Politics makes crazy bedfellows

A reader from Indiana writes…

There are about 10 of us working under a narcissistic boss. She is also a pathological liar (although this seems to be another of the symptoms of narcissism). The most blatant lie is when she brought in a commercial cheesecake in the original packaging and claimed she made it, and she wasn’t kidding. She said the packaging was something that she had lying around.
The biggist problem is that she is an elected official (Finance Director). At this point she is just appointed as her predecessor retired mid-term. She was able to fool many people including the mayor. About half of us met with the mayor in the fall. At that point he admitted that he also knew she wasn’t right, but we had 2 options-look for another job or find someone to run against her in Nov.(2007) and he said he had someone in mind, our boss’s former assistant, who has since transferred to another department. due to the stress she has put on him. We do know that the mayor is helping us (behind the scenes) in seeing to it that she isn’t elected in Nov., but we don’t know how we can make it till then. The city could get rid of her, but they don’t want egg on their face or admit they made a mistake. She is a bully, a blatant liar and puts so much of her work on us that we can’t complete our work, then threatens to write us up if we are behind on our own work. None of the other Finance Directors have expected us to do their work (which she takes credit for). Looking for another job, isn’t an option. Some of us are in our 50’s, some have been there for a long time and within a few years to retirement. Several of us are on anti-depressants, although that doesn’t help the stress. We all have a hard time falling asleep on Sunday evening, feel sick to or have knots in our stomachs thinking about going back on Monday. We are about 90% sure that she is going to lose the election, but how to deal with her till then, and what is going to happen when she loses in Nov. until Jan. when the new person takes office? Will we have hell to pay?

Please tell us how we can deal with her, we’ve read all the tips- agree with her, look awestruck when she tells the stories, etc. Is there anything else we can do to get her out of there? We have thought about going to the head of HR, although we’re sure she knows what is going on. We are a united front, and lean on each other, but sometimes it isn’t enough.

It is really sad that a president can be impeached, but we have to continue dealing with her because the current administration doesn’t want the embarassment. Thank you for listening.

What do you think? It’s easy to tell people to be patient but how do you deal with the fear and loathing, particularly on Sunday night? Some possible answers lie in the strength this office staff draws from each other. How can they work together to knock off this wicked queen?

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