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We’ve all seen the arrogant manager who feels a bit entitled because he has the reserved parking space and earns considerably more than those who report to him. But do these perks and higher salaries result in these clueless supervisors treating their employees unkindly and in some cases, down right mean? One researcher, Sreedhari Desai, says yes. A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder says the combination of ego, entitlement and arrogance can culminate into an impossible supervisor who’s anything but what a leader should be. Desai says the more compensation is increased for some executives, the meant they get and how far down the proverbial food chain you are determines how poorly you’re treated.

Desai and two co-authors, Jennifer George of Rice University and Arthur Brief, a senior at the University of Utah, wrote “When Executives Rake in Millions: Meanness in Organizations”. The founder says the paper is revealing and unflattering to some executives who recognize themselves, whether they admit it or not. This makes it difficult for new employees who come in wide-eyed and ready to make their mark. They’re faced with fair warnings from new co-workers and as a result, tend to approach the meanie manager with a large degree of caution. “No one wants to start a new career that way”, says A. Harrison Barnes.

It’s true. A recent study showed more than 85% of college graduates who were preparing to enter the job market cited interactions with management as their biggest stress factor. “Every new employee who’s barking on his career wants two things: to get along with his supervisor and to make a good impression”. An intimidating boss can make both efforts nearly impossible, says the founder.

So what’s a new employee to do when he realizes he’s now reporting to the boss from hell? Barnes says it’s important to not allow yourself to become a victim or allow any bullying. You’re there to do a job; if you can effectively pull this off on a daily basis, you should try to stay out of the line of fire and keep your eye on the ball. That said, he also reiterates that no one wants to go to a job each morning with knots in their stomachs and dreading the day ahead. For some, the solution is to get out fast before an ego-driven boss poisons every aspect of your life. While waiting it out at times can result in seeing the bully asked to leave the premises (or if karma’s involved, being publicly fired), it’s a gamble, especially if it’s already taking a toll on your work and personal life.

Bottom line, says Barnes, is that only you know your breaking point. It’s a tough decision, especially if it’s a job you’ve envisioned since you entered college. Regardless, it’s not the only dream job. Maintain your perspective and maturity, and you’ll come out ahead and who knows, maybe even you’ll find yourself in a management job with an advantage: you already know what not to do.

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