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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Catriona, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Reading Lesley's thread, made me think of all the bosses I've ever had.

    I guess the worst were a couple who couldn't delegate and at the same time, didn't do the work necessary.

    Apart from those, I can remember being teased, cuddled, lifted up chair and all and moved elsewhere, praised, trusted and sadly, loved by one (mutual).

    Anyway, it brought to mind one I had when in my late 20s. He was Mr Jackson, Jacko to others, but never by me. A small, wiry man getting on a bit, who gave me my first step up the ladder in BA. Always pleasant, a treat to work for. When I moved on up a couple of years later, we lost touch (I was in a different location), but I always thought of him fondly. Went to his leaving do and got trashed, but that's another story.

    What I remember is a small wiry gentleman, who went through a Japanese POW camp and came out the end, minus teeth and skinny as heck, but an obviously tough fellow.
    He was married to a giant of a woman who I saw every now and then, since she was also employed by BA. Sadly, she died of pancreatic cancer and left Jacko alone, since his daughter was married and off on her own life.
    I remember meeting Jacko as I came out of the tube station once and we literally bumped into each other. It wasn't long after his wife died, so after the usual small talk, I asked him how he was managing.
    He took a while to answer, and I wasn't sure I should have brought it up. Then he looked at me with sad eyes and said (you don't always have to use washing up liquid when doing the dishes, do you?. I hugged him and said no, you don't. We went on our way and I must admit to crying a bit.

    So I've never experienced what Lesley says she is going through.

    Have you?
    dream_police and Roger Hicks like this.
  2. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    No, I've never had any experience such as those described by Lesley. I had my first job at age 15, as a Saturday girl in a Cambridge pharmacy. The boss was evidently not that memorable because I can only really remember the people who bought the shop from him when he retired - a married couple. He was an absolute delight to work for, a handsome Sikh gentleman who insisted all his staff took Vitamin C supplements and smiled all the time. His wife was more demanding and I did seem to make more mistakes when she was around but then I think she knew I had a crush on her husband!

    As far as 'proper' jobs go, I've had six or seven so far and while one or two were a bit oblivious to just who was doing all the work/not doing all the work but getting the credit for it, most of them have been great. Some even more than great - really encouraging and nurturing skills. I do know that not everyone is so lucky but even the awful bloke in charge of where my other half was workign before he lost his job woudln't have resorted to screaming and shouting at his staff - it's just not acceptable!
  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I worked for a small local company for six years, and I reckon that most people quite simply wouldn't believe the sort of things that went on.

    The company was owned by two brothers who didn't get along particularly well. On one occasion they were having a meeting with our book-keeper, a nice lady called Irene, when one of their arguments came to blows. The book-keeper's shouts drew one of the managers to the conference room where they found Irene trying to hold them both apart as they swung for each other. Suffice to say, Irene walked downstairs from the meeting room, emptied her desk and walked out of the door, never to be seen again.

    The company employed one of the owners' sons, who suffered from very bad mental health problems stemming from a large amount of drug abuse. On one occasion, after being approached by a policeman on suspicion of selling drugs (he wasn't selling drugs - he was selling small bags of glasswasher detergent powder for exorbitant amounts of money and telling his customers it was a new drug called 'Magic') a police chase ensued, with the owner's son being pursued while driving a fully-liveried company van. He ended up writing-off the van, and when interviewed he claimed that chase happened because he thought he was being followed by rival drug dealers, and that he wouldn't have written the van off if he hadn't been dazzled by the spotlight of the police helicopter!

    One of the owners ended up going through a divorce and spent six months living in a camper van on the works car park.

    After the owner moved out of the car park and into a rental flat, he met a young lady who seemed somewhat dubious to the rest of us, but the owner would happily lend a company vehicle to her whenever she wanted. All of the vehicles were painted-up with the company name, telephone number and details of the equipment we sold.

    One day our service manager received a call from a member of the public, complaining about somebody in one of our company vehicles. The gentleman's report went something along the lines of "I was parked at the post box on Fishwick Street, dropping-off my company's franked mail, when one of your cars pulled up in front of me. A lady got out, walked over to me and asked whether I had a spare cigarette. I don't smoke, so I said 'no'. She started to walk away and then turned back and asked me if I wanted to 'do any business' - I'm pretty sure she wasn't talking about selling me a cash register!".

    One of the owners, when things started to go seriously downhill before the company went out of business, pulled me up in the middle of the office in front of most of the staff and said "Oh, yes Jeff, somebody contacted me asking for a reference for you. I told them that you're chronically ill and that I couldn't recommend them employing you!"

    On reflection I'm amazed that any of us survived working there.

