About Me

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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Horrible Bosses

People asked if I went to see the movie, Horrible Bosses, that came out a few weeks ago with Jennifer Aniston and others. The answer is, “No.” Nothing against Jen & friends, but I’ve survived horrible bosses, so I didn’t need to see the screen adaptation. I’m not being cranky or anything (okay, maybe I am) but anyone that’s worked a while has survived their share of supervisors that were far from super and managers from hot places with pitchforks.

Personally, I can report being happily managed by a guy who is supportive and encouraging. That’s not always been the case, but I have been more fortunate than most. In the sales part of my career, so much is about producing results; if the numbers are good, you are rarely disturbed. Many of my human resource roles had very tangible outcomes with deadlines and project milestones that allowed me a fair amount of autonomy. You probably see a theme, that freedom and not being micromanaged is very important to me. But, I’ve had some real doozies—and I won’t bore you with them here

Horrible Bosses, the movie, exceeded financial expectations grossing $28 million for the weekend after 4th of July and it earned $10 million the Friday night it opened. This is an R-rated comedy about employees plotting to kill their bosses.  A lot of people must have had a really rough week at work. On a more serious note, bosses are changing a lot. With fewer dollars to invest in leadership development; employees end up with managers, bosses, supervisors and not real leaders. I hear about managers that would have never been promoted 20 years ago—who have made it because of their tech savvy.

There is an absence of training for leaders in companies to understand how to manage multiple generations in the workforce. Today there are potentially four generations working together at your workplace. The Traditionals—born before 1946. Baby Boomers born 1946-1964. Generation X-born 1965-1981. The Millennials (aka Gen Y) born after 1981. No wonder the directors, leaders, managers, supervisors, team leaders are bewildered. Each generation has a different view of being motivated, rewarded, recognized, and their work ethic, attitudes on work/life and perspective on life in general is shaded with the lens of their entire generation. With budget cuts, recessionary fears and new regulatory environments in many industries; I’m enjoying my role as an individual contributor. Leaders have a tougher role than ever. HR professionals (I am a lifetime member of the HR community) have a tough job designing employee benefit plans, compensation arrangements and employee relations strategies to attract and retain these disparate communities.

So, I won’t be visiting the local multiplex to see Horrible Bosses, I lived through that already. You can share your views on today's bosses (horrible or not) anonymously on this post by clicking the comments button and choosing "comment as" anonymous.


  1. I've also endured my share of horrible bosses. Sometimes I think when we work somewhere for years we can lose touch with just how horrible our bosses are because you've become accustomed or desensitized to their crazy behavior. It's only when speaking with others about it or when you leave and work somewhere else, that you really realize just how horrible they really were. I wish I was lucky enough to be able to say that I had a great boss now, but I do not. And for that reason, I will definitely see this movie at some point! :) In fact, I hear from a colleague that one of the characters acts exactly like one of our bosses!

  2. - People born before 1946 were called
    The Silent generation....

    - People born between 1946 and 1959 are called
    The Baby Boomers.

    - People born between 1960 and 1979 are called
    Generation X,

    - And people born between 1980 and 2010 are called
    Generation Y,

    Why do we call the last group Generation Y?

    Y should I get a job?
    Y should I leave home and find my own place?
    Y should I get a car when I can borrow yours?
    Y should I clean my room?
    Y should I wash and iron my own clothes?
    Y should I buy any food?

  3. I LOVED the movie Horrible Bosses and I have lived through more one particularly Horrible Boss. The movie had all of the victims of the bosses as men even though 2 of the bosses were men and one was female. Some of the worse bosses I have heard of are women though. I,m not sure if they have to prove they are tough or favor other women who report to them or if they are insecure or on a power trip. I just turned 40 and I already feel old where I work. I am contantly training 20 year olda and they quit but I have not seen anyone near my age hired here in years.

  4. My horrible boss is a 28 year old know it all. His father just happens to own the company. This kid is so arrogant and rude in how he communicates to employees. I read the post about going to work for a company you worked for before and believe me in a family owned company nothing is going to change to much. I am looking for a new job because since Junior lost his job and came into the family business, I can’t take it. On Monday mornings I am physically ill. After 17 years here and just turning 52 it may not be easy but I am outta here!!!!!! I would rather be a greeter at WalMart than be disrespected like this. I am spending my vacation on a job search and hitting a couple of job fairs.

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