If you’ve never had a completely sucky boss, count yourself lucky. Whether they were dumber than the neighbor’s Chihuahua or more annoying than Justin Bieber, most of us have found ourselves under the direction of a less than beloved leader at some point or another. As much as you want to spend your day at work playing iPhone games in the bathroom, you must resist; there are ways you can (hopefully) change your boss’s behavior and make work more bearable.
1. Have a Friendly Meeting to Review Your “Goals”
While timing your farts so they always end up by your boss’s office door might make you feel a bit better, it’s not going to change anything for the long term. Telling your boss you’d like to have a check-in about your mutual “goals” is a non-confrontational way to give him the hint that you’re looking for a change. You want to let your boss know “what you need from him” so that you can do what is expected of you; this is your chance to frame your boss’s bad behavior in a way that he can swallow.
2. Find an Ally
Depending on how terrible your boss is, you want to have someone on your side if the shit does finally hit the fan. Who around you sees eye to eye with you and is aware of what your boss does that drives your office nuts? Ideally, this person is a manager of your boss’s level, but a peer will also work. Identify this person and consider having an honest little chat about what the boss is up to.
3. Ask Them How You Can “Help”
If your boss is worse than your mother-in-law, you surely don’t want to ask to help them– you want to tell them to go to hell. But, suck up your pride for a minute. If your boss has only recently become a bad manager, they might have a reason you’re not privy to that explains it; a talk about how you can “help them achieve their goals” might bring out any recent changes that explain their behavior. There might be a reason behind it; if you figure it out, that’s great, if not, you’ve likely boosted your rapport with your boss.
So you’ve met with your boss and discussed what’s going on in a non-confrontational way, and nothing’s changed. It might be time to discuss your boss’s behavior in a serious way with his or her boss, or with human resources. While you might think reporting them will only bring more trouble to yourself, you don’t have to suffer through a boss that is truly creating an intolerable workplace; that’s one of the main reasons your HR department exists.
5. Give it Time
Let your actions sink in and give your boss time to change their ways. Be wary of complaining too much about your boss in the workplace–not everyone might see things the same way you do. Creating too much bad mojo isn’t going to make your office a more pleasant place to be. Sit tight and cross your fingers.
6. It May Be Time For a Change
So none of my awesome advice worked? Go back to farting near his office. And consider getting a transfer to a different department or part of your office. Not possible? Well my friend, you have two choices: yoga and meditation, or hitting up the classifieds. It sucks, but so does working for a boss that gives you anger and stress. Good luck.
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