V from Milleniallifecrisis recently posed the question: Do you have any stories of horrible bosses? Although there’s many I could mention, I thought I’d tell you about just one.
My manager, Peter, at one of the mental health units I worked on was a miserable so and so at the best of times but he always saved his worst for me. Unfortunately for him, I had more CPD courses under my belt, which enabled me to provide a wide range of different treatment therapies for our clients. I was also able to offer lots of group therapies, which meant more patients had access to talking therapy, relaxation, visualisation etc. (note that I swing between patients and clients – this always depended on the latest trends and which department you worked in).
I was also sent specialist referrals from the Consultants on each ward, asking me to offer a particular therapy (CBT for Schizophrenia, in particular) for individual clients, which really p’d him off.
The Trust CEO, who I’d met many times, was visiting our ward one day and she asked how my sons were so we had a brief chat and shared a giggle or two. When she’d gone, he was apoplectic – yelling “why are you speaking with the CEO? That’s my job, not yours. Who do you think you are? Do you want my job or something?” Although I didn’t think I needed an excuse, I told him she’d engaged me in conversation and asked why shouldn’t I be able to talk to her. He was red in the face and his eyes were bulging as he spluttered and spat something incomprehensible when he stormed away to his office, giving the door an almighty kick.
Peter was moody in general but at least he acknowledged the other staff on the unit, which didn’t go unnoticed by them. My greetings were completely ignored and he delighted in trying to undermine me in front of our junior staff tho’ I’m not sure why he kept it up, as it normally backfired on him and everyone ended up sniggering.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I worked in HR for many years prior to becoming a mental health nurse and the skills I’d gained from HR were easily transferrable to my current job, something else for him to hate.
Still, whenever he had a difficult audit or report to complete he’d pass it on to me, knowing the job would be completed quickly and accurately. Then he’d pass the results off as his own. Neither of us were keen on presentations at high levels but he’d have me do them for Head Office conferences while he sat there, arms folded, smirking at me, almost willing me to trip up and make a fool of myself.
Then he’d ask me awkward questions throughout the presentation, trying to unnerve me and put me off. I’d ask him to wait until the end as his question would be answered in due course or I’d ask the audience “Would anyone like to answer Peter?” and generally someone would. As people applauded, he’d take to the stage and say “I’ve been working on this for weeks so I thought I’d let Nancy present it to you so she can get to grips with it all. He didn’t even realise, he was only actually making a fool of himself.
I tried to approach him many times about his behaviour but he denied there was a problem and even said, despite NMC guidelines to the contrary, “I don’t have to engage in chit chat with you, I’m your boss and I just have to tell you what to do.”
In the end, all I could do was put in a formal complaint, but that’s another post.
Have you ever had to complain about a horrible boss? Both V from Milleniallifecrisis and I would love to know this and how you dealt with it.