From the BlogSubscribe Now

Dealing With a Difficult Boss


Over the past four years I have worked with a boss who is very difficult to deal with. He is by far one of the most narcissistic people I know and has the worst sense of humor. Dealing with him on daily basis is hard to handle and overtime turned me into someone I didn’t want to be at work. I was raised to be respectful to your elder and superiors but when getting beat down time after time over the dumbest things I stooped to a level I didn’t want to be at. My boss would all make comments to me about being his secretary (when I wasn’t), never gave me feedback about my actual work, and always harassed me about being superficial and young. I got so fed up I started being rude to him, like answering his questions with one word answers, replying to his emails in a bitchy tone, and complaining about him to human resources. See I work in a hospital and doctors are king, thus my boss was a doctor and firing him for training me like crap was not really an option. He was so disrespectful to me that he would freely without reservation put his universal key in my office door without knocking and barge right in. I expressed my frustration to him head on and things would change for a day or if I was lucky a full week but then he would go back to his old ways. I brought my concerns to his director and she said I understand your concerns, we will talk to him, and once again things would change for a week but then go back to the way they were. See my boss knew he was treating me like crap, he is highly educated man for God’s sake, and to make up for his mishaps and abuse he would buy me gifts. Lots and lots of gifts were purchased for me from my abusive boss and he thought that the presents made up for all the crap I put up with from him. I would come home from work somedays with tickets to a sporting event or gift cards to my favorite restaurant and just cry. All I wanted was for him to be nice to me and tell me good job, not shit on me every day and then leave a gift on my desk with a sticky note saying “thank you for your hard work”.

I worked my way up in the intuition that I’m currently at it is only because I got away from him. In the past two year I moved to a different area of the hospital working for a much nicer doctor who appreciates me and my work. I get a say in how things are run and there is no micromanaging. My old boss sees what a great job I’m doing and now make little comments like “I should have never let you go” or “why didn’t you do this stuff for me?” All I can say is it was his loss and my gain. Another funny thing about me leaving my position is that the person who took over my job (with the abusive boss) quit and moved to a different department in less than a year because of his antics and verbally abusive behavior.  Dealing with such a jerk for four years I think makes me an expert on how to deal with different types of supervisor. From the sarcastic, oblivious and rude, to the appreciative and respectful here are some of my tips on getting the most out of your boss and job.

The Sarcastic A-hole

Dealing with this type of boss can be tough, especially for women. I always want to please my boss but not getting sarcastic humor or comments makes it difficult to know if I am meeting his expectations. There is a different between being funny sarcastic and being mean sarcastic. Sure, physicians are really smart, but do that they have common sense too? I would like to think so, but my past boss’s humor made me think otherwise. He would say thing like “oh you’re leaving already?” when I would pack up my things for the end of the day. I would reply with “I was going to, but do you need me to do something?’ he would then say something along the lines of “must be nice to only work a few hours a day.” Never answering my question and making me feel guilty for working 9 hours! Dealing with comments and sarcasm like this was difficult but my best advice was to ignore him and just to continue with what I was doing. Stooping to his level and making a comment back like “yea I’m leaving I have life unlike you.” Wasn’t what I should have replied (which I did once) because when I spoke to him like he spoke to me I felt really bad inside. It wasn’t my nature to be rude or mean, so I stopped acting like him and ignored his BS.

The Oblivious Supervisor

I have worked for one of the most oblivious supervisors in the past, and it can be very frustrating when you are working so hard and others around you especially your peers are working less. I’m not the type of person who needs a pat on the back for doing the job, but I can’t stand it when I see my peers doing a half ass job and we get the same pay and recognition. Picking up the slack for others is part of my personality but it can be really frustrating when your oblivious boss doesn’t see everything extra you are doing. My advice is to be vocal about what projects you are working on and how much effort you are putting into them. Express that you are going above and beyond so they see it in front of their face. If you don’t tell them, no one will.

Rude Boss

A rude boss can be hard to handle if you are the type of person who takes things seriously. Try not to let others emotions affect you, and stand up for yourself if you feel you are being bullied or walked on. Rude people know exactly what they are doing, and should be called out for it. As long as you aren’t the reason they are being a dick, make it known you won’t deal with their attitude.

Appreciative Supervisors

These are some of the best people to work for. Getting feedback is huge for me, and when my boss tells me I did a great job on a project it makes my day. Being told what I can improve on is also very help and bosses that appreciate you will tell you these things. Feeling valued and appreciated in the work place is something that to me is worth more than any present or gift. Being told that I am a valuable member of the team and going to work every day knowing my boss wants there feels great. If you have a boss like this, make sure you tell them you appreciate them too and all the feedback and support they give you.

Respectful when they want to be

This type of boss drives me crazy! When they need my help I’m the most important person in the office, but when they don’t need me they just walk past me in the hall like I don’t exist. I know bosses have a lot on their plate, but only being recognized or spoken to when you’re working very closely with them seems very immature to me. Dealing with this kind of person can be difficult but I suggest always being the bigger the person and saying hi to them first when you see them, popping in the office to see if you could be of any help, and always keeping them in the loop on past project follow-up.

Holding you to Higher Expectations Supervisor

This kind of boss seems to be the one I run into a lot. Maybe it’s because I care a lot about my job and I hold myself to higher standard o maybe it’s because I get dumped on a lot, either way this kind of boss can be good for you and bad for you. Being held to a higher standard makes you work harder and grow as an individual, but it can also seem stressful and unfair. If you find yourself in a situation with a boss like this, always complete the task and assignments given and do it on time, but never turn it in too quickly because then you will get dumped on more and more. If you are trying to work your way up, make sure you express you want a promotion and show that you have proven yourself to be a valuable member of the team.

Always be true to yourself when dealing with a boss, don’t stoop to their level, and always go to HR if you feel they are crossing the line or harassing you.

Join the Discussion!