I read with a great deal of interest the excellent work place stress article written by Christine Porath where she declares that Mean supervisors or bosses could have killed her dad.
She still has painfully resolute visions of her father laying in a hospital bed with electrodes attached to his bare chest as doctors tried to resuscitate him during a heart attack that Christine felt was induced by rude and tyrannical bosses.
She specifically mentioned the incivility of two bosses that led to her beloved father’s early passing. She professionally did not name names, but believes the actions of these two callous despots deleteriously affected the health of every worker in their purview.
Christine produces an enumeration of unpleasant to blatantly offensive attributes possessed by bosses who create a hellish work environment for their subordinates to wit, interrupting in in mid sentence, having lower expectations for their “favorite employees”, caustic nonverbal action(disgusted countenances when greeting employees etc.), hibernating to their e-gadget rather than having open door policy regarding employee grievance.
Porath doubts civility levels will improve based on data from surveys and on the fact that many head honchos feel like they will be taken advantage of if they are too nice to their subordinates.
Finally, she cited the work of Charles Horton Cooley regarding the way many of us build self esteem at work. He posits that we use our coworker’s body language towards us such as whether they acknowledge us in hallway with a smile, truly listen in engaged fashion, or walk with head down in dismissive manner to help determine if real respect exist.
An individual can only tolerate so much incivility before stress related health issues such as ulcers, depression, and heart problems manifest.
Have you ever felt that it is the tyranny of the day to day that is the true tragedy of our existence? The occasional mass shootings are certainly abominable, but it is that everyday contact with obnoxious and mean people at work that can drag us down and make us miserable .