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Dear Readers,
Life is tough out there these days, and who knows better than me? My neighbors, my relatives and their family, the people down the street, and the ones I meet at the Costco, or at the beauty parlor or down at the Senior Citizens, all have some aches or pains they have to discuss, with me, or with whoever has the time of day to pass with them.  But you know what’s a real kick in the slats? Having a problem that no one wants to hear about. It’s like a splinter that you can’t get at, so it festers, then it gets infected and the next thing you know, you’re in the hospital taking antibiotic with an IV drip and it’s not covered.  Not pretty.  And I know not pretty, in fact I have more than a nodding acquaintance with ugly, but hey, it’s what I do.

So what don’t people want to hear about the least? But other people need to spill about? Having a lousy job.  That’s right.  These days, you have to be out of your mind to complain about being employed, because people have plenty of time and unspent energy to bop you one before you get a sentenced finished. And you can’t walk because what can you walk to? There’s not much out there. Picky doesn’t buy much pasta.  So what to do? You can’t complain and you can’t quit. Tough, like I said. But as far as I’m concerned, complaining belongs in the Waste of Time Hall of Fame, it does you  no good in any case. You need to know what to do, not sit around pissing and moaning.  Who wants to hear it anyhow?

Just remember they call it work, because it is.  If they didn’t pay you, you wouldn’t do it.   Which means it comes with, excuse my French,  crap. That’s what the pay is supposed to make up for.  And this crap comes in different varieties. This month, I thought I’d help you deal with your crappy bosses.

Ok so here goes.

†First things first. Remember this:† BOSSES HAVE WHAT YOU WANT.† Thatís what makes them a boss. Ok, so some of them donít know it, but thatís their problem.†† Thereís the GOOD BOSS, who if you have one, I never met you yet.†† Wait, my cousinís sister-in- lawís last husbandís third boss was good.† People wept in the streets when he retired.† But thatís the only one.††† Hereís a handy guide to dealing with the rest of them.





A bully picks on the weak, because they have no balls.

Show no fear. If you have a union, use it.
A bully will back off because there are always easier targets elsewhere. But you have to mean it.
NEVER JOKE WITH A BULLY.  It’s not about laughs.


A letch is a form of a bully,  a skeeve.

Under no circumstances be flattered.  Do not encourage.  You can try polite  at first, but if the letch doesn’t take the hint, you have to make it clear that if he (or she) comes near you, they’re dead. This can be done with a look, or the casual waving of an actual knife.  And there are laws. But
laws are not as handy as  personal muscle.


An idiot is a real PIA , because they usually have no idea how stupid they are, which is what makes them idiots.

You have to cover for idiots. Just remember that no one will thank you for it, the idiot least of all.


A two face will sweet talk you, and talk down this one or that one in the same breath.  That’s how you know.

Don’t believe anything this one says.  And don’t go thinking who you are because the boss informs you that everyone else is stinko.  Because it’s just trouble, and you’ll end up being the bad guy. Under no circumstances repeat anything this one tells you.


The egomaniac thinks who they are.  But they’re not.

It is not your job to set this one straight.  You can’t anyhow.  You might get someplace with flattery, since they already believe whatever nice things you could say, but that’s short term.  Best thing to do is stay clear, keep your head down, and try not to puke when they give themselves pats on the back.


The criminal is actually breaking laws. That’s why this type is called a criminal.

The one exception to the sticking it out.  Give notice. Whistle- blowing optional.


Mr. Too Nice Guy is the most dangerous of all. Because he is really nice.  So he tells everyone what they want to hear and doesn’t want to rock boats or make fusses.

This one has no backbone. As hunky dory as it might be to have a boss that never makes you mad, it’s only at first.  Sooner or later, someone is going to want something that you don’t want them to have, and the boss will be of no use whatsoever. When trouble comes along, you are on your own.  Do not depend on this one for anything.







Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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