Is Your Boss Jealous of You?

Ever wonder why (most) folks who win the lottery immediately stop working? Besides wanting to avoid a bunch of folks begging for money, the other reason has everything to do with the very real possibility of a boss “turning ugly” with jealousy. A few weeks ago someone called me asking if they had been discriminated against. This is what happened. The employee’s husband bought her a new Mercedes. She drove it to work. That same day her boss asked her to come to his office. She did so. His first words were something to the effect, “Didn’t I see you driving a new Mercedes today?” She responded, “Yes.” The boss then told her—“We put our money in education.” What the boss meant was that no black woman should spend her money on a Mercedes, instead she should send her kids to college. The employee responded, “My youngest son graduated from college last year.” She then got up and went back to work. She is now looking over her shoulders for harrassment of any sort that will result in a pink slip.

We used to call jealously the “green-eyed monster.” It’s bad enough when folks in general “act funny” because someone bought a new house, new car, or got a flashy diamond ring. It can be “hell to pay” when one of those people is your immediate superior—someone who can promote or fire you. It can be 2-times-hell to pay if that person over you happens to be a woman. Women bosses are known for petty crappy attitudes especially toward their female “underlings.” Women bosses can exhibit the worse green-eyed monster behavior. But it is not limited to females.

Jealousy is defined as” having an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has,” or “an unhappy or angry feeling caused by the belief that someone you love or like is liked by someone else.” Jealousy is a sick form of possessiveness. The jealous person not only wants what he or she has, but also wants what other people have—or rather does not want other people to have what they have—or anything better. On a typical day, the average employee parking lot is full of cars of every brand—from beat-up clunkers to the latest model Mercedes, Lexuses, BMWs and Hummers. On a typical Sunday the church parking lot is full of the same type cars. After the work day ends or church is over, some people “get off” on making sure other folks “see them” when they get in their fancy cars. The worst of these folks will take out their keys in plain site of a crowd and start jiggling the fancy key ring to advertise their cars. Some folks try to “rub it in” about “what they have.” And when someone else gets a “little something” the tongues start to wag—or worse—that old green-eyed monster comes out of hiding—not half speaking anymore, igging other folks, finding some kind of fault out of nowhere—or generally doing things to try to cut the other person “down to size.”

When the jealous person is your boss things can get very touchy. Bosses have power over employees, ranging from office location, promotion, pay increases, work load, and a range of other perks. Bosses can make life miserable. One recent article said that almost 70 percent of Americans hate their jobs and their bosses. Among the 100 million people in this country who hold full-time jobs, seven out of ten either hate going to work or have mentally checked out to the point of costing their companies money — “roaming the halls spreading discontent.” Only 30 percent of workers are engaged and inspired at work. The same article said this: “Not surprisingly, the primary reason that people hate their jobs is their boss — who ignores them, bullies them, or undermines them.” Now add to this formula a jealous boss who goes out of his or her way to make your working life a living day-to-day hell. What to do? The same article quoted the advice of Homer Simpson: “If you don’t like your job, (or your boss) ” he said, “you don’t strike, you just go in there every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.” Just kidding of course. The best advice is to do your job well, don’t get caught up in petty office politics, kill your boss with kindness instead of an Ak47. Focus on what you are being paid to do and learn to shrug off the petty crap all around you. Defuse everyday by doing something to relieve your work day stress. Don’t let the bastards get your down!! Oh, and the woman who drove her new Mercedes to work. I told her to go out and hire a stretch limo and have two handsome hunks, fully uniformed, dressed to the “T,” drive her up to the front door of her workplace and esccort her inside. I told her to tell her boss, “How You Like Me Now?”

Copyright 2013 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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Comments

  1. avatar D.W. Conn says:

    Great article! as a “Boss” I really need to be in tune with how subordinate perceive me. I am here for guidance not to dominate. Thanks again Great reminder.