The Boss’s Tricks


In order to beat (as in defeat) your boss, you first need to know who he or she is and what tricks they have up their sleeves. Unfortunately, there are many things a boss can do just to keep you working and producing at minimum cost to the company. I have listed these under the heading “For disgruntled employees” on the website menu.

There is a common belief, arguably, that out of every 10 people, 4 do a normally good job, 4 are a bit under par and boss's tricksonly 2 do very well or have a high potential. If you happen to be in the top 20%, are willing to work hard, produce results, then you will have everything going for you. But what if your boss decides that you are in the 80%, which of course by definition most of us are in?

Pat on shoulder

Then probably you come home to your wife with a pat on your shoulder from your boss, but nothing else to show for. And how do you really know that your boss put you in the 80% group? As a matter of fact, there are a lot of tell-tale signs that will inform you just that and if you encounter one of the following boss’s tricks, then just know you are in such a situation.

I will touch on each one of them here, but later on, will go into more detail through posts on this site.

Performance appraisals

Performance appraisals are, by definition, the way to mediocrity, and all bosses will happily avail of them just to reach that.

Your boss comes to you and apologizes for last year’s lack of an end-of-the-year review and says that this year we will do it better by doing real performance appraisals. According to Wikipedia: A performance appraisal is a systematic and periodic process that assesses an individual employee’s job performance and productivity in relation to certain pre-established criteria and organizational objectives.

boss's tricks

Changing criteria

What if it is already October and you will be reviewed for that year on criteria that you only just knew a couple of months before it ends? What if they change criteria during the year without you knowing?

For any of you who have experienced this form of review, there could be so many criteria, that no one can possibly excel in all. It gives your boss the chance to find things about your performance that are not up to standard.

Management tool

Have you also noticed the difference in appraisals between your former boss and the new one? It might be totally different, but still not good enough. I have experienced a change in bosses, on average, every two years! Imagine what this could do to your self-confidence. In my experience, this is just another management tool to keep people at bay!

I have dedicated a separate post on the ins and outs of these monstrosities, you can read it here.

The use of Human Resources

I do not know what your experience is with HR, but mine is that they possess no power whatsoever within a company.

Firstly the name. It used to be named the Personnel Department and some people mistakenly took it that they were there to help the personnel, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Are they doing career planning for you? Do they solve issues you have with your boss? Will they help you fight against your boss? The answer is: no, no, and no!boss's tricks

Record data

They are solely there to handle matters pertaining to personnel like training, organizing yearly medical check-ups, monitor your holidays, special leaves, and the number of sick leave days. So someone further depersonalized Personnel to being called Human Resources, which is in the same line as Natural Resources, Financial Resources, etc. Now people have virtually become assets to the company. How convenient for the management to only talk about assets and not people?

So now you can imagine what happens if your boss, in case of a problem, suggest you going to contact HR! I have gone in-depth on the question of why HR needs to re-think their strategies here.

Divide and conquer tactics

Whilst your boss should be treating his staff on equal business-like and performance-based terms, some act boss's tricksdifferently. You might have seen before that your boss is being nice to some persons of his staff (for no apparent reason) and not so nice to others.

On the first note, your boss created an atmosphere of teamwork, dedication, and clearness with proven positive results. The second boss created confusion, distrust, individual behavior, and negative work output. How does he get away with it? Very easy, because his unit will not act as a unit. Some will say he is an ass hole, but others will say he is the best boss they ever had. Thus he will stay in power and you could still be his piss pole or worse. You will find a more detailed description of this subject here.

Passed over for promotion

How many times have you been passed for promotion? Did your boss tell you, that you were too young? Or too old? Maybe first the one for a number of years and then the other?  How frustrating is that!boss's tricks

Or this one. Your boss tells you he is going to promote the younger high potential and asks you, the more experienced one, to keep an eye on the guy, be like his mentor.

So what is really happening here is that you are passed over for promotion, but you are so good, and certainly better than the promoted guy, that you should be able to guide the newly promoted in the new job! Are you kidding me? See my detailed article about being passed over promotion unfairly here.

Here is a list of other topics I am going to address here as well:

  •  – dealing with a difficult boss, read on here
  •  – to be the scapegoat which can be read here
  •  – bossing or bullying by the boss, find the article here
  •  – working longer, less pay
  • many more as listed under the heading “For disgruntled employees”

Conclusion and perfect way out

I sure hope that my above summary has reflected some of your experiences and thoughts. I tell you that some of the above ploys have been tried on me and maybe on you too, but there must be more. 

I think that by no means the above list is exhaustive and I would request you to add to this with your personal experiences, which I am sure you must have.

If you are sick and tired about all this, then check out this opportunity to work from hboss's tricksome, be your own boss, and make some honest money in the process.

Feel free to comment and ask your questions and I will come back to you within 24 hours.


2 thoughts on “The Boss’s Tricks”

  1. Hi i work at a place where there is no unity and most co worker’s only care about themselves.i am a hard worker who holds himself to a higher standard but im the one who constantly gets pooped on while the slackers and condescending people get away with boss is very narcissistic and talks out his can i outsmart him and turn things my way without people realizing it at ropes end HELP ME

    • You remind me of myself at one point of time. It looks like the rest of the team is keeping together and you have placed yourself out of the group by working to a different standard. If your boss is really narcissistic, then remember one thing clearly: he will not accept any critical remark on him or on his position. Conversely, he will be very sensitive to praise.
      Try and help your boss to do his job, by focusing on the big picture: do what’s best for the company. Suggest ways in which he can use you best. See yourself as a complement and find a way to compensate for weaknesses. Does your boss for instance have a helicopter view? If not, then ask questions that lead him away from the details.

      Find something in your boss where you have indeed respect for. Try to find positive qualities, things that you admire in your boss (if necessary outside work).

      Find other mentors who help you to learn and grow. If you like your boss but are not getting the coaching you need, then broaden your network. Us your own initiative to sign up for projects in which you come into contact with other senior managers. Be explicit about your needs. For example, approaching another manager and say, “I’d like to know more about how you approach this topic or person. Do you mind if we take a few hours to sit and discuss in the next few months? “
      You can read more in my blog about 7 ways to outsmart your boss by clicking here.


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