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Boss Tries To Use Burned-Out Worker As A Scapegoat, She Quits
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Boss Tries To Use Burned-Out Worker As A Scapegoat, She Quits

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Despite ostensibly being the one responsible for everything, the worst kind of manager will find a way to shift every ounce of blame onto their workers. Even worse, some will go to extreme lengths to find fault in perfectly normal workers because they can’t imagine a scenario where they are actually the issue.

A woman shared her experience of finally quitting after her toxic boss attempted to blame her for “sabotage.” Despite going above and beyond, her boss refused to recognize her contributions, culminating in a series of accusations so bizarre that OP had to simply leave.

It’s rare to find a manager who actually takes responsibility for the decisions made under their supervision

Image credits: stockbusters (not the actual photo)

One worker decided enough was enough when her boss started accusing her of “sabotage”

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Image credits: seventyfourimages (not the actual photo)

Image credits: djeinmein

Bad bosses are the bane of any company

Image credits: Lukas (not the actual photo)

Shifting blame is pretty human. After all, even when we are at fault, we often come up with excuses, find faults in others, and attempt to simply find scapegoats so that we aren’t perceived as at fault. This, obviously, is not an excuse for bad behavior, particularly when it’s coming from a boss.

While our bosses, managers, and supervisors are all human, they are the ones who have been picked for their ability to take charge. As Uncle Ben pointed out to Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. Being a boss means that you ultimately are the person to blame when something goes wrong. A boss shifting blame is in many ways a pretty pathetic thing to behold.

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After all, if someone else is at fault, it’s an indication that this manager is not actually managing the situation. Unfortunately, this is more common than one might think. Some studies of organizational behavior have shown that people in management roles often suffer from insecurity and some amount of imposter syndrome.

Insecurity can be hard to handle, particularly when it comes from a superior

Image credits: Anna Shvets (not the actual photo)

While this should paint them in a more sympathetic light, in most cases, bosses like this will bottle up their feelings and take it out on their subordinates, like in OP’s story. The psychology of this strategy isn’t particularly complex, the manager feels insecure and overestimates just how much he or she is being “judged” by everyone else.

So they take out their frustrations on employees, blame them for things that really aren’t their fault, and act hostile in an attempt to keep workers on edge. This, they believe, will make their flaws less visible. As nearly anyone who has worked with a bad boss can attest, this basically never works.

On the other hand, some managers go the opposite way, where they truly internalize just how “special” they are to be picked for this position. As a result, naturally, they can’t make mistakes, so when something goes wrong, it’s obviously someone else’s fault. These sorts of managers never seem to square the circle on how they can be in charge, but not at fault.

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OP was absolutely right to leave this organization

Image credits: energepic.com (not the actual photo)

While we can’t exactly pick the brain of OP’s ex-boss, this is a classic story of how bad management tears down companies. OP has gone above and beyond, which is often a waste of time precisely because it will be ignored by a horrible manager. Instead of being praised, paid extra, or even appreciated in some way, this boss starts making accusations at the drop of a hat.

OP did the right thing, because like an abusive partner, an employee can’t just “fix” a bad boss, and let’s face it, they tend not to improve over time. While horrible bosses do have a way of escaping responsibility, hopefully, this manager’s actions end up creating enough waves that someone important will notice and give them the boot.

OP shared some more details in the comments

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Readers sympathised with OP and shared similar stories

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jppennington avatar
JayWantsACat
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What? That's it? Am i missing something? "Job treated me like s**t so I put in my two weeks notice." Based on the title I thought they'd get the boss fired for falsely blaming them or something. I guess since they were so critical to day to day functions that abruptly putting in their two weeks kind of screws the company. Honestly, good for them. I guess I've just come to expect more based on what's usually posted here.

kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn't initially realise they had only been working two months before they burned out. 80 hours extra over two months. Means they've effectively worked an extra week each month. That tells me the place is understaffed. And now they want to pay people less as well. Damn, that's going to work wonderfully...

apatheistaccount2 avatar
Apatheist Account2
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a manager since 1988, I object to the phrase "It’s rare to find a manager who actually takes responsibility for the decisions made under their supervision". That's a horrible generalisation. It depends on the industry and the people - there are good and bad managers everywhere. I don't claim to be the best, but I'm a long way from being the worst.

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jppennington avatar
JayWantsACat
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What? That's it? Am i missing something? "Job treated me like s**t so I put in my two weeks notice." Based on the title I thought they'd get the boss fired for falsely blaming them or something. I guess since they were so critical to day to day functions that abruptly putting in their two weeks kind of screws the company. Honestly, good for them. I guess I've just come to expect more based on what's usually posted here.

kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn't initially realise they had only been working two months before they burned out. 80 hours extra over two months. Means they've effectively worked an extra week each month. That tells me the place is understaffed. And now they want to pay people less as well. Damn, that's going to work wonderfully...

apatheistaccount2 avatar
Apatheist Account2
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a manager since 1988, I object to the phrase "It’s rare to find a manager who actually takes responsibility for the decisions made under their supervision". That's a horrible generalisation. It depends on the industry and the people - there are good and bad managers everywhere. I don't claim to be the best, but I'm a long way from being the worst.

Load More Comments
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