What To Do If You Hate Your Boss

I don’t like my job, but I think this is due to the fact that I don’t like my manager. He always complains and sighs loudly. Our team has been busy lately. It is clear that he hates his job and doesn’t want to be there. He has a mortgage, a stay-at-home wife, and a child. Whenever I go to his desk to talk to him (e.g. about work that he gave me) he would often just brush me away, telling me he is too busy to talk. I find this annoying. He also seems to give me the silent treatment sometimes. I’d say something and he would just stare blankly at the computer screen. I’m not sure if he heard me or not. All this reminds me of a bad relationship.

Usually when my manager is upset, I’d think carefully and try to figure out why he was so unhappy. I’d ask myself whether I was to blame. Did I do something wrong? Am I not working hard enough?

Lately I have come up with a hypothesis that my manager is just naturally unhappy. It’s just the way he is. To be honest, I have no idea why he is not happy. I imagine he just hates his job and he is trapped.

I then asked myself why I should care if my manager is unhappy. Is it my problem if my manager is unhappy? Some people might say the following: “It’s important to make your manager happy. If you’re manager is happy with you, he will promote you. If you’re manager is not happy with you, he will fire you.”

This may be true, but given there is so much stress in my job, I am not sure if I want to be promoted. If I get promoted, I’ll get more money, but I will also get significantly more stress, so I don’t know if it’s worth it. Furthermore, as you earn more, you get taxed more, so as you get promoted, your growth in salary is quite low compared to your growth in stress, and my overall gross income is almost six figures, so I’m getting taxed quite a bit.

It just seems so much easier to earn money by saving up and investing in dividend-paying stocks rather than pleasing and sucking up to my manager just to get a promotion. Pleasing my manager seems so hard and so stressful. I also feel like a prostitute.

It’s not that I hate the job I have now. I don’t mind it that much. I just hate the people I work with. If I had a new job, e.g. if I were a teacher, I may love the job but I could also be working with bad people. There may be a bad principal at the school or maybe the students are monsters.

At the end of the day, no matter where I go, something is not going to be right. We don’t live in a perfect world, so I need to change my mindset. Happiness is a choice. If you choose to be happy, you will be happy.

I remember when I was in university applying for jobs and going to interviews. I was in so much pain because I really hated looking for a job. I hated interviews. I hated rejection letters. It was so painful. But after a few job interviews, I became numb. I started to see job hunting as a job in itself. It was just a matter of looking online for jobs, applying for them, practicing at home for an interview, showing up at an interview, and that’s that. The more I looked at it as a set of actions that I just needed to do, I became like a machine. It’s like the movie The Terminator. In this movie, the Terminator had a job. He had to protect someone (or, in Terminator 2, kill someone) and he would just do it because he was a machine who did what he was programmed to do. Likewise, the more I looked at myself as some machine that just did was I needed to do, emotion just washed away. I felt nothing. I already knew that I needed to look for a job, and through experience I learned what the process was: look for jobs online, apply, practice, and show up at the interview. If I failed, ask for feedback and learn your lesson next time. The process was easy. All I needed was action. I simply do what I need to do. Worry, anxiety, or any other emotions were irrelevant and useless. What matters is action.

This is how I should view my current situation. Sure my manager is acting like a child. Sure he is ranting and raving about how busy he is. Sure he is unfriendly and grumpy. But who cares? How does that affect me? How does that impact on what I need to do, which is to do whatever work I need to do? My job is simple: I show up at work, I receive work, and I go through the to do list and do the work. Emotion means nothing. Action is everything.

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