Bad bosses

Hand your bad boss a mirror and they probably still will not recognize themselves. This has been a situation encountered for generation after generation. In fact, it started with sweatshops in the 1800s. Desperate economic times exacerbate working conditions and leave employees feeling hopeless.

Examples of bad bosses:

  • A vice-president at a local Houston bank repeatedly refused to contact the insurance agent for the death claim of an employee’s child. The life insurance premiums were paid by the bank as part of the employees benefit package. The employee was positive the child was included on the policy but the vice-president refused to file the claim. A formal complaint took 2 years to process before the insurance claim was paid to the employee.
  • A sales team working for a Houston, Texas company was constantly being berated and demeaned by a boss who frequently ran the company in an intoxicated state. Multiple weekly meetings subjected staff to instantaneous employee terminations, conveying to the staff how inept and stupid they were, referring to employees with racial slurs and numerous additional violent tirades.
  • A major home builder in Houston, Texas employs a sales team who are required to work a set and specific schedule and at times at remote locations. They are required to follow a strict dress code, present specific and detailed sales presentations, work as real estate agents without credentials, clean and vacuum model homes, drive customers around in their private vehicles without compensation and attend required meetings. These sales representatives do not receive an hourly wage. They are paid commission only. Sales meetings are an emotional beating. Employees are told they are not allowed to leave their assigned locations to eat lunch. Schedules many times exceed 50 or 60 hours per week.  They are constantly informed they will be terminated if they are over a minute late for work. They are expected to use their personal mobile phones, without compensation, and answer it 24/7 to accommodate customer’s needs.
  • A retail store in Paris, Texas is managed, term used loosely, by a woman conveying her religious convictions through visual, verbal and administrative means. Each meeting is a 2 hour lecture for “achieving your superior self” and “listening to the voice that does not speak”. There is never any two way communication at these meetings. The staff sits in silence while receiving the sermon from the front seat. Most meetings include the sermon on each employee being dispensable and easily replaced. Is this why there is a continual ad for help wanted for this establishment?
  • A major retail chain in Pittsburgh, PA had a long tenured credit/collection staff. They had successfully driven off each manager within a year of service. The general manager was oblivious to the practiced behaviors of referring to the first female credit manager as a “white prince-ass” and 100% of the staff calling off sick on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. They came in late – if they showed at all and left early. The general manager did not want to exercise his right to terminate them because they had been employed there for many years. He was also afraid to reprimand or call them out for adverse verbal outbursts for fear of racial bias accusations or a lawsuit.

Most managers break federal/state employment law because they are untrained or simply do not care. There is a broad circle of bosses on a control trip and exercise their ignorance of the law because they can. Desperate times create desperate employees. There are the under employed out there now enduring untold humiliations at the hand of taskmasters knowing there are few places to turn to.

Bosses compensated for keeping expenses “under control” create maltreatment exercised through frigid or intolerable heat exposure within the work environment. OSHA requirements are ignored due to not providing necessary safety equipment. Employees are now “paying” for the privilege to be employed with desk fees, providing their own office supplies, cell phones, vehicles, occupational insurance, uniforms, mileage, land line use, cost per copy of work related materials, postage, and customer related entertainment expenses. These are not necessarily 1099 employees.

The blue collar employee community is subjected to extensive verbal abuse. Construction workers, service staffs, domestic labor, retail and industrial rank & file are constant targets for denigration. There is a prevalent attitude that the workers don’t know enough to report discrimination, oppression or mistreatment. Management may be positioned from within the in-house force without the benefit of formal education for the advancement. As in families, we do what we know. If the example was poor, the abuse continues.

The first step is recognition. If you find yourself in a derogatory work environment, try your best to get the hell out. Continuing to subject yourself to money monger predators will certainly change who you are. Be tenacious and patient during your journey. There are great places to work and wonderful people to learn from. God speed.

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