The worst bad boss stories of all time
No matter the season or time of year, a bad boss can strike. Studies show that bosses are one of the top reasons people leave jobs. After all, you don’t get the saying ‘people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses’ from nothing.
While most people deal with their crappy bosses and just try to get on with life, the pressure can cause some to take to the internet. From harassment to literally stopping you from doing your job, we’ve rounded up the worst bad boss stories ever.
Comments may have been edited for length or clarity.
Kicked out with no notice
Some jobs come with company housing, which is a huge blessing. But when it gets ripped out from under you with no notice, it’s a huge problem. You can end up scrambling to make ends meet. Clearly, this boss didn’t know when to follow the book and when to be a human…
Was fired and kicked out of company-owned housing while I had a child on the way.
They hired someone and gave them my apartment before I even left. They didn’t even notify me. My family was now homeless and I was jobless.
My crime: being too young and they didn’t like me.
I spent some time working at a local store in a stocking position. We oversaw stocking groceries, dairy, frozen, paper/pets/chemicals, and the meat department wall.
Things went really well for months. But my supervisor was very big on her people leaving on time to prevent us getting overtime. So leftover work would just increase the next day’s workload. Then I’d get in trouble because of “dropping the ball”.
I complained to management, filed reports, did everything I could to bring the situation to light and show that it wasn’t my fault. My supervisor and coworkers grew increasingly hostile towards me because of it.
I came back after a few days off and there was so much work left undone. I quit that morning. The whole team pretty much just fell apart. My supervisor lost her job. The store manager quit. It’s been over a year, and I think they’re still recovering.
Keep all the receipts
When in doubt, record the facts. You may not win in the short term, but you will in the long-term. Everyone gets what’s coming to them in the end.
For everyone reading this, please have faith. I had the boss from hell so I meticulously recorded all the evil things he did over the course of a year and then reported it to HR. They fired him and promoted my mate, in turn I got my mate’s job with more money and responsibility.
Highlights of his rudeness include telling a young employee “smirk at me again and I’ll kick you down the stairs.” Not a nice guy.
Boss takes all the credit
Some bosses are nice people. They work alongside you, they offer you advice, and they support you. These bosses are wonderful people. And then there’s the kind of boss this person had to deal with…
Current boss is a completely horrible person. He makes us do all of his work then takes credit for anything done right. He then blames us for anything less than stellar.
No one has realized his crap yet because he sucks up to anyone with “VP” after their name. Oh, and he takes time off all the time while we are stuck with 14 hour work days (salaried, no overtime pay).
“Just work harder”
The boss at my old job (hotel) was one of those people that would pretend to be nice but was actually a horrible person. She pulled one of the waitresses aside and lectured her for 10 minutes about how she doesn’t smile enough.
She’d also let guests check in earlier but not tell us about it to try and “test” us to see how fast we could work, even though we were hideously understaffed and she refused to hire any more people, which she said was because of money. Then there would be a complete stranger unpacking a suitcase in a room we hadn’t even cleaned yet, and we’d get yelled at.
We’d try to explain to her that we were understaffed etc but she’d look at us and just say “well you can move, so move faster”.
A scumbag boss
My wife worked for a printing company. It was a family business inherited by their son who basically didn’t care about anything.
Every payday, she had to rush to the bank and try to cash it before the funds ran out. He never had enough to cover every employee’s payroll. He would also send his delivery trucks out to get fixed somewhere, and leave them there for weeks after the job was completed until the mechanic would call and threaten to have them impounded for non-payment.
The best was when my wife and her friend went to the sports bar down the road after work and saw the owner and his “mistress” at the other end of the bar making out.
Horrible manager consistently tried to do stuff to “test” me.
The worst was when she hired a guy that had no background in IT and tagged me with training him. She would threaten me with write-ups when he would mess up because I did not train him properly.
I finally had enough and stood up to her when she tried to write me up by saying, “Fine! Let’s go to HR right now and I can let them know what a wonderful manager you are!”
She backed down after that, then was assigned back to her old position. Apparently, saying some racist stuff to some employees did not go over well.
Unable to buy supplies
Worked at a little community centre for a while. It’d been neglected for years and we were building it back up into a viable business.
It meant we got busier & busier which was great. Except the guy in charge wouldn’t let us buy any more equipment to handle all this new business. We were left with the crap the previous people left us.
I couldn’t buy more stock until things had run out which meant we frequently had nothing to sell after a few hours. When we hosted huge events like Christmas fairs, he refused to pre-heat any equipment or pre-cook anything so the queues for hot food would be out the door every single time.
I have worked for my boss for 4 years and she has pulled some things on me to make my head spin.
I resigned my position with two-weeks notice on a Friday. The following Monday afternoon I had to leave 2 hours early to take my kid to hospital – he fell in gym and sprained his wrist. On Tuesday morning, my Supervisor advised me I needed to make up the 2 hours, which I agreed.
But I was not even given the option, she told me I was going to make it up that day and Thursday over lunch. She said I was uninvited to the company’s Christmas festivities/luncheons that week. I was also not allowed to leave for lunch on Tuesday and I had no food with me as I expected to go out to lunch that day.
I am now Rudolf and have been banned from all Reindeer games. Let’s hope Santa has my back.
Unemployed at work
Your managers often want you to make the most of your time at work. And then there’s this manager…
I’m currently unemployed at work. Basically, if I take initiative, it’s wrong. So I do nothing, which drives me crazy.
My boss can’t understand that I go to work… to work. Micromanagement isn’t going to help in that regard. I actually have a vision how changes are going to affect the organization, but that’s disregarded, until it turns out I’m right. But then it’s too late to act and reap the benefits.
So now I’m mostly idle. As long as I get paid. Looking for something else in the meantime.
Half your pay stolen
I worked as a music teacher for years. Basically went into schools and taught instruments all day every day. It was an awesome job, with average pay, but I loved it. But I hated the guy I was working for. Constant late pay, called me up once at 10:30PM and told me he’d fire me if I didn’t help him move houses.
I also used to teach from his house, and on multiple occasions he made me hop his back gate (at least 7 ft high) to teach when he forgot to unlock it. I finally quit after being screamed at for answering an email he sent me during work times.
I also found out he’d been screwing me out of about half of my monthly wages. Didn’t teach for years except for from my home, but recently started working for schools again and remember why I love it so much.
Horrible boss solution: start your own business
Some bosses are rude to your face. Others try to hide their meanness under a veil of being “free spirited” or “brutally honest.” Either way, it’s clear what it is – being a horrible person. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
I recently had a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic boss masquerading as free spirited hippy. She was also incredibly rude and had a nasty streak and we worked in a very small shop so there was no getting away!
After I left I would wake up in cold sweats after having nightmares about working there. I now run my own business from home and couldn’t be happier!
