In the summer of 1982, just days after my high school graduation, I began a six-month program in dental laboratory technology. Dental lab technology is the study and practice of building dental devices such as crowns, bridges, and dentures. This fit nicely into my interest and skills in building model airplanes and dioramas. Part of the program involved doing a short internship in a local dental lab. I was assigned to work with a dentist named Cordell Riley at his facility, Modern Denture Institute in Orange, CA.
There was nothing modern about MDI and under Dr. Riley, it was more like an institution than an institute. MDI boasted that it could make a full set of dentures in one day for $200.00. To accomplish this, sanitary conditions were questionable at best, materials cheap, and of course, at a mere $10.00 per day as a salary for me, so were labor costs! This was a modern-day sweatshop. I worked from 8 am to 6pm with no breaks or even a lunch break. The pace was fast and Dr. Riley micro-managed all of us. When there was a brief break in the action, I was assigned other duties such as picking up his wife from the beauty parlor. Mercifully, the internship finally ended and as I picked up my last, tiny check, Dr. Riley quipped that I should have paid HIM for the experience I got. What I got was my first taste of what it was like to work with a BAD BOSS!
But that’s me. I’m sure you have your own Worst Boss Ever story. I’m going to start a series on bad bosses and how to deal with them. If you have a bad boss, I’ll offer coping strategies. If you ARE the bad boss, I’ll hopefully help you see what you need to do to improve.
Life is too short to be miserable at work. Since bad bosses account for most of the misery folks experience at work, I think we ought to do something about it. Are you in?