August 20, 2007
How Bad Is Your Boss?
I remember the worst boss I ever had for any length of time. He was editor-in-chief of my old interior design magazine, and he was nuts.
When it was time for him to edit each issue, the entire editorial team had to gather around the computer and read the stories to him aloud. When he needed to write his letter from the editor, he would make up fantasies about a piece of fabric and ask me to write it as the truth and in his name. When I told him I needed a raise, he offered to let me use his Saks card. He couldn’t fathom I needed the money to make my rent.
And his craziness didn’t stop there. He would just dial people’s phone numbers on the fax machine and scream at it, “I’m faxing you.” And then when it wouldn’t go through, he would just give up, instead of calling the people for their fax numbers.
I bet you’re wondering, “How did this guy keep his job?” Well, his stepfather was very wealthy and funded the magazine for him. After I was long gone, it eventually went under.
Everyone has a bad boss at one time or another. And some are profiting from it with Working America’s My Bad Boss Contest. You can vote on the semifinalists here. (Hurry! Voting closes tomorrow.) You can also take the How Bad Is Your Boss? quiz.
So tell us your bad boss stories below, and check out these resources for help on handling and avoiding toxic bosses:
- “Neutralize Your Toxic Boss”
- “Ten Warning Signs of a Toxic Boss”
- “Stop Toxic Managers Before They Stop You”
- “When the New Boss Is Hell on Wheels”
- “What to Do If Your Boss Is Incompetent”
From the Monster Blog:
- “How Much Bad Behavior Is Enough?”
- “‘The Devil Wears Prada’: Bad Boss Up for Best Actress Oscar”
- “Is Your Boss Toxic?”
July 19, 2006
What Was Your Worst Summer Job?
It seems that with the heat of summer often comes a wave of peculiar, sometimes awful, temporary gigs. Ryck’s story is just one example. From laborious duties a la “Fear Factor” to mind-numbing, repetitive tasks, summer jobs have chronically earned their own cheeky reputation. So just for kicks (and grounds for venting, of course), we’re currently holding our Worst Summer Job Contest through August 4th. The stories we’ve gotten thus far run the gamut. Here are a couple:
- Monster member anima3d posts: For eight hours a day, I compared the current New York City phone book to the previous year's, looking for new businesses that had cropped up in the intervening 12 months, and when I found one, I noted it on a data entry card. That card would be logged into a computer system that would place the new business on a mailing list to receive solicitations for accounting services. The type on the pages was miniscule, and the light was so poor I had to strain to see it. After several weeks of this, I started losing my eyesight.
- Monster member walden722 posts: My worst summer job was detasseling corn, which is basically like running a three-week, sleep-deprived, heatstroke-inducing, cross-country marathon while pulling the tops off of corn plants. We would work for three weeks straight with no days off and hit the buses at 5 am sharp, usually returning home around 4 or 5 pm. The mornings would start off with the corn being cold and covered in dew and us wearing ponchos made out of garbage bags, as they would only get torn anyway. By early afternoon, the humidity in the fields made it feel like it was 115 degrees, and in order to see the tassels you were required to look into the sun the entire time. I did not know you could sunburn your eyeballs, but it happened to me more than once!
So if you’re slaving through a summer job, read some of the posts on the contest message board. You might feel better about your own situation -- and maybe even submit a story of your own. Heck, you can win a video iPod and perhaps some of your sanity back.