Worked for a cafe. Store manager was the worst boss you could probably have. No one ever did anything right. He ran just about every everyone off in about a month of their hire. People didn’t hate the job they just hated this modern authoritarian dictator that thought she was perfect and everyone else was a moron.
I was failing HS because I was being called in so much that I turned in my notice. Switched to a food industry place after and it’s absolute heaven. I’m surprised time and time again how your bosses aren’t verbally attacking you or your coworkers – they actually help you.
Since it was my first job I thought that’s just how jobs were but my God is that place just awful. Talked to a few people that left after I did and they all say that the store manager is the boss from hell.
Creepy bar owner boss
I worked with a friend of mine as bartenders at a local bar. Besides the odd brawl and drunk weirdo asking for your number, it was pretty cool. My co-workers were nice and you met some genuinely cool people.
But to put it bluntly, my boss was an absolutely horrible person. He would complain about how women shouldn’t be bartenders (the bar was owned by two people, the other owner hired my friend and I).
He was rude to the musicians/singers who would perform at the bar on the weekends, he has gotten drunk while supervising us on multiple occasions. He has made sexual advances towards me and other female bartenders more than once. So I quit and my friend did too. Haven’t been back there since.
Minimum wage disaster
At my old job, the owners were obsessed with numbers and how well their store did in comparison to the others in the state. Their store actually was pretty high in there in the state/region. Like usually top 10. However this was ALL thanks to the great employees they had at the time.
As the minimum wage started to rise, they had to start firing people to stay afloat as a family-owned business. They were asking the employees that remained to do double the work, in the same time frame as before, and with the same quality of work.
They were extremely nitpicky and would criticize the employees whenever something wasn’t the way they wanted it. They never said thank you even though each employee was now working for two with no pay raise. These owners had no idea how hard we worked for them and instead of showing gratitude, they basically just told us we weren’t doing enough. That year, they lost at least 7 of their best employees. Including two of the 4 managers.
Red flags everywhere
I worked at a deli for maybe 2 months one summer after freshman year of college.
The first red flag was when a friend of mine googled the deli (no one I knew had ever heard of the place before) and found out that:
1. The owner had previously owned other businesses that had fallen through
2. One of his former employees accused him of being really grabby with the women who worked for him.
The guy was absolutely terrible. I was given jobs I didn’t know how to do and when I asked how to do them, I was yelled at. This guy always screamed at the employees. One night he got so furious that he started screaming at us right in front of all the customers.
One of the most frustrating things was, to customers (aside from when he screamed at us in front of them), he was such a charming dude. My mom and her friends came to eat there once and basically loved him at the end of the meal, so she refused to believe my reasons for quitting.
Document the work you do
When in doubt, quantify your work – don’t let someone tell you that you aren’t working hard enough. Prove them wrong with facts.
Used to take deliveries. I would serve customers and put away 13 pallets. It was hard work and for some reason the boss and the manager think I’m lazy.
One one delivery day, I had to do an exam so I didn’t work. That day, there were two regular staff, the manager and the boss man all doing a measly 6 pallets.
Scrubs still tried to call me lazy after that. Still have a bad taste in my mouth two years later.
I used to work at a dermatologist’s office for four years. In the last year, our really good manager was fired and replaced by a woman named Janet.
Janet had a way of bringing everyone around her down and taking them to a place where she would be condescending to you until you fought back. It was like that for me all the time.
During that time, she was bullying one of my coworkers there who had worked at the office for almost 20 years. She would constantly berate her, telling her she didn’t know what she was doing and didn’t understand why she was paying her so much money if she couldn’t do work properly. It got to a point where my coworker had a breakdown and quit.
Great bosses set the vision and delegate the work. They don’t overstep, but watch to ensure things are getting done. Then you have bosses like this…
I have a narcissistic boss who is the VP of marketing at my company. Rather than giving us direction, he literally does all of our jobs. He designs stuff and gives the designs to our designers. He writes his own taglines and gives them to the writer. He even took our website off the platform we have been using for years and transferred it on a whim.
I work at an international corporation, and this is how the guy is running our marketing department…
Lazy boss who yells
When bosses only get their boss titles because they know somebody, that’s usually a red flag. In this case, the flag couldn’t have been big enough…
My older brother worked in a retail position for some time. His boss was super lazy and clearly was only chosen for the position because she had some connections higher up in the company.
She yelled at employees for petty things like taking too long in the bathroom or leaving their phone’s ringtone on. She yelled all the time even though she clearly didn’t do any actual work herself. My brother left that job when he went away for college.
“When you are here, I am your god”
I was working in a restaurant. The manager was horrible and most of the higher-ups crew were deadbeats.
One night everything goes wrong and every single employee walks out, except for me. I’d only been there three weeks and only had a basic understanding of how to keep things together. I ran tables for the current customers and closed for the night, and then spent until 8 am the following day shutting down the restaurant.
When the boss comes in the following day I gave him the run-down of what happened, apologized that we had to shut down early, and asked for the afternoon off to catch up on sleep after the 20-hour shift.
He looks at me for a long time, then says, “Do you know what you need to live? You need food. Water. Shelter. Clothing. “
“When you are here, you drink as much water as you need. You have a roof over your head. There is FOOD. And then uniforms, we supply. It is from me you get all of the things you need to live. When you are here, I am your god.”
Doing the boss’ homework
I had a boss who was, in general, a bad person. She had a bad temperament and I never understood why she didn’t just get fired… but at one point she decided she wanted a pretty major promotion and her boss basically told her that she wasn’t qualified (which was true).
Everyone else in those positions (think C-level officer in a major Fortune 50 company) had decades of experience and advanced educational degrees, etc. So my boss decides that she wants to take some classes to help her toward her goal of advancement.
Only, she hates school so she decides to do an online course and MAKES ME DO HER SCHOOLWORK. It started with me basically just doing data entry (log in, copy/paste her essay, submit before 12pm) which was totally outside of my job responsibilities but didn’t seem like a big deal.
And then she’d ask me to read the text books and jot down notes… then formulate my notes into an outline… then since I’ve done that, why not just write the essay?
When I told her no she threw a gigantic screaming fit and even dragged in HR to write me up for “insubordination” – although they declined when I explained that she wanted me to do her homework and it had nothing to do with the job I was being paid for.
Bad boss or spy?
One of my first professional jobs was in an office, and I was hired by the friend of a friend. Turns out she was also dating one of my husband’s coworkers, which I didn’t think too much about until they broke up.
She basically wanted me to find out information about him. He and my husband weren’t friends, which was very frustrating to my boss, and she would grill me as if I were their social director. She went as far as to fake a pregnancy in hopes that he would find out ‘through the grapevine.’ I said nothing. He got back together with his ex.
