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70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-15-2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

http://tinyurl.com/lds34

Good article. Most people think their boss stinks.


EDIT: Shortened URL
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-15-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Man, did I have a charmed career. There were a few bosses that I disagreed with, a few that I thought were not as fair in handing out assignment as they should have been, and a couple that I thought needed to buy a personality, but nothing like the examples in that article.

Talked with BIL the other about his friend who left the company and their mutual boss's secretary who left also (in love with the friend apparently). The boss has gone through almost 30 secretaries in just a few years ("extremely demanding" was the phrase used) and BIL was thinking about telling him that this latest one wasn't completely his fault. I advised against it, anybody who goes through that many secretaries is an ass and needs to grow up and learn how to treat people decently.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-15-2006, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

I once counted 25 or so bosses I w*rked for during my 35 years before retiring. Some of them were pretty challenging, but around the 20 year point I got a little cocky and began thinking I could work for the devil himself. Sure enough, I got the opportunity to test out that theory.

Turns out I could, but it was really Hell.

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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-15-2006, 04:17 PM   #4
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Back when I was working for mega-corp incorporated and had to spend time reviewing 360 degree evaluation results for several levels of managment, our data indicated that most people actually rated their immediate supervisor well. They also almost all rated their bosses boss as an a$$#0!! and a jerk. We theorized that this was because managers tended to take credit when they announced good news to the troops but tended to blame their boss when bad news came down.

I sat down and ranked the managers I had during my working career and was surprised. I had managers I considered to be awful during about 25% of my career. I had managers I considered to be very good for twice as many years, with the rest being somewhere in the middle. But the bad management years seemed to last about 4 times as long, so it seemed worse than it was.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-16-2006, 09:41 AM   #5
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

I don't recall having any bad bosses in my relatively short career. My last job I was a supervisor and can honestly say my bosses weren't toxic. However the employees that worked for me were very toxic. I guess a job were 90% of the employees were GS-5s (30-40k) with 20-30 years experience created a very toxic environment. No room for growth didn't help either. Basically the only way to get promoted was if someone above you died.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-16-2006, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Oh my, what did I have?

I had some nice but incompetent folks at the first megacorp I worked for. While they were at the top of the heap when I worked there, the whole company's gone now. I'm not surprised.

The owner I worked for at one startup had been kicked out as CEO of a couple of other companies for boozing and sleeping around a little too much at the office. He continued to do so at the startup, even though his wife worked there too. She had to practically come to work with a blindfold on. When anything got dicey, usually after he and I and some ho went "on a business trip", I got called in to bail him out. On good days he went out for the three martini lunch, came back to the office and stormed around yelling at people. Brilliant sales/marketing guy though. I learned a lot.

One semi-megacorp later on in a satellite sales office, I had the boss that bought stuff through the company and took it home. I mean whole rooms of furniture, televisions and so forth. He had blinds put in his office windows so he didnt have to go to the conference room in the back to snort. Was sleeping with the secretary until he took her out on an evening sail off of cape cod while both of them were pretty well impaired...they were blown out to sea and died of exposure. The morning we were all getting the news that they were missing, one of the company vp's showed up to fire him and promote me into his job. Gee, thanks for the easy first day. Which was then followed up by 32,000 audits on "where the money went", "why do these forecasts say $5M and theres only a million in sales" and "where exactly would this $5000 leather chair be?".

Guy I worked for at a startup in San Francisco, straight from singapore and so was almost everyone else. Lots of family money, lived in a big house up in the oakland hills, spent like crazy, had absolutely no idea how to run a business or deal with customers. Within 3 months he had me running about 2/3 of the company, to the chagrin of his brother and cousin who felt slighted by this incursion. So we had a daily routine of the two of them setting deadfalls for me and my trying to detect and avoid them. It all ended when I found out that he had about 250 people "on the payroll", while we only had about 70 people working at the company. He offered to let me "buy in" to the business, but clearly I wasnt very interested in being party to the company that was awash in illegality. Then I saw the books. My god.

About a month after I walked away, he sold the business (basically the office space and the customer base) to a larger competitor for $6M and "retired". Hell, he's probably posting here now.

Couple of others who badly mixed personal issues with the business ones to a very poor effect.

I'd say 70% would be pretty liberal. Out of the 35 or so people I worked for, maybe 4-5 were really good managers, another 3-4 were just paper dolls that had friends in the good old boy/girl network, the rest were like cohabiting with a leaky cyanide cylinder...
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 12:22 AM   #7
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

I have worked for about three in 30+ years (two of them recently). I am too old to work for a**holes, and in this job market, I don't have to.

CFB, I once worked for ethically-challenged individual from Singapore, too. I wonder if there is something in the water there?
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 06:07 AM   #8
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Turns out I could, but it was really Hell.
According to your tag, that is really were you want to be, anyway* !

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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 06:40 AM   #9
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron'Da
According to your tag, that is really were you want to be, anyway* !
I don't know if "want" is the right word here* 8)

As far as bosses go, well, I have had a few bosses at my company and at my clients' sites that I wouldn't want to work for again. I don't know if any of them were truly toxic, but I can think of quite a few flavors of incompetents, ruthless empire builders, ex-techies who never learned any social skills, workaholic martinets, two faced political types, and probably* other kinds that I can't think of at the moment.

