This is a user submission to IRL. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of IRL or its affiliates. All names and entities have been changed to protect the privacy of the parties involved.
Most people have worked with a boss from hell at some point in their career. This person lowers your self-esteem and makes just getting out of bed, one of the things you hate the most.
However, some bosses may actually inspire and encourage you in the beginning when you first get to know them. They may also seem to be the only one who believes in your dreams and capabilities.
I have met such an exceptional boss that had a good side at first. But eventually, the following few months of working with him became the worst time of my working life.
A Boss Who Ruins Your Rice Bowl
In the brief period of time that I was under his leadership, I suffered financial woes which took a toll on my health and confidence.
As a result, I not only quit working for him but also switched to working for a Singaporean publication (rather than a Malaysian publication).
That is the effect of working for a bad boss. They will not only ruin your rice bowl, but if the toxic signs are not recognised early enough, the road to recovery may even take forever.
Here is my story which took me a while to compose the real truth behind it. I am an avid reader; love writing and have an interest in the Malaysian property industry.
Three years ago, I was fortunate enough to land a job in a leading real estate magazine where I honed my writing skill under the guidance and supervision of the publisher and eventually an editor.
After leaving the job, I decided to start up my own portal: LW Media. I featured news articles and interview pieces and attended several events that were relevant to gain more exposure while introducing my brand to the mass market.
As funding was low, I took on another job writing for a home & lifestyle magazine. During my short stint with them, I met a man who claimed to be renowned in the property industry.
Initially, I had my doubts as I have never even heard of his name, what more the name of his print publication.
However, I dismissed my insecurities and befriended him. He then offered me the role of editor for his publication which was in the stages of becoming available online for the first time.
A Seemingly Golden Opportunity
I was beyond elated at such a golden opportunity. He even shared with me that he was also planning to launch his own property show for the first time ever.
I worked hard in my new role and also learnt how to manage my time in between attending events, meeting and coordinating with clients as well as managing a designer.
Things were looking a lot brighter for me. I was fast gaining respect as an editor and in turn, I could also share those news articles in LW Media’s Facebook Page.
As a former writer, I looked forward to greater and bigger things to come from this role.
After our first e-magazine went live, I waited patiently to reap the fruits from my harvest but it came only after three weeks.
To add more distress, I had to pay the designer on my own and in the end, I never made any income out of it.
I was depressed and thought of calling it quits right away. But after a long conversation with the boss, I decided to give him a second chance with some revision to the terms of my earning.
The publication process for the second e-magazine was worse. He decided to pay for the designer but I had to forked out the first payment.
I was broke and had to borrow money from a friend just to pay the initial payment to the designer.
On the day the second e-magazine went live, he finally told me that he had paid the designer the first payment.
I informed the designer who then transferred the payment back to me so that I could pay back my friend whom I borrowed money from initially.
I Was Not Being Paid On Time
After the second e-magazine went live, the boss came up with many excuses on why he could not pay salary to me and the designer. I had to borrow money again from family and friends just to make ends meet.
I become more and more depressed as the days went by. I felt like a jobless person and yet I was not actually jobless. Finally, I came to my senses and quit immediately.
But the emotional turmoil had left a deep mark inside me. I blamed myself heavily for the mistake of working with him and for causing grievances to others by borrowing money from them.
There is always a silver lining in every dark cloud and mine was during the time that I worked with this boss, I attended a property awards event by a leading international property publication and met the sales lead of a renowned Singaporean publication in real estate and lifestyle.
At first, I contributed a paid article to them as I was still tied to my editorial role. After I quit the job, I had more time to contribute more articles to them and also to assist them in looking for sales leads.
They are printing their 25th issue this week and it will be out in Singapore sometime next week before hitting the bookstores in Malaysia.
I look forward to seeing my contributor’s photo, short biography and article contributions in the magazine once it is out.
Lessons From my Experiences
A lesson that I have learnt from this bad working experience is that if you are working for someone who likes to make several promises before any actual benefits can be seen, it may be time to run for the hills.
Your future is based on the choices you make today, so think everything thoroughly before making a decision.
If you have ever worked for a “boss from hell” and survived the ordeal, please tell us about it in the comments below. Remember to also share this real-life story so that others will be more cautious as well!
For more stories like this, read: Horror Boss Stories: Here Are Some Stories of the Worst Bosses in Malaysia and 5 Ways to Handle an Emotional Boss.