When I tried to distance myself from that she started throwing me under the bus to our owner. I was clearly not fulfilling my purpose and she had no use for me. While I was looking for jobs she figured it out and said she’d give me a glowing reference. She didn’t. Finally one day I was fired.
“Don’t look at my calendar”
My work uses Outlook to manage our email. One of the features we make use of is the ability to share calendars. When I started, my boss shared her calendar (and a couple of other departmental ones) with me and told me to check it if I was wondering where she was, etc. Made it sound very casual (these are just work calendars, nothing personal on them). Pretty standard.
We have a weekly meeting set on Mondays. Yesterday, as I was preparing for the week, I checked my calendar. Since shared calendars all come up on the same screen, I glanced over at hers as well. I noticed a big blank spot where there was normally our meeting invite, so I wondered if she had cancelled the meeting or something and forgot to tell me.
A few minutes later, in passing, I ask her if we are still on because I had noticed that our weekly meeting was not on her calendar. Her face contorted into this just awfully uncomfortable, suspicious look as she said, “Yeah…. It’s kind of weird that you were looking at my calendar.”
Can you keep a secret?
One time, my manager gave me access to her email while she was on vacation, which meant that her email was delivered to my inbox. I was supposed to read her messages and alert her to anything important by calling her at her resort (this was pretty much pre-cell phone).
One of the emails that came through was about a co-worker’s raise approval. I was professional about it and when my manager called me to check in, I told her that an email had come through looking for her approval to issue the pay raise.
It was a significant amount and we were always being told that there was no budget for raises and yet here was someone getting a huge increase on top of a salary that was almost triple what I made.
I wasn’t jerky about it, I just said “there’s a note from HR looking for your approval” and she got defensive and said that I shouldn’t be reading those emails.I explained that I wasn’t snooping – this email came to my mailbox and was marked urgent (not confidential) and needed her response right away. In the end, she told me to pretend to be her, approve the raise, and not to tell anyone what I’d seen.
Just rent an extra apartment
When I worked for a company just starting out in life, it was my first job.
Was expected to stock 14 aisles run electronics and help others in their areas… I couldn’t do it. I needed help. I got into trouble because I was expected to do this on 8 hours plus take 2 fifteen minute breaks and one 1-hour break, all mandatory because of labor laws.
One night it was cold it had sleeted and mushed up and it was frozen on the roadways. Mind you I had a family and bills to pay. I told my manager I couldn’t make it to work. She asked me why? I told her I didn’t even get out of the neighborhood and started sliding, my manager (the big wig of the company manager) proceeded to tell me that I needed to rent a room in town so I could come to work.
Needless to say, she ended up losing her job.
Standing up for yourself works
Boss was a horrible person who thought he could belittle me in front of his boss, so when he tried, I informed him, in front of his boss, that his words weren’t professional and I do not appreciate that kind of talk and if he actually thought I was not qualified or could handle my position I should be replaced, not made fun of.
That was the end of any mean talk from my boss. His boss told me not to worry about my position at all.
This guy was still rude to everyone else, but to me from that point on he was 100% professional and I never again received any kind of rebuke or criticism.
When your boss is the garbage monster
Bosses can do things that appear weird, but have a totally normal explanation. If they are carrying random boxes in the office, it could be for a surprise team outing. You never know, right? And then sometimes bosses do weird things with absolutely no logical explanation. That’s when it starts to go from “weird” to “downright horrible.”
My boss actually went through my garbage today, asking “why are you throwing this away?” He then started having a tantrum because I got rid of some old magazines from a couple of years ago. He has always been a severe micromanager but this has just gone to a new level. Wow.
Injured? Keep working!
My horrible boss didn’t let me off when I got an injury on the job.
So, I was coming out of the bathroom. I was hardly paying attention. So I know this is pretty much my fault, I have to admit. I ended up slipping on the wet floor the janitor just cleaned. I landed on the side of my leg, on the pocket. My keys were in the pocket. The metal hurt real bad and I would be limping the rest of the day. I come home and see this giant bruise on my hip. But my boss wouldn’t let me leave.
When your boss pours the drinks
A coworker once invited pretty much everyone at work to her wedding. I was seated with the boss, and having a quarter glass of wine before I planned to cut myself off so I would be sober to go home in a few hours. The boss lady offered to let me come with her in an Uber. I didn’t really want to, but she offered to pay and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, fine. She kept topping up my glass, but I got tired of drinking after a couple glasses and told her I was done.
Much later, the wedding was winding up. We were still there. I was sober by this time, just very tired, and looking forward to not driving home. I was also needing to drunksit my boss, who was very intoxicated.
We finally got out to the parking lot and she called an Uber. And we waited. And waited. She got impatient as it got lost. Finally, she told me she was just going to drive home. I told her no. I tried to get in her way. I told her to come with me instead. This lady dodged around me, got in her car, and took off, leaving me alone in the parking lot.
She knew I couldn’t afford an Uber. And yet she ditched me anyways. I looked up drunk driving crashes that night when I got home, and frantically tried to find her number so I could ask if she was home okay. No luck.
Don’t drink with your erratic boss, guys. Not even once.
Just put the fish in the freezer
In restaurants, you have to make the food stretch as long as possible. But this is next-level…
Had a boss that called me screaming that I threw out perfectly good fish, meanwhile it was slimy and absolutely beyond gone.
He took it out of the trash (I had put it in the garbage at 2am, he came in at 7am) and put it in the freezer! He tried to have me smell it when I got in that day. I refused and a screaming match ensued. At one point I told him that my family would never eat on any restaurant he ran. One week later I was thankfully transferred.
Only half a brain between two people
A manager in my company had convinced a director to buy some software from a vendor. It wasn’t supported by the larger organization, and I ended up having to work with it. It was outdated, and a new version of the supported software was coming out as well, so I said I’d do an evaluation to see which would meet the needs — remember, nothing had been done with this software and the vendor didn’t support this version.
Manager shot it down, got director to stop me. Same guy intimidated all his staff. Also tried to persuade the director that memory in our computers wouldn’t matter once we got “Windows” as it had virtual memory.
I was able to develop some stuff in this unsupported software, but that manager’s staff didn’t feel capable of handling maintenance duties, so I think it all fell flat eventually. The director got talked into refusing my suggestion that they needed a full-time IT person to handle things like this.
One day screaming, next day fawning
My dad’s boss is a hardcore alcoholic, which I wouldn’t hold against her right away, but she is absolutely destroying her career. She owns this restaurant and property and gets to make all the decisions. But she starts drinking at 4 in the afternoon or earlier. She’s also forgetful. she’ll accept parties of people without telling anyone, when the party arrives she yells at her own people for being unprepared.
My dad has tried forever to convince her to get a manager that has authority and the ability to get things organized, but she absolutely REFUSES, and she wont give the job to anyone already there, so there’s no order or organization. Usually people don’t even know their work schedule or where they’re supposed to be!
