Those Who Survived The Boss From Hell
Defining the Parameters
When you work for a Boss From Hell there is no reason to stress. You know what he is, you know what you can expect.
As you are not dealing with a rational human being, you have no reason to feel guilt, commitment, interest, or any form of loyalty.
There is no reason to activate emotions. There is no impetus to consider professionalism. One must sever all connection to him, the job, the work performed.
Everything must fall into a third party disinterest; the kind of disinterest one experiences when glancing at a rerun of a boring serial.
In this way, you avoid any emotional impact, regardless of what he does. And because you distance everything connected to the job from yourself, there is no way anything he says/does can touch you.
Those eight hours you spend in ‘hell’ are segregated from your life.
These are a few ‘survivor stories’.
Mrs. Scott had worked for The BFH for three years.
She approached him the last week in July to request leave for the month of August.
The BFH was in his ‘lair’. This was his large office, festooned with various ‘awards’ he had received. He gave her his imperious look and immediately told her that it was impossible.
Too much work.
Mrs. Scott nodded her head, primly, and left his office with the sense of 'acceptance'.
Not a word was said about leave on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, nor Friday. Mrs. Scott appeared to do her work as she did last week and the week before.
On Friday she left at her usual time.
Mrs.Scott was not at her desk on Monday. She was not there on Tuesday. In fact, Mrs. Scott was never present in the building again.
During the days between her request for leave and her leaving on Friday, Mrs. Scott took all personal items from her space.
She saved a lot of items on her computer in codes so that no one could find them.
She also made a few phone calls, setting up possible posts in September.
During her last week, Mrs. Scott in no way betrayed this was her last week.
The reason Mrs. Scott could behave as she did, was because having fully appreciated the quality, or lack there of, pertaining to her employer, treated him as he deserved by virtually walking off the job.
The BFH was bellowing at the top of his voice, berating Eric, one of the messengers. It was not the first time,nor would it be the last.
When the BFH sent someone to deliver anything, he accepted no excuses.
His usual bellow; "You don't come back until that is delivered!"
Eric left at nine a.m and returned the following day claiming he had to wait until past seven p.m. to see the person he had to deliver the item to.
He asked if he would get overtime, and the BFH shouted him out of the office.
Eric was not upset.
There was a cricket match at Sabina yesterday, which he intended to see. He'd bought his ticket, arrived at the office, got his chewing out, left, delivered the item, and went to watch the match, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Knowing that anytime he wanted to take a day, this was all he had to do.
Some days he'd take two or three items and not be seen in the precincts of the office until quitting time.
Unlike those who were 'chained' to the desk, Eric had a life outside of the building, and actually did a few paying jobs during his working day.
He'd always return with a story which suggested he should get overtime or special pay, which he never did receive, but considering all things, he was not as upset as he pretended.
Miss Kings was one of those committed employees, who took an interest and worked hard, and didn't watch a clock.
That is, until she fell into Hell.
During her first days, she was loaded with work, and was leaving one or two hours after quitting time. This is because she was so engrossed and committed to what she was doing.
When she left the office, she kept the work on her mind, and in the morning arrive with all sorts of motivation.
After the first three times of being shouted at, insulted, demeaned, and her confidence eroded, she came home totally depressed, and had the Epiphany.
Firstly, this was NOT her work. This was HIS work.
Secondly, none of this work mattered at all.
Thirdly, she was paid for her physical presence in the office.
Fourthly, there were ways she could limit her actual work, add recreation, and receive the same pay she would if she were working ten hours a day non stop.
Miss Kings developed her new paradigm.
Every day she arrived at 8:30 and signed in. She went to her desk, activated her computer, then went to the bathroom.
Having left her desk at 8:32 she would not return until 8:47.
Once back at her desk she would spend the next 13 minutes setting up... this might be moving files from one place to another, anything that accomplished nothing, until 9:00.
At 9:01 Miss Kings would commence work.
Work consisted of re-reading items she typed yesterday or the day before, or the day before that, which were still on the computer, and adding or subtracting meaningless bits.
In the background, she would be connected to the Internet, reading her mail, taking turns in Scrabble, and other such activities.
When the Boss From Hell emerged from his lair, usually about 9:45 with instructions, he would find her with a file open and her fingers on the keyboard.
As soon as he spoke, Miss Kings would grab her pencil and paper and begin to write down his instructions. He hated this. She knew it. However, the BFH couldn't utter a word, he had already attacked her for her poor memory and distraction in one of his diatribes.
It was not until 10 am that the BFH requested particular documents. To 'save paper' required to view them on the screen of her computer.
Miss Kings brought up the documents she had done a week ago, he went over it, word by word, demanding various changed which kept her focused until 10:34.
He got up and she printed the documents and brought them to his desk. She then went to the bathroom from 10:36 until 10:52.
She returned to her desk to begin another document and worked from 10:53 until 11:10 then went outside to smoke a cigarette.
She returned at 11:25. She continued that one document until 11:57 when she left the building and went to lunch until 1:03.
