Note: Because I happen to have quite a few drafts in the queue, there won’t be a “Throwback Thursday” post today or next week.
Did you ever have a bad boss? Since I started working at Kodak in 1976, I’ve had A LOT of supervisors. How many? The other day, I sat down, put on my memory cap, and actually came up with a list of the 25 supervisors that I’ve had in that 43 year span. Wow, 25! Some of those supervisors were good, some were bad, and some were very bad. There were a couple of times I was treated very unfairly by my supervisor and I elevated the issue to their boss. Taking that kind of action is always risky. Both times, the issue was not resolved appropriately, however, in the long-term, it all worked out.
What prompted this post? My wife is a nurse and has worked 17 years for the largest healthcare network in the area. She initially worked in the hospital respiratory ICU that operated according to very strict procedures because of the critical level of patient care. Four years ago, she transferred to an outpatient department where the care level is much less critical and the standards are more lax. Without going into great detail, I’ll just say there were some personnel issues in the department that were not being addressed by my wife’s new supervisor. My wife and a few of her peers raised red flags several times. As her “reward,” my wife, who has always received an “outstanding” overall rating on her yearly performance appraisal, received just a mediocre, “meets expectations,” overall rating.
Yup, someone else in the department was seriously underperforming, but my wife was penalized for making it an issue. Many years ago at Kodak, I learned it’s often not a matter of right and wrong, but of playing the office politics game according to the boss’s rules.
My wife requested a follow-up meeting and things devolved to the point where the supervisor recommended that the hospital’s Human Resources department intervene. As of this writing, the issues are still being reviewed and may never be completely resolved.
As Christians, we should certainly respect our bosses and follow their leadership, but that doesn’t mean we should remain silent when company policies and/or fairness laws are being violated.
Justice! Where is the justice? There may not be any immediate justice for unfair treatment or a wrong that’s been done at the workplace. There are some situations that we can only hand over to the ultimate judge, our Just and Holy God. The Bible says we are to even pray for those who abuse or mistreat us. That’s hard. We desire justice and revenge when we’re wronged. But we also know the Father has shown us great mercy by forgiving our sins against Him; forgiving us through His Son, Jesus Christ! Let us show mercy and forgiveness as well. By repaying evil with goodness, unbelievers will see the love of Jesus Christ within us.
“17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:17-21
How many bosses have you had? Did you ever have a bad boss?
On the flip side, being a supervisor is a demanding and often thankless position. I was a production supervisor for ten years and the monetary benefits were not worth the daily stress and strain. This post was about bad bosses, but supervisors often have to deal with apathetic and bad employees.