Cure Those Bad Boss Blues

These online resources and books can help you cope with less-than-ideal office situations.

You’re unlikely to encounter a manager as truly rotten as Miranda Priestly, the Cruella de Vil of bosses played by Meryl Streep in the new movie The Devil Wears Prada. But even off-the-rack meanies can make the workplace seem like hell. If you have a bad boss—and surveys say at least 40 percent of us have experienced that misery—protect yourself by learning tactics that’ll help you deal with those malevolent creatures. Here are a few resourceful and sometimes irreverent Web sites and books that can help you.

Looking for strategies to tame your beastly boss?

Try to find news and resources from places like the Harvard Business School. Log on to vent, seek guidance, or join lively forums (because misery so loves company).

Trying to get a better handle on what makes your boss so mean?
Check out A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-Stabbers, and Other Managers From Hell (Amacom, 2006; $15). Psychologist Gini Graham Scott, PhD, offers common-sense ways to recognize and deal with the insecurities and personality flaws that often underlie bad behavior. After all, if the boss calls everyone an idiot, chances are good that she’s really concerned about her own intelligence.

Need a virtual water cooler with sass?

Visit to find hair-raisingly hilarious (anonymous, of course) stories about bad bosses, some great tips on coping, and links to other sites that deal with thorny workplace issues.

Want in-the-trenches insight served with a dollop of sweet revenge?

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Boss? 13 Types and How to Survive Them(Infinity Publishing, 2005; $17.95) by Marilyn Haight will certainly fit the bill. The author spent 5 years working undercover at several organizations to learn about bad behavior firsthand. Haight’s take: There are 13 bad-boss types. And while knowing which one you’re dealing with can help you cope with the situation, you may still need to put together an action plan to survive. Think, for instance, your boss is trying to build a case to fire you? Haight describes signs of imminent termination that signal it’s time to start job hunting. But that doesn’t mean you have to go quietly. Haight’s counterattack strategy might help you walk away with a fat settlement.


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