I’ve recently become enamored with yet another disgusting train-wreck reality show on the Bravo network. This one centers around a real jerk who flips high-end real estate. It’s called, big surprise, Flipping Out. If you haven’t seen it, tune in because it’s so unbelievable it becomes fun. There is something sickly compelling about watching people melt down in their jobs. I now understand why folks climb clock towers and become snipers. Going postal doesn’t do this show justice. Trust me.
The lead character, the boss, is high strung, immature, rude, unbelievably obnoxious and treats his employees with such disdain and disrespect. I can only imagine that he pays them tremendous salaries, because there is no other reason except money that any one in their right mind would continue to work for this excuse for a man.
That leads me to trips down memory lane with some of the former bosses in my life. I’ve had some doozies, let me tell you. My last boss was the best — you see I actually worked for Devoted Spouse. He was the manager of our team of defense contractors. He was always a kind and caring manager; he didn’t scream at anyone. When discipline was called for he took care of the issue without causing undue embarrassment or humiliating anyone in front of their peers. Devoted Spouse was a great boss. His customer, on the other hand, was an absolute nutcase. This person was a true Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and you never knew which persona was going to show up on any particular day. There would be niceties to your face, and when you turned around, you were thrown under the bus. This person was one of the reasons I retired, truly. I got so tired of being the fall guy or the scapegoat and I got very tired of the crappy assignments. Then there was the diabetic Colonel who couldn’t control his blood sugar and would scream at me for no reason. When I would talk to him about how he was treating me, he would completely go off the deep end and call me crazy. Yes, that was a lovely relationship. One day he was so abusive I called his nurse at the base hospital because I knew he was in medical danger and I was on my last nerve dealing with him. Gah. There are so many people who simply should not be a boss. One more boss story then I’ll be done with this particular rant. I once was the rental manager at an apartment complex. It wasn’t the greatest job, in fact it pretty much sucked. The apartment manager was a smart mouth kid who thought she knew everything and took great delight in letting me know she was younger than I. But the big boss was a jerk to a degree I have never seen before or since (thankfully). The owner of the apartment was a big shot lawyer from Philadelphia. He came blowing into town to talk with the staff. He sat us down around the conference table and proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs how worthless we all were because we only had a 97% fill rate. He used language I had never heard and I couldn’t believe that the employees around this table were so cowed by this pompous bag of wind. I raised my hand and it caught him off guard. He called on me and I stood up and told him no one talked to me that way and I didn’t respond well to screaming. I also turned to the group and told them they didn’t have to take his abuse either. I quit and three of the other staff members walked out with me. It was so worth it to be unemployed. The man should have been locked up.
So, that’s my take on horrible bosses – unfortunately there are quite a few of them out there. If you have one, you have my sympathy and my full understanding. And lest you think I’m a bit of a jerk, yes, there are some wonderful bosses out there, too. I just rarely worked for any of them.