    Cheers, Jeff
  4. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I thought I'd worked for some lucking funatics over the years (you don't half meet them in academia - it seems to be a dustbin for people incapable of normal working relationships, and it's not helped by the funding system which basically means that the person bringing in the funding is god however big a twunt they are, thus allowing bullies and arseholes to prosper unhindered), but I have to say that Lesley's thread has made me think that actually they were only bad, not appalling.

    Thankfully, I am working for a very pleasant chap now, hard-working, fair, and generally decent.

    Geren, Catriona and Roger Hicks like this.
  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I've worked for some idiots who haven't had a clue, worked for some that have I really haven't liked or respected and we haven't got on (not many I admit), had a couple of bollockings (which I probably deserved) and one real bully when I first join the police. He was a horrible welshman, one of my Inspectors. To cut a long story short, he promised me that he would do his hardest to get me out of the job. He hated probationers. We ended up toe to toe as I thought I had nothing to lose. He completely changed after that. He really didn't expect me to stand up for myself. We never got on, he remained an arsehole but he never caused me a further problem for the next year or two.

    But in 30 years of the police, the first few years of working life in different jobs and now in my current employment, I have not had the experience that Lesley appears to have.
    Roger Hicks and Catriona like this.
  6. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Never forget that the world is divided into people who do things - and people who get the credit.
    proseak and Catriona like this.
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I guess that's true of many. I was lucky for about 8 years to have a boss who wasn't like that. Best time of my working career.
  8. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I have been quite lucky. I don't think I have had experience of that.
    Zou and Catriona like this.
  9. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    What, doing things, getting credit, or both? :p
  10. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Haha, you know what I mean!
    Zou likes this.
  11. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Yes, and your evasive answer proves it!
  12. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I would say Nige's former profession required him to have very broad shoulders. I imagine kudos was well deserved. Fortunately none of my jobs required the same level of responsibility.
  13. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I've had 5 employers in my life. Even as an apprentice I never had a falling out with senior staff.
  14. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    And my experience of some of the modern day variety and some of the stories I now hear, I don't think they come with shoulders.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  15. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Oh no! Not my job(bers)? Or do H&S regs preclude action?
  16. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I can only think I've been incredibly lucky. When I was an employee I only had 1 bad boss and even he never caused me any real problems. As a contractor I never came up against anyone I'd describe as anything worse than unhelpful. When you're only committed to 3 or 6 months in any case it tends to make you quite a lot more mellow about the problems.
    peterba and Catriona like this.
  17. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    First part. I could go on for ever moaning and bitching. I really don't like teaching new recruits, a lot are shocking TBH. I think a big problem is the fault of the organisation too, they are scared to death to get rid of people.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  18. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    So they know more about 'unfair dismissal' than actually wanting to do a good job? Yes, getting rid of someone who is useless takes confidence and guts but in the long run is better for all who are left.

    PS In Local Authorities, the losers are simply promoted. :(
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  19. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I would have hated to be a boss of mine.
    Every one who had interviewed me and taken me on, either died, or went bankrupt or lost their own job, with in a year of me leaving.
    I never mentioned it in an interview though. It even happened to the one when I retired.

    I was once made redundant, all the other times It was my choice about the time to move on.

    It is the sort of coincidence that makes you wonder?
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    My two favourite bosses were rather old-school guys, but both very smart. Neither took credit for the work of others, they took credit for having people that did good work working for them. Both protected their teams, neither suffered fools gladly, and both disliked being contradicted in public - although both would quite happily let you disagree vehemently with them in private. One had a reputation as a real tough guy, which he cultured, despite it not being true, the other had a reputation as a true gentleman, which was true. Lovely guys, and you were never in any doubt as to what they wanted from you.
    At the other end of the scale, one boss was very hard to work for; he would ask for a particularly complex piece of work, then when it was done, would change his mind about what he actually wanted. In the end, I didn't bother doing the piece of work until he had changed his mind....
    Another was close to impossible, because although he was a nice guy, he never made it clear at all what was wanted, and iwhatever you did was never right. And he just shovelled the shit from above, never filtered it....

    These days, I'm my own boss 4 days of the week, and work for my wife the other one. So both bosses are nuts. ;)

    However, through her HR consultancy, I get to see just how bad some employers are. Some are very similar to Jeff's story - I'm not sure I would have believed it before, now I definitely do - although the vast majority aren't. - and the stories of bad employees are often even worse. But there's a big difference in my experience between big companies and small ones, and that's largely training - most bosses in big companies have had a fair bit of training, and at least know management theories, even if they're incapable of putting it into practice in some cases. In small companies, they haven't, and some bosses are hopelessly out of their depth when it comes to managing people - which isn't always an easy skill
    Catriona likes this.

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