Posted by: Charlene | 2007/05/14

boss from hell

I desperately need advice.
I have a boss from hell. Im an exec secretary for two executives. I have no problems with the one, but my other manager makes my life hell. Not a day goes by where she does not insult me, she always tells me that im incompetent, clueless, have no value system, and picking on me. She also badmouths me in front of others. She will also not stick to her appointments and gets very rude when I book appointments for her on her diary, but when I don’t do it, then I am incompetent. She also never return the phonecalls to people leaving messages for her. Other people in the company always compliment me on work well done.
Point is she cannot stand me. The problem is that there is no one I can talk to, as she is the HR Executive manager and her biggest pal is our CEO, the other manager I work for is one of her close friends, so basically I am buggered wrt talking to someone. I have started looking for another job, sent out many copies of my CV, but nothing is coming through, I am in this job for a year, and with the current company for 14 years. Im at the stage where I will just resign to get away from her, although its difficult to do as I am supporting myself and don’t have a hubby to rely on until I can find something better. But i do think its unfair that i should leave my job because of some bully that is using her position to make life difficult for those she cannot stand.Please give me some advice as this woman is really working on my nerves so badly, that lately im having nightmares about her.

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Our expert says:
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Someone who has to spend so much time telling someone else that they're lousy at their work, must themselves be truly awful at their own work. What an appalling person to be in charge of HR ! Keep looking for a better alternative job. Is there any way you could tacfully and gently speak to your other boss, her friend, about the problem ? Culd she possibly understand, and intercede ? And what about HER boss ? Is there someone above her, with whom you could talk ? The other bosses must be extraordinarily dim if they haven't recognized that she is a cause of problems, rather than a solution ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: For boss from hell | 2007/05/17


I had this too. When he criticised me personally, I replied with a smile "come now you don't really think I am going to buy into that"? Eventually he stopped since he got no rise out of me. I left some 2 years later on my terms and am ever so happy in my new job. People are right - he was fired a short while ago. It took 2 years, but eventually someone like that becomes a liability to the company. Also, you have been there 14 years? How long has she been there? You could follow the Grievance Procedure, that will have to go to her boss and it has to be dealt with by law. But, you need to keep a record of every single remark or action she takes that is detrimental to you (date, time, comment and note of any witnesses). Then you can lodge a Grievance. Maybe get some advice from the CCMA commissioners so you are covered.

Good Luck (and keep looking for that job)

Reply to For boss from hell
Posted by: Charlene | 2007/05/15

Thanks Patricia and Shae. I will approach them and see what happens, people are just too afraid to lose their jobs, management knows it.

Reply to Charlene
Posted by: Shae | 2007/05/15

She is probably one of those window dressing BEE placements. Companies dont realise the ramifications of placing such unsuitably qualified or inexperienced people in senior positions. It should be on merit but unfortunately this is what we have to live with, as unfair and unproductive as it is.

Good Luck with your search. Its really such an unfortunate thing having to work with such a clearly unsuitable senior.

Reply to Shae
Posted by: Patricia | 2007/05/15

Hey Charlene,

You sound exactly like me 1 year ago. This person is nothing but a bully. And no matter how you react, she will find a way to make you regret it.

The other staff complaining - tell them to do something about it. Don't let them burden you with their agonies also. This breeds a sense of "gang" behaviour. But if all they do is complain, they are not helping themselves or you. Perhaps you should ask them if ANY of them have the guts to talk openly about how they feel. Then tell them you'll call a meeting with the CEO. And then do it. If you can manage this, you have won 75% of the war against the bully.

If no-one will talk, she wins. And you have to make some serious choices. If you're having anxiety attacks - get out ASAP!!! Before you affect your emotional stability too much.. You won't be worth anything to a future employer if you have a nervous breakdown! Act now girl! Call Acumen on 0114678500 and speak to a consultant there. Get your CV onto career junction, p-net and many more today!

Reply to Patricia
Posted by: Charlene | 2007/05/15

Thanks Patricia, im having anxiety attacks lately. When dare to leave in the afternoons, i feel paralysed to do anything else so i deprive myself from having a personal life.this morning already 3 other people came complaining to me about her being so unreasonable. See that is the problem, she dumps all her work on us, and gets frustrated when we dont jump fast enough, because she has to keep up the image with the ceo that SHE is doing all the work. She is also a huge racist and always makes racist remarks about white afrikaans speaking people (which of course is what i am), i never go into this debate with her, as i know she is looking for a reason to get rid of me. She will talk about these white people and apartheid, she also said that maybe she should start speaking to me in her mother tongue as i dont understand when she gives me instructions in english. No i had enough, and its time to take serious action.

Reply to Charlene
Posted by: Patricia | 2007/05/15

Hey Charlene,

You're most welcome. Talk anytime. I just want you to know: The longer you stay there and take this from "Satan's Little Helper", the more she destroys the good in you. She will not leave. She is too comfortable there. She has all the right people in her pocket. Don't play her games dear. Pluck up your courage and make a stand. When she wants to do your "exit-interview" with you, ask that the CEO attends. And then be honest about your reason for leaving. Perhaps that's what they need to get a wake-up call.

Change what you can not accept. I did and I have never been happier. Honestly! I no longer have nausea fits before I go to work. No more stress-headaches. No more tears. No more self-esteem issues! And you can have it too. There is NO reason in the world to take abuse. Do it for yourself. Ok?

Reply to Patricia
Posted by: Charlene | 2007/05/15

Thanks to all of you, CS no unfortunately her only boss is the CEO, she reports directly to him.

Patricia, i think you have an excellent idea there, think i will go to the agencies and get a move on things. Few people told me last week to hang in there as she is on her way out, she is not coping with her job, but hells bells, it aint easy to hang in there in the "meantime"
thanks for all your advice.

Reply to Charlene
Posted by: Patricia | 2007/05/15

Hi Charlene,

I can truly sympathise with you my dear. I worked for a similar boss for 5 years... He belittled me and overworked me and bragged to our clients about how competent I was but told me to my face how stupid and incompetent I am. He drove met to tears many a day (never cried in front of him) and we ended up having raging fights 'cause I just couldn't just nod and smile anymore. He happend to be the MD! We had massive staff losses as a result. The select few who tried to take him to the CCMA were tied up in court cases for more than 3 years!!!

What I can advise you to do is this: It will not get better! She will NOT change. You can not nod and smile when your spirit is being broken on a daily basis. Get out! You are the only one that can change this. There are very good employers out there and you sound like a Star! Get yourself listed with temp agencies at first. Resign. Start temping. You are a competent wonderful person. You will not battle with temp assignments. Then look out for a permanent position whilst you temp. This way you can also "check out" the dynamics of the companies you're temping at. They offer temp-to-perm jobs all the time when they come across a good employee.

Good Luck. I made it, so can you!

Reply to Patricia
Posted by: Britty | 2007/05/14

She sounds like she has a powerful position in the company and it doesn't seem like she is afraid of anybody. Yes, you could find another job but you seem to get on with the other people in your work place. The only other alternative is to literally smile your way through each day and do your best. After working for a number of companies over the years I often found that such obnoxious people don't last for ever. Whatever you decide todo take care.

Reply to Britty
Posted by: Echelle | 2007/05/14

Phone the people yourself and put them through to her when she's back at office, that way the phone calls will be answered and the other people you call for her will see that you're an excellent secretary. Just smile at her and be friendly, don't get mad cause she'll love that! But she'll hate it if you're friendly and always give her a smile :-)

Reply to Echelle

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