News Stories

Is Your Boss Crazy?

Jobs are so scarce these days, that you might have to put up with him or her, but here's the bad news: a recent study claims that 25% of CEOs meet the criteria for a psychopathic personality. If you've every thought, "That sounds like MY boss," you might be wondering what to do about it.

Researcher Evelyn Williams thinks that knowing your boss's work style could be the key to succeeding, but researcher Jamie Dickey Ungerleider thinks that might help you in the short term, but a longer term solution is to find a new boss. Evaluations and reviews won't usually reveal the problems a psychopathic boss has. Williams says, "Leaders who are psychopaths are extremely charming, highly manipulative, see other people as objects and don't feel guilty about using people to reach their own ends."

Meanwhile, Ungerleider says, "There’s usually a segment of the population who finds them utterly charming and don't understand why others wouldn't trust them.” But he also thinks that, "Most people at work have good intentions, but a psychopathic boss does not." But they agree on some things: Ungerleider says that if you can't make a move away from such an employer, "recognize that you still have a mutually dependent relationship."

Williams says, "Knowing your boss’s work style gives you a road map you can use to make adjustments and deliver the work that will please a difficult boss." This helps explain the baffling phenomenon that some employees encounter when they're fired even though they're doing a good job. If you have too much success at work, a psychopathic boss may see this as a threat.

Ungerleider says "These people use the skills and talents of people under them to shine for their own managers (but) if YOU shine a little too brightly while you're helping them stand out, that becomes a threat. Most of them won't hesitate to throw you under the bus."

Here at, we know that ONLY TOO WELL: Whitley and Anne have fended off MANY attacks over the years and we're still here. DON'T let us die from neglect today. Only YOU can change that and there's only one way to do it: Subscribe today so we'll still be here tomorrow!

Oh yes I have had several "bosses" who were superficially charming but were very threatened by anyone who does a good job. The better you do your job, well liked by others and on and on you cannot please these people. They delight in tormenting you with mediocre performance appraisals where nothing you do well is ever recognized and something minor is blown out of proportion. Never underestimate the power of jealousy because this is what is behind treatment like this. And jealousy is an emotion that no one ever admits to. You don't hear people saying outloud that they are envious or jealous of someone. Some other ridiculous "fault" has to be found by these people to justify their actions if they are threatened and they are threatened frequently. And another thing I have observed in regards to psychopathic bosses is that they surround themselves with poor performers because they are no threat to them. My last boss who ended up laying me off at 61 last year after 30 years could not be pleased and I did a wonderful job because I was told by our patrons over and over again. Reporting these idiots to higher ups does not good either because most of the time the one over them is just as bad. American corporations are filled with people like this and I think it has done great harm to worker morale and productivity!!!

This story brings back some memories!

I had the misfortune of running into a psychopathic boss on my last tour in the Navy. He was an E7 (I was an E5), and nothing *any* of us did was good enough for him. He made my LPO (an E6) so nervous that the LPO ended up in the hospital: Heart attack.

All of the E5s and E6s evals were marked down. We were in a tight rating, and if your ratings weren't 4.0 (where 4.0 was the highest they could be), you weren't going to advance.

One of those E6s used to be an instructor, and he received the highest decoration an instructor could receive at the training command: The Master Training Specialist. That came with a special badge the instructor wore like a medal.

He made a call to his old command and asked for his old job back. On arrival, they re-wrote his evals back to 4.0 status, and he made chief shortly thereafter.

As for me, I had one or two small mishaps -- coming in late from leave (because the chief ordered my time of arrival changed), some other niggling stuff ... and I ended up at Captains Mast, where I was put on restriction for a couple weeks, fined $100, my security clearance removed, and sent to Deck division.

Fortunately, the rest of the ship knew what was going on, and the money was never deducted from my check.

During my time in Deck, I met a chief who told me that I should put in a request to re-enlist, and when they turned me down, I should immediately put in another request for severance pay.

I did as he suggested, and I got a $14,000 check on that final day.

At the time, I had a girlfriend who worked on the base, and she invited me to a party being given by my former ship about a year later. I met the disbursing clerk who gave me that check, and he said, "Yeah, your chief was hopping mad when he saw that you got that money. He asked me why I got it, and I told him, 'because you put him out of the Navy for no good reason.'"

At that same party, I met my former chief's replacement. He recognized me as a CT from the ballcap I was wearing, and we got to talking. He asked me my name, and when I told him what it was, he recognized it from some paperwork he had read when he took over. He told me that he had put everything back the way they were before my former chief came aboard, and apologized to me for what happened.

Made my year.


Subscribe to Unknowncountry sign up now