Is Your Boss a Control Freak?

I have a friend H, who doesn’t blog, but implored me to bring up this issue –  Bosses who micromanage and the toxic effect.

It’s like this.  Every morning this top management ‘leader’ (workplace bully) expects H to call him with an ‘update’, but he’s impossible to get a hold of.  H calls his cell and he gruffly says he’s busy. H tries again later and he doesn’t pick up the phone.  He wastes more time trying and it disrupts his work flow.  After a few days of this, he gives up.  Next he is reprimanded for not  calling and told he needs to buck up and be more proactive.  Meanwhile his inbox is overflowing.

This control freak boss sounds familiar to me.  He  loves holding meetings which is basically a chance to delegate more of his job to you.  He can’t even do a simple Powerpoint presentation on his own.  He needs you to sit by his side while he dictates the contents.  Are you now his personal assistant? Each proposal that you write is edited a countless number of times and your wishy-washy boss is never satisfied, tweaking a sentence here and there.  What should take a week to complete now takes more than month.

The management staff in the team who are treated this way have at least 15 years of industry experience and are qualified to make the necessary judgements, but somehow the boss doesn’t trust them. There is absolutely no autonomy and loads of second guessing.  He scolds them like they are children. He ‘pop quizzes’ them into humiliation on stuff he has preconceived answers to.  I think it’s simply a bully’s way to flex his muscles and show that he’s in charge.

I think his need to control his employees borders on abusive.  No praise, just criticism. It’s enough to wear down the mentally strongest person. H wonders if there is a kernel of truth in the constant berating.  I feel it’s a case of the victim being so worn down that he starts to believe he deserves it.  This makes me so mad.  Why do bullies always get away with it.  They never leave any evidence of their bullying by keeping their emails polite, and reprimands are always done in private closed door sessions.

H is agitated and anxious at work, and every morning he dreads waking up to further humiliation.  In this toxic organisation the whole team suffers from low morale and self-esteem. So far two people in the team have quit and I don’t know how much longer H will last.  Many more would have left if not for the fact that they feel trapped by the bad economy.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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5 Responses to Is Your Boss a Control Freak?

  1. I can relate to that too. And that can happen two ways: one like you said and another one is what I am facing. Every time someone’s take a finished project for approval, she finds a way to sneak in some of her ‘invaluable’ additions to it.

    The best part?

    And then, she takes all the credit for what she has not done. Neat eh? The turnover at our place is also quite high too.

  2. bookjunkie says:

    gosh that sounds so awful. Why are there so many mean people at work and why are they always in the positions of power? It frustrates me so much!

  3. In one word – YES…and he will never see how detrimental it is to morale. (P.S. “D-Listed” is my one saving grace some days…cracks me up.). Your blog is great and I just subscribed.

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