An open letter to bosses

Op-eds Opinions

Bosses, you suck.

You have ridiculously unreal expectations for your employees. You demand an unprecedented level of workmanship and productivity for menial pay. You prance around the office like you own the place (which very well may be the case) and, by extension, us — which apparently gives you carte blanche to treat us however you like.

Okay, so you’re not all like that, but some of you sure are. A survey by the temp agency OfficeTeam revealed that 46 per cent of respondents had worked for a bad boss at some point, and 38 per cent quit as a result. Meanwhile, 24 per cent just suffered in silence. So we’re speaking up.

Working in an office with you requires organization and time management skills. Not only do we need to make sure all our work gets done in a timely fashion, but we also have to ensure we have ample time left for you to pile on last-minute work that you think we can complete in five minutes.

Some of you like to give us work to do 10 minutes before lunch and 10 minutes before we leave for the day. Sometimes you give us really urgent tasks right before you have to leave, and we need to rush to finish it. Note to bosses: get your shit together. Write down stuff you need done and when you need it by. Put that sheet up where your employees can refer to it and let them help you stay one step ahead.

If you’ve been in your field for over 30 years, it is safe to assume that you know what you’re doing. Some of you have 30 years of experience arguing, getting out of things you don’t want to do, and yelling and making people feel like shit.

What many of you cannot do is use a computer, draft documents or have a conversation without getting on a high horse. You take everything personally, have no patience for anyone and yell because you take things the wrong way and will not budge on anything.

To some extent, yes, you are entitled to have it your way — but you also need to give a little. Which is why people like me choose to book appointments when you’re out of the office and we don’t have someone hovering over us, grabbing the phone from our hands mid-conversation.

You believe you are never wrong. You have an exit strategy for everything and a scapegoat to blame it all on — us. We are expected to be perfect, while you can half-ass everything and skip the blame completely. Don’t think we don’t hear you on the phone going, “Oh my secretary forgot this, she didn’t do this, I wasn’t informed by my secretary about this, yadda yadda yadda.” Second note to bosses: take responsibility for your mistakes, and your employees will respect you more.

You want to get the most bang for your buck, which makes sense. But a lot of you are stingy. Really stingy. Some of you would go so far as to go through the garbage, take out used envelopes, and write notes on them asking us to steam them open and reuse them. “Why would you throw $1.25 away?” Never mind that you’ve written all over them already.

Bosses can be psychopathic, crazy-eyed monsters who blow things out of proportion. We may not be able to change your personalities, but we can change how we let you treat us and what we are and are not willing to accept. We’ll lay down the law. We’ll let you know the way you’re treating us isn’t acceptable. We know our self-worth and won’t settle for anything less.

Final note to bosses: tell your employees when they are doing a good job. Let them know they are helping you, and show your appreciation.