No man is an island – Surviving an abusive boss 2(4) | TENTIO
Ines Basta Ines Basta
Published 8 months ago • Approximate 3 minutes

No man is an island – Surviving an abusive boss 2(4)

At the beginning of my career I had an abusive boss. He was very clever, knowledgeable man, but at the same time lazy and ready to do anything to avoid work. I was his assistant, basically doing all his work, but in the end, he would put his signature on everything – this way, my boss’ boss and the CEO of the company never really knew who was doing all the work.

At that time, I was working very hard in traditional male oriented surroundings. I felt as if I was not being acknowledged or appreciated by management. I also must mention that my boss was earning three times more than I was.

Suddenly, my boss decided to take his life in a different direction. He didn’t want to stay with the same company and dreamed about starting his own business. So, he decided to take a long sick leave. Regardless of his absence, things in our department functioned splendidly. Everything was in place and done on time. The CEO would approach me, surprised. “How is it that everything is functioning so well?” he’d ask. “Your boss is not here!”

I asked him for a meeting and explained what went on for the last two years. He was shocked and sad. He was a decent person who, above all, respected hard work. I was immediately promoted – I got a higher pay and became a manager.

One would wonder – why did I stay there and endure that kind of behavior?
The answer is simple: colleagues
I had the most amazing, great colleagues and super nice work atmosphere. Our boss’ behavior probably just brought us closer. We had amazing lunch breaks.  We were making coffee together. We would secretly come in at work during the weekend, to cover for the ones who didn’t manage to finish their tasks. Once, we even had some shots very early in the morning, hiding in the kitchen, because one of our colleagues got a baby! Oh yes, sometimes we would organize after work parties too!

I could ask my colleagues for help or support. Whatever I needed.

After some time, I asked the CEO for an assistant. I was allowed to elect one by myself. I was blessed to find the most amazing person that, to this day, is one of my best friends – almost 20 years later, separated by different countries, with memories of our business collaboration slowly fading away.

Indeed, who would want to leave such a great environment?

Actually, I am pretty grateful for the experience I had with my ex-boss. In many ways, I liked him – he was clever, charming (they always are) and a good teacher. And I think that he was better off later in life, having his own business and learning his own lessons.

I, on the other side, became stronger, wiser and got myself friends for life.

/ Ines Basta, Coach TENTIO

No man is an island – You should never eat your lunch alone 1(4)
No man is an island – Surviving an abusive boss 2(4)
No man is an island – Would you like to have a best friend at work? 3(4)
No man is an island – Should I really show my “vulnerability” at work? 4(4)

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