Suffering in silence

Dec 08 2009 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Bob Sutton, author of the indispensible book The No Asshole Rule, has a pretty unequivocal attitude towards the sort of appauling bosses who poison so many workplaces.

Asshole bosses, he believes, poison the work environment, decrease productivity, push qualified employees to quit and are therefore are detrimental to businesses, regardless of any individual effectiveness they might display. His solution is simple: they have to go.

That's great in theory, but as Sutton discusses in this thought-provoking post, it is not always possible. Indeed others argue that if you're unfortunate enough to work for an impossible boss, is your only option to suffer in silence until you can escape.

What makes this particular post so interesting is the lengthy list of comments and the huge variety of approaches that they discuss. We'd all applaud the sentiment that "you never, EVER surrender your dignity to anyone, for any reason," but as others point out, the reality – particularly in a recession –can leave many with no other choice but to suffer in silence.


Older Comments

There is always a choice. The issue here is whether you can afford the price of salvaging your dignity which is losing your job. Issues can be resolved through the hard or soft approach or best still the tactful manner in which both parties can reason properly. An idealist or realist ; your pride or your rice bowl - the choice is yours...


You cannot reason with a sociopath.

My advice would always be to just get out as soon as you can. No one else there will care about you or the negative working environment.


An executive coach helped me with a bullying boss. He showed me that there is usually another side to the bully boss. Oftentimes, they just don't realise the impact they are having on people. Once they are helped to understand this - it is possible for them to change this pattern and become more human.

Kelly Melbourne