Having worked for a variety of bosses now, this is something I’ve been thinking on for a few days.
Particularly bearing in mind the Mr Gradgrind I just escaped from. Now I’ve worked with a variety of bosses. I don’t intend to name some of them but they have varied from jobsworths who were just trying to keep their own bosses quiet to some who were a pain in the ass to work for but could be inspirational. I have absolutely no problem in saying that Glen White was one of the latter. I only became disenchanted with my job there when the jobsworth types intervened.
Then you have the type who really seem to be out of their depth. So they set up their own business, to call the shots themselves. And their are still out of their depth.They want to be your mate as well as your boss & make me think of cushions. They have the impression on them of the last person to sit on them. The staff make the running & as a result nothing really gets done.
Then there is the asshole type. I’ve been unfortunate enough to work with two such examples. They have a little clique of supporters who gather round them to kiss their asses, while they try to make themselves a combination of Jack Dee & David Brent. Unfunny one liners & the use of sarcasm to make themselves look good by picking on those below them. I knew just such a type at school as well, they often have deep seated issues of their own & seek to boost their egos by belittling others.
Then there’s the tyrant type. The old school boss who beleives he’s running the company by sitting in his office & never talking to his minions, occasionally descending from his ivory tower to hurl thunderbolts around when he doesn’t perceive things to be going as well as they should. He gets through as many managers as he does staff & has no idea of modern industrial relations.
Then you’ve got the good chap type. They are usually found one step down from the tyrant. They’s try to make things better for the poor old worker but every time they do put something into place they find it’s countermanded by the Sauron sitting in the boardroom. I have, however, seen many good chaps go on to run their own very successful businesses when they finally get pissed off with being taken for a mug.
To say that Mr Gradgrind was a nightmare would be understating facts dramatically. I spoke to him twice in two years & I was one of his longest serving staff members. With him, your trips to the toilet were timed, you couldn’t make a coffee except at designated break times, you were expected to be back ready to work before your own break times had finished. And if there was a staff party & you said you were going, but didnt, then the cost of your food was deducted from your next pay packet. Conversely, I can recall Glen White paying to bring the staff of his Boston office over to Norwich for a staff party, & to hell with the cost.
Hindsight is always 20/20, & looking back now I don’t think that I would still have been in publishing. There is a time to everything & I think now that I had done as much as my abilities would allow in that sphere. But looking back I would also not have made some of the other job choices I made between 2009 & 2014.
Here’s hoping that things improve for those left with Mr Gradgrind. But I doubt if they will, unless he retires.