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Columnists: Bad bosses

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Columnists: Bad bosses
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

According to Forbes magazine, in an article entitled, "Jerk Alert - Bad Boss Walking," bad bosses are everywhere. 

Before I go any further with this, I have to add a personal disclaimer. Here it is: I am now living with my boss.

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There. That didn't come out quite right, actually. For one thing, I meant to say she's my ex-boss. She was my dean briefly while I taught at a tech college. Was. For another thing, any man worth his spot on the bell curve, which is a measure of intelligence, will strongly say that the woman with whom he is living is his boss.

No, there aren't any juicy revelations of naughty goings-on while she was my boss. Sorry. (Sorrier than you are, probably.) Nor did My True Love leaving that job have anything to do with me. Check the title of this column, and take a guess why she left.

Bad bosses are the reason a lot of people leave their jobs. People leave the boss, more than they leave the company, according to most surveys.

In the "Jerk Alert" article, estimates as to how much bad bosses are costing the national economy because of their behavior's effect on productivity is $375 billion dollars.

Here's another bit of the picture: In a survey, two-thirds of people would take a new boss instead of a pay raise. Add to that the fact that almost two-thirds of the survey respondents said they had a bad boss, and you have a very dismal picture.

Chances are, I'm not telling you anything. With those odds, you've got one.

The very first boss I had was Bob. He farmed several miles away from the farm upon which I grew up. In a fit of juvenile acting-out, because I thought Dad was a bad boss, I left home the summer between junior and senior high school and went to work for Bob, an old farmer, 30 bucks a week and board. No more bad boss for me. Oooof! You talk about your learning experiences, this was one for sure. Dawn to dusk, six days a week.

But the one thing I remember the most? He wouldn't let me listen to my new six-transistor radio while I was shoveling hog manure. I don't hold the hard work against him; don't in fact even really remember it. But I remember the radio thing. Exactly how was that affecting my ability to load a shovel with watery hog poop and get it out the door?

He thought it did, and that's because he was a bad boss. Perhaps he thought listening to a radio was a stepping-stone to even worse evils. Like? Well, maybe like, well, watching television? Wanting my own movie projector while working? Who knows. I'm sure most bad bosses don't know why they do what they do, either.

Years later, after moving up here, I ended up in business for myself when it became clear to me that bad bosses were the rule, rather than the exception.  I went on my own because of the last boss I had. So that was okay, that particular bad boss. Once in a while, you can thank a bad boss for being a horse's hind end. Once.

Then I took the teaching job, after 30 years working as my own boss. Then I found out that academia wrote the book on bad bosses.

It all came out right in the end. I stole from academia about the only good boss I had in 15 years of teaching.

My True Love thinks so, too.

I want a raise.

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