Aren’t they all?
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Help! My Boss is an Asshole!
How can you attain business success when you work for a bona fide asshole?
First, let’s take a breath and examine your situation as a disinterested third party. Is your boss verbally abusive or just occasionally short with you? Does he provide an unsafe work environment or just make work feel like a job? Is he truly unreasonable in his demands or does he just want the work done on time and under budget?
There is a big difference between a true asshole and a tough boss. If you are indeed working for an asshole (and you’ve either already tried the HR route or there isn’t a viable HR route at your business), then you are left with four choices:
- You can look for another position within your company – away from that particular boss;
- You can look for something at another company;
- You can give the “either get rid of him or me” ultimatum (and be prepared to have the latter thrust upon you); or
- You can just live with it.
Of course, choice four is not a choice. The satisfaction you can receive from work – when working for the right boss – is too important to let someone drain you of it. Life’s too short to work for an asshole. This leaves you with any of the first three choices if you’re certain you cannot change your boss by managing up (covered in the next lesson); and if you’re certain he is not just a tough boss.
You see, tough bosses are infinitely more common than true assholes. Moreover, tough bosses just want the work done – without drama or excuses – and done when promised. Tough bosses can be the best bosses to work for when you’re a solid performer. However, the trick is understanding your boss’s needs.
Start by always being early, eager and the other thirteen traits we introduced in the What’s Your Excuse? lesson.
It’s quite amazing actually, but I’ve never known a boss to be an asshole to anyone practicing all fifteen…