According to many work-related surveys, the primary reason many if not most people leave their jobs is because of the boss. Not the pay, not the hours, not the lack of free coffee, not the lack of a colleague’s personal hygiene — the boss. A supervisor who belittles workers, or embarrasses them in public or private. A leader who unfairly stands in the way of career development and promotion, or who is rude to underlings, or subject to temper tantrums, or all three. That’s true whether you work in the private sector or for Uncle Sam. Sound like anybody you know?
If you have a job chances are you have, had or will have a supervisor who makes life miserable for you or folks around you. Some who drives employees to tears, or despair. Who’s unfair and often public actions belittle subordinates. Often. Maybe constantly.
If you’ve got a really bad bully boss, a page one story in Tuesday’s Washington Post may give you (and your boss) food for thought. The headline said: “Biden Science Adviser Exits, Admits He Belittled The Staff.” The official either didn’t hear or pay attention when President Joe Biden, early days in office, publicly told his top staff that officials who mistreated or embarrassed their subordinates would get fired. Which is what happened to Eric Lander who, until this week, sat in the Cabinet as director of the Office of Science and Technology and who, after his dismissal, apologized to his staff for bad behavior. He is considered a brilliant mathematician and scientist but still, he’s out.
Meaning what? Well, the odds of your boss getting canned by the president are slim at best. But word gets out. And sometime it’s the thought, or threat, that counts. So if you’ve got a truly insufferable, bad boss, hope they follow the news out of Washington, especially this week. And watch to see if they shape up, at least for a little while.
The winner of the second Minnesota Name-A-Snowplow contest, with the most overall votes, was “Betty Whiteout.” Eight winners were chosen via online vote from a total of 50 finalists. Other winners included “Ctrl Salt Delete,” “The Big Leplowski,” and “No More Mr. Ice Guy.”