What To Do If Your Boss Is a Tyrant

I heard one guy asking what he should do if the game producer he works with is a complete (nasty word)hole. The words he used suggested to me that he wasn’t exactly happy with his workplace or boss… I’ve heard other people telling that the managers and bosses in their work are tyrants. I’ve heard people saying that they hate working for such people. Then they ask, what should they do?

It’s easy to answer “well, quit your job then”. In the real world, everybody needs to get some food to the table, so quitting can be easier said than done instantly. I have some ideas and suggestions what I’d recommend. Bear in mind that these are my thoughts only. Don’t take a word I say and act right away. Instead, think if anything makes sense to you and then make your own mind.

Anyway, here are my tips for those who cannot quit their jobs at the moment:

#1 – Look in the mirror
Take a good look at your own actions. What you see in the mirror? Think about some recent situation that really annoyed you, and think what you could do to prevent that from happening again. If for example you are fed up with signing contracts and messing with the paper work (and blaming your boss for it), think if you can come up with an alternative solution. What if you could automate some of that paper work? Or perhaps you could batch that work? Perhaps you could suggest people a digital alternative for the paper work. First check your own behavior. It just might happen, that by merely changing your thinking from problems to solutions you might see the workplace in a very different light.

The key is to stop complaining, and doing whatever you can to improve the working conditions. When you’ve done absolutely everything you can, and still aren’t happy, proceed to the next idea.

#2 – Look at the boss
If you are 100% sure that there’s nothing you can do to improve the situation, then you should take a good look at your boss. Is he really such a poor boss, or is it just the external conditions that cause him to be such a pain in the (nasty word again)? What if your boss is just extremely busy (I’ve heard that can happen), and pours everything on your shoulders? Perhaps your boss would need to hire an assistant (considering suggesting that if possible) and problem might be solved.

Think if you can find a solution to help your boss.

Yes, even if this step sounds horrible, give it a chance.

#3 – Look at other job offers
If you have a horrible boss and crappy job, without any hope for the better – then make a plan to get a new job. Life is too short to be lived in a place that you don’t enjoy. If you cannot quit your job now, then make a plan for longer time and take the first obvious steps to reach your goals. Start searching for a new job. After all, if you managed to got your current job what would stop you from getting a better one? Take a 3-month goal (or any time line you prefer), perhaps start saving, and make your target to get that new job withing that time. If you can’t quit today, then perhaps you can sort your life so that you can get a new job in three or perhaps in six months.

I have to remind that these are only my suggestions, and you really shouldn’t believe what you hear from some random guy. Instead, I recommend finding out more information about this matter, and hearing other people before you make up your own mind.

Whatever you decide to do, I recommend doing your best at your current job. Make sure your goal is to enjoy at your workplace (whether it’s this or a new one). There’s no point working with a tyrant.

Juuso Hietalahti

One Comment

  1. Well, this things aren’t sometimes easy. I myself had last year a similar problem.

    After more than 2 years doing .NET consulting at the same client, I had to do a .NET port of a Java application. My boss was the responsible for the Java version, and from the start he didn’t liked me. He didn’t wanted to hear oppinions, suggestions, he thought my rates were too high for a consultant so he started to even not give me documentation (I even had to reverse-engineer some Java modules to implement the .NET ones).
    It became worse with time, and he started to directly treat me as if I was doing a very bad work.

    Apart, I has having a personal bad time, so after trying speaking with my superiors, he only stopped for few days. We had arguments in the office, in front of the final client for the application…

    One day he told me that maybe he sould talk to my boss to ask for someone more competent, and I phoned my boss and gave him the phone (he didn’t expected it and didn’t answered). From that point, I blocked him from messenger (I use it as a communication tool), and everything he said to me either was via email, or I would remind him to do before I would start doing anything.

    At the end he was replaced for another project manager (way much more competent and better person) and everything ended fine. But it was maybe the two worst months in my 5 years of professional experience.

    I don’t usually get angry, and even less when working, but this guy almost pushed me to the limit. I even told my boss that if I had just one more argument with him I would take my laptop and return to my office whenever I would get fired or not for doing so.

    I think I recommend being calm, not letting him win by playing his game. But neither to do everything they say without complaining.

    But as I said at the start, is not an easy subject.

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