What To Do When You Have the Boss From Hell: Quit!

What To Do When You Have the Boss From Hell: Quit!


When you have the boss from hell, don’t stick around hoping things will get better with some perseverance. Don’t stick around hoping, by some miracle, the boss from hell will leave you alone and turn his negative attention on somebody else. Instead, find another job. You don’t deserve to put up with that garbage.

I’ve experienced the boss from hell. Let’s call him Lucifer. He tried to make my life [read: everyone’s life] a nightmare and he temporarily succeeded. I once worked at the dysfunctional law firm of Satan & Hitler, LLP, where Lucifer was a young partner notorious for preying on newbie associates (like me!), berating them, making them feel insecure about their legal abilities, and running them off. Lucifer must not have gotten a lot of hugs from his mom when he was growing up because he was a hateful, ugly person, who had no life or friends outside of the office. Heck, he had no friends inside the office, as his colleagues- whom he considered to be friends- frequently gossiped behind his back. There was an instance where Lucifer called me into his office to explain a Memorandum of Law that I prepared, which he believed was purecrapola. To demonstrate how I was a “baby attorney” who was metamorphosing into an “adult attorney,” Lucifer literally got down on his hands and knees and crawled around the room like an infant. It was the Twilight Zone. In the three years I was an associate at Satan & Hitler, LLP, I would walk around the office looking for hidden cameras, thinking I was on some crazy reality show because SURELY a professional work environment could not truly be this nutty. It was.

I stayed at Satan & Hitler, LLP, too long because of paralyzation of the lie that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to go anywhere else and be successful. At the time, the economy was in shambles, major “silk-stocking” firms were having historical layoffs, and I was worried that I would have to take a pay cut (and still be unhappy) somewhere else. I was a battered work wife.

According to a 2013 article posted in the LinkedIn Influencer program, two-thirds of employees aren’t fully engaged in their careers. The number one reason for the disengagement? Their boss sucks. In other words, if you have a bad boss, you are in good company. However, you can do something about it by taking control of your life and peacing out.

It was probably the tenth time that I came home after work crying because of something horrible that Lucifer did when my husband grabbed me, looked me in the face, and said “What are you doing? Find another job. Your misery isn’t worth it.” He was right. I finally left Satan & Hitler, LLP. Not because I had the chutzpah to leave on my own volition, but because a major client had left the firm, leaving me and several other associates with no work and no job. Fortunately, I secured another position in a couple days, where I have been for the last four years. It’s a great work environment. Maybe this is God paying me back for the three years of hell that I endured at the other firm, but it’s refreshing to be at a place where I am valued, appreciated, and respected, and the only workplace politics involve getting your work done.

When I reflect on the abuse I put up with from Lucifer, it makes me feel sickened that I’d allow someone to treat me that way. Maybe I have a different perspective because I’m older, more experienced, have kids, and a different outlook about life and myself, but I’d never let someone treat me that way again. Ever.

The bottom line? When you have a horrible boss, it will never get better. Leave. Run out the door as fast as you can. You will find another job. You are good enough, you are smart enough, and, dangit, you deserve better.

Cheers to that!

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1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of Stephanie Volkert

    I had a very similar experience, only it was at a lab where I worked. My husband (boyfriend at the time) was like, “you need to just quit. I’ll take care of you. You can’t keep working there.”

    There were days where all I could think was, “Am I dreaming? Does NO ONE ELSE see this?!” You really do start to question yourself and your abilities. A negative work environment is like a negative home environment. You need money to survive so it’s not so easy to just go find another job, same as you need a place to live so it’s not so easy to just move out.

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