Bad bosses. They're everywhere. Even in publishing. Especially in
publishing! Publishing serfs might be safe from the likes of Judith
Regan for the time being (Jewish lawyers, not so much), but there are
plenty of other crazies and scaries out there. Trust me, I'm a hoary old publishing troll, and I've worked for all of them. (Side note to the slow to catch on: I'm not Emily. She hasn't written this column since she started at Gawker; how would she have time?) Anyway, bad bosses. Here are the basic types:
- The Avoider
Not only avoids you, but never picks up the phone, returns agents' emails or meets a deadline. You can try to help The Avoider, but really, there's only so much you can do before he self-sabotages
himself into a corner. On the upside, having to constantly cover his ass has really sharpened your skills as a bullshit artist - which will make you an ace at dealing with agents and authors!
You know, she was young and fun once, too. She went out every night, scammed her way into fancy parties, dated Morgan Entrekin ("dated") ... So, watch yourself, little missy, because this could go one of two ways: your boss could resort to oversharing in an attempt to be BFFs with you or
she could start sniping often to remind you that your ass might be tighter, but she's the boss.
- The Over Delegater
Thinks that work is for everyone but him. The second a task hits his desk it's off of it and on to yours, regardless of whether it's appropriate. Like mailing his Netflix DVDs. Or filling out your own performance evaluation ("just write what you think is fair...") He'd delegate sitting on his ass and playing around
on SecondLife all day if he could. The Over Delegater hasn't edited a word since you were in high school.
- The Underminer
She seems nice, and everyone else likes her, but if you think she might have just subtly insulted you, chances are you work for an underminer. If you look closely, there's a little bit of crazy in her
eyes when she smiles. When she asks you for a second read, prepare to read through the lines of her smiley-faced-adorned feedback.
- Uncomfortable with Power
She never wanted to be Management, but somehow she went from editor, happily working on her own titles, with time enough to actually edit, to Boss Lady, mired in meetings and other people's problems. She's an Avoider waiting to happen.
- She Suffered, Therefore She Is (a Bitch)
When she was a whippersnapper editorial assistant, she worked for the man (literally). He gave her shit and a fuckload of work. She gave up any chance at a life and dedicated herself to proving she had what it
takes. Now she's at the top of the food chain, with a number of bestselling authors under her belt (not literally!), and she will haze you to death before letting you into her elite sorority. Now stop reading the internets, you lazy entitled twit, and get back to work!
Earlier: Everything I Needed To Know About The Office Christmas Party, I Learned In High School