Then again, nobody calls a consultant when everything is working perfectly or at least is under control, so I have probably seen more than my fair share of horror stories*
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 06:51 AM   #10
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron'Da
According to your tag, that is really were you want to be, anyway !
Not true, but at least it isn't quite as hot as TX.



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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 07:04 AM   #11
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Not true, but at least it isn't quite as hot as TX.
Yeah, but property taxes are higher in TX than hell.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 07:34 AM   #12
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

At one company, I had a new boss every 3-4 months because of constant reorganizations. Very Dilbertian -- even the one about the "manager's chair" actually happened to my officemate in my presence. Some of these bosses were fairly toxic, technically incompetent but grabbing technical credit with both hands.

But one was a man who I still seek to emulate -- both very smart and very nice -- a true pleasure to work with. When I left there, the only hard part was not working with him any more.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 09:34 AM   #13
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

I have had several bosses I would classify as Toxic. Two of them were especially toxic but for very different reasons. One was paranoid and would undermine everything I did to get me to leave the company. He lied to my employees and made up stories about things I supposedly said about them. Once he told three of the older women (there were all in their late 50s and I was in my early 20s) that I thought they were all too fat. That sure created a warm and trusting environment in which to work. He would also go through my desk when I was not there looking for I don't know what. He would also give me conflicting project plans to keep me off balance and would accuse me not following directions. My last persormance evaluation was horrible. I was so made I went to HR and they supported him because he had made up a whole report of lies and BS that was completely wrong. Given little choice at working with this t*rd, I left. I later ran into him at my new company. That sucked and while I did not have to work for him I had to work with him. We have some pretty tense meetings! He eventually left "due to health reasons" Late I found out he was fired for sexual harrasment. He hit on the wrong lady! She was a former employee of mine and told me the whole story.

My current boss is not toxic as much as he is just a corporate puppet and has not figured out that just because someone has written a book on a new HR idea does not mean that it will work; or that the Corp. will support it; or that we have time or resources to implement and maintain it. Clueless is the best I can describe him. At least he allows me to do what I want for the most part and I will hang around for another year as long as I can stomach the BS and he lets me do my thing.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 09:49 AM   #14
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
CFB, I once worked for ethically-challenged individual from Singapore, too. I wonder if there is something in the water there?
I'm chalking him up more to incompetence and misunderstanding of how to run a business than ethics. He obviously had hundreds of friends and family on the books so they could live here in the US and after seeing the books I wouldnt let him balance my checking account. My favorite days were when we were having a problem with a customer and he'd come in a little late and tell me "I stopped at that customer today and worked everything out with them. Very happy.". Wink/nod. That meant that he blew in there, pissed off the customer and screwed them up so bad that I'd be lucky if they'd take my phone calls.

He came from a wealthy and successful family and he expected to be wealthy and successful without actually learning anything. Oddly enough it happened for him...the right people just seemed to come along at the right time and do the right things to put him in a position to succeed long enough to score a sale of his little company. A comedy of unintentional random coincidences that worked out really only for him!

I'm sure we've all seen a couple of those, and the race/creed/color/country of origin didnt seem to be the issue...
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 09:56 AM   #15
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
I don't know if any of them were truly toxic, but I can think of quite a few flavors of incompetents, ruthless empire builders, ex-techies who never learned any social skills, workaholic martinets, two faced political types, and probably* other kinds that I can't think of at the moment.
that is about my experience....not toxic, but just tards (as SteveR calls them).. I have found that the "tards" are the ones that need to go on Dr. Feel.....have a lot of their self worth tied up in work and dont like to give away anything to their workers....Had 1 very toxic co-worker....bigtime mental health issues with paranoid ideas...ended up burning himself out and being forced to quit...
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 10:14 AM   #16
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

I really can't think of any toxic bosses I've had. Usually it's the coworkers or the immediate supervisors who are a half-step up from me that are the sources of the toxicity. But the "real" bosses, at worst, usually just have their heads up their arses.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 10:57 AM   #17
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Not true, but at least it isn't quite as hot as TX.
Amen to that (I was stationed in Lubbock "last century")....

We had a saying - "Definition of a Texan" (A Mexican that didn't make it to Oklahoma...)* ...* *OOPS! Here come the responses...*
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 12:53 PM   #18
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

One boss I had was really F-in nuts, really. Right out of the Caine Mutiny. Couple nervous breakdowns in the office and I would have been next. The Navy LtCdr I worked for was relieved of his command and he was not the problem, this senior civilian was. Anyway the fellow finally flipped and went running down the street naked, got himself deported.

We had a going away party for him and did not invite him.

Painful time, watched good people burn out and end careers. Took a while to recover. But it also toughened me. After that, later office politics seemed like child's play.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 01:04 PM   #19
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron'Da
Amen to that (I was stationed in Lubbock "last century")....

We had a saying - "Definition of a Texan" (A Mexican that didn't make it to Oklahoma...) ... OOPS! Here come the responses...
Can't ignore history. When I closed on my house the title paperwork showed the previous owners of the land, four owners back it was the Emperor of Mexico.
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"
Old 07-17-2006, 01:13 PM   #20
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Re: 70% of people work for a "toxic boss"

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Originally Posted by Leonidas
Can't ignore history.* When I closed on my house the title paperwork showed the previous owners of the land, four owners back it was the Emperor of Mexico.* *
Really? That's hysterical.

Mom & Dad actually have a few pieces of land in NJ where the original deed says something along the lines of "his property shall not be owned by anyone of other than the white race."
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