When she returned she relaxed with email, Scrabble, other internet pursuits, until 2:00. This is because the BFH ate in his office between 1 pm and 2 pm.
She completed the items he had assigned that morning between 2:01 and 3:00 but said nothing.
She had already been attacked for 'Interrupting' him.
She took another fifteen minute bathroom break just past 3:00.
Between 3:16 and 4:15, Miss Kings mixed the Internet with a few documents. Then began closing down. By 4:26 she was out of the building.
She flushed her BFH, the office, and everything in that part of town down the toilet.
Considering that she was paid for 8 hours and considering that she worked less than four a day, it was not much stress.
She couldn't care less about the work, the Boss. She was more concerned about the play she made in Scrabble, or that item she read when doing her Internet travels than she was about what documents she had composed.
In fact, she had begun to keep a penciled record of what she did in a day so as to recall if she had typed document two or the letter to business six, for nothing she did went into her mind.
The job, becoming so peripheral, could not provoke stress.
The Three Survivors have one thing in common; they couldn't care less.
This is not a palliative remark, this is soul deep honesty.
The employees might have started with interest, but over a fairly short time, lost all commitment and the job became less and less important as time passed.
For Mrs.Scott, she was going to take that month off.
What her BFH said, didn't say was peripheral. She and her husband were leaving that Friday night. The flight was booked, the bags were packed.
When, as not unexpected, the BFH believed he had a 'right' to deny her leave, she removed her personal items in a daily subtraction.
She left a lot of unfinished work on that computer on Friday. She knew it would be impossible for anyone to deduce the titles she used for the items.
This meant, whomever replaced her would have to start from 'scratch', and wouldn't know which items were done, not done,
Many of the files she had completed were in the cabinet. Who would know that three weeks ago she was asked to type a letter to John Smith?
She assumed her BFH would not appreciate she was not simply absent on Monday but had walked off the job.
Having been paid on Friday she was complete.
Eric loved his job. He had so much free time. He was wise enough to know that when he was to deliver an item down the road he did it immediately and returned.
When he was to deliver something a distance away, he'd take his bus fare and take his time, so that it should take a messenger less than an hour, it would take Eric three hours.
And when Cricket was being played at Sabina, it was going to take all day.
Miss Kings did very little work. Her Internet at home was of negligible cost as she used the office from Monday to Friday to write items for various publishing sites, visit sites with large Megs, so that at home, she could use a limited Dungle for a very low cost.
All three had no pressure. They didn't care. The BFH was no 'icon' no one worthy of respect. They considered him sub human and his work meaningless.
The salary they received was, in some respects more gift than earned.
What You Must Do
The First thing is to back off. Back off and realise you are working for an Evil being, a man who would be a slave owner in a past life and treats you as his slave.
Get that clear in your mind.
The Second thing is to appreciate that this is NOT your work, this is His work. You put your name on Nothing. You keep yourself arm's length from everything connected to Hell, (Your Work Place).
You have to build that Wall.
Thirdly, take nothing he says to you as real or true. He berates you because he is a psycho path and this makes him feel better. Considering all of his diatribes as time fillers.
If he shouts at you for five minutes, that is five minutes you don't work.
If you can, you can get up and walk away after he finishes, as if you are 'so hurt' . If you want, leave the office.
Fourthly, work as slow as you possibly can. Do as little as possible. This is not nice but it does give you a sense of 'control' which you need.
Fifthly, plot your day to give yourself as many breaks as possible. Move as slowly as possible.
Any time you are out of the office on a 'mission' make it fill as much time as you possibly can.
Sixthly, look for other jobs. Continually be on the Look Out. Don't let money be your own consideration. In many cases, taking a pay cut but working for a human being is more than a reward.
Seventhly, understand that you have been subjected to very similar Abuse as that brutalised wife. It will take you time to recover. Be aware of this. When you move to your next job, don't carry the 'learned' behaviour with you.
Many normal employers are not clock watchers. They expect you in 'around' a particular time. Many employers want you to contact them immediately if you hit a snag or have completed a project. Don't sit and wait to be summoned, unless you are instructed to wait.
Give yourself a few months to get back to normal.
Until that moment when you escape Hell, adopt every kind of self preservation method you can imagine.
Never think about the job when you are home. Turn off your cell. If you can't, don't answer when he calls, or get yourself a specific 'work phone' and 'life phone'.
I can't repeat this enough times.
A Boss from Hell will Call you at 4:46am. If your phone is off, it won't wake you. Shut your work phone off as you leave the office and turn it on when you wake up in the morning.
Never do overtime, never work on any day that is a week end or holiday... ever. Let him shout, threaten, whatever. Never do it.
Once the Boss From Hell learns... and this is a long process... that you Must leave at your quitting time, Can Never arrive until your Start Time, that cuts down on that slice of stress.
Once the Boss From Hell notices that you write down what he says when he says it, he will be prevented from shouting; "I Told You To..." because you can go to your note pad.
Slavery is over.
You can, as Mrs. Scott, leave the office without permission.
You can, as Eric, not do what Massa says.
You can as Miss Kings, do very little work.
And you can survive.