Paranoid Career Killer
Not too long ago, I encountered the scariest kind of boss. The kind that has too much power in the community.
When I accepted the position, I thought it was my dream job. But not too long into my employment, it turned into a nightmare. The man I worked for was unpredictable at best. Some days he would come into the office and be fun, charming, and quite enjoyable. And other times he would be a screaming, cursing dictator. And we never knew which side of him we were going to get.
For the most part, I could handle the yelling and screaming and cursing. I knew it wasn't anything I should take personally, he treated everyone horribly. But one day, he started crossing the line.
He began hastily throwing around accusations that made me fearful. He would accuse me and everyone else in the office of stealing money. He especially liked to accuse of us of taking money from Petty Cash. However, there was never any money missing.
I knew I hadn't stolen anything, and I trusted the others that I worked with. But again, there wasn't ANY money missing. I know there wasn't any money missing because the people who handled the books verified that there wasn't any money missing and were also puzzled as to why he would say that there was.
I can't explain why someone would accuse others of something like that when there wasn't even a reason to suspect that it was happening, except that our boss had a combination of issues ranging from his obvious paranoia to his desire to make everyone around him constantly fear for their jobs.
The scariest part was knowing that this man was a very well entrenched member of the small community we lived in. He was well known, and surprisingly well liked. However I suspect that the people who liked him never had to work for him! I was aware of incidents in the past where our boss had told customers and friends how horrible his employees were. Telling people that he disliked us or that we were incompetent was one thing, but telling people that we stole from him could have ruined my career, even though it wasn't true.
Ultimately, it wasn't the yelling or cursing that drove me to find another job, it was the fear that this powerful man in the community would begin spreading his lies outside of the company. In a small town, if people thought that I had stolen anything, it would have been difficult to get new employment.
So I quietly found another job and quit in the most non-abrasive way I could possibly manage. I didn't make a scene or give a big grand reason for wanting to quit. In other words, I lied. When I gave my notice, I tried my best to make my reasons for leaving personal and tried to make sure that I did not put him on the defensive if possible.
Since then I have been working in my new position happy as ever. I certainly have not found my dream job yet, but as long as I have a job, I can put up with some less than ideal conditions... after all, in this economy, beggars can't be choosers.