By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
I have had a lot of bad bosses (male and female) in my career, but this one set a new low bar for worst bosses.
He hired me and then hit on me.
When he found out I had a boyfriend, he then asked me if I had any friends to introduce him to who were as nice and attractive as I was.
I told him I’d think about it.
When he ran into me and a friend having dinner, he asked me about that friend and got me to give him her number. He called her a month later and told her that he was dating someone, but would like to hold on to her number should his situation change. (Boy, was she turned off).
Once I got engaged, he asked probing questions about my desire to start a family (I hedged). Then he told me that my job was not really suited for women with children because I would be traveling a lot.
When I sent my ring to the jeweler (to get it fitted to match my wedding ring), he sat me down in his office and asked if there was trouble in paradise. I assured him all was fine. He looked disappointed.
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He worried that I was looking for another job. When I had a gynecologist appointment, he had his secretary call and tell me to come back to the office. He thought I had taken too long. I literally was in stirrups when I got the call.
There were whispers that he listened in to our phone calls; that he hacked our computers.
Why did I stay in the job? I was making good money, and was planning my wedding in Hawaii (so when I got home at 9:00 pm from work, it was only the afternoon in Hawaii). Not sure I could have pulled off the wedding planning any other way.
I got married and he started treating me poorly. Telling me that I shouldn’t bond with the clients (?) and trying to ruin my friendships with my colleagues by interfering. Finally, I reached my limit. I left the job after he cursed at me ( he’d cursed at others but I thought I was immune to his uncouth wrath).
He said, “Estelle, I may not have any power over you in your personal life, but in this office I completely have f-in power over you.”
I started looking for a job the next day. Two months later I accepted another position and gave my notice.
I heard clients were leaving in droves, because he had a habit of hiring unqualified lower level staff. He started letting people go who made large salaries and kept others who were making low wages (like the administrative assistant who overnight became VP of Client Services, and who went back to secretarial work after she left his employ).
Last I heard he was trying to sell the company.
Nobody was buying.
What’s your story about the worse boss you ever had?
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