In these past years she fires someone every time she drinks, for stupid unreasonable things too, and she won’t even remember the next day! When she did eventually hire a manager she fired him the NEXT DAY for not doing exactly what she said. She’ll scream at my dad’s face and make him feel horrible, then the next day faun over him saying he’s the best server ever and begs him not to quit.
No deposit, no return, pay now 🙂
Worked in a super high pressure telesales job.
I didn’t really realize what we were doing until 3 days in (which was basically tricking people into giving their address then sending them non-returnable items and then invoices/collections for the goods, and then ding their credit if they failed to pay, including collections fees).
When I figured it out, I went to see the boss and as soon as I walked into his office, he picked up the phone and sent me away.
At the end of the day, I went to go see him again and it was obvious I wanted to quit from my face and body language etc, but before I could say anything he said, “yeah I don’t think this is going to work out, I reckon it’s best if you leave”.
He was such a cretin and thankfully the law loophole that allowed him operate a business like this got closed a few months later.
“You may as well begin planning your divorce”
Apparently, it’s totally normal and ok for your boss to tell you you’re ugly…
When I came to work and mentioned I’d gotten engaged, my boss went on a soapbox lecture. He talked about how stupid I was to think any man would actually want to be with me long term and that I may as well begin planning my divorce.
He told me I was a complete idiot and that I’d need to work double hard to make enough money that I could filter some away so I’d have a nest egg to fall back on when my man left me for someone prettier.
Severance is on the washing machine
My bad boss did not know how to run her business. First of all, the pay was awful, the hours were long, and the work was hard, which I don’t mind, but when you’re getting paid AND treated like crap it takes its toll eventually.
Often got the impression that she was sick of us/her business and if her personal life was doing poorly = we got treated poorly. She would come down and scream at us every morning for about four weeks.
But never once were we told WHY or WHAT we were doing wrong. Eventually one of the girls just said, ‘Ok – what do YOU want us to do?’ To which boss replied, ‘ugh, I don’t know’.
When I handed my notice in, the boss ignored me and didn’t even have the decency to face me when I left. She sent me a text on last day ‘there’s an envelope on the washing machine for you bye’.
Selling soccer jerseys to Burger King
This guy hired me to sell soccer jerseys. As far as I could tell, he had just bought a few containers of these things from China, would have cheap printing companies slap logos on and was trying to offload them. Sounds easy enough to sell to colleges and high school soccer programs, right? Well that wasn’t good enough for this guy. He wanted me, a minimum wage employee with zero sales experience, to sell soccer jerseys to national franchises to replace their current uniforms.
So a typical day would end with a conference call during which I’d tell him about local schools I’d spoken to that were interested. He’d respond with something along the lines of, “Hmm. I guess that’s good but you really need to show some more initiative. How are we doing on the Burger King account?” Sure, buddy. Let me just get right on the phone with Burger King corporate about soccer jerseys.
I quit after a few months of realizing this dude’s expectations were never going to get any less absurd.
Perfectly rational boss
My boss took his usual 2 hour lunch (even though we were only allowed 1 hour). He then comes back to an item on the delivery counter that has been sitting there for 15 mins. Yells about how it has been there for 30 mins (drivers left 20 mins ago, so they took everything before ready before that).
He then goes into his office, picks up his phone to make a call, throws his phone off of his desk and punches the door to the office. He then went to the side door, stared at the road outside for 10 mins and went home. He ended up fired 6 months later.
You didn’t commit a crime? You’re fired!
My boss fired me when I was 16 because “I stole some money”. I had to cash out a little cash box every night and in the morning, another girl counted it. A few nights, it was out by a couple hundred dollars, and they blamed me. Except, there was a camera right beside where I had to count it, and they refused to run it back because it would “take too much time”.
Turns out, it was the parts guy with a building key who would come back at night once everyone had left, and was taking it and knew no one would bother looking. I guess several part-time people were fired for this. Too bad I was too young and dumb to do anything about it.
Blame your employees, it’s easier
An order a box of items didn’t show up. My coworker checked the order in, told the boss, and the boss said she would call the company about it the next day herself as they were already closed that day. 3 weeks later, the boss came and yelled at me asking where the products were. And then had two different workers searching the whole place for a box that didn’t exist for over an hour.
When my coworker told her again at the end of the day that they never came and she said she would call the manufacturer, the boss said we threw her under the bus and she was tired of it. Her husband (they both owned the place) agreed and said “we should know how busy she gets and remind her.”
A roundabout success
I was a regional manager at a paper company, and on my 15th anniversary I got a new supervisor that tried to make our office extremely autonomous and boring. I was unable to call our CEO directly because of him, so I had to drive hours to our corporate office just to talk to him.
So then I said, “I quit”, and as I exited, I turned back and said, “you have no idea how high I can fly”. Long story short, I started a new paper company and nearly ran my old company out of business before they bought me out and I became regional manager again.
“Do you know how hard my life is?!”
I worked in a catering kitchen. The sous chef got the executive chef fired.
Then the sous chef pulls some “make it exactly as the recipe says but be open to change” nonsense. I rolled my eyes.
I, a female, get pulled into the walk-in cooler and yelled at for 15 minutes about his life is harder than mine. (Note: He cheated on his wife and 3 kids with some girl we worked with).
I tried talking to the manager. Nothing. I even called HR. Nothing.
Within 48 hours of nothing happening I put in my notice.
You get Christmas off! But not really
I worked as an assistant manager at a restaurant chain. One year, our general manager (GM) told me I could have Christmas Eve off.
The day before Christmas Eve the GM texts me and asks me if I would mind just going in on Christmas Eve and helping out because there isn’t enough non-management staff available. He tells me I can go home as soon as it seems like it is slowing down. I decided to be a team player and agreed.
I went in and worked a very busy lunch shift that day with the other manager. As soon as the rush was over the other manager tells me the owner told him he could leave when it slowed down.
I was by far the worst paid and most overworked person in the store, and here I was expected to work the holiday too. I called both the GM and the owner. The owner’s solution was to come “help me close”. Apparently that meant sit at a table and watch me clean the entire restaurant and close the registers by myself.
I registered for college classes and quit the next week.
Do the work, but we don’t want to promote you
Some bosses recognize an employee’s hard work and promote them. Or, if the budget won’t allow, they recognize them in other ways. And then there’s this boss…
After 8 years of loyalty to a family restaurant, I never got promoted to management.
I learned every position possible and started from the bottom. I was bussing tables at the beginning and learned my way all the way to the office. I worked ungodly hours at the beck and call of my boss. Blood, sweat, and so many tears, and yet I was told I can do the work, just not have the title.
A prickly manager
I worked as a barista in a grocery store chain coffee shop, and got a new manager.
