A profile of the chronically angry boss

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in Your Office Coach

Q: "The owner of our company flies into uncontrollable rages. He’s like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum, only much scarier. He curses and yells, turns red, and has bulging veins in his forehead. Once he even put his fist through the wall. Some employees are so fearful that they leave the office whenever he gets angry.

"We never know when something completely trivial will set him off. For example, he gets mad about the way papers are stapled. The staple must be absolutely horizontal and one-quarter inch from the top and side of the paper. Otherwise, he will be furious.

"Even when things are going extremely well, he finds something to complain about. Nothing we do is ever enough, and no one dares to disagree with him about anything. His wife also works here, but she never confronts him about his temper. I actually think she’s afraid of him. How do we handle this situation?" Browbeaten Employee

A: Your volatile boss is a truly scary guy with serious psychological issues. He gets upset during good times because his anger is not caused by external circumstances. He’s just a chronically angry person who is constantly in search of a target. His wife undoubtedly has good reason to be afraid.

Because this man owns the business, no one has the power to make him change, so you need to start searching for a healthier place to work. Even if he never inflicts bodily harm, the stress created by his unpredictable outbursts will be damaging to your mental and physical health.

Have a boss with a temper? Here are some suggestions: How to Handle a Hothead Boss.

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