A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.
Thanks to IdleGod for sharing this story.
I had a job as a Senior Network Administrator. The company only had 200 people working for it, and an IT group of about 10 people. That is a horrendously bad ratio (20:1). I worked there for about 4 months, but quickly realized why there were so few people willing to work there: the IT manager was a maniacal, self serving jerk.
We had a girl working the main support line, and she was really good at it. Well, one day, he called her up (he worked on a different floor) and proceeded to berate her over the phone until she was effectively crying in front of her coworkers (keep in mind, 9 of the 10 of us were crammed in a tiny little office, built for 3 people). He would do that to everyone; doing it to the guys was just as unacceptable, but to make her cry over the phone was just too far. He told me that I wasn't being resourceful enough when I was able to find servers without asking, and then only asked to confirm if I had the complete list afterwards.
I never had any true, granted access to anything, despite being in a senior position, yet was able to produce a list of serious problems with the network. When I submitted each issue, I just got a blow off response. He told me to just, "keep studying your Microsoft textbooks" (they wanted me to get some low-grade Microsoft certification). I had a master's degree and a professional designation in the field, yet he deemed it critically important that I do rote memorization tasks. This is like being asked to do janitorial work when you have demonstrated skills and experience managing departments.
I had told him that I wanted to help the other senior staff as they were massively overworked. Nope, he didn't care. I am a very technical person, and extremely proficient at what I do, yet I was writing reports for the department. I found out later that people were raving about how good they were.
Every day I went to work, I felt physically ill. I didn't want to be there. I felt like my job was just one tantrum away from it being my last day. I was fed up with his terrorization of the department. Every external indication that I had was that the company thought highly of the HR department, but had no idea what was going on within it.
Then, one day, I got a call from a friend asking if I "knew someone who was looking for a job". Less than 24 hours after that call, I was offered a new job for more money, being an IT manager at another company.
Now, for the good part.
I emailed him my signed resignation, and CC'd to HR. He begged me to stay (over the phone, he was on sick leave, yet was calling in, yelling at people). I told him no. I went and told HR, and spent 2 hours describing what a horror show the department was. They were shocked. They didn't know what to do; I knew all of their holes, all of their problems.
The HR guy was really awesome, and handled it like a pro. He knew that my direct coworkers would have to process a quit request, so he asked if I would like to tell them. I stood there and told them that I was leaving, and that they would be getting the request shortly. I was still "the new guy", so they didn't know how to react. My boss freaked out that I told them, as he figured he could still keep me on. For background, they had been looking to fill my position for 6 months before I stepped in - in a recession, they couldn't find anyone good enough but me.
Management asked me to leave early and see them the next day at 10. I normally arrived at 8:30. I knew they talked about it between themselves, and they really didn't know how to handle it. I just wanted to be gone. My boss, who was still out of the office, had to be conferenced in. The other managers left the office, and he proceeded to just yell at me, calling me immature. He still begged me to stay. I just let him throw his tantrum. He complained that he was on sick leave, and that's why he was so moody. Bullshit. They let me go that day instead of wasting the next 4 weeks.
Walking away from the office at 11AM on a friday, with the sun shining, and a new, fun job awaiting me for Monday, was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.
Have you ever had an awful job?
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