toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

November 21, 2012

the toxic boss

When Olivia got fired from a sales job the reason given was her consistent failure to meet sales quotas. An impending firing was something she should have picked up on long ago from the strange actions of her toxic boss, but what with one thing and another she was totally oblivious of the fate awaiting her.

“Because I had missed the early signs of trouble at work, the obvious signs of trouble were deliberately put in my path to warn me that I was on the way out,” explains Olivia, “but I rationalized everything – I just didn’t see these signs, or didn’t want to see them.”

“I had been excluded from several sales meetings prior to the firing, and this should have been a dead giveaway,” says Olivia, “but I just rationalized this as being nothing to worry about.”

"Actually, I did query why I was excluded from the sales meetings," adds Olivia, "but in doing so I missed another obvious sign – my boss told me the exact opposite of the intentions.”

“He said I was doing a great job,” says Olivia, “but I knew deep down in my gut that he was lying, and when this happens it's a glaring sign of trouble.”

“I suppose he was probably so surprised at my failure to understand what was going on that he saved his face by telling lies."

"I was out of tune with what was happening around me," confesses Olivia. "I rationalized a series of strange events at work as being just that: A strange series of events."

"We are all wary of used-car salesmen and other well-known sharp operators," says Olivia, "but I think I am typical of most women in that I tend to place my trust implicitly in close people who are sometimes not worthy of my trust."

"When we are small, everyone looks big and godlike. We carry over that childhood innocence when we grow up and when we deal with professionals or people in positions superior to ours we tend not to see them as being fallible human beings just like ourselves."

"We still think of them as godlike in a childishly innocent way," explains Olivia. "We trust that they are acting in our best interests - and in most cases they are - but things can and do go wrong and at the end of the day our inner guidance is giving us far more important information than a million wise heads on other people can ever do."

“On a gut level, I did know what was going on but I trusted my boss more than I trusted my inner guidance.

"Unfortunately, the people we are most likely to be fooled by are often those we trust the most," says Olivia. "My employer chose me for the job and he knew it wasn't my fault that I couldn't meet the quotas - the market was, after all, in a slump - and it didn't make sense to me why he would want to get rid of me in the manner he did."

“My boss put deliberate signs in my path in order to spare himself from the unpleasantness of telling me something he expected me to have intuited from the early signs,” says Olivia. “By excluding me from the sales meetings, my boss was giving me an opportunity to resign before he fired me, and because he didn’t have the guts to tell me straight up he’s a toxic boss.”

“He didn’t even have the guts to fire me,” sighs Olivia. “He got the accountant to do it – what a louse!”

 Read more about Olivia:

  • brain fog and infidelity

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