Aside from quitting, there isn't much you can do to fight back against a bad boss. But sometimes the devil slips on a banana peel, and when such karma happens, why not enjoy it?
Fifteen years ago I was employed by a tyrant in a little
hellhole custom photo lab. The owner, Greg, was a (self-described) commercial photographer whose lab printed his own work in addition to taking outside orders. Greg was slow thinking, petty, racist, and mean. He cheated his clients and his employees. His photography was shockingly bad and overpriced, and I was always puzzled that he had repeat clients.
One day, Greg was shooting cargo containers in his studio. He asked me to come into his studio to pose my hands gripping and unlocking the crates. I said, "Greg, Rod [a co-worker] has much nicer hands than I do. It would be better if you used him." Greg explained that he wanted to show that the products were so "easy" to lift and use, that even women could handle them.
I suggested that in that case, he should contact a modeling agency and ask for a professional hand model. That way, he would get a woman with young, lovely, "feminine" hands. "Wow!" he said, "I never thought of using a modeling agency before. That's a great idea." (Yes, as I said, the man claimed to be a professional.)
A modeling agency sent a woman over within an hour. I'm sure that Greg shopped around by phone, getting the lowest rate from the cheapest modeling agency in town. The following day, I developed Greg's film from the shoot and proofed it.
I suppose the woman thought of herself as a hand model with the same lack of self-reflection with which Greg thought of himself as a professional commercial photographer. Her hands were stocky and hard with stubby, calloused fingers. Worst of all, she had ridiculously long nails that were clubbed, a phenomenon that happens when a brain suffers a long period of slow oxygen deprivation.
The images Greg shot were jarring. The hands diverted the eyes from seeing anything except the scary claws. No one in their right mind would use such images as an advertisement for their product.
Two days later, Greg was setting up the containers for another shoot. "They're ordering more?" I asked. "Not exactly," Greg said. "They want it done over, this time without hands. They decided that the containers shouldn't have any visual distractions.
"But hey, that was a great idea you had about calling a modeling agency," he said. "I'm going to remember to do that more in the future."
"Don't worry, Greg," I said. "I'll be sure to remind you."
Of course, you can never know where the devil will misplace a step. That's why it's good to be prepared with a supply of banana peels.