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Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006 01:05 am

Bad bosses

Get even by ratting on the head rodent


During his 13-year tenure, the recently retired CEO of ExxonMobil paid himself $144,000 a day — and he worked in an executive suite that was labeled the “God Pod.”

Our culture lavishes both wealth and worship on “the boss.” Yet, if you talk to the workers on the ground level who actually do the heavy lifting, you’ll find that the chief is not exactly put on a pedestal.

To give worker bees a chance to speak out about real life in the corporate hive, the grassroots organization called Working America, which is organizing nonunion workers, held a national “My Bad Boss” contest, and the entries poured in, telling some very ungodlike stories of boss behavior. For example, one group of employees learned what their boss really thinks of them — he would use the employee restroom and urinate in their sink!

Many bosses concern themselves with how employees dress, which is perfectly understandable — but one day the vice president of a large Minnesota company went bonkers over buttons. The vice president noticed that a staffer had three buttons on the sleeves of his blazer, whereas the VP’s blazer sported only two sleeve buttons. The staffer was compelled to cut two buttons off his sleeves so he did not appear to outrank the boss.

Then there’s the stingy California company that made employees pay for everything they used, from chairs to trashcans. When one employee’s father died, he had to use his five annual vacation days to tend to the funeral. The company did send flowers, but on his next paycheck the employee was docked $200.

For more on bad bosses, and what you can do about them, call Working America: 202-637-5137.

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