New manager decided to put a lot of arbitrary rules on us. The main one was that we weren’t allowed to use grocery store carts to bring out stock from the back rooms. But the people who did our deliveries didn’t know the rule. We’d get delivered large amounts of pastries and ingredients and they’d be given a store carts to bring it to us.
After we unloaded the cart, I was bringing it back to the cart area in front of the store, but New Manager was walking past me and said “Actually, why don’t you just put that back by your kiosk”.
About 5 minutes after I saw her out of the corner of my eye taking a photo of said cart with her phone. Apparently she tried framing us for breaking the rules. Luckily my supervisor cleared it up with them but I honestly might’ve been fired if she hadn’t.
Later on that year New Manager got fired for saying racist crap about customers, but I didn’t get all those details.
New boss hates me, now what?
During my co-op work term, my manager hired a new employee who immediately became my supervisor.
I had been working in that place for two months already and a lady from the co-op program was coming to do my evaluations. My manager asked the new employee, who I had been working with for 3 days, to attend. I was surprised when she started to say so many bad things about me that I actually did not know they were bad. It was actually more like her preferences of how she wanted me to do stuff.
I was really disappointed because she didn’t know me AT ALL by then and I didn’t find it fair for her to say all those things. Thankfully, I spoke with the co-op office and they understood.
When the boss doesn’t pull their weight
I work in sales and we randomly have sales calls pulled and scored about once a week. If we feel we get a score that we feel wrong we can contact our supervisors to appeal it. Keep in mind these scores influence our yearly raises as well as promotions.
I contacted my supervisor about a call and she said she was going to submit it for appeal. I followed up a few weeks later because I’d not heard back. She said it was still under review.
This went on for 1.5 months until I asked her to check up on it. SHE NEVER SUBMITTED IT! And unfortunately I couldn’t appeal it any longer. She apologized said it wouldn’t happen again.
Fast forward 6-8 months. Same supervisor, I contacted her to appeal a call. This time I emailed every week to follow up to make sure she submitted it. She didn’t respond to my emails so I approached her in person. She assured me she appealed it and there would be an outcome soon. Then she left on some sort of leave or vacation 2 weeks later.
I eventually heard back that it was never initially appealed and I could no longer appeal it.
An alligator of a bad boss
I’d need a book to document it all but I had a bad boss who was a real power trippy woman who I can only assume was threatened by my youth & potential.
She suggested I go for a role in another department privately then when I did she called me out in public saying I wasn’t smart enough. Another year I almost went blind through eye infection so had 10 days off (first time ever) came back to her yelling at me and giving me a 3-month run of the crappy shift. She also constantly badmouthed me.
She cancelled annual leave she’d approved already WHILE I WAS ON THE ANNUAL LEAVE & abroad. I reported all of this but she was longstanding and nobody initially believed me. Was about to walk out of the job when Finally she was fired (for other stuff not relating to me).
Tinker, Bad Boss, Girlfriend, Spy
I worked as a theatre technician at a live concert venue. I got the job right out of college and it was like a dream. Then one day, we got a new production manager. It was very clear right off the bat that he wasn’t qualified for the job.
We complained about him to the general manager many times about his incompetence, but the GM never did anything about it. Then the manager made up lies about how we were always late, we didn’t get along or work well together, we were distracted on our phones and making mistakes.
Later in the summer we got a new girl in the concession stand. She REALLY wanted to be on the tech crew. Said it was her dream. Then this manager apparently told the GM that we’re overworked and it’s affecting the show quality. So he cut all of our hours to give his new girlfriend hours. Yeah, they’re dating.
So the new girl, having no experience, training, or education in theatre, was, of course, completely incompetent. She would also spy on us for him. We would have to watch what we say because she might be nearby, overhear us, then report back to him.
At the end of the year, ownership changed and he fired all of us. Over text. Didn’t have the guts to tell us to our faces.
Taking micromanaging to the next level
My boss was really good at acting like a supporting, kind, good guy boss.
After I interviewed, I told him I needed to I needed to give two weeks notice at my old job. He was pushy and said if I put in one week’s notice only, he would give me a dollar more in hourly pay. I should have realized that this was a red flag, but I was excited and did it anyway.
So now here is the situation, in my warehouse we had 4 people trying to keep up. We honestly needed at least 11 people, minimum. I was forced to do work that I’m not supposed to do.
The boss was getting frustrated with me because I couldn’t keep up. He asked me why, since when my old supervisor was there the work was getting done. I couldn’t get it through his head that my old supervisor gave me the info I needed to do my job.
Then he started micromanaging me. By that I mean he would sit behind me at my desk and ask me what I was doing every minute. One day I came in and, when he started giving me more trouble, I went into his office and told him I quit.
When the boss’ boss is the real problem
Used to work at a fast food restaurant and I got promoted to manager.
In fast food, there are target times. This is the length of time it should take from starting an order to serving it. Well as an opener it was my job to write them on a sheet and post them in the grill. I started writing cheesy quotes like “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork” and stuff like that. One day, one of my employees asked to write one, and from then on I would occasionally let an opening employee write something.
Soon enough I get pulled into the office with the general store manager who had the target sheet for the day in hand and is asking me why I am wasting company hours letting people draw pictures at work.
I argued that I want my employees to think that I care about them, and her response was “It’s not your job to care about your employees, do your job.” I’d been considering leaving for a while but I decided to put in my two weeks after that conversation.
I tell you where you can shop!
I was working at a national retailer and the store manager basically ran our store like we were in the military. Everything had to be perfect. You couldn’t clock out a minute late or a minute early. I got snowed in once and couldn’t make it to work, which he said was “unacceptable” because there was no snow an hour away off the mountain. He also told me that “the schedule changes daily,” and we had to check our online portal every night.
At one point his wife was shopping at the craft store next door and had demanded a “neighbor discount,” which didn’t exist in our center. The clerk there informed her of such and she called my boss. He went over and yelled at this poor 16 year old girl, accusing her of being racist against his wife, for not giving her a 10% discount. He then told the Staples staff that we could no longer shop next door.
When I finally put in my 2 week notice he told me that I only had to finish the week. I explained that I was hoping to work through the end of my time there. He said that he wasn’t going to put me on the schedule regardless. I finished my week and never went back. I lasted three months there and it was hell.
You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone
So many bad bosses think they are the real workers and everyone else is lazy. Turns out that’s not the case – and this boss learned that lesson the hard way…
The organization was dependent on me. Yet I was constantly degraded and told how I was never good enough, they always wanted more and more. I even worked 24 hour days once or twice a month. They learned the day after I quit how worthless I wasn’t. Problems they assumed that I was blowing out of proportion happened and they had no idea how to fix them. I tried to warn them.
How to lose 5 employees in 10 days
One manager of mine in a fast-food restaurant has made at least 5 people quit. And I can think of why.
First person: Telling him what to do in a bossy and rude manner.
