Today, I’m going to go where, if you’re a woman, you’re never supposed to go. And that forbidden zone is to talk about the perils of women at work—and specifically, about that most fearsome of office creatures, the bad female boss. “Gird your loins!” Stanley Tucci warns as his tyrannical female boss, played by Meryl Streep, approaches in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Having survived a veritable parade of bad female bosses, my loins are fully girded.
Aware that I’ll now probably have to enroll in the Witness Protection Program anyway, I’ll just come right out and say it: I’d rather work for a man.
Correction: I’d rather work for a man than a wine-guzzling, insecure, jealous woman who’s more focused on rivalry and one-upmanship, or should I say, one-upwomanship, than in getting any actual work done.Which is to say, almost every woman I’ve ever worked for.
Working my way up to director of PR for a major financial company, I had only one good female boss—an erudite woman who embodied grace and truth and principles. She actually wanted me to succeed and did everything within her power to help me. She left two years after hiring me to go get a master’s degree at Harvard.
Aside from that one lovely exception, I was far more experienced in working for glorious train wrecks. I had the incompetent-because-she-was-young female boss, the boss-who-avoided-direct-communication-like-it–was-Ebola female boss, and the really-just-a-lady–who-lunched-but-wanted-to-be-able-to-say-she-had-a-job female boss. Keep reading »