Bad Boss Lady

Decades ago, when I was in college, I worked for a lady named L. She had a reputation for being a hard ass with a bad temper, but I thought I could handle it. I did shipping and invoices and clerical duties. I once took a horrible ass-chewing from her because I entered one piece of data wrong. I tried explaining to her that I used one of our software programs before invoices were printed to check all of my entries, but that didn’t matter, I wasn’t supposed to “make ANY mistakes WHATSOEVER.” She would throw paperwork on my desk and tell me she could not believe I had messed that up, that I had better fix it and fix it NOW, and actually stomp her little fat foot. She dragged me into the conference room once and chewed on me for 30 minutes for a mistake that, I found out later, she had made entering customer requirements.

She had the habit of standing behind me while I worked, making me a nervous wreck, watching my every move. One afternoon she grabbed my shoulder, gave me a shake, pointed her chubby finger at my screen and said “See! See that, you almost put the amount in the wrong field!!!” Her boss happened to walk in that time (she would never go overboard on the scolding if someone else was around) and he told me I was late for my lunch, to go ahead and go. Bless him, he could tell I was about to lose it and that L was out of line. I talked to our HR director about that incident the next day. He said he pitied me, that L was famous for her short temper, and did I know that she had fired the last two folks that had had my position? Nope, sure didn’t. He offered to place me in a different job, but it would be a significant cut in pay and I  couldn’t afford it.

She was a horrible racist. I heard her make many nasty comments about the Black and Hispanic workers at our plant, one directed toward a friend of mine that worked in our warehouse. He dared to mess  up one our trucking invoices, she wasn’t shocked, she said she was surprised he could read and write English, and she didn’t know why they bothered hiring “those people.” Early that next year, L was given a promotion at one of our sister facilities in another state. Less than six months after she sold her house and made her hen-pecked husband move 400 miles away from their families, she was shit canned. I heard from my counterpart at that plant that she was overheard telling one co-worker that another co-worker was a “stupid n-word.” She was terminated immediately, she wasn’t even allowed to go back to her desk, she was escorted to her car. This was just before Christmas that year, I told my now husband that he didn’t have to get me a gift, that that was the best present EVER.

Comments (22)

ammaliMay 7th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I only have three words: Karma is awesome.

TMSMay 8th, 2011 at 8:31 am

I bet you would have loved to have seen the look on her face when she got fired. Long overdue, but from the sounds of it, definitely deserved.

Karen HiebertMay 8th, 2011 at 11:47 am

she got bit in the ass. im surprised she wasn’t canned for it originally. How could they let her tdo that? I guess they figured, they move the problem around eventually it will be someone else’s problemo…

SusieMay 9th, 2011 at 8:37 am

Ahhhh – sweet sweet justice!

clever nameMay 9th, 2011 at 9:55 am

hahahaha! I love when people are busted like that, what explanation could she have? I mean, you can be forgiven for losing your temper. But bust out the racial slurs? hahaha

TessMay 9th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

How the hell did L keep her job as long as she did? The woman was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I like to think someone at the original office arranged the promotion/transfer just so she’d be fired with no support to fall back on.

SaffyMay 9th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

how did this woman keep her job for so long? the thing is with a racist like that, it’s only a matter of time before they slip up and let it out…it’s called ‘digging your grave with your tongue’.

Alice BluegownMay 10th, 2011 at 8:16 am

Hovering over staff while they’re trying to work, and haranguing them for mistakes they didn’t make – those are items 1 & 2 on my ‘useless boss’ checklist. The racism was just predictably nasty icing on the cake…

BettyMay 11th, 2011 at 7:29 am

I had this job in the early 90s, when (you young’uns won’t BELIEVE this) but at least in the South you heard the N word thrown around, quite a bit. It didn’t bring the gasps and shocks is does now.

I left this out of the original post ’cause it was getting long: She later worked for that company as a temp, doing her old job at seriously a fifth of her old salary. Ah, yesssssss.

Department of ObscurityMay 13th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

^ Whoooohooo! Sweet Karma!^

Jen R.May 17th, 2011 at 9:07 am

That’s horrible! I’m glad someone stood up to her and told her that her behavior wasn’t acceptable.

