to think my boss is an absolute cow

(56 Posts)
poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:13:49

Have namechanged as I need anonymity

Where I work we have just taken on 6 interns to help give them some work experience (I'm also quite new), however in the three weeks since they were set on my boss has fired 3 of them publically because failure is not tolerated at our company.
The treatment of the remaining has been hideous, one of them in a meeting tried to suggest an amendment to one of her ideas and she shouted at him telling him to know he's fucking place and that interns should only speak when spoken to. Also another occaision one of the interns made her coffee and she shouted her saying it was the worst coffee she'd ever had and she couldn't believe how thick she was. Also the tasks they have been given to do are also ridiculous, for example this afternoon I walked into the office to see one of them he was polishing her shoes and when I went back to my desk I could see the two remaining girls washing her car in the car park.
Others in the office seem to find it hilarious and say that "life's hard at the bottom of the foodchain" but I feel dreadfully sorry for them as another phrase she uses is remember who's writing your reference. AIBU to think this is bullying and hideous behaviour.

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 02-Sep-13 20:16:17

YADNBU. Thats fucking awful behaviour from the management!

Totally disgusting

I hope someone shits on the front seat of her car

phantomnamechanger Mon 02-Sep-13 20:16:53

YANBU, how unprofessional of her, what a cow bag indeed.

who does she report to, could you tip them off about what shes doing, or does the buck stop with her?

Enb76 Mon 02-Sep-13 20:16:56

Totally bullying, I would be as appalled as you

poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:19:37

She owns the company with her husband so there is no-one to report her to.

wimblehorse Mon 02-Sep-13 20:24:59

Are they being paid? If not direct them to intern aware.

DontCallMeDaughter Mon 02-Sep-13 20:25:28

Are they interns from a school or university? If so, I'd let someone there know... Are the interns being paid? How long will they be there for? This really does sound terrible.

poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:31:32

They are all graduated this year and they are not being paid. They are going to be with us until the end of October provided she doesn't fire them.

misskatamari Mon 02-Sep-13 20:33:54

That's disgusting behaviour. What a total bitch and thoroughly horrible human being! How is she with permanent members of staff?

caramelwaffle Mon 02-Sep-13 20:35:56

She has no class does she, your boss...

caramelwaffle Mon 02-Sep-13 20:37:28

...a lack of wisdom also

poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:38:04

misskatamari- She's ok with permanent employees, she can be quite demanding but we are all quite well paid for what we do so previous to this I always thought that was the driving force behind this.

poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:38:33

behind it not this

Strokethefurrywall Mon 02-Sep-13 20:38:50

Fucking bitch.

hotritenow Mon 02-Sep-13 20:44:08

What is her husband like, could you try having a word with him, or is he as bad as her...nasty behaviour....

poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:47:40

hotritenow- Don't know her husband (only met him twice) as I'm quite new and he runs another company they own

I couldn't work for someone like that.

What a bitch.

Backtobedlam Mon 02-Sep-13 20:51:11

YANBU-I cannot imagine how anybody could be so cruel and full of self importance. I'm amazed they have stuck it out this long.

anonnymousey Mon 02-Sep-13 20:53:20

hhmm, maybe I should get me an intern...

SomethingOnce Mon 02-Sep-13 20:53:22

Stick it on YouTube?

anonnymousey Mon 02-Sep-13 20:56:10

Am reminded of a recent thread, do the caah and her husband run a photography balloon dog related company at all?

ChasedByBees Mon 02-Sep-13 20:57:23

Horrendous. Totally stupid too - Those interns may go to work for your competitors or clients. She could trash her business like this. Not to mention they probably hate her and might think of ways to get their own back before they leave...

poikea Mon 02-Sep-13 20:59:26

Backtobedlam- The thing is they arrive at the office before everyone else and wait outside and also last to leave nor do they show any signs of resentment towards their treatment.

ClaraOswald Mon 02-Sep-13 21:00:04

That borders on abusive behaviour.

Solopower1 Mon 02-Sep-13 21:04:29

I don't know what you can do officially, but you could offer the remaining interns your support, in any way you can.

Also, if you can bring yourself to do it, keep a diary of what you have observed (if it doesn't make you feel too much like a spy). Maybe one day someone will take her to court, and your evidence would be useful.

It's good that you have come on here, because maybe someone will be able to help.

meganorks Mon 02-Sep-13 21:05:43

Is this made up? Is it the plot of a film? Or TV show? I just can't believe this would actually happen in RL.

Portofino Mon 02-Sep-13 21:07:49

That's what I was thinking Meganorks.

HeyUGuys Mon 02-Sep-13 21:15:31

I can. I worked in an office as an administrator, i was told to clean toilets, empty skips, hang pictures, and clean the light bulbs. After 2 years of this i left to work for their rival company as IT manager, taking alot of customers with me grin

HaroldLloyd Mon 02-Sep-13 21:16:44

I worked for a firm of solicitors once and they had very young staff who would do the post man reception and that type of thing, they were spoken to pretty similarly to this. I used to see them in a glass fronted office getting barked at. Sounds like a company with a rotten culture and I would be looking for a new job.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 02-Sep-13 21:18:14

That is awful. I would raise it with HR and if appropriate I would confront her myself.

kali110 Mon 02-Sep-13 21:20:34

Absolute bitch. Needs reporting. Dont care if shes the queen of fucking england i hate bullies.

Jinsei Mon 02-Sep-13 21:22:08

Wow. Just wow.

