Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 12.06.53 PMThree friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness, in this wild comedy. Can you imagine having a boss so infuriating you forged a plan with your friends to murder the person? Yikes!

In life, we definitely encounter all kinds of people, and while we are talking specifically about the people who hire you today, the techniques I’m going to share with you can be applied to any difficult person.

I once worked on a set where the director was infamous for having broken his 1st AD’s arm. He was not a pleasure to be with that day but I didn’t feel threatened in any way. However, I didn’t care. I never wanted to work with that director again. I called my agent and told her never to submit me for a job with him again.

First tip, if you are in an “abusive situation” (your boss breaks your arm, your boss hits you with a golf club regularly, your boss is verbally abusive – ALL situations industry professionals have come to me about), get out of it. You may be thinking “easier said than done,” well, you have a decision to make. Do you have the confidence to walk away and get another job or are you just going to take it until (enter reason here __________)? Notice I used the word “reason” not “excuse,” because people in these abusive situations use reason and rationalizations that they won’t budge on. As a coach, that tells me that they are not open to coaching and I can’t help them.

Okay, let’s take it down a notch because most bosses are not abusive they are just not great managers. Managing is a skill that is usually taught. While there are many “born leaders” there are not too many “born managers.”

What do you do if your boss is not a good manager?

Here are 5 tips:

  1. Recognize that you can’t change your boss, all you can do is learn to work with his/her style.
  2. Keep the lines of communication open and in writing. The only way to communicate to a boss that you are getting mixed messages is to have your communication in writing so you can show him/her why you are confused by what is being asked of you.
  3. Take care of you. If you wake up for work every day with a knot in your stomach, you have to decide: is this job worth it? That decision should not be fear based. The fear of not being able to get another job should not be a factor. You can put your feelers out for other work before leaving your current situation.
  4. Only complain to those who can do something about it. If you can’t talk to your boss, you must go above your boss. Talking to your co-workers gets everyone worked up, lowers morale and affects co-workers who may not feel the same way.
  5. If you must stay, remember, you can’t change someone else. You only have control over your responses. Perhaps it’s time to find a new way to respond to your boss. Yes, this requires YOU to change. This could turn out to be a growing lesson for you and turn everything around.

AND ACTION! 



  1. Evaluate your current work situation and your options.
  2. Make an appointment to talk to someone who can do something about your complaints.

Horrible Bosses was a fun fantasy for everyone who dislikes their boss, but the reality is, you don’t want to go to jail over a job you can simply quit. As my dad always says, “Don’t let the Turkeys get you down.” If I pulled that apart I’d have no idea what it means, but I get the gist of what he’s saying.

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