Bully and narcissist combined

May 30, 2007, 8:08 PM UTC
Fortune

A reader from Florida writes:

My crazy boss is just that. I think she is bi-polar. She’s a bully and narcissist combined. A little backstory; she is about 50, single, lives with her mother in a small 2 bedroom apartment. She was once close to marriage and she claims her mom blew it for her. I don’t believe that after getting to know her personality.

I started my job about 6 months ago and she seemed normal. She interviewed me and really was great. She chased me down the hall to make sure my second interview went well with the CEO. She called me back twice in between interviews too. I thought she was cool and again, normal.

Then, about 2 months into the job I noticed some irritation and aggravation in her. Then the mood swings. They happen like lightning, you don’t know it’s coming or where it’s going to strike. She seems to be ok or even in a good mood; then all of a sudden the “wrong” question or statement out of my mouth and BAM!! I get hit from behind – sucker punched. I’m learning just not to approach her unless someone else is in the room because then she actually responds to me like a human being. Otherwise, she is extremely condescending and rude.
I don’t know how to handle her personality or lack of one. I tried ignoring her for the first time last week and I was much happier! I actually got a lot of work done without being upset or stressed about her attitude toward me. It seemed to work until the end of the day when I did need to speak to her and she was very cold and very blunt in her response.

I find it difficult to work in this situation for many reasons; one, being I’ve never had this problem before with any co-worker. Two, I get along with everyone else in my office very well. Three, I’m her assistant and that makes it even more difficult as we are supposed to work closely.

New category for your next book: The bitter old hag syndrome

What do you think? Is this boss crazy?