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I Was Bamboozled By a Smooth-Talking Boss, and Now I Have a Horrible Job!

Dear Stephen,

I am a regional manager at a furniture company, having been recruited about six months ago by the Executive Vice President of Sales, who is now my boss. Despite her promising descriptions, my current role bears little resemblance to what was outlined. The company culture, sales revenue projections, customer service, and product quality—all significantly deviate from her representations. The morale of my team, whom I was told were highly experienced, is disappointingly low, revealing a stark contrast to the established and well-regarded brand I thought I was joining.

What unfolds behind the scenes at this company is alarming, especially given its reputable public image and customer-centric design. It seems our customers are blissfully unaware of the internal chaos and what it's like to work here. Although my boss, with four years at the company, may not have originated these problems, her approach appears to be one of denial and survival in the chaos, which is far from what I seek in my professional life.

The recruitment process, though extensive and seemingly sincere, now feels like a well-crafted narrative to attract candidates under false pretenses. My decision to accept the position was influenced by my boss's portrayal of the company culture and her management style, both of which have proven to be misleading. Her assurance of autonomy in managing a thriving sales team and her claim of not being a micromanager couldn't be further from the truth.

Faced with the reality of my situation and the clear indication that I was misled into accepting this role, I am contemplating leaving. My discussions with my boss have led nowhere, as she remains in denial about the issues at hand. It's evident that no one else desires my current position, and without any power to enact change, staying seems futile. My boss's personal situation does not concern me; my focus is on finding a path forward.

Bamboozled and Angry


Dear Bam,

Quit. It's straightforward. In a candidate-driven job market, your company's reputation is likely known, and the responsibility for insufficient research falls on you. The interview process often finds candidates eager to believe in the potential of a new role, especially when dissatisfied with their current job. Companies capitalize on this by offering more attractive compensation packages.

Many companies view enticing candidates into less desirable roles as part of management's responsibilities. Your boss, possibly deceived by her superiors when she was hired, might have hoped you could be the change the company needs. However, the practice of misleading candidates is all too common.

When a job offer seems too good to be true, it often is. While every company has its issues, not all workplaces are bad; finding the right fit is key. What you perceive as a terrible job might be a rewarding challenge for someone else. However, you are dealing with dishonesty from a person who has misrepresented the job, the company culture, and her management style. Working for someone who lies to fill a position is untenable. Trust and integrity are crucial in a healthy work environment, and a lying boss undermines both.

If you have the financial stability, resign now and focus on finding a new opportunity. With the current job market favoring candidates, it's unlikely you'll be unemployed for long. Take this time to seek a position that aligns with your values and expectations.

Take care and prioritize finding a job where honesty and integrity are valued.