Chances are you have had a bad boss before. If you haven’t yet, you may in the future or you may be lucky and never have to experience it for yourself. However, even if you haven’t experienced a bad boss for yourself, you have friends or family members that have had to deal with the stress and frustration that goes along with having a bad, intolerable boss. That’s one thing, but it’s an entirely different story if you have an inappropriate boss. It’s important to note that there is a difference. Of course, you can have a bad boss that is inappropriate as well, but not all bad bosses are inappropriate. Take a look at some of these signs of an inappropriate boss and decide whether your bad boss is just intolerable or, quite possibly, illegal.
Bad bosses are prevalent in the corporate world. A bad boss could be someone that is unorganized, unprofessional, not fit to manage others or someone that just has really bad communication skills. There are a lot of factors that go into creating a bad boss, but not all of them mean that they are inappropriate or illegal. An inappropriate boss will likely make you feel very uncomfortable, unsettled and could possibly make you want to quit your job immediately. While doing research for this article, I came across a question post where a young woman was asking how she should handle her “inappropriate” boss. He would make comments that were without a doubt categorized as sexual harassment, would discuss information that is too personal for a workplace setting and would mention how he slept with the girl that previously held her position. All the while, this young woman would be uncomfortable but would never say as such. This, my friends, is a clear-cut description of an extremely inappropriate boss.
Not only was he inappropriate, but sexual harassment is completely illegal. I am shocked this young woman did not drop her papers and walk straight out of the office the first time he made a sexual comment. However, a lot of young workers don’t know what to do when they have an inappropriate boss. Even more so, a lot of young workers don’t even know when a boss is being inappropriate. To aid in the pinpointing process, I have outlined a few situations that are very inappropriate for your boss to engage in. If you have a boss that crosses these lines, make sure you do something about it right away and contact your HR department. If you don’t have an HR department, then contact your city’s employment agency. No one should feel uncomfortable at work and no one should put up with harassment.
It’s part of our human nature to want to communicate with others. We want to feel like others understand us so we know we are not alone. That’s all fine and great, but the workplace or the office is not the time to share intense feelings and emotions with each other. Even more importantly, it is very inappropriate for your boss to share such personal information with you and other workers. Of course, you need to look at this carefully. If your boss just rambles on about how awful their wife or husband is, this isn’t terrible, but it can cross over into inappropriate if taken to the next level. Everyone makes jokes here and there about their personal life, but getting into details is uncomfortable and inappropriate. If this happens, try and change the subject to something more appropriate and not so personal. If they don’t get the picture, then try and tell them politely that you don’t want to hear such personal information from them. If they are sharing personal information that makes you uncomfortable, such as details of their sex life, and talking to them doesn’t help then make moves fast and report this person.
Makes You Feel Uncomfortable or Squirmy
We have all had a time where someone else made us feel very uncomfortable. Perhaps they were looking at you in such a way that made you squirm. Perhaps they said something that made you blush or feel embarrassed. These kinds of occurrences should not be in the office, especially with your boss. If your boss says something to you that makes you feel uncomfortable, then they probably should not have said it. Especially if said comment was about your physical appearance. These kinds of comments are completely inappropriate and you do not have to put up with them, nor should you.
Of course, we all may feel like our boss has crazy expectations of us. However, they are usually expectations that can be made within a reasonable amount of time. Every boss has huge ideas and great plans and they may forget that you only have a certain amount of time in a day, you only have two hands and you are only one person. If your boss has made extremely unreasonable expectations that are unreachable, then it’s likely they are being inappropriate and setting you up for failure. Communicate with your boss and make sure what they want is actually doable.
Humiliates You in Front of Others
Everyone makes mistakes- it’s a fact of life. However, if you make mistakes your boss should not yell or reprimand you in front of others. Doing so is unprofessional and downright rude. If you made a mistake and your boss brings it up in front of the entire office, you should know this is extremely inappropriate. Not only does it bring down your confidence levels, but your boss should never do anything publicly to change the opinion your co-workers have of you. Being ridiculed in front of everyone is unsavory and inappropriate. Don’t let your boss get away with this. On top of that, being yelled at is unacceptable. The office is not a place for rage or emotion. If your boss raises their voice to you or fully yells at you, take action against it right away.
What you earn at work is your personal business and yours alone. Of course, it’s your boss’s business as well if they are the one setting your earnings, but they should never tell others how much you make. If they are making off-hand comments like “I pay you too much” or “Geez, how much do I pay you again?” this is highly inappropriate.
If your boss crosses any of these lines, you do not have to put up with it. Talk to them first, but if that doesn’t work then go to your HR department. If you don’t have one, then talk to an employment agency that can give you advice or help you take action against them.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Single Minded Women