Author Topic: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?  (Read 4591 times)

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watson

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How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« on: September 23, 2013, 07:20:46 PM »
I was at a dinner party where I met a friend's girlfriend for the first time. She recently left for a new a job but the salary was slightly lower. But she could have waited for another offer but it was not worth it to her. She had a great boss but whenever something got screwed up, the boss would some way to avoid the blame and throw other people under the bus. It got to the point that people almost got fired for stuff wasn't their fault. Whenever there was a problem and  someone above the boss was asking what happened, the boss would pass it off to someone else.

After that my friend's girl friend was like if the boss can screw them over like that, then the boss can do that to me and decided to leave before that happened.

But what if you do not have the option to leave? How do you make sure you did get screwed over by a backstabbing boss? Or when you do get screwed over, what do you do?

QueenfaninCA

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 08:09:51 PM »
Make darn sure I have a paper-trail to prove i didn't screw up? Bonus points if paper-trail proves boss screwed up.

WillyNilly

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 08:11:51 PM »
This is where the term CYA comes in. Its always a good idea, but especially so in this kind of environment, to keep a trail of everything. Write emails instead of phone calls, or if you must phone, follow up with a "just to recap our conversation..." email. This way when the poop hits the fan, you can refer back to notes, emails, receipts, etc and back yourself up.

Its also a good idea, in general, but again especially in this kind of environment, to be proactive when yu do mess up. As soon as you notice your own mistake, own up to it, apologize and if you can offer a solution. This way you will have a reputation of not being the kind of person who says "it wasn't me!" so when it really isn't you, and you are presenting your evidence (the CYA trail) people are even more inclined to believe you.

PastryGoddess

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 08:26:19 PM »
Agreed, documentation is the way to go.  My motto is, "If it isn't written down, it doesn't exist"  When I was being trained at jobs, I would always make a point to have a notebook and a pen and write every single thing being said down.  I'd also draw diagrams if I needed to as well. I also follow up all phone calls and in person talks with an email recap.  At first it may seem like overkill, but emails really are forever and can always be brought back from the dead. 

Also learning to stand up for yourself in a low key way will help as well.  It's a fine line between getting defensive and stating a point.  But once you learn how to refute a lie/misperception without blowing up, it's a skill that will stay with you forever.

blarg314

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 08:39:43 PM »

Yeah, you excessively document *everything* you do, so there is an extensive paper/email trail. When appropriate you get *written* confirmation of instructions/assignments/poliicies (not just verbal), and if possible, cc other people so someone else sees the communications.  You pay attention to who is above the boss, and can be approached if something goes wrong.

If the boss does try to throw you under the bus, and your job is at risk, you make a fuss - pull out documentation, talk to higher ups, etc. Bonus points if you can act genuinely surprised at the miscommunication.

But sometimes you can end up stuck in a very unpleasant position, with horrible morale and coworkers who are just hanging on until they can find another job, waiting for the axe to fall. So I do agree with the person quoted in the OP that finding another job is a wise move if at all possible.

veronaz

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 08:49:12 PM »
 :( :-\

Ugh.  A backstabbing boss is the absolute pits….BTDT. 

Yes, CYA documentation is crucial.  But while I am always supportive of people standing up for themselves, one must keep in mind that this will often anger the boss and s/he will look for and find other ways to get to you.  These types thrive on cloak-and-dagger, and they are not above setting you up for failure and treating you in a such a manner that makes you want to just walk off the job.  It’s a form of harassment; very hard to deal with.

Backtabbing bosses will also try to undermine you with your co-workers.   People learn the way to earn brownie points is to join forces with the boss against you.  It’s important to remain professional, and never give them ammunition because it WILL be used against you.


(fixed typo)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 09:32:35 PM by veronaz »

PastryGoddess

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 09:11:27 PM »

Backtabbing bosses will also try to undermine you with your co-workers.   People learn that way to earn brownie points is to join forces with the boss against you.  Itís important to remain professional, and never give them ammunition because it WILL be used against you.


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veronaz

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 09:30:52 PM »
 ;) @PastryGoddess.  (The memories made me shudder........)

momof2weenies

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 01:29:48 PM »
I was at a dinner party where I met a friend's girlfriend for the first time. She recently left for a new a job but the salary was slightly lower. But she could have waited for another offer but it was not worth it to her. She had a great boss but whenever something got screwed up, the boss would some way to avoid the blame and throw other people under the bus. It got to the point that people almost got fired for stuff wasn't their fault. Whenever there was a problem and  someone above the boss was asking what happened, the boss would pass it off to someone else.

No, no she most certainly did not.
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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 01:45:45 PM »
I was at a dinner party where I met a friend's girlfriend for the first time. She recently left for a new a job but the salary was slightly lower. But she could have waited for another offer but it was not worth it to her. She had a great boss but whenever something got screwed up, the boss would some way to avoid the blame and throw other people under the bus. It got to the point that people almost got fired for stuff wasn't their fault. Whenever there was a problem and  someone above the boss was asking what happened, the boss would pass it off to someone else.

No, no she most certainly did not.

She definitely wasn't. Anyone who backstabs is not a great co-worker or a boss.

Email/paper trails are the way to go. Then you have everything in writing and are covered.
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 03:29:43 PM »
Plus, if your boss knows that you document, it is easier for him to look for another victim.  And like others above have said, don't adopt an accusatory attitude: pretend that there must have been miscommunication (even if you know there wasn't).
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VorFemme

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 08:26:03 PM »
I got lucky with a bad boss - I went off on maternity leave (high blood pressure, bed rest, baby came early, and when I came back from maternity leave - the military moved me to another unit because there was someone coming in who could take over my old job) and I ended up getting asked to apply for that job when I was going to get out - sadly - I didn't have the right classes on my degree, just the right degree - so I couldn't get hired. 

But fifteen years later, my old boss from the "after maternity leave job" wrote me a wonderful recommendation letter for my next job (long story involving an economic downturn and a lot of jobs getting cut - then VorGuy went back into the military and we moved, moved again, and moved a third time in the military - I didn't go job hunting for a while (well, substitute teacher - no recommendations needed - just a clean record).
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heathert

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 08:30:13 AM »
I currently have a good boss and don't experience these issues but one thing about where I work is that the leads and bosses are almost OCD about not responding to emails and instead coming to you and answering questions in person.  If I were then to send another email to recap what we discussed, I can assure you that would not be received well.

I don't like it, but that's the way it is here.

MrTango

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 09:37:38 AM »
Document everything quietly.  Then, when Boss throws you or another good worker under the bus, you can deliver the applicable documentation to boss's boss. Once that's done, you can sit back and watch as boss furiously backpedals.

GreenBird

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Re: How do you deal with a backstabbing boss?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 10:06:20 AM »
I currently have a good boss and don't experience these issues but one thing about where I work is that the leads and bosses are almost OCD about not responding to emails and instead coming to you and answering questions in person.  If I were then to send another email to recap what we discussed, I can assure you that would not be received well.

I don't like it, but that's the way it is here.

If there are things that you'd like to regularly document, maybe you could start sending a weekly "status report" email where you basically recap conversations and instructions along with giving the status of your various projects.  This way it's less obvious, but still putting things in writing.