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Nine Nightmare Bosses Kate Lorenz, editor

Research conducted by Lloyds TSB and Working Families, to find the UK's Best Boss, found most of the working women in the UK believe having a good relationship with their boss is more important than pay and benefits.

Although two-thirds of employees told CareerBuilder they're satisfied with who they report to, the remaining third is dissatisfied with their bosses. Today's employees are voicing concerns with their boss's ability to lead, with 42 per cent claiming they could do the job better. In a survey by Marie Claire magazine, half the women questioned said they regularly had to cancel family and social engagements because of late working hours and felt their job had put a strain on personal relationships.

Unfortunately, many of us can recount tales about bosses who've been far from ideal. Bosses may be as laughable as Ricky Gervais' David Brent in "The Office", or as devilish as Meryl Streep's demanding Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada", but would you go to the extreme of sending a live venomous spider in a package to your manager? That's exactly what a disgruntled Marks & Spencer employee did on his last day at work.

If you're suffering working for a boss from hell, be comforted by the fact that you are not alone. Just as there is a myriad of nightmare bosses, there are many ways to deal with their office terrors.

The Control Freak micromanages every move you make.
What you should do: Bombard this person with e-mails, reports and meetings. This might overwhelm him/her and do away with the controlling behaviour.

The Chum tries to solicit personal information and seeks inclusion as though you are the best of friends.
What you should do: Include this person but keep your distance. Invent a fictional hobby, extend invitations you know they can't accept, and avoid hugs.

The Workaholic has sacrificed their life for the job and expects the same from you.
What you should do: Let this person know there is life outside of work. Discuss family, friends and hobbies at every opportunity.

The Teller of Bad Jokes always has one for you and it's always bad.
What you should do: Be prepared for the painful punch line and feign amusement. Then change the subject -- quickly.

The Supreme Delegator takes all of the credit and none of the blame and essentially is setting up others to take the fall.
What you should do: In writing, advise on all key decisions and plans, but be prepared for a denial of knowledge if anything goes wrong.

The Yes/No Manager couldn't care less about useful information or discussions and simply wants every decision boiled down to ‘yes' or ‘no'.
What you should do: Present summaries with several alternatives for action. If asked for a recommendation, give it verbally.

The Passive-Aggressive Boss procrastinates, complains about not enough time, and then blames others for the bad job.
What you should do: Involve others in projects as much as necessary so that you have witnesses.

The Indecision Maker needs info from many different sources before making any sort of ‘independent' decision.
What you should do: Present any question as if you've taken a survey of any key employees who might have a stake in the problem.

The All-Business-is-Personal Manager can't separate business and personal life.
What you should do: Make your work time enjoyable: one bad incident could ruin your work relationship.
In the long run, though, your nightmare could turn into a sweet dream. That toxic manager could be the motivating factor for you to make a change for the better; why not start by checking out who are Britain's best bosses to work for at

Last Updated: 16/10/2007 - 11:13 AM

Copyright 16 October 2007 CareerBuilder, LLC reprinted with permission

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