 1830 each night. ¬† I cannot tell you what this stress did to me emotionally and physically and unfortunately my time at that company was cut short.

I spent years working part time, or for CPAs while¬†¬†I went back to school while continuing to work towards my masters degree. ¬†I went to work for a company that sells motorcycles in their accounting department. ¬†I was super excited about this job. ¬†However, I knew¬†on the very first day¬† this was not going to be the job I had hoped for after all. ¬†I was supposed to be there at 8:30. ¬†I arrived about 15 to 20 minutes early. ¬†The supervisor came out and said why are you here already they told me you would be here at 0830, in the most condescending tone you can imagine. ¬†She acted so put out that I was there, and I was speechless. ¬†I mean who acts like that because someone is early? ¬†Isn’t that a good thing. ¬†One time she was on vacation and the general manager asked me to compile a report. ¬†I did so and when she got back I was reprimanded for giving him the report without her approval. ¬†Just for clarification the GM is her boss. ¬†I guess I was supposed to ignore his request and make him wait two weeks. ¬†My stepson passed away shortly before I took this job. ¬†While I did not sit at my desk and cry every day everyone kind of knew that I didn’t want to talk much about it. ¬†She had a friend that lost a husband. ¬†After she came back from out of town visiting her the weekend before she was talking to a coworker in her office very loudly (it was obvious she wanted me to hear). ¬†She said things like although my friends¬†husband died she’s as happy as can be. ¬†I admire her. ¬†Everyone should be like that and get over death. ¬†No need to be sad about it, everyone should just move on. ¬†I could not believe that someone could be so hateful and cruel. ¬†One of my last weeks I was there I had oral surgery. ¬†I was not allowed to eat or drink that day but I went ¬†in anyway. ¬†My appointment was at 1pm¬†so I was working until 12:30. ¬†She was very aware that I could not eat or drink. ¬†At 1130 she came in with a Chik-Fil-A platter of sandwiches and set them not four feet from my desk and said I got sandwiches for everyone!! ¬†I had to hold back laughter because it was so blatantly obvious she was doing it to be a b#tch. ¬†She had NEVER brought even ¬†cookies from home, but she goes and gets a platter that was probably 40.00 for no reason, on the day I was to have oral surgery…Everyone that worked there tried to steer clear of her. ¬†I was so thankful¬†when the company had to do layoffs and I was one of the lucky ones. ¬†I felt like I was released from a prison sentence!!

The last supervisor I will tell you about was¬†the most difficult to deal with. ¬† I was so excited to land that job. ¬†I absolutely adored my supervisor!! ¬†She was kind, and caring. ¬†I mean you could tell she had your well being in mind at all times. ¬†She was very open with information. ¬†I always was in the know, which made doing my job a piece of cake. ¬†I had all the tools that I needed to get the job done. ¬†She was very willing to teach which was my favorite thing about her. ¬†I learned so much about how the company worked. ¬†Once I had learned my duties more responsibilities were bestowed upon me. ¬†I was over the moon that I had FINALLY found the company I would retire from. ¬†Then this individual separated from her husband. ¬†She started hanging out with new people and turned into someone that I did not even recognize. ¬†The information flow ceased, the training ceased it just all ended. ¬†Gradually all communication lessened and lessened until she barely said good morning to me. ¬†She would roll her eyes when she talked to me, and at times she wasn’t even listening at all when I talked. ¬†What made this especially hard is I loved this job!!! ¬†It was the best job I had ever had. ¬†Everything about it was great the company, the employees, the customers, the benefits. ¬†I took FMLA time off for personal reasons. ¬†I was not looking forward to going back due to the office climate but I had hopes that things would be different. ¬†I mean she changed before, it could happen again. ¬†I thought that she would be glad to see me return to work. ¬†I guess I was wrong I got no welcome back, no “hey here is what happened while you were gone”, or¬†“here is what I need you to get started on”. ¬†I really felt like I was not there at all, I felt invisible. ¬†That is when I knew it was time for me to leave that job.

In each of these jobs that I left it was never the company or the actual jobs. ¬†Even when I was in the job at the sandwich shop having to clean the bathroom it was ok until the supervisor began acting inappropriately. ¬†All of them have a common theme…really crummy bosses. ¬†Not that there are not companies that have issues but bottom line is the reason most employees leave is management. ¬†Why would you want to be the reason someone leaves?

 

If you are a boss and you are reading this and any of these remotely sound like you its not too late you can turn it around. ¬†Employees want to be respected, they want to feel needed, they want to feel they are growing in their jobs, and lastly they want to be treated in a humane manner. ¬†It really is not hard. ¬†I am thankful for these experiences because they have molded me into the person that I am today. ¬†While I am far from perfect ( because we all¬†have made mistakes) here are some things that I try to do for my employees. ¬†In my opinion they are obvious but as you have heard common sense isn’t all that common!

  • Say good morning each day to every employee even if they screwed up royally the day before, say good morning to them
  • If they are going on vacation text them, tell them to have a good time and encourage them to relax and leave thoughts of work behind, but don’t bother them on vacation unless its life and death
  • If they are sick or have a sick child ask if you can help, if a major illness keeping them out for an extended time offer your support on a weekly basis¬†make it clear you are not calling because of work¬†but you CARE about them and want to help. ¬†Lets face it you should want to help others any time you can.
  • If they have had surgery/are having surgery , or they are having a baby, or adopting make sure you give them a gift or at least send a card. ¬†Also check on them at least bi-weekly let them know they matter to you. ¬†Even if you are forwarding a funny joke, meme, etc it will show them you are thinking of them
  • Make sure they know they can come to you with ANY issues have an open-door policy
  • Lastly ask them what you can do for them!! ¬†At least every six months you should ask where they want to go career wise and find out what you can do to get them where they need to be. ¬†Do they want career advancement, to learn new things??? ¬†Get them the tools they need to reach their goals!

Employee turnover is very costly to organizations. ¬†Do not be that person that causes a great person to walk out the door. ¬†It does not take much effort to be a kind person and to make someone feel wanted!! ¬†Bottom line don’t be a sh#tty boss!! ¬†It takes barely any effort at all to be a decent person.

 

 

I would love to hear your stories!!!  Follow my BLOG so we can keep in touch!!

 

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