A Belated Thank You To A Toxic Manager

Preface: You may notice that I do not name the prior employer or manager in this post. That is intentional, and for legal reasons. If you know (or guess) whom I’m speaking about, that’s your conclusion, not mine. And if you think I’m talking about you… well, first, go read my Artistic License, and then… well, if the shoe fits, lace that right on up.

It has been a while since a prior employer and I … parted ways, largely thanks to the efforts of one middle-manager in particular.

And to that manager, I would like to say, thank you.

Thank you for shoving me out of the ableist, emotionally (and eventually, thanks to your friend, physically) abusive environment you carefully nurtured.

Thank you for forcing me to realize that your claims that "everywhere is like this" were complete and utter lies.

Thank you for making me find multiple employers — both short and long term — who afforded basic human decency and respect to their employees. Including me.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see that there are places where it’s about doing the work, and the work making the manager look good, instead of stealing credit (and training opportunities) from the people actually doing the work.

Thank you for not letting me stagnate there like two of my peers, slowly spiraling into anxiety from conflicting mandates and impossible requests.

I suspect you’ll read this as me being bitter, or angry, or something like that. Perhaps you’ll think I’m trying to smear your reputation.

I’m not. I really am thankful. {1}

But see, this post is not actually for you.

It’s for your employees.

Because I’m not going to lie and say it’s been easy — some parts were, some parts were awful. It’s still not easy; there are always difficulties with any profession. I took a heck of a financial hit, and it’s a changeable and uncertain employment landscape.

But despite all those difficulties, despite the uncertainty, not only was I able to find someplace where workers were treated like people, but I found several of them.

I’m reporting back: It is not like that everywhere. You can work somewhere and be treated with respect.

So while I thank that past manager for (unwittingly) freeing me from the toxic work environment they carefully fostered, I write this mostly for those who still suffer from the toxicity of managers and employers like them.

I’m writing this for the reader who thought that I was describing their boss.

I suffered and did my work for years before finally being shoved out, and only THEN really realizing that nobody deserved to be treated like that. Not even me.

I’m writing this so maybe they won’t waste as many years of their life suffering through an emotionally abusive, toxic work environment as I did.

{1} And anyway, if this doesn’t describe you, then I’m not talking about you, am I?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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