U.S. book offers ways to cope with bad bosses

Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:52pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Friday is National Boss Day in the United States but for employees who cannot imagine celebrating such a day, a new book titled "Working for You Isn't Working for Me" might come in handy.

The book, subtitled "The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Boss," is a manual that aims to help beleaguered workers survive bosses as difficult as the never-pleased "chronic critic" or the "underminer" who cannot be trusted.

In this down economy, one of the most common types is the "control freak" boss who wants to approve every decision, said Katherine Crowley, a psychotherapist who wrote the book with Kathi Elster, her partner in a New York consulting firm.

"That behavior, very micro-managing, is very common under stress," she told Reuters in an interview. "They're terrified of making a mistake so they don't want anything happening they don't know about."

Then there's the "tell-all" boss who needs a constant audience, the "checked-out" boss who could not care less about the job and, also common in hard times, the "rule changer" boss, who changes orders and expectations at whim.

"In stressful times, an indecisive manager becomes more indecisive. We're hearing a lot of that," said Crowley, who previously wrote "Working With You Is Killing Me" with Elster.

Readers are given ways to assess what sorts of employees they are, such as a "nurturer," an "observer" or even a "coaster" based on how they react and how they can deal with various types of bosses.


<p>An office worker covers his face while on the phone in a file photo. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin</p>