Handling Difficult Bosses!

I do not know about you but in my career life, I had to deal with many bosses and peoples from different Nationalities, Cultures, Ethnicities, Social Background and Cultures.

I remember as I joined just as a Graduate in Personnel Management then in my Oil Company in 1976, I had put this caption (cartoon) in my Office – which had read like this – Everyone who comes in this Office brings some joy – some as they enter – and some as they leave! My European boss found it funny just like I did – but when his position was Omanised – the new boss insisted on me removing it – as it was beneath ‘your level and standing – and the mere fact that I was supposed to be the Supervisor rendering Staff Services!

I do not like to boast about myself but in majority of cases, I can admit that I have been able to succeed and come on top in dealing and handling difficult bosses in my career life!  Of course, I cannot deny the fact that I have had some few cases of not being able to get along that easy with some of the bosses too. I have had cases where some even had the courage and nerve of telling me that if they had the power and authority, they would have terminated me with immediate effect from the company services. Either he did not have the power because I am an Omani National and he saw me already working for the Company for several years before he either joined or if he was local person too, or his coming to Oman to join the Company

In both cases, they told me they had no problems with my delivery in work and in contribution, but other aspects. Of course, they knew that I was not the type of person who stood up for nonsense like being shouted and screamed at and in front of people like subordinates, other Staff or outside peoples. Or being attacked for no valid or genuine reason because you are the boss and you think you can do so with immunity or disregard and care. Especially in meetings just to show off and demonstrate your powers – or frustrations and or failures as a Boss.

Or you tell complete lies and fibs to the Top Management and expect me to go along with you to support you in hiding the truth and telling such lies. Like we saved 25,000 OMR in this new approach when there was no savings at all, or we even incurred loss. Or being able to get some, processes done quicker, when the truth is completely different from you are telling the Senior Management. I hate peoples who try to push the dirt under the carpet, and expect me to go along to support them.

Of course, there is a difference between being a Team Member and being part of a Team than telling lies and fibs, and acting dramas and roles which are not fit for your position and being the required professional and being ethical, transparent and accountable. I hate also peoples who take the hard work I have put in myself, and they change a few bits here and there – and then change it and make it as if it were them who did the works.

One sure way of finding out is they do not call you for the meeting, and pretend to you ‘they liked your works’ – when inadvertently you come to find one day the situation is completely different – sometimes by being copied Emails or correspondences from the Top Brass. Then it hits you DIRECTLY on the face as to what has happened behind your back!

Or you get these peoples talking in loud acting high profile person, when delivery and input is almost negligible – but they are good actors who have fooled peoples including Top Brasses for too long – and still continue to do so. Then it hits you in the face as to how these peoples have survived for too long in their positions, but even to be promoted and to be considered as high-fliers and high potential Staff.

I do not know about you – but I have also met these peoples who try to act as your friend and confidante and behind your back stab you in the back. Then there are those who act as spies or spokesmen for the bosses, just to curry favour and cause problems to others – even their own friends and those who stupidly or innocently had trusted them. Or by presenting what you said to him in confidence completely different portrayal and picture, and land you and unknown to you in great troubles and problems. Sometimes you find out too late to do anything, and may even jeopardize and cause you not only to progress but even lose your job.

The question one may well ask – why all these plays, dramas and episodes – like in the Television series when all we want is to work together so we can feed our stomach and our families too? What for? Is it really warranted and is there a need to go to all these extremes just to gain popularity and being on top? To cause so much harm and disasters to others? And are you not afraid of the maxim – what goes around, comes around? Or of your God too, whatever religion you are – there is simply no religion that allows you to do bad and evil things to others? And when are we going to learn that it is just not worth it?

And do not forget in some places still there the mini-dictators, semi-dictators autocratic (and cruel) Managers and CEOs especially in some Companies (sad to say too) who treat their Staff very badly and crudely too. That is how bad things are nowadays – and everybody has jumped on the bandwagon to terrorise and bully the workers into fright, submission and surrender. What these CEOs forget is that these ‘frightened and scared’ peoples can destroy and suffocate the business from inside, by throwing subtle hints, directions and point outs to the sympathetic listening customers ‘with our plight and situation’ per se! And make new customers not come in – and old ones leave – straight to the competition. Eventually the company dwindles – or finally collapses. We have seen these happen too – in real life and practical terms!

I had cases where the Boss’s assistant was a pretty lady and she was using her charms to demonstrate that she too was the boss at the place. The boss would not hear any complaints being leveled against her. He used to boast to all those prepared to hear – I can give her my heart when I go to sleep, and she will give it back to me when I want to wake up – and in which I retorted quietly of course – best of luck to you both. In the end, it was me or the Assistant – and guess who had eventually left? Yet this was a Marketing company where staff – and customers and clients – were not happy by the office on-goings between boss and assistant! You would have expected The senior Management (and stakeholders) to know better!

My advice to those who cannot take it anymore from such inhumane bad and abrasive bosses is try to find alternative employment if nothing else fails – like trying to talk to him when he is cooler and calmed down – or get someone to talk on your behalf amongst his few friends and or those that he listens to! It is not just worth it if you will end depressed and even sick – medically or psychiatrically – or you go home and take it on your own family and friends!

Please treat your Staff better and more kinder, sympathetically, understandingly, and compassionately. They hurt and bleed too. They also bleed – and get pained. They are not made of stones – as the song goes! You are owed to do all these under professionalism, ethics, accountabilities, transparencies – and your moral, psychological and moral duty to do too. Be guided accordingly – and Take Care!