Andy Lester

Technology, careers, life and being happy

Trying to get your boss fired means you’re looking at the wrong problem

| 4 Comments

I found a thread a few days ago where someone asked “I want to get my boss fired, because he’s incompetent and is ruining the department, so how can I do this?” This idea is broken at many levels, and the stuff of delusional daydreams.

If you’re ever in a situation like this, stop and take a breath and consider a few facts.

First and foremost, you’re not a superhero, and you’re not smarter than everyone else. It is not your job to come in and single-handedly save the IT department from ruin. That level of hubris is self-delusional and dangerous to your career. And if you ARE smarter than everyone else in the company, then you’re in the wrong company.

Second, you can’t “get your boss fired” by yourself. If you imagine that you can walk into your grandboss’s office with a list of the boss’s stupid moves, you’re fooling yourself. That’s not how things work. Do you think your grandboss is going to look at your well-documented list of the boss’s sins, say “Thank you, Johnson” and then can the boss? That’s fantasy. What’s more likely to happen is that you’ll get fired for insubordination. At the very least, you’ll piss off your boss because he’ll find out about it.

Note that I’m not talking about times when the boss is doing something illegal or unethical. In times like that, it’s your responsibility to take these issues up with upper management. I’m talking about when the boss makes bad decisions (or more likely, decisions you don’t agree with and have dubbed “bad”), or is a jerk, or is just somehow a bad boss.

Finally, what do you think is going to happen when you “get the boss fired”? Do you imagine that a better boss will be hired in his place? Why do think that upper management will get it right the second time? They screwed up once, and they’re not fixing the problem, so what will change the second time around?

Realistically, when you’re in a situation like this, one of two things will happen. Either upper management is aware of what a loser your boss is and he’ll be gone soon enough, or they can’t tell he’s ineffective, and no amount of your documentation of his bad decisions is going to change that.

So the question is, which situation are you in? Do you trust upper management to take care of things and get rid of your bad boss? If so, sit tight and do your job. And if you think upper management is as dumb as your boss himself, then you are in a crappy company and need to get out.

The bad boss is not the problem. The company that allows him to be a bad boss is the problem.

4 Comments

  1. Nice article. Although I landed here after searching for ways to get my SELF fired, I found your article to give me a nice perspective.

    Much of my dissatisfaction does stem from my idiot supervisor(direct boss), and I do think they are hurting the company, but your POV has added another point to the ‘this company is not for me’ category.

    I also plead guilty to being smarter than nearly everyone at the office, with the exception of sr. management, but I am in Mensa delusion is likely not the case. I play the fool and nobody knows this though.

    Anyway, I digress.. Good post keep it up.

  2. Thanks for this perspective. I find myself searching for ways to cope with a bad boss. And this was quite helpful.

  3. Totally agree – you need to watch what you say. It is rare that a person be the smartest, especially since there are different types of intelligence. Just having smarts means you only have one slice of the pie. What about interpersonal skills? Are you constantly spinning anxious?

  4. My boss has treated me badly since day one. No matter how hard I work, it`s never enough, never what she wanted. She is, in a word, impossible! My co-workers (ALL MEN!) are all afraid to cross her, as she is even nastier if you dare do. A week ago when she neglected to submit my hours worked — meaning I would not get paid — I flipped out. She told me in no uncertain terms I had some nerve getting upset about not getting paid. ?!?!? Now it is apparent she is gunning for me. I expect to be fired any day now. I may be better off. She is totally incompetent to say the very least, not to mention insulting and just plain nasty. Even her own sister QUIT because she admits she just could not work with/for her. I could go on forever. You get the picture. It is my goal in life to expose her for the idiot she is and to GET HER FIRED!!!!!!!

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