Second person: Wanted her to work even though she JUST had her wisdom teeth taken out the other day and has braces on. Not to mention other rude remarks.
Third person: Quit by walking out two days in a row due to them both being bombarded at the front and she felt like “she was having her do everything.”
Fourth person: He “quit” four times but the managers kept taking him back. She was responsible for three-one of which was the final one.
Fifth person: She tells him to do five different things and got mad when he wasn’t able to do them as she wanted it to be.
Sixth person: Apparently, he felt as though she didn’t respect him from the “one month he worked here.”
Pretty sure that’s illegal…
After I had interviewed a number of candidates for an entry level, part-time retail position, my former boss refused to sign off on two applicants in particular. One was a military veteran who disclosed a traumatic head injury and despite being overqualified for the position and interviewing well, my boss didn’t want “his problems to become our problems” (referring to his injury which we would have had no idea about if he didn’t volunteer that info).
The second was a young gentleman who walked with a cane, who was dismissed because he “couldn’t meet the physical requirements for the job” despite having previous retail experience and the fact that we were hiring for multiple positions including cashier( in which his cane would have little to no impact on his job).
Can’t tell which boss is worse
I had a boss one time… our annual performance reviews were on a 1-5 scale. He wrote up my annual review, giving me a 4 out of 5. A few months later, I saw his performance review. Every line item of his review was identical to mine, except action words like “repaired” or “implemented”, were switched to “led” or “oversaw”… even things that I knew for a fact he had no part in because he was out of town when I did those things, and he got a 5 out of 5.
The worst part was: our boss’s boss had to sign off on it as well, so my boss’s boss agreed with giving me a 4 out of 5 (which I really didn’t have an issue with, I did good work but didn’t do anything groundbreaking or spectacular that year), but when the time came for my boss’s review, he saw fit to give a higher rating to my boss for essentially lifting my work and simply making it look like he managed the actions.
He really “speaks his mind”
My current boss fell off his bicycle and hurt his wrist. When I saw him next he rubbed his wrist up and down on my butt a few times. I asked what the hell was he doing and he said “it’s sore, and I’m hoping your butt has magical powers”.
It’s definitely not the worst he’s done, just the most recent.
He’s just had his 70th birthday, he always speaks his mind, which is usually misogynist / racist / homophobic / fatphobic comments that tend to make everyone uncomfortable.
Usually, family members suddenly falling ill is sacred ground for employees. When that happens, your boss doesn’t usually question you and you can focus on your family. And then there are other bosses like this one…
The boss who threatened to fire me because I didn’t go into work as my mother had been rushed into the ICU. She also accused me of lying about my Mother’s health because it ‘conveniently’ fell over my birthday.
Everything is an abomination against God
I was working at a rehab facility, and the manager at the time (when I first started working there) had two major issues.
She would dictate policy changes to us without asking for input or if there were any practical issues. When we’d point very obvious issues with changing/adding new policies, her response was always “tough, just implement it and it’ll be fine”.
This boss was one of those “drinking/smoking/using drugs of any kind except coffee is immoral and against God” types. I’m a recovering alcoholic and had ~ 5 years sober. I was smoking cigars during this time and would have one on my way to and from work. She said to me “you’re only a semi-pro at recovery because you still smoke tobacco.” How she thought that was appropriate to say to an employee, let alone one with 5 years of sobriety, is beyond me.
This boss may be an actual demon
My boss is a demon. She is incredibly condescending, has wild expectations, steals my ideas and presents them in meetings as her own, and throws me under the bus for things I did not do. She even raises her voice with me when I talk to other co-workers because she doesn’t want people talking to each other without her approval.
Sometimes she stands at my desk in silence and after a minute or two of saying nothing tries to start an argument with me (I have only given in to it one time). She also asks me questions that could only have a lose-lose answer like, “do you always forget to do this correctly?” For context, I work hard and other higher-ups always have good things to say about me and my work and it’s clear they only tolerate my boss at best.
Got kidnapped? You’re still late!
When a real tragedy strikes, most bosses understand. Even the bad ones can usually see when something is truly not your fault. If they aren’t understanding and empathetic, they at least stay out of it. And then we meet this boss…
Can we acknowledge that the default reaction to your employees being kidnapped over a lunch break shouldn’t be “looks like I gotta dock their pay?” Also she never fires or even chides someone directly sleeping on the job. Get your crap together and try again, Chief
“I don’t like you and won’t say why”
Had a boss who didn’t like me from day 1, for no apparent reason; my theory is that he was usually involved in recruitment and didn’t like me because I was hired when he was on leave.
I was working on a fixed term contract and I was really good at the job so every now and again he would have to extend my contract and would be really nice to me, begging me to stay. I extended the contract twice because he needed me to stay so badly that I could demand salary increases and improved contract terms.
I left as soon as I found a permanent job with better pay, though. He damaged my self esteem which took a few years to get over. I’d never had anyone really dislike me and the fact that it was for no reason made me very nervous around management types for years.
Two for one special
With my last two jobs, I have encountered horrible bosses which caused me to leave the positions.
At the first job, the boss was super rude. Not only to me, but also to my coworkers. She enforced strict dress codes, judged people by what they ate, and hardly showed up for work (and she is the director), which means I had to do most of the work.
At the second job, the boss showed up every day with the shortest skirt/dress possible, and looking like she is ready for the club. Because she the financial aid supervisor she is the go-to person for needing money for school. If students ever want to see her, she makes them jump through hoops to make a meeting with her. And the cronyism that is played out in the office. I am a hard worker and I applied for a promotion in my department and instead giving it to me, they gave it to a friend of the department that has no experience.
You’ll read about this in the paper…
Led a 2 million dollar bid on medical equipment for a hospital. Got 3 viable bids back. Worked with the surgeon to settle on the middle of the 3. It was about 10% less than the highest priced option.
Then a VP of the hospital tells me to buy the most expensive equipment (He traveled twice a year to “conferences” in places like Hawaii and the Caribbean on this company’s dime.) I said I’d write it up but wouldn’t sign it as it was a violation of state law. He said I’d sign it or be fired. I said fine, but he’d read about it in the paper the next day. He signed it.
*Knock knock* housekeeping!
I work in housekeeping and it’s been horrible since I started. My boss called me and several other employees names. She leaves just to go get her hair and nails done whenever she pleases ,she has a lot of favorites and makes sure they’re known. Myself and a couple other employees have tried to bring this up to our General Manager and all we got told was to give her a chance or that she’s probably having a bad day.
Today really got me though. She’s hiring a lot more girls and keeps making comments about how one of them is my replacement – out loud in front of my coworkers.
Part-time employee, full-time horrible boss
Had a boss scheduling me consistently full-time hours but keeping me as a part-time employee. He kept giving me the runaround whenever I’d inquire, saying he needs to see I’m capable of the work. Which I was clearly already doing weekly. Tried switching to another store on 2 occasions and didn’t get it.
