A jerk boss can be just as harmful to your health as secondhand smoking says Buzzhearts’ “Study Reveals That A Bad Boss Can Make Employees Sick.” Like smoking, the longer you deal with a stressful boss and feel like your job is at risk, the greater risk you have of damaged physical and mental health.
Harvard Business School and Stanford University researchers connected the levels of stress at work to the health harm caused by exposure to a considerable amount of smoke from other people’s cigarettes.
How to recognize a jerk boss – and cope
Think you’re being bullied at work? Learn the signs, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute:
- You attempt the obviously impossible task of doing a new job without training or time to learn new skills, but that work is never good enough for the boss
- Surprise meetings are called by your boss with no results other than further humiliation
- Everything your tormenter does to you is arbitrary and capricious, working a personal agenda that undermines the employer’s legitimate business interests
- Others at work have been told to stop working, talking, or socializing with you
- You are constantly feeling agitated and anxious, experiencing a sense of doom, waiting for bad things to happen
- No matter what you do, you are never left alone to do your job without interference
- People feel justified screaming or yelling at you in front of others, but you are punished if you scream back
- HR tells you that your harassment isn’t illegal, that you have to “work it out between yourselves”
- You finally, firmly confront your tormentor to stop the abusive conduct and you are accused of harassment
- You are shocked when accused of incompetence, despite a history of objective excellence, typically by someone who cannot do your job
- Everyone – co-workers, senior bosses, HR – agrees (in person and orally) that your tormentor is a jerk, but there is nothing they will do about it (and later, when you ask for their support, they deny having agreed with you)
- Your request to transfer to an open position under another boss is mysteriously denied.