I happen to rewatch “The Devil wears Prada” and time and time again I would see take-aways. There are pros and cons of everything and every situation so we’re going to shed some light here on the given issue.
Female bosses are trending now since the rise of “Girl Power” back in the early 2000’s ( shoutout SpiceGirls). You can see more and more celebs or even executives in corporate positions that are taken over by women; female bosses. Presidents, CEO’s, Prime Ministers and highly important credible ranks have women spearheading the cause and leading nations.
So besides the compassionate, nurturing and strong women in power who lead with grace, intelligence and calm, we look at those who also possess similar qualities but just exclude the niceties.
Are bitchy bosses better at their job ?
Let’s take a look at our inspiration movie for this article.
Loosely inspired by Lauren Weisberger’s stint as a personal assistant to the acclaimed Anna Wintour of Vogue America (emphasis on the loosely inspired), the movie portrays an extremely demanding highly competent and larger than life slaving work ethic of a female boss, Miranda Priestly.
She bites into the very worth of every employee at Runway ( the magazine ) especially influencing the life of the protagonist ~ Andrea Sachs into a major energy, mindset and career shift.
The Con’s :
1.She creates a highly stressful work environment that is competitive and cut-throat.
As much as every company has that competitive side of progression, promotion and being ahead of the game, I believe this might not only encourage a lot of HR issues internally (employees might hate who they work with due to this competitiveness). It will also inculcate a very toxic work culture. Hence, highly strung people in a work place will cause damage to them emotionally and mentally through superficial relationships and/or office back stabbing.
2.She Demoralizes and Demeans as a way to incite competence
Ruling with an iron fist can go both ways frankly. It’s having years and years of experience (in the case of Anna Wintour) for people to actually recognise and work with her reputation and methods. In the case of Andrea Sachs, she was a virgin in the cruel reality of a real-world work place. “Where the adults worked.”
Her self esteem was crushed like it was a piece of crumpled up 2-ply tissue paper in a public restroom on the streets of Manhattan. Her ego was basically destroyed and blown into smithereens. I can personally say that I have had these kinds of bitchy bosses before in my life and I am just blessed that I survived many a cross-fires and the sniper shots too. Give it up for me, come on, whoop! Whoop!
This brutal method of reaching into the very depths of your personal potential to motivate you somehow, is a scary, uncomfortable and unpredictable experience. You either make it or break it. Bitchy bosses who demoralise others can either produce the best employees (for those who suck it up) or they can instigate murder and ignite depression.
3.She believes that she can not err and therefore is a Goddess
Believe it or not, I have experienced this and boy was it a mental game. It’s like a game of chess. You need to think, rethink and triple think before you make a move and act on something or even open your mouth.
When working under such heavy fire on the daily, you have to be ahead of the game and brace yourself for impact. If you don’t think on your feet, you’re doomed. If you do think on your feet and prove to be smarter, you’re also doomed (though you were not blatantly trying to prove a point). Personalties that are hard headed and illogical like this usually hosts some kind of insecurity behind that ego. Timeline therapy will be able to get them to the root of the issue and address this great desire to act like a Diva.
I’ve had my fair share of bitchy bosses (and by the way, even male bosses can be bitchy too). Though I can’t say about the ones I personally experienced cos none of them projected pro qualities, I’ll share about the lady bosses that were not bitchy at all. They were more stable in their mood and managed themselves quite gracefully. They possessed a quiet sort of power that no matter what, you’d want to do the best for them and perform at your optimum.
So allow me to share the experience of others about it.
1.She manages the balance of power and productivity
Bitchy bosses have a different approach. Some of which were able to stabilise the work dynamics and the position of power in the office. I guess it all depends on how well you know your people. Some bosses are highly skilled at sizing up a room or even any particular employee and they’d be able to gauge the level of productivity if John and Tina were to sit side by side. Would the job be done in faster the time?
Being a boss requires the supervisors below her to be working at her level too and cutting people some slack sometimes adds on to the already piling work. If you lighten the mood and be all gentle about it, the sense of urgency flies out the window and people get complacent.
2.She pushes boundaries with your potential
I know you don’t like to be pushed but bitchy bosses have this specialty to knock the sense into you. By keeping you on your toes, your skills further traject compared to other people in the same field in other companies. If the company has developed a certain quality of people under their wing, that itself creates a reputation of your skill level and competency. When applying for jobs, it might impress or create an impression in future employers that you are a very well groomed, trained and highly capable team player and you might just get hired due to that.
3.She rewards the resilient ones
This is reserved for the best of the best. The ones she view as the crème de la crème of the leaders and CEO’s of the future.
Though she may have that Cruella Devil vibe going on, and on most days we just had about enough of her diva-ness, at the end of the day she recognises the hard workers and those who run the show without any complains or talk backs. She rewards through promotion or recognition cos you were the ones that powered through, learned fast and developed a sense of proactiveness, initiative and basically grew a thick skin. There is longevity in your career if you wanted to go up the ranks cos she knows how capable, reliable and responsible you are.
Being a bitch is never a good thing but in certain industries, only a certain calibre of people can take the reins of an empire and run it efficiently like a well greased engine. It really does.
So to portray that outlook though for some is just a facade, it plays an important role in what she does. The no-nonsense, unforgiving and impossible type that everyone hates might just save the day or save your ass in sticky situations, you never know.
I’ve personally experienced bitchy bosses who would fight for the staff against all odds and against unacceptable customers who treat staff like slaves ( though sometimes they do too haha). They feel like a sense of pride to protect their own people and though you’re not up to standard, you’re still under their wing and their care. And you know they’ll take care of you.
So maybe bitchy bosses plays on many different spectrums. Some are bold and bitchy but they’re great at their job, highly skilled and respectable whilst others are just a bowl of mood swings, fickle-mindedness and egotistically blind to their inadequacy.
Whichever it is, you need to be aware and understand a few things. Bitchy bosses can be a man too ( they’re just called tyrants ) and bitchy bosses can be bitchy in front of you or maybe behind you. So watch out. You need to be on your toes, stay ahead of the game by knowing your work better than her maybe (so you have some bargaining chips to negotiate with).
And learn to to recognise between bitchiness or just plain psychotic. Remove yourself from toxic spaces and companies. It is never good for your mental health and growth. At the end of the day, “some” bitchy bosses mostly get the work done, maintains the office drama, promotes efficiency and grooms her employees. It’s those that don’t are the ones you should be more careful around.
Do you know of a bitchy boss? Or are you one too ? (wink wink)
If you’d like to personally follow me on my personal Instagram account here it is. Let me know in the comments on what you’d love for me to share and within my knowledge and capability, I will do my best to submit your request.