Now that I’m self-employed I wake up at midday, take 7-day weekends and … I’m out of work.
One self-employment’s biggest downer is not having a boss to blame when things go pear-shaped. Of course, I could blame myself, but that would mean taking on something called ‘responsibility’, which is against my company’s motto: ‘It’s not me, it’s them’.
Next on the downer list is not being able to take part in that timeless tradition of ‘Boss Bashing’, which I always found not only entertaining but very therapeutic. You might have experienced it. After work, you’re having drinks with fellow co-workers and all of a sudden it turns into ‘The Great British Boss Off’:
‘I can’t stand him! He’s a #$*beeeeeeeeep!’
‘Did you see the objectives he’s set us? What a *#beeeeping beeeeeeeeeep!!
I’d chip in, ‘He has more breasts than me!’, which to be frank isn’t difficult.
To continue with this tradition, I sometimes Boss Off in front of the mirror, ‘You’re really lazy! You need to get up earlier …’ but quickly get distracted by the fact that actually, he did have more breasts than me. So much for productivity.
I miss having a boss to blame and trust me, there have been many. A quick calculation revealed I’ve had more bosses than lovers (never overlapped). This is not only sad but stupid, as everyone knows an affair with your manager means ‘‘boss with benefits’. Perks like undeserved promotions, extra bonuses and trips to Tenerife for ‘The Team’ (of 2).
I don’t miss all my ex-bosses of course. Some were nasty, brown-nose climbers who cared more about their Prada shoes than their employees. Knowing the price of those designer shoes and how unproductive I was, they did have a point.
Others were like the world’s economy, always on the verge of collapse. Like that finance director who was found naked near his home mumbling, ‘I can’t! I can’t!’. He wasn’t talking about his sex life either. He recovered completely and today has a very profitable business helping companies deal with stress.
Luckily, I’ve also worked for some great people. Case example Sharon (to protect her awesomeness that’s her real name), who pioneered working from home years before it became common practice. She told me, ‘If I can’t trust you, I won’t hire you’.
Shocking! Didn’t she know I was Spanish? She was always first on the firing line, literarily. Her team (myself included) was made redundant shortly after she was fired.
The problem is the boss/employee relationship is like an arranged marriage, in that both sides are selected by individuals other than the couple themselves. The difference is that while in arranged marriages the parents have their children’s best interest at heart, in the workplace Human Resources has no heart.
What to do? Well, a group of disgruntled employees and I have developed an app to obtain information about future bosses before committing to the relationship. After all, WE (the ordinary employee) send CVs and references, yet we have absolutely nothing on our future managers. It’s not fair!
This is where BossAdvisor comes in. Like TripAdvisor, the watchdog type platform that operates with user-generated content on travel, BossAdvisor will do the same for managers, directors, CTO’s, CFO’s, CEO’s and Priti Patel.
To avoid unpleasant, time-consuming lawsuits, only first names will be used and foul language will not be admitted (even if your boss deserves it).
Our plan is to reach 66 million reviews (UK population), which is very ambitious, but not as farfetched as the yearly objectives most managers impose on us.
BossAdvisor has a three-tier rating system:
☹ BAD - Keep on looking.
☹☹ Very Bad - Don’t even think about it.
☹☹☹ TERRIBLE - Makes the Job Center look like paradise.
Our Pilot Plan has just started and it’s had a massive response! Here are some examples:
☹ BAD - CONTROL FREAK FRED you need a pass to go to the toilet, even when
working from home.
☹☹ Very Bad - JACK STABS YOUR BACK
☹☹☹ TERRIBLE - BIG EGO ED thinks he’s God. Except God is little humbler.
Want to join the Pilot Plan? Post your reviews! Be part of what will go down in history as
'The Great British Boss Off'
Sonia Aste is an engineer, writer and comedian who has a talent for holding a grudge.