DO YOU HAVE A TOXIC BOSS STORY?

We provide this forum to share the pain, find the humor, and ultimately provide support for others who might be facing the same situation.

We’re not talking about your everyday garden variety lousy manager. The work world is full of incompetent and bumbling supervisors who can’t seem to do anything worthwhile and still manage to draw a paycheck bigger than yours. Rather, we are talking about the truly toxic bosses. The kind who use destructive, intentional behaviors to serve themselves and their own agenda regardless of the wake of destruction they leave behind them. Sound familiar? If so, submit your story anonymouslyAnd – most importantly – tell us what you did to survive it.

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Charlatan Queen

Every thought about you scare Your style is so crude and rare You feel knowledge is what you share Workplace has become such a nightmare You shout, you scream You butcher peoples dream You cheat while you hire And with glee you fire You call people names Watch out your negative fame Dividing the team is your game Your wrongs bring the profession blame Your strength is to manipulate Truth is what you criminate Simplicity is what you complicate Ethics are what you annihilate You lie, you lie you just lie In others’ success you only sigh You will pay it big time at the heck Damn! It’s my career which is at stake.

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Spoiled two careers, at least

I was forced out of my perfect job as a law librarian. For ten years I had been getting bonuses, awards, promotions, pay increases … and then a change of managers and all that stopped. The new manager was organically incapable of saying a nice word to me or about me. Moreover he violated regs by denying me annual pay increases without the required 90-day warnings. For seven years he abused me, and then he forced me out. Perhaps the most painful thing is that I have internalized all his badmouthing and actually doubt my self-worth, despite the fact that I got good ratings before and afterward, was published, and persuaded leading publishers to make changes in their publications. Meanest of forcing me out: I was the only person on staff who knew the Sign Language and could interpret for a very bright deaf mid-level manager – my toxic boss promised to hire someone who also knew Sign but he didn’t, the manager was instead demoted to the typing pool and her career stagnated.

Share your survival strategy:

I had no strategy. A decade later I still have a sort of PTSD from this.

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Paranoid Boss

I worked for a guy who was an insecure, paranoid control freak. The staff reporting to the toxic manager quit one after the other, the company kept the toxic manager who kept filling the vacancies.

Share your survival strategy:

I left the company

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Exhausting

I have an insecure control freak of a boss. Working for her is the most demotivating, exhausting job you can imagine.

Share your survival strategy:

Minimized contact with her as much as possible. Created “visibility” opportunities for myself so other leaders would know what I did. Worked with a mentor specifically on “surviving.”

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Bullying Boss

He is passive aggressive and bullying. I had an upcoming sales presentation in front of a big client. I gave him my talking points ahead of time to review. I asked him later if they looked OK and what else I should be including. He said it all looked fine. During the presentation he stopped me and said he was going to take over and told the client I was “new”. I have worked in that job for five years.

Share your survival strategy:

I have learned he does this to everyone. We banded together to go to HR. Nothing happened. He is still there and I left that department. I’m much happier now.

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Jerk of a Boss

He was an ego-centric, aggressively dominant jerk. He made everyone feel stupid at every opportunity. The organization was fully aware but did nothing.

Share your survival strategy:

I established and boundaries in terms of the behaviors I would accept and would not (and then challenged the toxic boss when boundaries were exceeded); eventually left the organization; wish I had thought of the drone strike!! 🙂

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Empire Builder

She was a self-serving egomaniac. Her only concern was building her empire, no matter the cost. She beat up on everybody, no matter your performance. If you got in her way, you were dead.

Share your survival strategy:

Essentially I flew under the radar. In the meantime I exercised to relieve stress. Practiced my faith. Focused on personal development plans, furthering education, etc. and with focusing on such goals viewing the “survival” period as a season that will someday pass.

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Working For An A******le

I am right in the middle of it now. He is an a**hole. We have a ridiculous high turnover rate and it is because he abuses people and gets away with it. People are afraid to take him on.

Share your survival strategy:

Documenting bad behaviors, discuss with superiors, planning to go to HR, planning an exit strategy.

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Clueless Performance Review

I have worked for the same person for two years and it has been awful. Last week we did my review, in which I had all fives (the highest score possible) from my peers. Boss: You sure have all of your peers fooled. Me: What do you mean? Boss: They all gave you fives. Either that or you told them to give you fives. Which is it?

Share your survival strategy:

I am barely hanging on.

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Paranoid Manager

Trusts no-one. Very suspicious of others’ motives to the point of being paranoid. Questions everyone and everything.

Share your survival strategy:

Continued to operate under my ethics, doing the best job possible. Stood up for myself and my ideals, while trying not to place boss in a bad view by others. Bring out pro’s and con’s of ideas whether they supported them initially or not.

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