Someone Asked About a Boss From Hell

Rather than post a long comment on someone’s page why not just write a note here? Okay, I will.

Boss from Hell? I was on the team that helped select this person. I argued for him to get the job and tried to aid and include in every way I could, once he succeeded in obtaining the position. But once he had the job, he bizarrely began misjudging me as unworthy of his trust, and gradually began to suspect me at every turn. He accused me falsely of various work and “anti-team player” crimes. This last was especially galling.

It took me a long time to even believe it was happening!!!! You see, I had been the right hand person of every boss I had ever had before that, my entire life. So it was a real glimpse at how the other half lives, for me. It was a learning experience that I never forgot and would not want to relive, ever. Luckily, it was a one time deal!

Eventually, I was working by myself in a building across the parking lot from the rest of the department (They needed someone to volunteer, so I did – later realizing he  used my willing nature to manipulate me). He gradually arranged for my job description to shift to tasks for which I had no professional background, as well as dropping all the projects which I had led before he came on board. He was falsely friendly to me, and even subtly mocked me, much in the way he seemed to fear I was towards him. Even now, I wish I could correct his false idea. But it really is not my problem. He creates that around himself.

I refused to be defeated. But it really took a toll on me emotionally and physically. It all seemed so senseless and unnecessary. Like I say, looking back, I was SO unsuspecting – a real sitting duck.

Once I got over the shock, accepted the reality of what was going on, calmed down, and satisfied MYSELF that I could leave without feeling like I had been run off I did secure a better position closer to home. But I refused to even LOOK for another position until I felt better. That was the spiritual struggle and victory inherent in that  situation for me. It was how I made a valuable experience out of it.

I found out, through friends, that basically, every guy (and woman) working under that person left too, in the succeeding year or so. I guess once I was not the focus, he turned to others. Then HE left and he’s had about 3 jobs since. I really liked the crew there before he came along! We had built up some close friendships and we had fun! But no one was going to stand up to Mr. Tough (a pseudonym I came up with here to substitute for the real nickname given to him by a few of his male staff). People would come up to me privately though, and express their sympathy. That was my only reality check.

Through research, I discovered that I was involved in a phenomena called workplace “mobbing”. When an insecure boss is hired, curiously, they sometimes feel threatened by and develop a focus on a well established, high achieving, well-liked “head down” workers who seems like they might be easy to push around.  Every source on this topic has a quote something like this:

The pattern of Workplace Mobbing indicates that those at high risk are most likely:
High achievers
Enthusiastic (those who volunteer)
Those with integrity
Those with ethical standards
Promoters of human rights, dignity and respect

Who knew?! Anyway,  I stayed as long as I wanted. And at my next job, my work was again respected and my professional reputation remained untarnished. Onward, older and wiser.

Here are some beginning points to research workplace mobbing: