Bad Boss of the Week: Lying in the Job Description

Being the owner of a small business, you have a responsibility not only to your company’s success but to the employees you hire. Some of you are great at this and some of you, well, stink. I received this email this week.

I took a newjob with the understanding that I would be an in-house subject matter expert and travel infrequently. There was work in the local area, but I was not given any of it. I have been 100 percenttravel since January 13, 2014, and was 50percenttravel for five months before that. Travel means go to the client site (out of state with 4 to 5 hours travel each way from my airport to client site) on either Sunday night or Monday morning, with 40 hours of client on site time. No comp time and PTO required for any time off (even an hour). I was just told this was going to be my role for the organization. High turnover at my level and one level less experience. Small privately owned business with nearly 75% turnover per year. I love what I do, but hate the way I am treated.

To keep reading, click here: Bad Boss of the Week: Lying in the Job Description

(Note: This is the first in a new series, let me know if you think this should continue.)

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16 thoughts on “Bad Boss of the Week: Lying in the Job Description

  1. You love what you do? Sure doesn’t sound that way. You love the things you can pick and choose about the the job, dislike the others. The job is the total job – not what you wish it to be.
    Have you talked to your boss about this? If not, stop complaining until you do.
    Evil – it doesn’t appear this employee is being mistreated, they are just expected to do the job. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t the job they signed up for. But it is the job now. Either do it or find another.

    1. OMG I hate this theory. “Just do what they tell you to do. This is the job.”

      There’s apparently a good reason why this company has high turnover. And saying “Either do it or find another.” is cruel and naive. If the LW hadn’t been lied to, she would never have accepted the job in the first place.

  2. If they told that the job required “infrecuent travel” and now it’s travelling all the time and that time is not compensated apropiately, sure, the best thing is to change job. But that doesn’t change the fact that the employee was lied. Also, if they lie to you about travel, they could be liying about other important things. That is mistreating.

    First the lies, then not bothering to give proper explanation or compensation. No wonder there’s 75% turn over.

    But the funny thing it’s that you said that “job is the total job”. No, not really. In IT you can work from home in the office, in client’s place or a mix of them. But the job it’s with a computer and it’s the same in all that places. Sure, working in client’s place involve more people skills, but the essence remains. So this assessment that “either put up or just quit” is… shortsighted. Anyway, that company would face consecuences in the medium/long term when they can’t find people who want to work for them or the one that remain took “liberties” to make up for the mistreatment.

  3. (I’m not seeing a link to the full post.)

    If they were misinformed, in a stark and dramatic way, about the job they were applying for, they have *every* right to complain. If the writer had known it would be 50 – 100% travel, they would likely never have applied to the job in the first place. Yes, they can now find a different job, but that doesn’t make the employer’s behaviour acceptable. It certainly isn’t ethical.

    With a 75% turnover rate, there is something drastically wrong in the company, and if this is a typical example of how employees are treated, it’s not hard to see what that is.

  4. Thanks for letting me know of the missing link. All fixed now.

    Also comments are back, yeah! For a while I was overrun by spam, so I added new filters and it filtered out EVERYTHING. So happy to have comments again.

  5. I vote for this recurring feature! I am sometimes a bad boss too and this might help me. Plus it makes me feel better about my sometimes-bad boss too, who is not this bad.

  6. A bad boss is someone causes infighting among departments and one who offers and then reneges promotions/raises. An even worse boss is the HR department that lets him get away with it!

  7. Hi Suzanne. I like the new feature, the only thing that was missing for me was your distinctive voice. One of the things that makes your column so unique is the way you speak directly to people. This felt like you were speaking to a broader, undefined audience and it felt generic which is a big contrast to the rest of your work. (Example,”I would advise you to begin looking for a new job” in place of “I would advise this person to begin looking for a new job.”)

    1. Thanks, Alyssa. You make a very good point and I hadn’t thought about that. My writing has moved over the years from the direct “this is what you, personally, should do” to the general “here are 5 ideas!”

      I like the former a lot better. Editors like the latter. I don’t know quite what readers like! I want to push more towards the former.

      1. Voting for the former as well – it makes your column more personal and more interesting.

  8. I don’t see any point in lying in your job description, because if you really need engaged and loyal employees and want to keep your turnover low you will not take such a thoughtless step. That’s not a good way attract talent to your company in any way and obviously such a boss doesn’t care about company culture and reputation.

  9. I never cease to be amazed by the ridiculous percentage of “professionals” who live by: “Never tell the truth when a lie will do…..”

  10. The article is link is working now, and it’s very good. Thanks. Evil HR Lady (!)

    I wrote a book all about dealing with difficult bosses which might be of interest to your readers:
    I can’t see how to contact you about adding this link – I’m sure you’ll delete it’s not appropriate.

    Best Wishes,

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