Virtually everyone reading these words has worked for a boss they disliked, who had horrible people skills, or who prompted dread in going to work.
That’s why this article in the Huffington Post that’s circulating on social media this week isn’t especially noteworthy for the story. In it, a former Apple employee details why he walked off the job after allegedly dealing with an awful boss. Sadly, almost every sizable organization has examples of poor leaders like this.
What caught my attention was the note at the end of the article with this appeal from the author:
I’m currently looking for a new design job. Please contact me if you have one that’s cool.
The majority of commentary I’ve seen on the article is positive and praises the author for the courage to write it. I too, sympathize with him. It’s incredibly frustrating to be talented enough to land a job at a prestigious place like Apple, only to end up in a situation with an awful boss. Given the story he describes, leaving his job sounded reasonable.
And, I would never hire him.
What’s to stop him from writing more articles when he runs into a tough spot with his next employer? What if that next employer is someone that I referred him to?
What if that next employer is me?
When people write public articles like this, they tend to get a lot of praise from others who like seeing someone called to the carpet that isn’t doing their job well. For anyone who’s ever been wronged by an employer (i.e. most everyone I know) there’s a certain sense of satisfaction in seeing an injustice called out.
Yet, I doubt that most employers with great opportunities would give this guy a passing thought. I can imagine the dialogue: “Hey, let’s bring this guy on. Maybe he’ll say the same things about us.”
If you have an awful boss, I feel really sorry so you. It’s one of the reasons that I (and many others in my industry) work so hard with organizations to develop better leaders. I know how rough it can be out there. I hear stories like this often.
And, I’d encourage you to do whatever you can to resolve the situation internally through the appropriate channels. If you can’t, by all means leave and find a company and/or boss that provides a baseline, respectful work environment.
But don’t take to the airwaves, social media, or other professional circles to tell your sad tale.
Most of us already know the story. Most of us have one too.
And most of us want great careers and opportunities to keep coming our way – and to keep relationships intact with people who’ve worked hard to help us. So, take this advice from chapter 1 of Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends and Influence People:
Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
[reminder]What advice would you give for handling a situation with an awful boss more professionally?[/reminder]