Things I learned from having a tough boss

I’m being nice here, he was not just tough, but sort of horrible. HOWEVER, as hard as it was to be his personal assistant, I learned so much from it that it was worth it nonetheless. So how do you go on working for a man who is mean for sport, cannot do anything himself and treats you like trash? Well, because you need the money and at the end of the day you know that this horrible boss is going to make every single boss thereafter seem like a unicorn.


This has proven to be extremely true. So what are the things I learned from having a tough boss?

  • Never talk back. Talking back is not only unprofessional but it will land you in more trouble than if you said nothing at all (every single time). There were times when my boss made me want to burst with anger, but I just looked him right in the eye and nodded. Keeping myself in check taught me to handle myself no matter how I was feeling, something that is vital in the business world.
  • Organization is better than cleanliness, next to godliness. I was a personal assistant so I essentially did everything for my boss. From dry cleaning delivery and appointment scheduling, to lunch grabbing and email writing. In order to make sure everything got done, I had to be even more organized than my OCD self normally is. Being that organized guaranteed a job that was not only done, but done well and ahead of time.
  • Handling the stress. Working for a man who wants everything yesterday even though he asked for it now, is one hard thing to handle. The amount of stress that comes with that is enormous. How did I handle it? 50% pretending it wasn’t there, and 50% freaking out internally. At the end of the day, if you can get it done – you will.
  • Don’t take it personally. If your boss yells at you or isn’t being pleasant, know that it is not BECAUSE of you, it’s just AT you because you’re there. 99% of the time, my boss would snap at me over nothing because he was having a bad day. While that is super unprofessional on his end, I always wanted to take the high road and be the professional one so that he could never say a bad word against me. He never did because he couldn’t. I won. Just brush it off (unless he makes you feel uncomfortable, and then you can give ‘em hell).

This job was now over two years ago, and since then I have come to realize that having a difficult boss is a blessing in disguise. I now know what it means to be professional, sometimes through his unprofessional behavior through his hostility as a boss. I know what kind of boss I want to be, but I also know that after working for such an individual, I can handle it all.

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