One day Jayne (not her real name) invited her boss over for dinner. Jayne bought the finest ingredients she could find, looked carefully through her cook books and also searched on Pinterest to find something nourishing and tasty. Jayne prepared everything well and also made sure the house was looking nice.
Jayne’s boss arrived pretty much on time, but made no comment about the home and just sat at the table. „I’m hungry“ Jayne’s boss announced „let’s eat now“. Jayne was a little flustered because some of the food was not quite done but her boss was insistent, even getting a little bit loud, so they all sat down and ate straight away.
Jayne’s boss had problems with her arm co-ordination so Jayne had to help her cut her food. Her boss started to eat without waiting for Jayne, so Jayne’s food was getting cold. After three bites, her boss threw her fork down, screwed up her face and informed Jayne that her food was „not acceptable“ and refused to eat any more. Her boss was still hungry though and Jayne had to call for take-away to calm her down.
At work it was pretty much the same. Jayne put in all hours needed to help her boss grow the company and some days it was all really good, but some days her boss would shout and scream at her for no reason. Sometimes she even called her in the night for hours to rant and rage. On these days Jayne felt she really wasn’t doing a good job. She met with co-workers sometimes who reported similar incidents and they also didn’t understand why, but muttered words like „temperament“ or „leadership skills“ which was confusing. She did love her job though and so she stuck with it and read some books about how to deal with her situation which seemed to help.
The Union refused to help Jayne. They only saw the best in her boss and although they saw how tired and confusing it was, they reassured her that it would improve and that she was doing well. Annoyingly, Jayne’s boss seemed to be on her best behavior when the Union was around and she could try all she wanted to explain her situation, they just seemed to enjoy her boss even more! It was a little bit reassuring to see that everyone in Jayne’s line of work felt the same about their boss, the working hours, lack of regulations and lack of holiday pay. Mostly they reminded each other of the reasons they took the job in the first place and this often left Jayne feeling proud of all her boss had achieved and pleased to be where she was.
It all blew up again though when the finance reports were due and Jayne’s boss seemed to be really irritated about these although they were going through fine. She would call Jayne often and shout or scream at her about it, but Jayne just had to listen because she could not finish the reports alone. Jayne sometimes found other things to distract her boss and let her chew over these things for a while. This seemed to help.
After working with her boss for about nine months, things really seemed to improve. Her boss became more mobile in the firm and started to look into things herself and not always demand Jayne to do them. Jayne was very pleased to see her boss growing into her role and the night time calls lessened in frequency and intensity. Jayne enjoyed the sleep and really felt better about her job. She knew her boss could still be cranky and demanding, but she could read the signs better and knew some tactics for dealing with the tantrums.
Jayne was looking forward to her one year anniversary with her boss. One thing bothered her a little bit though, after the one year party she was left wondering about what her co-workers meant while talking about the „terrible twos“? Surely Jayne was well equipped to deal with her boss by now?