An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community.

Q of the day - the boss from hell

Sunday, August 06, 2006

There's a piece in the Palm Beach Post about Florida U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris and the staffers who are telling all about her as a The Devil Wears Prada-like boss from hell. It's a long piece, chock full of horrors about her treatment of just about anyone involved with her campaign. She's already experienced a mass exodus of staff - twice.

Her nickname is "The Hurricane" because she would spin completely out of control over insignificant things.

Q of the day: do you have any boss from hell tales to tell?

Harris really does sound deranged, though I get the feeling that a lot of elected officials have swelled heads and treat their staffs badly, regardless of party affiliation. She's just a textbook case of someone who needs serious help.
In July, congressional speechwriter Jennifer Hickey informed her friends she was quitting in an e-mail that said: "Value of Handing in my Resignation Letter: Priceless."


...She chastised speechwriters, press secretaries, fund-raisers, even travel aides who drove her from one event to another.

For those travel aides, a top priority was to get her Starbucks coffee, no matter where she was campaigning, "and God help him if it wasn't hot," an aide said. Several aides said Harris was so obsessed with Starbucks coffee she insisted that Starbucks locations be mapped out when she was traveling from one campaign stop to another. One aide recalled going to Harris' house for a day of fund-raising calls without bringing her a cup of Starbucks. The aide said Harris made it clear that it was expected he bring her a coffee when coming to her house.

Another time, the aide said, he went to dinner with other staffers after a full day of campaigning while Harris was attending a church conference in Fort Lauderdale. By the time he returned, Harris had called the campaign manager to find out where the aide was so he could bring her something to drink. The aide said he was incredulous because there was a water fountain nearby.

"She literally yelled at me in the hallway," the aide said. "She said, 'Never, ever do that again.' I just walked away."

The aides said Harris constantly yelled on the telephone to her top staffers. Once, she threw a stack of paper at Miller when he criticized her.