Dear Kally,

Help! Help! I truly need some advice from you and your readers. Anyone who can spare some time to read my problem and tell me what to do. Actually, it is not just me but my whole team (5 people) need your help. 

We have a narcissistic boss. He is demanding, arrogant and borderline abusive. He blackmails us into working overtime and doing tasks way out of our job scope. He made us take turns to go out and buy lunch for him. He has a very specific diet and if anyone gets the wrong order, he will throw tantrums like a 3 year old toddler! 

If we don’t do our assignments the way he wanted, he will throw it on the ground and demand that we start all over again. Nevermind that we are not trained or equipped to do his assignments. He doesn’t offer any guidance. He will sneer at our incompetence and makes snide remarks. 

At meetings, if one of us don’t praise him or agree with his ideas (most of them are good ideas but some are ridiculous), he will throw us under the bus or make one of us attack the other verbally.

Last Christmas, he held off assigning work to us for the whole of December so that he can throw tasks at us during the week of Christmas. None of us was able to go home on time during Christmas. My kids were so upset that I didn’t get to celebrate Christmas or New Year with them because I had to rush through impossible deadlines. I’m dreading this coming Christmas. 

We did report him to HR individually last year and some did this year. But HR will always come back to us with flimsy excuses like “we don’t like firing people” or “we know he is a problem but he has told us he is seeking help”. My boss is very manipulative and he will charm his way with HR. HR has told me that he has been attending therapy and asked me to give him some leeway. That was a year ago and it doesn’t seem to me that his behaviour has improved, in fact, it got worse. 

Other than quitting my job, I don’t know what to do! I love my job, I love my company and I love my colleagues. The salary is awesome and the health benefits are best in my industry. 

Hoping someone can help us get rid of this tiny problem. 

Seeking Help,
Wayne S.


Dear Wayne,

Oh dear! You’ve got yourself quite a handful boss indeed. It’s a wonder why you and your coworkers will stay under him for so long. 

You did mention that you and your team reported him individually. Perhaps the next action is to gather around and report him as a group. It is easy to brush off an individual report but once it is a group effort, it will be harder to ignore.

Don’t just stop at reporting him to HR. Bring your report to the attention of your upper management. It will be good if you can get another manager (his peer level) to endorse your report as well. 

In your report, list down each fact (like the Christmas incident) with time and date. Besides being abusive to yourself, I’m sure there are plenty of others that had crossed his wrath. Also, do list down the number of times, each of you had individually confided in HR and any follow action been done. 

A toxic workplace caused by a single person is damaging to the team’s morale and create a hostile environment to work in. Any company who value their profits will be able to see that it is an obstacle that must be removed or at least, dealt with. 

I believe in your case, a year has passed and no improvement in your boss’s behaviour isn’t about just showing leeway or compassion to someone. Even given the benefit of the doubt, his behaviour should be improving or show some form of constraint on his part, even ever so slightly. 

I wish you all the best and if after taking the report to your management, there is no action taken or no satisfactory explanation, you probably should start looking for a job elsewhere to save your sanity. 

Regards, 
Kally@MiddleMe.net

Hey! Check these advices out:
A Word of Advice: Jobless & Homeless
A Word of Advice: Dealing with the Missing Piece
A Word of Advice: I don’t have time for myself

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25 replies on “A Word Of Advice: I Have A Narcissistic Boss!

  1. I didn’t get to read the whole post but when the boss is that terrible and demanding then you guys really need to speak to him/her about the attitude but if nothing changes then you have no choice but to leave and find another job.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your advice is spot-on, Kally. My advice would be to start looking for another job. A toxic work environment no matter how much the pay is, is NOT worth it. That boss’s actions tell me he is not about to change any time soon so don’t even hold your breath that he will. Get out while you still have your health.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for asking for our impute .

    This is an intolerable situation. Kally share TWO great points that I’d like to amplify.

    1. Put it writing, and be objectively specific.
    2. Get as many of your coworkers incidents included (your boss is no dummy; by having you each one on one it becomes His Word compared to your word…. GUESS who always wins this war IF it is not documented.
    3. Get (ideally the entire team to sign this complaint)
    4. List only things that are objectively verifiable (provable) …. The Christmas account as detailed by you COULD be (not saying that it is) viewed as only YOUR opinion IF you do not have evidence and facts to support it.
    5. Log for a week or more the lunches and the COST of each, and who was commanded to buy it for him. KEEP copies of the receipts and enclose copy of them with the report.
    6. This next one give careful thought too before you do it: Send this along with the signatures of as many team members as are willing to sign it; AND copies of the lunch receipts (this IS your BEST evidence) to HR mgr and COPY your bosses BOSS. THIS carries a RISK that you will not be promoted as higher mgt OFTEN protects their peers. BUT if your entire team is on board with this effort; THEIR IS GREAT SECURITY in numbers. You may be getting on the “wrong side of HR” doing this; but your job is NOT (IMO) worth putting up with these antics.
    7. If what I suggest fails, look for a different job BUT don’t tell your prospective interviewer about these problems and DON’T GOSSIP either where you are or where you may be going. THAT can and WILL sink you.

    You have a strong case; NOW you must be able to PROVE it objectively with facts and evidence.

    God Bless you,
    Patrick

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Very sad that companies employ such managers, it sound like something out of a Charles Dickens novel. He must know the CEO. Regarding the lunch buying, just get it wrong every time and put up with the tantrums. If everyone did this, then what would his options be?. It isn’t something that can be put on a performance review. In days gone by, before “HR” existed, solutions to things like this were easier, faster and more effective.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Make him invisible, just ignore his tantrums. The reason God has given us two ears is to listen thru one and weed out thru other. Just don’t bother him with too much importance. He is the one who needs time to settle so just give him space, in this case an ample one.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Great post and advice! This workplace is no longer healthy for the employees. They should move out in any possible way. His health might be the reason of his unlikely behavior, yet it is not good to treat them like this. They are still humans that should be treated properly in the workplace.

    Liked by 1 person

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