Don’t Suck as a Boss is the first in a new series by Talent Executive, Tara Furiani. Her first installation is a humorous look into her experiences climbing up the corporate ladder and encountering quite a few “interesting” bosses, at each step. Tara takes the reader on a journey while sharing the valuable lessons in leadership she learned, along the way.

Don’t Suck as a Boss is currently available for pre-order at Pick it up today and be among the first to read it on 11/11/17!

Also, check out Tara’s Podcast… “Don’t Suck as a Boss: Real Leadership Conversations”. Subscribe today on iTunes or at


My first experience in the “business” world was way back at the tender age of 18. Sure, I’d worked previously; in high school, I tried a multitude of professions.

First, I worked at an ice cream shop at a mall near where I grew up in Orange County, CA. I really enjoyed their frozen bananas so I figured working there would be perfect because then I could have them whenever I wanted. I know what you’re thinking and no, I wasn’t a fat kid.

My ice cream shop job lasted precisely three weeks. I quit one evening after getting slapped on the ass by my boss, who was also the owner, my gut reaction was to punch him in the face. Hey, nobody touches my ass without permission and I’d seen Rocky about 3 dozen times. His wife, the other owner, had the nerve to phone me saying that if I didn’t return my work shirt that $17.67 would be deducted from my final paycheck. So, I let her know why I quit. The $17.67 was not deducted and I still have that shirt to this day. 

My next venture was at the same mall and this time I got a job working at a trendy clothing store. Since I was the new kid, I didn’t get to work the cash register, which was the coveted position at the store. No, instead I was that annoying person pretending to fold clothes when you walk in, telling you, with sickening enthusiasm the sales we’re currently running and the fragrances we’re pushing. We also had to wear a special shirt while assuming this role. It was a promotional little number for the aforementioned fragrance. Strangely, there was only one shirt and whoever took over these duties, from the previous person, would need to change into it. Sadly, this is what ended my tenure with this organization. The girl before me clearly had some hygiene issues and handed me a shirt that was not only sweaty but also covered in her foundation around the neckline. This pushed me over the edge and my very first shift was my last.

I held about 9 other jobs between 16 and 18 in various capacities from gymnastics teacher to dance store attendant to trying my hand at a few of the local theme parks. But just before my 18th birthday I was committed to finding a “real” job, and I did. Working at an apartment community is interesting, to say the least. I was hired on, part-time, as a Leasing Consultant. I had a set schedule; I got to wear cute “work” clothes and best of all I had business cards. I had made it… officially!

It was at this job where I learned about office politics. I wasn’t born into a wealthy family and I cared more about cheerleading than fashion. Apparently, living in Orange County, CA and working with young, successful, women, I should absolutely care more about “who” I am wearing than anything else in the world. Now, at this point in my life, I was admittedly no fashionista, but I could dress just fine. I didn’t shop at Nordstrom’s or Macy’s and had no idea that I should be. I bought my clothes and makeup where my mom always took me to shop, places like Wal-Mart, Styles4Less, Payless, JC Penny, Sears… you know, bargain stores. I also purchased the makeup brand CoverGirl and never thought twice about it, I mean, I looked nice. Enter my new boss, Alison. She always looked flawless, smelled nice and seemed to be so put together. I’d never really been envious of anyone before, but she was, or so I thought, the epitome of professional. She wore Gucci eyeglasses and sunglasses, her finely pressed INC clothes looked custom fit to her perfect body, her perfume was Miracle by Lancôme and her makeup looked as though it was professionally applied every day from a brand called MAC.

She looked me up and down on my first day and inquired if my bag was a Kate Spade. Having absolutely no idea who Kate Spade was or if in fact, she designed my bag, I simply replied, “Maybe, I’m not really sure who made it, I bought it at Styles4Less”. She laughed at me and rolled her eyes and I felt terribly small.

Alison was a mean girl and this was just the beginning of my education on how not to suck as a boss.