"Secret skimping is out, like false bosoms." - Marjorie Hillis, Orchids on Your Budget, 1937.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

You were young, and man, you were sad...

There have been a lot of articles lately about workplace bullies, which are basically variations on The No Asshole Rule. I'm going to be honest and say that I've dealt with a few here at First Real Job, Inc., and I may have even been one a few times.

So for those of you still unsure whether your boss is a bully, here are a few favorite bully pastimes:

1. Excessive yelling, screaming, shouting, or swearing;
2. Sarcasm, haranguing, and public humiliation; and
3. Treating the underlings like shit.

Please note, this is not to be confused with valid criticism. A lot has been made of Gen-Y's need for incessant fawning and praise. Some people are more adept than others at taking criticism, and ideally, your first job should thicken your skin a bit. While criticism is tough, it's also necessary, and in the end, invaluable to your progress. This post is not about that -- it's about workplace abuse.

While, admittedly, there are a few strategic reasons to be an asshole, there are far more reasons not to be, including the following:

No one likes to work with assholes, especially when those assholes are in positions of authority. The new hires get out before they get sucked in.

Employees will go out of their way to avoid reporting bad news to asshole bosses. For that reason, the business could be falling apart, while the boss is none the wiser. Productivity also goes down when people are obsessed with hiding things, or worried about the next nuclear fall-out.

Whether the illness is legit, fabricated, or imagined, asshole bosses cause more sick days that non-asshole bosses.

Bullying creates sad, angry zombie employees, and everyone knows zombies eat brains. Just sayin'.

I think I'm past-due for some defunkification.

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