I can be a terrifying person. Exceptionally terrifying.
Though I want to talk here about how this works in a positive manner with a few examples from workplaces in my teenage years.
I once had a boss whom was adamant about everything, ‘anal about everything,’ is the descriptive slang used in Australia. Meaning very particular about everything. I was learning new skills at this time, as the boss had poached me from another department I was working in. I never once conflicted with his adamant behaviours because I understood his demands. I understood that he was a hard worker and if anything, I wanted to rise to the challenge. Even if he chastised me if I did anything wrong in an overly dramatic way, as was his tendency. I understood that it was because he had those standards for himself and so I maintained respect for him.
About a year later, I had a boss in the same workplace. She had been pulled from another department and tried to fight to be the boss of my department. In my opinion, she had relatively no understanding of the job role, and I had been working in there for approximately two years at this point. We had a small close knit team and I had extended duties and regular duties by that time. The new boss had no experience being in management, nor did she really understand the department she was working in. So she lacked skill and she obtained a massive power trip within the workplace due to her new superiority. As she was now a higher rank than her peers from her prior department.
I am an autonomous worker. Leave me alone for an hour, and I will do exactly what I was doing. Authority means nothing to me because I just do what is appropriate to do. I quickly learn the rules, where those rules are only approximations and which ones are hard rules. In this sense, I also know I am intelligent and get bored and need to change up my chores in getting ‘every task done’. I avoid work dissatisfaction. Everything will get done, due to my industriousness. I am a hard worker, but I try and manage it within my own personality as I am an individual. A good boss appreciates that they don’t have to step in and finish my work, or constantly lead me onto each new task by direction, and so tend to leave me alone to work autonomously in each of my jobs.
There was two tasks I had to do on my rotation on one instance in this position. At some random point I was informed that I had to stop what I was doing and do the alternative task. For no reason. The other task would have been done about twenty minutes later and there was absolutely no reason why it had to be done in the moment. I flatly told the boss I would do it next, after the task I was doing. As to which this caused an argument. I lost my temper, and actually got so angry that I marched off and asked for a transfer to another store. Not joking. I don’t care where I work, I care that my work is allowed to be done without interference of stupidity. Or as a part of a power play, or office politics.
If my prior boss had asked, he would have explained why if there was extenuating circumstances. A higher up person was coming to check the department, fine. We were trying to meet some quota with that item, fine. I had done something wrong and it needed to be rectified, fine. None of these things bothered me, but there had to be a reason. The newer boss just appeared to want to utilise her authority, just to use it without any regard for efficiency or rationality. I did indeed get transferred with no issue, except for one thing…
It was really peculiar for me, the store manager informed a bunch of people in the store that I was going to get moved to another department to rectify the issue. Without first asking or informing me. Of course I have friends everywhere, so I heard about it reasonably quickly through the grapevine. Though it still took days for me to hear about it. I would have moved to this department, except the idiot had decided to tell others rather than querying me first. Like my opinion didn’t matter and I would be the last to know and get moved based on solely what he wanted.
At a large party in the breakroom, I squared him down in front of a large array of people and told him coldly that he was rude, and I would still be transferring out due to him not asking my own opinion of his ‘plans’.
The head boss of the store, I told off in front of a huge bevy of staff members. I have this kind of backbone with all higher end management in every job I have worked for. Even if my knees shake, I will still speak, and with high veracity. In this case, he had broken a fundamental freedom of choice ethic. As he hadn’t treated me with any respect, I could not offer him the same courtesy and explain the situation behind closed doors.
The only thing that wins me over is whether a boss has good work ethic themselves. I respect this and feel the desire to respect those whom respect at least something I can see. This works fantastically with good bosses. I had another store manager in a different workplace years later whom was actually integral to team dynamics. He integrated himself, and the whole team respected him in some sense. I realised this quickly, and aptly appreciated that he held the team together. He could fit in each group and helped out if any team was struggling. Before I had even really established whether I liked him personally or not, I appreciated that the team liked him, and that was enough for me to listen to his opinions and respect his judgement. That was worth my respect, as he seemed to be actually good at his role.
This is relevant because it shows that my personal opinion of a person doesn’t matter. I don’t care if I personally like them as an individual or not. That is nothing to do with being a good authority figure. I can brutally dislike someone, but respect their work ethic.
The first time I was ever sick for work, I had been drinking too much the night before as a teenager, and let myself get pretty sick. Yet, I actually went to my workplace to apologise that I couldn’t work because I respected my boss at the time. I felt guilty at being a bad worker. She was even more annoyed with me doing that, which I hadn’t prepared for, as they were swamped and needed me.
If I respect someone, I try hard to give them what would help their work ethic prosper. If they have no work ethic, I work solely for my own actualisation and they don’t seem to exist in my mental equation. I still work hard, but their needs don’t interplay with my own situation as shown with the first two bosses.