I don't think I could work for someone like that. She sounds like a total bitch.

struggling100 Mon 02-Sep-13 21:23:19

Awful, awful, awful. Why do people act like this? I'd want to give them all a reassuring hug!

mumofthemonsters808 Mon 02-Sep-13 21:24:17

I hope your boss's child is an intern one day and gets similar treatment. If there's anything I hate it's someone picking on the young or abusing their power by bullying a kid. I would be mortified if my girl was treated like this on an internship. I'm hoping this is a wind up because it beggars belief that this type of thing goes on.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 02-Sep-13 21:25:39

Polishing her shoes ?

DanicaJones Mon 02-Sep-13 21:30:26


LillyNotOfTheValley Mon 02-Sep-13 21:32:56

What a cow.

Sounds like she is playing her own version of the Devil Wears Prada.
You should buy her a copy and put it on her desk so that everyone can see. That is what I did before firing the PA who thought it would be appropriate to send the intern 3 times to starbucks changing her order, before pouring the content of the last cup in the plants in front of the poor intern.

Report to your L+2. It is harassment and no company wants to end up in court over a bitch in her mid life crisis.

farrowandbawl Mon 02-Sep-13 21:46:13

I used to work for someone like that. She destroyed my confidence in my job, gave me the pointless tasks, shouted at me for daring to be more organised in front of the entire office. I was an agency worker. I complained to her boss AND the agency but nothing happened. I haven't worked in that sector since, I daren't. I asked for references afterwards but she refused to send if job hunting wasn't hard enough. It was a very cliquey place and she made it worse, if you weren't flavour of the month then god help you.

kali110 Mon 02-Sep-13 22:07:17

I had a bitch of a boss. Made my life hell. Nearly had a nervous break down. Nothing ever good enough. Protected and encouraged other bullies. After ten years of job i loved i left. Fucking hate them.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 02-Sep-13 22:41:27

Can you at least take the interns aside and tell them you will give them references if they ever need one so that they can leave if they want to??

ukatlast Mon 02-Sep-13 23:00:33

I blame Reality TV shows like Gordon Ramsey, Alan Sugar et al and the demise of trade union rights....if you are going to be unpaid to gain experience, I really think you should have more self-respect than to stick around and be treated worse than a slave.

Solopower1 Tue 03-Sep-13 07:31:16

It reflects badly on the intern if they leave. No, the boss holds all the cards - until someone works out a way of taming her. What can you do, when it's her company? Aren't there any effective laws that protect employees from bullying?

I am reminded of my first boss after university in the late 90s. He was an utter shit. I just accepted the treatment he meted out to me because it was my first proper job and I didn't know any better.

I could hardly believe it when I eventually left, got another job, and found that my new boss was nice. Still, I think I still tolerate bad behaviour at work a bit more than some because of my first job.

Mimishimi Tue 03-Sep-13 07:46:21

Maybe she's trying a 'tough love' approach to see who is made of metal? If it's out of character wrt how she usually treats her normal employees maybe she's picked up this harebrained management idea from somewhere.

Back2Two Tue 03-Sep-13 07:46:37

A different world of work from my own.
Oh my god. Washing the car? Polishing shoes?

I think the Devil wears Prada DVD is a good idea.

ivykaty44 Tue 03-Sep-13 07:47:55

Buy a copy of the DVD - TDWP and leave on her desk with a note that possibly she could give lessons as she makes the devil look rather sweet natured

marriedinwhiteisback Tue 03-Sep-13 07:49:06

Hmm. Interns, unpaid, first job after uni. Sorry but I think if the interns had any oomph they would have said "no, I'm not cleanng shoes and cars or being spoken to like that", put their coats on and walked. It's a role that never needs to be referred to again on any CV ever. If they're sitting there taking it, then I fear for their futures. It's their battle to fight not yours. If you detest the woman, find another job and move on but keep it sweet because you do need a reference.

BeckAndCall Tue 03-Sep-13 07:50:50

Your company must have a pretty good position in your industry to make it worth wanting to put themselves through that.

I wonder what they are promised at the end of the placement to make it worth while staying on - maybe one of the 6 of them gets a £100k pa apprenticeship? It can't be just a reference for them to take to your nearest rival?

OddSockBox Tue 03-Sep-13 07:51:17
cantreachmytoes Tue 03-Sep-13 08:02:34

I would imagine as a graduate today, an internship is almost essential to getting a paid job after. Perhaps they don't realise that this isn't ok because of shows like Hell's Kitchen etc.

I agree with poster above about telling them you'd give a reference.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 03-Sep-13 08:18:29

Hmm. Interns, unpaid, first job after uni. Sorry but I think if the interns had any oomph they would have said "no, I'm not cleanng shoes and cars or being spoken to like that"

Not quite the same but when I was a junior at a Big 6 accounting firm, I was once tasked with getting the train to heathrow, picking up one of the partner's cars from the long stay CP, and driving it back into central London for him. I made my flatmate come with me (on his day off) to navigate as I was so scared i'd just get lost or crash the car grin

BookFairy Tue 03-Sep-13 08:41:56

YANBU. I've been an intern. It is hell. They will probably be putting up with it as they have been promised a good reference and networking opportunities. Contact Intern Aware if you want to feel like you are doing something? As MPs have their own unpaid interns it's doubtful that the current system will change.

Pawprint Tue 03-Sep-13 09:31:46

Awful behaviour. Bullying and nasty, not to mention exploitative. Polishing her shoes? Dear God...

FruOla Tue 03-Sep-13 09:34:42

She sounds ghastly. And what on earth are they actually learning if they're spending their days polishing her shoes and cleaning her car?

TheSmallClanger Tue 03-Sep-13 10:44:01

Warn the careers or pastoral department of the local university, so others can be discouraged if this happens again. If you know any final-year undergrads there, tell them and let them spread it among themselves.

This kind of shite behaviour with no checks on it is why I will never, ever work again for a family firm, or a department run by a couple. If I can help it.

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