WORK CHRONICLES | Toxic Bosses

Just finished watching the outstanding pilot for HBO’s new show The Newsroom, a show about not strangely enough, the news. Amazing first few minutes when the main character, a news anchor named Will, from a fictional news channel ACN, begins a brilliant, factual albeit ‘anti-American’ rant against the host, panelists, and audience in a make-believe Northwest University discussion about the state of the U.S.. Very negative but right on the money, and in the age of twitter and YouTube, naturally his rant goes viral.

Blame it on the vertigo meds, he says later.

Photo courtesy of Brennen Schmidt/flickr

The main character is a smart but cantankerous boss who tends to shout at and humiliate everyone – he’s basically a dick. People always say nice guys finish last, which I suppose explains my own career, but I’m also suddenly reminded of the worst bosses I ever had. One stands out in particular.

His name was Mr. Bello (pronounced as bellow). He basically lived up to his name. He was then the Vice-President of the hotel where I worked. Not a day would go by when I wouldn’t hear of him going postal about something. Granted the hotel was a pit so I’d give him that. Thankfully I was never the target of his outbursts, but I was at one point accused of not returning his messages, in front of colleagues. Suffice it to say there was no message to return but I felt it prudent for my position to apologize anyway. Whether he did that because he thought it actually happened or did it just to prove a point I will never know. It got so bad that some of the senior managers started complaining about workplace intimidation to the hotel’s owners. This had a calming effect on the VP, and I suppose his wake-up call as well, as he tendered his resignation soon after. Last I heard he was managing a resort somewhere in Colorado.

It wonders me to no end why people having achieved a level of seniority and power would think that their behavior towards other people does not count.

Do watch The Newsroom. Best line of the show: I’m too old to be governed by the fears of dumb people. A show after my own heart.

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