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16 September 2015

I hate petty tyrants!! (rant) How do you deal with the petty tyrants in your life?! Arrgh!!! I can't stand it today![More:]My tyrant today, like many days, is saying to me, "go tell your group that the sky is green."

So at first I stare at him in disbelief, unable to come up with a snappy answer, I mumble a bit, and he immediately implies that I'm not a team player.

So I go back to my computer and look up the anatomy of the eyeball, trying to formulate a one-sentence (because oh he's way too busy to listen to any more than that from a peon [+woman] like me) explanation about rods and cones and why the sky can't possibly be green. I'm smart, so I come up with one. (In the meantime, I vent to a few people, including a curious five-year-old who overhears, who is puzzled and says "he's wrong, the sky is blue!")

I present the sentence to the tyrant, who says, oh, yeah, ok, you're right, but stop badmouthing me to five year olds, and then immediately forgets the whole thing, except for the fact that I now have a reputation as a troublemaker.


And at this time, not dealing with the petty tyrant is not an option.

How do you do it?!

Hey, I always liked Tom Petty & the Tyrants (that was the name of his band, wasn't it? It's been so long.)

I was thinking about the last time I worked for a petty tyrant... it was the 1980s and I found another job as quickly as I could. (I did get my first exposure to Lotus 1-2-3 software there, which I used as a selling point in my resume, even though the tyrant severely limited my use to entering data to spreadsheets they had created... still, when hired to a new job, a much better boss gave me some 'breaking in' leeway and I learned the software in record time. Yay me.)

But if it's a situation of "go tell your group that the sky is green," I'd tell the group "the tyrant wants you to know the sky is green, that's his opinion". Leave it at that, practice options to venting... face palming, eye rolling (but not too much I once got a cramp in a conversation with a relative). Just document his stupidity well and cover your own ass. Sometimes that's all you can do.
posted by oneswellfoop 16 September | 16:31
Yup, I did that. And I got yelled at for not being a team player, and for turning everyone against him (he doesn't realize that lots and lots of people are against him, and not just because he thinks the sky is green).

I need a hug.
posted by Melismata 16 September | 16:43
Oh, and this is not a job, this is my (big) church, and he's the priest in charge. Everyone hates him, but he's gotten enough people on the board to drink the kool-aid so he's not going anywhere. And I grew up at the church, I love my group to the ends of the earth, I will not leave it just because of an asshole like him.

It's bad enough that I don't have a priest who gives hugs or even asks me how I am. I could deal with that. But being forced to tell my group that the sky is green is making me crazy (thank God, they're not buying any of it for a minute).

posted by Melismata 16 September | 16:49
Consider this a virtual hug.

Also, my advice is to think of him as a Power Monster and avoid him wherever possible. Also I often nod and smile and then forget to do anything the Power Monster said to do.
posted by bearwife 16 September | 17:40
Wait, you're not working for this person? He's not your boss? You're there as a volunteer? Then I would just smile at him and say, "Bless your heart!" in my very best southern drawl. Or, if you don't want to drawl, then yes, like bearwife said, start becoming "forgetful." "Oh, that's right, you DID ask me to do that, but then X or Y or Z happened and we just didn't get to it, darnit!"
posted by JanetLand 16 September | 17:45
JanetLand's answer is awesome.

I have also learned, in an unpleasant manner, that bullies and tyrants respond to and respect both strength and sucking up. I used to like people.
posted by theora55 17 September | 08:55
So true, theora55!! I need to remember that!
posted by Melismata 17 September | 10:02
...que fue traición de mujer. || The theme for this week's Photo Friday is : Sun and Moon