I’m seriously considering trying to find a way to get a corporate internal-relations facilitator (I don’t know if they have them in Taiwan; they do in the West) to work with my department and my boss at work. Here’s the scoop.
My boss is a complete, screwed-up, nut case. He’s seriously paranoid and insecure. I don’t mean it as a personal insult, but as an objective analysis I believe it’s fair, heck an understatement, to say that he is mentally ill. In his mind, everyone is scheming and evil (particularly the heads of other departments and top management in our company), so our staff is never asked to handle matters in a simple, direct manner (for fear of getting stabbed in the back), instead being directed to use complex psychology ruses to compensate for everyone else’s evil, as set out for us in lengthy conferences.
He is totally incapable of thinking by himself, but calls members of the department in to his office for endless meetings, usually running over an hour per meeting, one after another, till some days I’ll spend 3 or 4 hours in his office, other days longer. My co-worker gets it worse and averages at least 5 or 6 hours a day in there, listenening to stories, strategy, analysis and receiving instructions for tasks we’ll never be able to accomplish because we’re always in conference.
The boss never does anything personally. Does not read emails (literally: one must deliver everything to his secretary to give him hard copies). Does not write them (I literally have not seen 1 email from him in the 3 months I’ve been there). Does not write anything, not even 1 page letters or memos, instead telling us how to write them, then calling us in for conferences on the letter and requiring us to revise it over and over, sometimes 5 or 6 times for a 1 page letter he could have written himself in 15 minutes. Sometimes he will assign 2 or 3 people to write that 1 page letter, all of us going through the conferences and revisions described above.
As a consequence of the above lunacy, a few of us end up going home regularly between 7:30 and 9 pm, when we should be done at 6:30 or 7 if our boss would just let us sit down and work (and would do some of the work himself).
And then there’s the harassment. Several members of our department have been threatened with being fired, jailed or killed by him (ludicrous as the jail and death threats are, he doesn’t appear to be joking, and the persons receiving the threats are seriously bothered by them). Others have been told, “if you don’t do____, I will make your life miserable” (of course he already does).
The sad thing is, I work for a great company, the pay’s good, the work’s very interesting, the only problem is our lunatic boss. Years ago I was on the board of a non-profit entity in the US and we hired a corporate trainer to come in and work with us for a day, trying to improve internal relations, improving morale and productivity.
Do such corporate trainers exist in Taiwan? Can someone provide me with contact info for one/some? Do you think there’s any chance such a person, if required to work with our dept by HR or management, could work together with all of us, then individually with staff and the boss, and in the end tell the boss how screwed up his ways are and recommend certain particular changes in order to improve morale and productivity? Or, is that a fantasy with regard to (a) a 55 year-old adult who is mentally ill and fixed in his ways, and (b) in a Chinese society, that believes the boss is king and doesn’t care much for touchy, feely social worker type stuff?
Incidentally, I believe the top-management knows a little about how screwed up he is, and that’s part of the reason they like to beat up on him emotionally, but of course that doesn’t help, only making him more insecure and taking it out on us more. And HR also knows there’s a problem; an HR member told me that there have been lots of complaints about him in exit interviews with those who could no longer stand working for him.
What do you think? Any chance of making a change?