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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Living With A Tyrannical Boss

What one can tolerate in a boss is individual. Someone I that once knew, who worked unbothered by her crazy boss in the entertainment industry, had survived a difficult childhood, living in her car until being helped by a concerned teacher who let her live with her until she graduated from college. Upon quitting her job the young woman was asked to train her replacement to tolerate the screaming boss. But when psychosomatic symptoms (as neck pain, etc.) begin it's time to leave. I've often said that I may not have been too smart about some of the jobs that I took but I always knew exactly when to leave, which is when they want you to stay. I've learned that a manager has a certain "shelf life," initially being viewed as the organization's savior but, after it functions well, as part of any lingering problem. Still, as my (now deceased) graduate school advisor said after receiving my tale of woe/complaining letter, "Think of the job as a chapter in your memoir." Sound advice from one that I still miss.

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Reflections on the White House Firing or When to Fire Yourself

After experiencing several highly stressful jobs, I came to an important conclusion: That while choosing the right job is important, it's even more important to know when to leave it. My suggestions follow.

Quit your job, if you have the economic freedom to do so, of course:

(1) When the political infighting has become intolerable.  Read More 
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How to Survive a Terrible Boss

I once knew a young woman ("Ellen") who, while attending college, worked as a secretary for a media company. This was back in those days when all executives had an assistant. Her boss was the archetype of a terrible boss, screaming so often that no one could tolerate working with him for long. But  Read More 
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Workplace: The Pathologically Obsessive Boss

Obsessive CEO’s are common since their orderliness and control foster authority and clear decision making. But an excessive need for order can strengthen bureaucratic elements, foster decision-making based on rules rather than staff creativity and autonomy. And while having clear, followed rules can protect against corporate political struggle, it  Read More 
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Being Too Old to Work at Thirty-five

Once, at Columbia University’s Business School Library, I spied a notice on the bulletin board. It told of an upcoming meeting of the Gray Panthers, the organization for older workers seeking jobs. Here, at this Graduate School, the membership requirements were that one be a student and over thirty-five.
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