Given that narcissists are controlling, charming and often bright, there are many narcissistic bosses out there. Oddly enough, I’ve only encountered one that I know of, and I had no idea what narcissism was back then. However, looking back, it sure explains why she gave me such a hard time. And it makes sense, because narcissists often target people who are good or have a good reputation. They are jealous and angry.
Flashback: I was 15 and working at my first job. I’m a hard worker, so the supervisors soon came to know that I was a good person to choose for special jobs, extra hours, etc…. I’m a quiet person and I don’t get into trouble, so I soon became one of the managers’ favorites. Everybody knew that I took my work seriously even though it was “just” a kids’ job.
There was one manager who always seemed to make nasty comments to me, who just really seemed to dislike me. I could never understand why. I’m a mousy person, so I always just took it. She’d give me nasty jobs like cleaning the toilets or she’d make me skip breaks. Because I was 15, there were guidelines as to how much and what hours I could legally work and she often violated them. One night, she made me work past the legal limit by about fifteen minutes and the time clock would not let me punch out for that reason. She manually overrode the time clock to show I’d punched out on time so 1. I didn’t get paid the last 15 minutes and 2. the company didn’t get in trouble for violating labor laws. I tried to tell another manager the next time I worked, but the narcissistic manager claimed I was lying to get extra pay. Minimum wage was $4.25 then, so I would have gotten just over a dollar!
This woman continued to single me out and treat me poorly. One night, I called off work for the very first time because my mother was near death in the Intensive Care Unit after a cardiac arrest. It was the only time I’d ever called off, but the manager who didn’t like me happened to be the one I talked to when I called. She accused me of lying about my mother’s emergency. I remember wondering why she would accuse me of lying over something so serious when I had a perfect history for attendance. The narcissist went so far as to tell other managers I had called off and lied. It was a big company and people called off frequently, so I wonder if she did this to everyone? Now here’s where I got lucky…one of the other managers that she smeared me to knew my mother! She confirmed that my mother was indeed in the ICU and I hadn’t lied. The narcissist boss had to shut up after that! (At least for that day.)
The narcissist manager continued to give me a hard time and try to sabotage me no matter what I did. She accused me of doing things I’d never do or even consider doing, she continued with nasty comments and she continued telling stories. I finally quit and went to another company when I was 16. Several years later, I learned that the narcissist manager had been fired when everything about her behavior came to light.
Have you worked with a narcissist?