Third time’s a charm and got a full time position. Found out after I left the horrible boss’ location that the reason I didn’t get any of the first 2 I tried for was because he contacted the people looking to hire and just buried the crap out of me.
Fired for loving the job, but not the boss
My boss at my last job fired me shortly after I refused to sleep with her. For the record I am a straight woman and I’m married, which she knew. On the HR form she wrote that I was being fired because:
1: I didn’t socialize enough. Her example was if I had a work related question, I would ask it and then go back to work without shooting the breeze.
2: I volunteered for extra projects too often, which made my coworkers feel bad because it made them look lazy.
3: I was working too many hours. We got paid on salary, but I loved my job, so I would remote in on evenings and weekends to do extra work.
You have cancer? Get to work!
My horrible boss was Jerry.
Jerry wouldn’t let me go to the emergency room even though I had a medical emergency. I went over his head and got permission to go. I called my mom, told her to meet me in the ER.
It’s determined I need a couple of blood transfusions and will be admitted. My mom calls Jerry, who then proceeds to tell her that it’s just stress, and I NEED TO GET BACK TO WORK.
At this point, I couldn’t even lift my own head up, but sure, I can take a bus across town and go back to work. I was still recovering from the procedure when Jerry called me to let me know I was fired for taking too much time off. Five days later, I was diagnosed with cancer.
Plan your grandma’s death better, please
I had a boss who refused to let me take an “unplanned vacation” to see my grandma on her deathbed. I quit on the spot.
It was strange because up until that incident, she was really cool and laid back. But when I asked for the weekend off to go visit my dying grandmother, she snapped and lectured me about how I needed to “plan” my “vacation” better.
It was her referring to it as an “unplanned vacation” that really infuriated me. It wasn’t a vacation! We were told by her doctors that if we wanted to see her, it had to be now. I wasn’t going off and having a laugh with friends; I was visiting my grandma on her deathbed. Like wow, boss, I’m so sorry that my grandma’s death was so “poorly planned!”
Written up for being 1 minute late
I had a boss that absolutely hated me.
She wrote me up for being late on three separate occasions. 1 min late, 3 min late and 6 min late. I lived an hour from work and had to deal with traffic, I left my house 2 hours early most days to account for this. But when there’s a wreck, there’s not much you can do as the freeway is backed up and side roads are clogged. Each time I got stuck in traffic I called to let her know.
Still wrote me up in hopes to eventually fire me. So I started leaving the house crazy early, I’d get in super early and leave early. She haaaated it.
Eventually her behavior got her fired and people till this day remember her and laugh at what a horrible person she was. I also had that write up removed from my file as it was recognized that she was treating many of her employees unfairly.
Forced to resign
My male boss sexually harassed me repeatedly at a work convention in Las Vegas. When we got back from the convention, he put me on a performance plan. After he went through the plan with me, he said “Now, is there anything you wanted to tell me? Has the atmosphere been okay here for you? Did anything make you uncomfortable?”
The day after I was put on the plan, I resigned with no other full-time job lined up . Sometimes I wished I had filed a harassment claim, but it was a company of less than 10 people, so there wasn’t an HR department and I was broke and had no idea how I would have afforded legal help. Still makes me physically ill to think about that guy.
The Christmas kitchen horrible boss
My horrible boss was my first kitchen manager. She was so insane that she would make a list of little stupid stuff that wouldn’t be perfect when she walked in. Common items would be: pen left on counter, microwave not set to zero – I never used it my whole shift (I’m a cook, cooks don’t make food with microwaves), radio not set to her station, etc. You get the clue.
When I found out I was fired right before Christmas, that was music to my ears. It blows not having income around the biggest holiday. The maintenance man gave me a heads up that they were hiring at another location, so I applied and was hired immediately for that night. It was so great to get away from her.
How dare you not drink caffeine?!
I used to work in high pressure sales. Once a week the director would come in and to get everyone energized they brought in energy drinks. She’d leave them in her office for the sales people to have.
I got tired of drinking energy drinks so I decided to not participate this one week. My boss came up to me and said this “listen, go into that office and get one right now.” I was so stunned that I didn’t know what to do. So I got up, grabbed a can, walked back to my desk and just left it sitting there.
He came back and asked why I didn’t drink it. I told him I didn’t want to have one because my body doesn’t do well with so much caffeine.
He stated to me that my lack of energy is extremely distracting to him and that it shows in my performance. He ended with “if you keep this up we may have to let you go”.
Lo and behold I ended up getting fired. I enjoyed two weeks of unemployment until I got a call back from the same company. They wanted to hire me for a different position, not sales. No interview and higher pay. I took it and I loved it.
Sideswiped by the boss
I once worked at a company where the CIO (Chief Information Officer) sideswiped a woman’s car as she pulled into a parking space. The woman who had the car that got hit got out and stood beside her car to see what damage was done.
The CIO got out of her car and brushed right past the woman without so much as speaking to her. Completely ignored her and walked away. Even with witnesses.
The woman that had her car damaged had to go to the HR department and the company cut her a check for damages (the actual business paid for it – not the CIO, she got away scott free without ever admitting anything or paying anything).
“Fortunately for me, I ducked”
My first “real” job out of college was working as an Office Manager/Exec Admin in a branch office for a financial services firm. The branch manager was my official Worst Boss Ever.
Nothing was ever said to me in a normal tone of voice…if it wasn’t sarcasm, it was condescending. EVERYTHING was condescending. Nothing I ever did was right.
I regularly got accused of stealing (which I never did), and was reminded at least once a week that he had cameras ALL OVER the office and he was gonna catch me out some day.
The incident that made me decide to leave was right before Christmas; my boss accused me of stealing and, when I said I didn’t and he should check the cameras, he picked up his metal wastebasket from beside his desk, and threw it at my head. Fortunately for me, I ducked and it hit the doorframe. I didn’t say anything and walked back to my desk, finished out my day, and left my keys behind. I found a new job two weeks later.
“Ma’am, that’s illegal.”
I was fired from my job as an assistant manager at a convenience store by the district manager who hated me. I applied for unemployment insurance, and the company said I wasn’t eligible, because I’d been fired for cause. (I wasn’t, but that was a matter the review board had to decide.) We showed up for the review, and I was prepared to explain how my direct boss had decided to leave keys to the inner safe in the outer safe area overnight, which had resulted in more than $100 going missing, which was the reason they gave ME for firing me.
My boss proceeded to show how I’d “padded paperwork” to hide missing money. The panel of reviewers asked my district manager how I SHOULD have noted it, and she went off into some incomprehensible and highly illegal way of “subtracting” the amount from the numbers in a way that would under-report income. The panel informed her that what she was trying to tell me to do was illegal, and they would be informing the local tax office. Oh, and yes…I was eligible for my unemployment money. Win win win, and the look on my boss’ face? Classic. I wish I had a photograph!
