Nightmare boss? Before quitting try FIRST

2007

Your boss is a living nightmare and is making your job a living hell. He or she dumps work on you at the last minute. Then they take credit for all of your hard work and never thank you. It seems like you are going to have to look for a new job, right? Well, before quitting, maybe you need to try something called F.I.R.S.T.

This acronym comes from a book discussed in an article at PalmBeachPost.com entitled Bullying bosses turn dream jobs into nightmares. It's a key component of a book by Shaun Belding called Winning With the Boss From Hell: A Guide to Life in the Trenches.

F – Fly under the radar. Try not to make yourself a target for your boss.
I – Ignore what your boss is saying by reframing his or her behavior. The example given is that instead of thinking that a boss is picky, look at it as a boss who desires perfection.
R – Retrain the boss by offering your own reinforcement for positive behavior when it comes.
S – Stand your ground when it is appropriate and without breaking any company rules.
T – Talk turkey to your boss when you feel you can take the risk without anything coming back against you.

Belding says that he feels a boss is unlikely to really have it in for one particular employee. They are not deliberately trying to make your life miserable. It may be possible, he theorizes, to change your manager's behavior, thus improving your working conditions.

So before you sit down and write that resignation letter, it may be better to take a step back and try some of these steps first. It might just be possible to save the job you have.

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Older Comments

Some bosses have a sadistic streak. They pick a target and make life hell for him/her untill the target leaves the job, fight back successfully or end up with stress. The reason this happens is because some managers are incompetent, just don't know how to manage people or see the target as a threat.

Belding appears to have a lot of 'expert advice' on the subject, most of which are unworkable.

PS - I hate acronyms :)

Lone Ranger