“Things Blew Up”: Secretary Takes Meticulous Notes Of Boss’s Every Word, Gets Her FiredInterview
Some employees take their job and accountability seriously, which is why they often go the extra mile at work. But others might not care about their responsibilities as much.
This redditor was one of the former types of employees, going above and beyond what was asked. Among other things, she was responsible for taking notes in meetings—something her boss, who belonged to the latter group, asked her to do. Little did the superior know that her request would come back to haunt her.
Bored Panda has reached out to the OP and she was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. You will find her thoughts in the text below.
Problems at work often require taking accountability
Image credits: Diva Plavalaguna (not the actual photo)
This redditor engaged in malicious compliance with an unconcerned boss refusing to acknowledge any issues
Image credits: Christina Morillo (not the actual photo)
Image credits: SickSIL1998
Getting her boss fired was never the redditor’s goal
The OP told Bored Panda that the thing that frustrated her the most was the lack of support from the boss. “We are in an industry where we as employees have very little personal autonomy, so we really needed her help to change things and she just… wouldn’t do them.
“I would go to her office to discuss a safety concern and she would be scrolling through her phone and chewing gum and just [reply] ‘hmm, ok’ at everything I said. There were a few times my coworkers and I would be told to just deal with it and stop being so sensitive; like us wanting her to deal with a customer making a threat against our lives was us being sensitive.”
The redditor revealed that she stood by her superior’s side for quite some time, because they had a mostly good relationship and the OP was a good employee, so the boss would leave her be, for the most part. But eventually, she reached a breaking point. “The last straw in the meeting was when I was avidly trying to make a point, desperate to be heard, and she put her finger in my face and shushed me. I went silent and just kept typing away.
“There were other departments who seemed to believe her when she said we were having problems because we were incompetent, and she was doing everything she could, so I just wanted to let everyone know how she actually felt about them and how she treated us when others weren’t around,” the OP shared, expanding on why she decided to show the boss’s true colors to people in the company.
U/SickSIL1998 admitted that after she did, her co-workers were pretty shocked as she is generally quite a passive person who never loses their cool. “But after I walked out of that meeting, I was shaking with rage,” she told Bored Panda. “I cleaned up my notes through the night, got the stamp of approval from a few of the coworkers that were present at the meeting that I had written exactly what had been said, and then I ran copies and made pages rain down the hallway like Regina George’s ‘Burn Book’ in Mean Girls.
“I wasn’t trying to get her fired, but I was definitely trying to get her reprimanded or at least get her behavior addressed in some way so that she would be pressured into actually doing something to help us,” the redditor shared.
An inactive manager can negatively affect employee engagement
Image credits: LinkedIn Sales Solutions (not the actual photo)
It’s pretty safe to assume that unconcerned superiors are not the strongest of motivating forces for their employees. That might be the reason why only few of the latter—one in five of them, to be exact—say their performance is managed in a way that encourages them to strive for excellence at work, Gallup reports.
Gallup also revealed that only around one third of employed people are involved by their managers in the goal setting processes. Taking part in such processes could reportedly make them more than three times more engaged in the workplace.
Lack of engagement can negatively affect not only employee performance, but other aspects essential for the success of the company as well. Research suggests that employee engagement can reduce absenteeism and turnover, as well as the number of safety-related incidents, which the OP revealed to be a common problem in her workplace. It can also help increase customer loyalty and engagement, which was seemingly another problematic area for the company, as the redditor said they were constantly dealing with customer complaints.
For quite a few people, no boss is better than a bad boss
Image credits: August de Richelieu (not the actual photo)
“There’s an expression: ‘People join companies, but they quit bosses’,” culture expert and CEO of Chicago-based employment agency LaSalle Network, Tom Gimbel, told CNBC. It rang true in the OP’s case, too, as she quit her job soon after she “unleashed Pandora’s box,” revealing not only her boss’s inaction, but hateful comments, too.
Gimbel expanded on the matter, suggesting that there are seven common types of superiors out there, but arguably only one is worth sticking around with; they fall into the category of accountable but caring bosses. According to the expert, “They give you honest feedback about your work, whether it’s good or bad, and challenge you to perform to the best of your ability.”
Gimbel suggested that accountable but caring bosses are able to find the right balance between work and personal well-being, which others—including the grinder, the motivator, or the narcissist bosses, just to name a few—usually can’t.
Emphasizing the significance of superiors, the culture expert referred to a recent survey, pointing out that more than 80% of employed Americans would likely quit because of a bad manager. To make matters worse, the survey also found that roughly as many people believe they could do their job without their boss, showing that their interference is not necessary, at best; in the OP’s case, maybe even detrimental, as hateful comments rarely help increase employee engagement.