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5 Tips for Surviving An Evil Boss, A Guest Post+Giveaway (INT) from Cathy Yardley

5 Tips for Surviving an Evil Boss

Before I wrote TEMPING IS HELL (and before I was writing full time), I spent a big chunk of my “working life” as a secretary.

Right out of college, I got a job at an ad agency that put the “fun” in “dysfunctional.” I worked there for less than a year. During my stint there, I clocked a 108 hour week, including a 36 hour “day.” (I wound up writing about that particular slice of hell in my book L.A. Woman.)

Since then, I’ve worked for the crazed and the crazy, the clueless and, occasionally, the evil.

It’s all been fodder for this book and the Necessary Evil series. So from my years slugging it out in the cube farm, here are my 5 tips for surviving an Evil Boss.

1. Identify your brand of demon.
There are a number of species of Evil Boss. There’s the OCD Perfectionist (“the note you left for me is in the wrong font!”), the Telepath (“why aren’t you done with that thing I forgot to tell you to do?”), the Multiple Personality (“You are amazing! You are an idiot!”), just to name a few. It might take a little while, but nail down what sort of crazy you’re dealing with.

2. Find out its triggers and weak spots. For some, it’s making sure you check in before you leave for the day. For others, it’s making sure his/her emails are all printed out (yes, printed. I have actually done this.) Do the little things that will pave the way; avoid the small, stupid triggers. It will make the bigger battles easier.

3. Do not use logic. 
Trying to explain to a whackaloon Evil Boss why his/her demand is insane is like trying to explain to a rampaging bear why he shouldn’t eat you. Logic is not your friend. Instead, develop what I call Very Serious Interested Face, while internally repeating a mantra, like this is about him not me, this is his stuff not mine. Usually, if they’ve been heard, the storm blows over and you can go about doing what you need to do.

4. Use writing.  
When you’re told to do something, save emails, take notes…repeat notes before your Evil Boss can wander off to wreak havoc elsewhere. Especially if you have a Changeling (“File this!” and ten minutes later “Why are you filing that? I never told you to file that!”) It helps to say, “I want to make sure I do the best job. Could you make sure this is what you told me to do?” And if they try for a quick change, you can say, “Oh, but when we spoke, I took down these notes and repeated them to you. Was there a misunderstanding?” (Note: keep Very Serious Interested Face in place. Smug Grin, while tempting, will not help.)

5. Last resort: voodoo. 
I learned this trick from a production manager at that ad agency I told you about, and strangely, it does work like gangbusters. It’s not “bad” voodoo – it’s a binding spell. It doesn’t wish harm on the intended. It just keeps them the hell away from you.

Take a small piece of paper with a person’s name – a copy of a signature is best – and fold it nine times. Wrap it with a red string tied with nine knots. Pop that bad boy in a bottle (I use empty spice bottles) with some garlic, and seal it with candle wax. Then throw it in the freezer. Within a few days, they will usually either back off or mysteriously get out of your hair. I’ve seen bosses get transferred, clients switch offices or account managers, and in one bizarre case, a woman went through a complete personality switch. (As in, apologizing profusely and bringing in baked goods.) Keep the bottle in the freezer until the person’s out of your life. 
Sometimes you’re stuck working for an Evil Boss. Keeping a sense of humor tends to help – and I hope TEMPING IS HELL can help keep a smile on your face!

I have a lot of loves. My son’s laugh. My husband’s kisses. Walking the streets of Paris with a fresh brioche. Watching the leaves turn in fall. Listening to a mélange of Modest Mouse, Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse while driving down the coast, against the blink of the ocean.

But the loves of my life – reading and writing – are also the demons that drive me. If you’re like me, I hope you enjoy my books… and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll be encouraged to write yours, as well.
 Find Cathy:


Kate O'Hara can't wait until this temp assignment is over. The woman who hired her is a psychotic pageant queen, her coworkers are convicts-turned-clerks, and it's so boringly corporate it makes her skin crawl. Even her sexy-as-sin boss, famed billionaire Thomas Kestrel, isn't enticement enough to keep her there. Once she makes enough to pay off her bills, she's out. Or so she thinks...


Next thing she knows, she's accidentally signed over her soul. Literally. And she's discovered Thomas's real mission: to kill thirteen bad guys in one year, in order to get his—now his and Kate’s—souls back.


From learning to boost the morale of some paper-pushing demons to navigating her way through blood-red tape, Kate has to work closely with her super-hot supervisor and get her flaky act together, before somebody clocks her out—p permanently!

Buy this book
Amazon US/UK | TBD US/UK 

One ecopy of Temping Is Hell.
Open to all.
Ends December 11th 2012.
NOTICE: Winner will receive the ebook on release date (mid-January 2013).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blodeuedd said...

Lol, great advice ;) I shall keep it in mind if my boss gets weird

Unknown said...

*snorts* Duly noted. Though yesterday, an email couldn't save me from my boss' affinity to changing his mind. I still ended up thinking murderous thoughts...

Cathy Yardley said...

JR -- the mind-changing thing's one of the worst. I know a few other tricks (one involving Visine) but they're pretty evil themselves! That said, there was a certain comfort imagining them when a crazy boss was yelling at me. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

lol! That is a great post! Sounds like you had lots of fun. :D Thank you!

Cathy Yardley said...

:) Thanks, Melissa! This has been a lot of fun.

Unknown said...

Great post! An awesome balance of humor and reality, with a little wicked on the side. But I wouldn't know anything about those terrible bosses-- mine is a perfect angel. :)

Darmaris said...

Thank you very much!
I don't win something often and now Gmail decided that your letter is spam(((( Hacked by Grinch?
So glad I checked)))

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