At my first job, I had the bad luck to get a manager that was very toxic.
This reached the point of him driving most of the team to quit. In the three months I was there, he drove 5 people to quit (in a team composed of 12 people), and was getting close to drive the rest of the team to quit.
To give a perspective of why he was toxic:
- Constantly undermining every one's work by saying thing like "I could have done it in one hour" or "That was really easy, don't be too proud of yourself"
- Constantly failing to meet deadlines, which resulted in everyone else (not him) staying overtime trying to make things right (We once had to wait for 3 weeks, for a vital piece of information, and when he delivered it to us, we were one week behind the deadline).
- Berating the team for using their rights, such as overtime pay.
At the time, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to leave without too many consequences. But a colleague there was not so lucky, as he needed this job to sustain his family.
This made me wonder, if there exists any method to, at the very least, mitigate the stress induced by this kind of manager? When quitting is not an option, and you have to stick with the job?
As suggested a little more precision on the situation:
This happened in France, in a region where the supply of software developers is far higher than the demand, and leaving your job can lead to several months of job hunting.
In France, when you quit, it is harder to get monetary compensation than if you are let go.
Also, there were only two people above this manager, there had already been complaints made, but they did not do anything, because he had way too many responsibilities, and the company was basically tied to him, for better or for worse.
From the answers and comment, it seems most people agree on the fact that quitting is always an option. I do not think this is true, it might be true in some areas of the world, but in many other, it's not.
While France is not the worst country in the world when it comes to employment, there is a lot of things that makes it quite hard to find a job, especially in areas such as Software Development. Most companies asks for diplomas, not experiences.
I did not think that getting in the specific of this colleague's situation was necessary, but I think I was wrong, the reason he was not able to quit :
- His wife was pregnant, and was due in less than a month (at the time I left) with their 2nd child.
- They had a mortgage on their house, so moving was not an option.
- He had already works in other industries, but due to health conditions he could not keep working physical jobs, he was not disabled, but was advised to stop those job to avoid becoming disabled.