Posted in Work


Guest Post by Brig ® Naeem Ahmad

Bad bosses can be nightmarish and are not very difficult to find. Sometimes in life, therefore, we encounter a bad boss. If you have a good boss, you must thank your stars, give it your best and cherish your job. However, if you have a bad boss, you surely would need to learn to handle him or her.

Bosses are of many kinds, incompetent and harsh, bully, humiliating with mood swings, withholding praise or playing favorites, etc. At one end of the spectrum is a boss with good values and good performance and at the other end is the worst type with bad values and bad performance. In between are two main types, with good values and bad performance and with bad values and good performance.

Let us analyse some difficult types of bosses. The “Screamers” seem to feel they will get their way if they raise their voices to unconscionable levels. Screamers yell at almost everyone, in office, on the road or in the house. They feel that the higher the volume of their voice, the higher is their commitment. However, just the reverse is true. They can demoralize others. Viewing it psychologically, screamers want two things, being heard and recognized. They see other people as either “for them” or “against them”, so you are either their friend or their enemy.

“Fearsome” bosses also exist in many organizations. When bosses rule by fear they tend to loose a lot of people, either they fire them or keep the fear quotient up, or they loose them because good people are not stupid enough to keep working for such a boss. By constant threatening, such bosses turn the place a lousy one to work.

“Manipulators” are some of the most dangerous amongst the difficult bosses. They always have a plan, which is secret. Such bosses can stab you in the back. They usually look at people as a means to an end and they do not care what happens to the people they touch or harm along the way. Often, manipulators are people who do not get along well with others. Many are loners and have learned this simple approach to life. They tend to loose friends, family and spouces. Best solution to working for a manipulator is to be open, honest and forthright.

The first thing to remember is that do not become a victim of a bad boss. This would not only affect your career but also your personality and may be health. Analyse as to why is your boss acting in an abnormal way? May be he is having problems with his boss/owner? Nevertheless, if you are being unnecessarily pressurized, see if you are the cause? If no, do not be defensive. Say clearly, politely but firmly that you are finding it difficult to pull along because of his attitude. See the reaction. Then decide to change your job or seek other remedial measures.

Tackling a bad boss is an art. First solution is an honest analysis of your own actions. How are you doing in your job? Are you on top of your performance or under? Try ignoring distractions created by the boss and focus on your work and simultaneously finding other sources of positive reinforcement. If you have a bad boss, one natural reaction could be that you also become like him and become a source of botheration for your subordinates. Do not let this happen. Try to be a good boss and you will find a positive response from your subordinates.

Some traits of a good boss depending on the type of outfit you are heading are:-

  1.  Be light hearted
  2. Be firm but benevolent
  3. Learn to say ‘no’, to unreasonable demands
  4. Keep a balance between office and domestic life
  5. Try to know the names of as many subordinates a you can. Look into their domestic problems and if possible, help- even if it just a trivial advice.
  6. Have a system of rewards and punishments
  7. Be enthusiastic
  8. Encourage subordinates to come up with new and innovative ideas
  9. Make a happy team
  10. Be a motivator and lead by example
Posted in Work

The Burdens of a Pay Cheque

9 to 5 jobs come with plenty of stress. But the pay cheque at the end of the month reminds us that all that sweat and blood was for a good reason, and the reason was the pay cheque. But what you may not realize is that holding that heavily-sacrificed-for pay cheque comes with a burden of its own. The bleak burden of having money in your pocket which surely needs to be spent. Somewhere. Somehow.

Sometimes the most free person who walks the earth is he who does not have to bear this weight of spending money. Money or not, seamless luxuries or not, they are happy to just be. ‘Us’ on the other hand, work our buts off the entire month, and all the time making budgets, managing cost cutting and working on the list of things to buy. When we do finally get paid, the slight euphoric feeling fleets after a couple of sound minutes, and then once more we are burdened with planning of how to spend the money we just earned.

Paying the bills is just part of the story. Most of us work so as to keep bringing bread to the table, but with the meager amount that is left behind, we want to buy more stuff to make ourselves ‘happy’. A new flat screen television, that pair of shoes you saw last week, the jacket on the mannequin from your favorite store; the list is endless. So you see what I am trying to point out here.

The free man of today is worst than the slaves of Egypt. We are running in an endless wheel, like the white mouse in a cage, the wheel is for keeping the mouse busy. And that is exactly what we are doing today. We work for money, we fret and complain about it, and then we complain some more. Then we get the pay cheque, we manage to smile for a couple of minutes and then we are in a tizzy to put it to use. The only time we are actually at peace is when we have spent our pay down to the last dime, and then we finally feel free. Then as a free man we roam the streets, with very less qualm and very much swivet, saying to ourselves, “Finally!”

There is a song by Gary Jules, titled ‘Falling Awake’. The painfully true lyrics of this soft ditty pretty much nail the concept of the free man in this world. My favorite lines from the song are: “one foot in the grave, one foot in the shower.”

Posted in Work

Is he pulling your leg?

I know this sounds like a cliché but is your leg being pulled at work? This is far too common for everyone to have one hard-on enemy at work place. A vile, slithering, ugly manifestation of evil, that springs into action as soon as it witnesses a smile too bright for your face. Trust me, I know. There are here there and everywhere. The sole purpose of living of these creatures is to make sure that no one gets close to the boss but them. While keeping everyone at a distance this being licks and kisses the very dirt off its boss’s toes. In return it gets a whole lot of glory and gratification. The winning title of a ‘boss’s pet’ is awarded to it while you roll blank sheets of paper into paper balls to throw at your already overflowing refuse bin of more paper balls. You sulk, you moan. That is how your day goes by in utter devastation; going over how the vileness pulled your leg out of victory one more time to face the fame and gratitude itself. The enemy at the gate has countless schemes up his long scaly sleeves and from thence it pulls out one after the other instruments of man slaughter. To this horridness you are subjected to everyday. So while you turn pale, weak and a sickly figuration of a homo-sapien you are hammered away into darkness and nothingness of business. You come to work to a plain wall, wearing a suit of despondence to a boss who doesn’t care less if you ate out of a bowl of flies everyday for breakfast. Someone’s pulling you leg and you know it. But you do nothing about it except for whining, complaining, crying, and then some more whining. You see what’s wrong with this picture here? It’s pathetic and it tells what a scum bag you are. “Hello! Do you hear me in there?” Does the integrity in you have a voice, does it live? If it does, wake it up from its slumber that it may come out as a lion and fight in might for its right. Stop having your legs pulled at work. Stop being a whiner. Take control. “Go for it!”