Out Of The Frying Pan, Into The Fire

There are undoubtedly times you feel like complaining about your job. When you do, though, your unemployed friends (quite rightly) say “you should be thankful you have a job.”

Yeah yeah, that’s true. Having money is better than having no money, and contributing to society (or to the bottom line) is more satisfying than sitting in your pajamas watching whatever’s on Hulu.

But really there are some jobs that are just not something you can be thankful for, and we want to remind you of those as we come into the home stretch before the holidays.

This post at Ask A Manager talks about the case of a woman at a small creative agency who had a verbally abusive boss. Not that uncommon in high-tension, high-expectation, high-ego fields, we’d say, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

The woman says:

I hung in there until I couldn’t stand it any longer and found something else and gave my notice two days before the Thanksgiving break in 2008. I honestly don’t think I have ever had such a tirade unleashed against me as when I gave my notice. He badgered me over and over about how I had misconstrued his yelling and that he was just passionate about his work. It then turned into a horrible set of personal attacks and threats of lawsuits if I ever contacted anyone from the agency again – he even demanded that I remove the agency’s name from my LinkedIn profile as he perceived it to be some sort of legal infringement for me to even say I had ever worked there.

So, good thing she got out. Except that at her new job:

they “forgot” to mention that I was expected to keep a set of clothes at work for all of the all-nighters and then showed me the sleeping bunks they had built along with a shower so folks could live at work.

…The final straw was when the company did not protect me from a mid-level manager who obviously had mental issues and that I had a strong hand in her getting fired because of client complaints. She slashed my tires, broke into the office and stole a laptop, and then called my multi-million dollar client and aired all of the company’s dirty laundry. When they left her go, I was told to leave the office and stay at a nearby cafe because they were worried that she would become physically violent – never mind that I had to buy my own coffee.

Listen. We’re all about giving 110%. This is ridiculous. The woman quite rightly left the second agency after 10 months.

Having money is better than having no money, and if your job sucks you should be grateful for having a job, but this isn’t a job, it’s slave labor and mental abuse.

Tell us about your job horror stories, or the “I should be thankful to have this job but my boss is a nutjob” stories.