Book Review: When the Boss is Wrong, by Sibichen K. Mathew

Once past the college life, we’re said to be entering the ‘real world’. In a way, that is true. Even in college, we’d have retained some semblance of childhood, when in reality we’re well on our way to that ‘real world’. For anyone in the corporate/professional world, the first order of business would be getting a boss, I suppose. That’s a change we’re to embrace. Up until then, we did not have anyone telling us what to do (parents don’t count) and we were headed somewhere, not led somewhere. Through the corporate/professional life, the bosses keep changing. As the author himself says in the early parts of this book, there’s even a chance that we imbibe some of his/her qualities. For one who keeps shifting between different companies, there’d be an idea of what the boss is like. Through this book, Sibichen introduces the reader to many kinds of bosses.

I’m fairly early into the corporate life myself, and I’ve not shifted jobs, but I’ve gone for interviews where the ‘boss’ has been around to ask the questions and weigh my suitability for the post I’m interviewing for. I’ve observed them as they have observed me, and found that each one is different, and not many do look to ‘inspire’ work. Indeed, one ‘boss’ who I interviewed for expected me to jump to the vacant position without serving my notice period at the current place, begin without any knowledge transfer of the work I was expected to do, and do it at the same, if not lower pay that I had been receiving then. I’ve seen bosses who walked behind the employee, monitoring him so closely that he himself felt awkward. I’ve experienced being called on a day off or late hours for work that the ‘boss’ should have assigned during the office hours itself, and being pressured to finish the work then. I’ve heard friends talk about bosses who have pressured them to work when their health is not up to doing that work.

Sibichen, through his book, talks about these ‘wrong bosses’ and how they can change their skin, how we can be prepared for such a boss, and how the organization can handle it should such a situation arise. Non-fiction is usually not my preferred genre of reading, but with this book, I could somehow relate to quite a few of the chapters, the observations and the prescriptions. But with all the ‘wrong bosses’ showcased, it does not actually feel negative. In its own way, the book also discusses what a good boss should be like. And those observations together can make a sub-book which can be quite useful.

The book is not wrong about when the boss is wrong. Sibichen expresses what he wants to in quite simple style, but retaining an emphatic undertone as well. I wouldn’t say it was a favorite read, but it was definitely an engaging and interesting book. It would appeal to a lot of people, and if the boss is the right one, this book might even be accepted as a gift, if you give it. After all, a sense of humor is quite important for a boss, no?

A score of 8 out of 10
A score of 8 out of 10
Book Details
Title: When The Boss is Wrong
Author: Sibichen K Mathew Genre: Non Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: B015A9ZU8C Publisher: Rupa Publications

I borrowed this book on Kindle Unlimited. No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and remain uninfluenced and unbiased.

(© 29th April 2016)