How to deal with a bad boss

I have to work tonight with a bad boss who doesn’t respect any of her coworkers. How would you deal with a person like this?


Depends on the scenario and how much you like the job; I’ve had success with both offering to discuss differences ‘in the parking lot’ as well as just going over their head to the boss above them. In hindsight, both maneuvers could have cost me my job but didn’t. Dish out on the sauce! How bad is it?


Take a moment to thank her for not killing you.


Ignore her.

Don’t settle for mere aggression.

Passive-aggression is more satisfying, and won’t get you sacked for “insubordination.”

I don’t know how much resonsibility you have for a given task, from soup to nuts, but if she is a project manager or you’re her direct report, just do the minimum required.

It’s hard for me to do that, since only by hauling a** and being as efficient and quick as possible is the only way I can stay awake, but don’t give her any extra gravy or a popcorn ball for her Halloween basket.

Demonstrate that she gets mediocre work as a direct result of her mediocre “management” style.

Depends on your line of work and your place in path, but I sure would give her lip service at best, and basically sandbag, insofar as you’re able.

1 Like

There’s not much to be done if you intend to stay on the job. I’d avoid her, as much as you possibly can. YouTube therapists sometimes advise going “gray rock” with difficult people. The more someone jabs and bellows at you, the less reactive and emotional you should strive to be. (Go out of your way to be nice to her other targets, too. When and where possible.)

The one upside, if she’s a jerk to everyone, you know it’s nothing you personally did wrong. She’s just a bad person who shouldn’t have any authority over others. It’s like that, sometimes. :frowning:


Well said. There’s no percentage whatsoever in becoming emotive in a work environment. Sometimes it can get results from, say, HR, but I think that’s a losing hand to play in general, and isn’t worth the effort.

And the second recommendation in the portion of your post I quoted is always an excellent option. I’d call that a secret weapon, really: it’s unclear if this “boss” would notice, since it’s possible she’s a bit of a dim bulb, but it does give you something to feel good about after winding up a given workday.

1 Like

She is that way to everyone.

Take a moment to acknowledge their gratitude for you not killing them.

1 Like

Just be careful because some companies have a policy against gray rocking and she might complain to the human resourcestapo that you’re making her feel bad and you’ll be out of a job.

Translate the phrase into a foreign language. HR won’t know what you’re talking about.

Stop caring what she thinks or does that’s not directly about the job. She insults you - don’t care. She yells at you - don’t care. She shows favoritism - don’t care.

Don’t rise to any bait and start your job search if you haven’t already.

I worked for two bad bosses. Both of them got multi-page notes about exactly why they were bad and exactly how bad they were on their desks the day I quit. Forget 'em, life’s too short to work for someone who treats you like crap.

1 Like

I was on a much-needed mental health day off (unpaid) the day one of my worst bosses was fired and had to do the walk of shame out of the building. So unjust that I didn’t get to see it!