Horrible Bosses: Man or Tattletale? Reprinted from The Platte County Landmark

I contribute a weekly column to the Platte County Landmark under the “Rambling Moron” name. It’s a great Northland Newspaper and well worth a subscription. The following is an copy of my article which appeared in the 2/1/12 edition – printed with permission.

HORRIBLES BOSSES: BE A MAN OR A TATTLETALE? 
Posted 2/3/12

The buzz around town the past week has been about the soul-crushing working conditions for our NFL Franchise, the Kansas City Chiefs. Kent Babb, from the Kansas City Star wrote a scathing article outlining a workplace environment where employees were fearful having of their conversations monitored as well an environment where people weren’t comfortable associating with members in other departments and just about the entire plot to the movie “Horrible Bosses.”

The critical story in his article centers around Scott Pioli, Chiefs general manager, calling an all-staff meeting to berate his office staff about a candy bar wrapper lying in a stairwell for weeks.

Part of me is very empathetic to these employees. Working for a jerk just makes you feel awful from the time you get out of bed until the time you drink yourself to sleep that night. But the more cynical side of me (which is the majority side) did do a bit of an eyeroll about the complaining. These “disgruntled” employees didn’t go to their HR Department, nor did they file any sort of legal complaint. They went to the newspaper with the beef. That doesn’t lessen the charges, but as my Dad always used to tell me, “there’s usually another side to that story, and then there’s the third side… the truth.”

The Chiefs are about as likely to release that other side of the story as I am likely to sprout wings and fly down Tom Watson Parkway. But this just seems to me like people not liking their boss.

Well, get in line.

Wasn’t it Webster’s that said the definition of a “job” is “place where you are ordered by a person you don’t like to do a job that you’d rather not do?” The antonym would be “play.”

Oh sure, there are some people, say astronauts or ice cream van drivers, that probably never have a day where their boss gives them crap about their quarterly report being in on time. But, then again, they could die in space or die of a diabetic coma. So there is that. It goes with the job.

So Scott Pioli is a crotch as a boss. Big deal. Going to the newspaper to complain ranks fifth in a list of “Ways to complain.”

1. Talk to your boss about it.
2. Talk to your HR department about it.
3. Talk to your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend/therapist/dog/dog’s therapist about it.
4. Journal your feelings whilst sitting in a bubble bath listening to John Tesh. (Hey, don’t judge me.)
5. Talk to the newspaper about it.

Now, I know this might concern my boss, Mr. Ivan Foley, Editor of the Platte County Landmark. (Who, for the record, is NOT a horrible boss. Mostly because I know he is reading this.) So, let’s make a deal, if you DO have a boss you don’t like, skip 1-4 and just contact Ivan at ivan@plattecountylandmark.com.

Bosses are horrible. All bosses are. It’s what they teach at Boss School. The sign of integrity is how to deal with it. Like a man? Or like a tattle tale?

(Chris Kamler is active on Twitter, where he is known as @theFakeNed. Reach him through his web site, ramblingmorons.com)

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