MandyMay 18th, 2011 at 6:29 am

Wow! Congrats to you for surviving and another great example that what goes around comes around!

KatMay 18th, 2011 at 8:00 am

Ugh at least she got what she deserved!

kyootyMay 18th, 2011 at 8:01 am

YAY! a good story!~

KimMay 18th, 2011 at 8:02 am

Thank you for this post. I recently gave my two weeks at my job and my boss lady went nuts. I came in today to my desk packed, and one last tirade. Three years of constant calls, weekend hours, overtime with no pay and no thanks. Positive attitudes, attract positive results.

SherriMay 18th, 2011 at 8:03 am

Been in the same position. It sounds like the same boss! LOL I am waiting to hear that justice is served in my situation, but it feels good to hear that others have justice. And Betty, I do not know where in the South you are from, I am from AL. The N word is not something you hear around here. Not really since the 60′s. I am actually very proud of our state!

Kristin @ What She SaidMay 18th, 2011 at 8:08 am

Isn’t justice grand? I worked for… well, basically the male equivalent of your boss for about eight months a few years ago. He sucked me in with loads of charm and a great salary, with a promise of a significant raise after a 3-month trial period. Well, the trial period went fine and I was doing great, but just before my 3-month review, he turned on me and suddenly I could do nothing right. How convenient.

He was verbally abusive toward me, threatening, and extremely misogynistic. I found out he’d had SEVEN assistants in the five years he’d been with the company, and all of them were either fired, quit, or transferred to a different department. The one prior to me was still with the company and told me horror stories about him. I went to HR and they sympathized with me, but told me they had no other place to move me. And I knew he’d never be fired – he was a company VP and they’d never fired a VP before. It was basically David vs. Goliath. So, we came to the mutual decision for me to resign, and I was given a month.

I went on to better things. And in an unprecedented move by the company, he was fired less than a year later. When I heard the news, I will admit that I was openly and unabashedly delighted.

AnonMay 18th, 2011 at 8:08 am

I was actually blindside-fired by a supervisor like that (and never really was given a reason for it, either), except she was the most Jekyll-and-Hyde person I’ve ever met in my life. From one minute to the next, you never knew what you were going to get with her. Unfortunately, no awesome karmic retributions had her fired after my time there, but on the day that the equally nasty HR rep was helping me carry out my desk stuff to my car at 8 a.m. or so the day I was fired, she wiped out on a patch of ice and landed hard on her butt. I, of course, couldn’t give her a hand because my arms were full with my own boxes.

It was a small but much-appreciated moment of glory.

DeannaMay 18th, 2011 at 9:32 am

I love it when Karma gets someone right in the butt!!

CoolBlueStarsMay 23rd, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Sherri – I’d love to know where in AL you don’t hear someone using that slur at least once a month. I live in NE AL, worked in Gadsden at a factory with about a 95% African-American workforce, and turned in two employees for repeatedly using that word quite unabashedly. I even had witnesses to back me up, carried it to the top of the company…and the only thing to change was that I was harassed, threatened and eventually quit for fear of my safety and my childrens’ safety – by the people I had turned in. I can’t say I’m so proud to live here when these events took place in 2006 and those people didn’t lose their jobs until 2008 and 2009 after being caught not only using slurs, but sleeping on the job.

DavidMay 25th, 2011 at 7:42 am

This was great. That sort of comment is always the tip of the iceberg and companies should take strict action against it.

However at my old job, actually we had a very nice guy, but he made some comment to another female employee about “wet dream” for which he got fired. In this case, the real reason he was fired for that wasn’t because he was sexist (?) but actually because he was about to get to the next level of seniority where he would have got a higher payout when he retired.

SusieJune 27th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I worked for someone who was an absolute witch. E had a horrible temper, was abusive, and just out for herself. She owns the business and so there was no HR or recourse I could take. I think she is bipolar and has anger management issues. She fired me in a cruel way after I worked my butt off for her. I told her she was selfish and would end up sad and lonely one day. I got a couple of nasty e-mails from her. I hope karma bites her in the butt.

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