Author Topic: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?  (Read 2138 times)

Physicsteacher

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How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« on: November 18, 2018, 02:18:51 PM »
I'm planning on quitting my current job when my contract is up at the end of May. I probably should have left years ago. Work stress from dealing with my toxic boss is having a noticeable impact on my ability to function in life these days, and, while I hoped this would diminish once I started developing concrete plans for getting out, so far this has not been the case. Leaving mid-year is not a good option as I am still far from FI and it would look bad if I ever wish/need to return to secondary teaching.

Any advice for maintaining my sanity through the next few months?

seemsright

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 02:34:13 PM »
First of all I think all teachers are amazing and deserve all of the gold stars.

Not knowing what kind of toxic you are dealing with. I am going to suggest getting a calendar and each day you make it through the day you get to put a sticker on the day. (I suggest gold stars or something that makes you smile)

You know you are leaving. You are teaching, the boss is not going to fire you as it would make them look bad and in a hard spot...you hold power! Do your job. Do not jump through hoops. If toxic boss asks you to do something and you just do not get to it...all well. You can start to say hay that does not work for me today. If you have a union you may want to start to lean on them see if they can help you. If you have sick days...use them.

I have had many toxic bosses in my life. What worked for me was we lived off of hubbies income and mine was extra that paid back student loans and we saved. Knowing I could walk out at any time was my life line.

If your job is really making you feel that way. You need to leave. It may make you look bad but you could always pull the medical card (getting a note from your dr that you need to take a leave) think of it as your golden ticket out. The next job is not going to question a medical case.

I think you have many more options than you think you have.

G-dog

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 03:00:02 PM »
Like @lhamo, I had a spreadsheet counting down how many days, and showing free days like holidays or planned vacations.

While at work, I really hunkered down to focus on tasks and gett8ng things done. Getting things done is quite satisfying for me. This means I decreased the number of meetings I went to - I skipped all our department meetings (so many meetings!). 

So, the spreadsheet helped me keep my eye on the prize, with the pleasure of crossing off days. Removing bullshit or frustrating activities to focus on what I thought was important helped me feel I was accomplishing something. I imagine time off is difficult during the school year, but try to minimize any extra hours at work or working at home. 

Prioritize yourself over work. Youíve likely been doing the opposite for a lot of years. Good luck.

Lady SA

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 01:22:47 PM »
Others have mentioned good ways to keep yourself motivated. I like the idea of a spreadsheet, and also having a countdown calendar!

But as for reducing your exposure/stress to this boss for the next 6 months and making this time as pleasant for you as possible, I suggest hunkering down and being bland and boring. Attract as little attention as possible by blending in and cultivating an aura of bland boringness. Answer any questions with just the answer and nothing else for them to latch onto. No additional context (unless needed), no reasoning, no nothing. You basically want to give the boss what they want asap and send them away. Even better if you can slowly fade away and take on less responsibility and be less in the spotlight. Be invisible and don't draw attention by doing anything outstanding, but also not horrendously wrong either. Steady average blandness, and reduce your investment in work by pulling back your heart and your caring.
edit: This^ advice applies to interactions with your boss and anything within his sphere of influence, of course. In your classroom with your students, you can put in your normal effort and attention for them. But anything outside of that, as soon as you run into your boss, I'd suddenly change like a chameleon into a puddle of utter pleasant blandness.

Can you find a counselor/therapist to help you process things during this time? They can be really helpful to build your resilience and reverse any harmful messages that are sinking in and affecting you.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 01:26:10 PM by Lady SA »

GuitarStv

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 01:27:41 PM »
Stop giving a fuck.

You know that you're going to leave.  You know that your boss isn't going to be your reference anyway.  Toxic bosses make your life a pain because you care about the work you're doing.  So stop caring.  Do whatever the bare minimum is to avoid being fired / getting a written reprimand, and not an iota more.  Leave the work at work, and don't care anymore when you walk out the door.

Maenad

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2018, 05:15:47 AM »
Check out the Ask a Manager blog - she's got some great advice on how to deal with a toxic boss temporarily. 

Freedomin5

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 05:29:10 AM »
I second the advice to keep your head down and just do your work. Stay out of office politics and be bland and boring. Do good work for your students, donít take on more than is necessary. Focus only on doing the things in your job description.

Jon Bon

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 06:55:37 AM »
Stop giving a fuck.

This is the right answer.

Do the stuff you like, ignore the stuff you dont. What are they going to do? Lay you off and pay unemployment on you for a  year? Find a sub for the six months which is disruptive to everyone?

acepedro45

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 09:32:27 AM »
I read this somewhere on these very forums (paraphrased):

Quote
Smile at the boss like you've got F You written on your teeth.

Always loved that idea.

G-dog

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 09:35:30 AM »
I read this somewhere on these very forums (paraphrased):

Quote
Smile at the boss like you've got F You written on your teeth.

Always loved that idea.

LOL!

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 10:10:43 AM »
Yikes, I've been there....and I'm afraid I may be in a similar situation again VERY soon.

Having the knowledge that it was only a short X months/years to the goal line definitely helped.

Take as much PTO as possible. Maybe invoke FMLA?

ketchup

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 10:13:27 AM »
I read this somewhere on these very forums (paraphrased):

Quote
Smile at the boss like you've got F You written on your teeth.

Always loved that idea.

LOL!
I love this.  For some reason, I'm picturing smiling like a South Park character.

jeromedawg

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 10:33:19 AM »
Could probably even lightly whisper it while maintaining the smile all the way through... Try it and practice at home first :D

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 10:56:43 AM »
My wife said something that really made me think about how I look at my job. She said, "you like your job just not always who you do it for."

MEER

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2018, 10:56:50 AM »
I've been teaching for 25 years. Thankfully in that time I've had mostly amazing bosses and only had one toxic boss. Focus on your students. Build a cocoon. Ignore EVERYTHING else. That's all that really matters and, hopefully - I don't know your situation - your boss has no/little influence in your class. Good luck!

SwordGuy

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Re: How to cope with six more months of a toxic boss?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2018, 11:54:29 AM »
This too shall pass.

It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

In the interim, it appears that you don't actually need this job any more.  If that's correct, you may now have leverage.

Question:

Does your boss need you to finish this contract more than they like pissing on you?   

Because if they do, just say no.  Tell them you are unwilling to put up with their unprofessional behavior anymore.   You have documented their behavior for the last X years and you're willing to see what happens if they want to act up anymore.   You are willing to be professional and continue to the end of the term, but only if they get off your back.  Otherwise, you'll be glad to retire now and enjoy the unemployment checks as a bonus for getting fired.


Question:

How much do you like your coworkers?   Are you willing to go hunting for bear on their behalf?  You have documented this bosses' bad behavior, haven't you?  Go to the school board and explain that you're retiring in the spring provided this toxic boss minds his manners.  Give them the ammo they need to ride his ass or fire him.


Took about a year after I left my next-to-last job, but the info I gave to the client management team and my employer's management team before I left was sufficient to get the process started for my toxic boss.   I told them what the situation was, why I knew it didn't make a damn bit of difference in my personal situation because they wouldn't be ready to believe me (yet).  But they needed to know what was going on and start paying attention or they would be losing even more good people.  It opened up some eyes.

It took about a year.  My former coworkers were prompt to tell me toxic ex-boss was escorted off the premises.    :)