We “promise” you can have full-time hours!
I used to work at a big retailer and I had 3 people I had regular contact with that were in a higher position and were technically my boss.
I’ve always said that it was the worst place i’ve ever worked, because of how thoroughly they want to screw their employees out of what they work for.
I was hired as a temporary employee that they said I would be able to become a full-time employee once I got past 6 months.
Once the 6 months were up they laid me off because tax season was coming around and if they kept the temps they would have to pay more. When it was over they offered another temporary position with the “promise” of full time after 6 months.
She just stood there…
My supervisor at this nonprofit was maybe a couple years older than me, and for the six months I worked there, never bothered to set me up with my own computer. I’d work in the mornings and she tended to show up around lunch time, so she told me I could use hers, which was pretty annoying in and of itself.
But more often than not she’d come in about an hour before I was scheduled to leave, and stand over me, eating her lunch, as I worked at her desk. I’d say things like, “Oh I’ll go find somewhere else to work” and she’d say no no you’re fine. And continue to stand over me as I sat at her desk.
“You know what you did!”
Sometimes, bosses have to tell employees when they are messing up. It happens. But you don’t usually expect it to go like this…
The vice president told me I was being disrespectful during a conversation. I asked how and she told me that I “knew what I was doing”. I asked again, stating that I had asked because I didn’t actually know and was told she didn’t have time for me because I “know what you’re doing and I don’t have time for this”
You’re the vice president, not a 15 year old angry at her boyfriend.
A roller coaster from start to finish
I worked in an off-the-rack suit store. I was hired by the assistant manager. Turns out, the manager of the store is on vacation in his native Jordan, but he’ll be back at the end of the week. Cool.
The assistant manager said he’d be going camping at the end of the week, but it’ll be cool because the real manager was coming back the day before. Except, Jordan revolts, so he’s stuck in Jordan. The assistant manager decides to give me a key and go camping anyway.
On Saturday, the vice president of operations comes in from across the country to see how the shop is doing. He is not happy at all.
The assistant manager is fired. I’m given his responsibilities. I started working 14 hour days, every day, for a little over a month, doing a job I was unprepared, untrained and under-qualified for.
Then the manager got back from Jordan, and he was pissed. He snapped at me. He berated me in front of the other employees. For a full week after he came back, I was working the same schedule I’d been working while he was in Jordan and now I was getting yelled at the entire time.
So I quit.
Low quality boss
I had the worst boss imaginable as my first boss. She was the marketing manager. Here are the highlights:
- She routinely called me in the middle of the night (11pm – 3am) to complain about things that could wait until work hours.
- Would Google search “www.WebsiteName.com” to get to ANY website other than Google. Then she got mad when I tried to explain the address bar to her.
- Harassed me about my body, even when I was trying to lose weight.
- Wouldn’t let me off to go to the doctor when I was sick.
- Stalked me at my new job after I left. Called my new manager (who knew her and how crazy she was) to tell him about a grammar “mistake” I made. She was wrong about it.
Museum of bad bosses
I work at a museum. The board president cussed me out on the phone before a big seasonal event, saying that she heard from other people that I was not giving 100% dedication to my job.
I emailed her after the conversation, because it came completely out of left field. I had never had anyone complain about how I did my job.
Turns out, no one had said a word to her about the job I was doing. She just listed a bunch of her own grievances about what I was doing (wearing a costume to work on Halloween, not labeling some artifacts she had brought in that had zero historical value, keeping my bike out of sight in the office, trivial stuff).
Also, I found out that the executive director and the president were paying me less than they originally agreed to. When I first got the job two years ago, they gave me a job description with the original pay listed on it. Naively, I didn’t make a copy of it. When I started the job, my paycheck was much less than I thought it would be, and I was given another job description with the lower pay on it.
Anyway, some stuff went down earlier this year. My boss and the entire executive board stepped down from their positions, and I found my original job description with the original pay. Needless to say, I’m now getting paid what I was supposed to, plus back pay.
Screamy holiday boss
Several years back I started a new job and was told the office would re-organize in the new year and my position my be shuffled to a new work group.
A month later we’re busy running a major year-end event and things are going to crap. Everything requires total coordination across multiple divisions and came to a grinding halt with a lady in my office. She hadn’t prepared adequately and the entire process was hours behind schedule, causing huge problems. She proceeded to have a melt down and walked around the office screaming at people. Guess who became my new supervisor?
The client may not always be right, but you don’t usually call them this many names when they are wrong…
At my last job at a marketing company, our President and Owner went on an hour long tirade to a client, basically calling them “stupid’, “ungrateful”, “idiots”, along with a bunch of swears. It started because the client, a dentist, presented my boss with some ideas that came from her receptionist.
Just the standard advertising suggestions (bench signs, radio ads) that the layperson would know, but nothing so bad that someone deserves to get ridiculed and harassed over.
“Why aren’t we better friends?”
I had a boss who would try to turn every single interaction into an argument or confrontation. I would be at work, going about my business, doing the same thing I do every day, and he would come around and our interactions would go something like this:
Him: I want you to do it this way
Me: That’s how I’m doing it, that’s how I’ve always done it.
Him: Don’t argue with me, just do what I’m telling to do!
Me: But I…
Him: IF YOU CAN’T DO IT THE RIGHT WAY I’LL FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN!
My only course of action around this guy was to act dumb and make him feel like he was a wise old sage because he had been in this business longer than me.
Oh, and during my last review with him, he wanted to know why we weren’t better friends.
You don’t get health insurance, but look at my new car!
I used to work for a smaller company, around 12 employees. The president/owner of the company was completely out of touch on how to appropriately run a business. All he cared for was profit.
There was no health insurance and no personal or sick time. If you were sick, oh well use your vacation or just don’t get paid at all. One employee had been working there for 10 years and had never received a raise.
This guy was just a total jerk. Every 2 months he would pull up in a new car then get his employees off the production floor so he could flaunt his new toy to them. We are talking about Porsche GT3’s, Tesla Model S (2 of them), Nissan GTR, Audi S8… The list goes on.
When I quit, he tried accusing me of stealing sensitive company information, which was untrue. I told him to leave me alone or I would contact the human rights board and tell them what’s going on. He backed off, but since then about 4 of their most experienced employees have left, and 3 more are still looking for jobs.
“Women can’t bartend”
A few years ago I was hired as a bartender for a restaurant. Start my first day and meet a new guy who was also hired. Get there and I’m sent on the floor to waitress. I’ve never waitressed before, I applied to be a bartender. The manager tells me that the girls waitress and the guys bartend. I was a bit annoyed but figured the other manager would fix it when he was there (he didn’t)!
Anyway, I learned waitressing was not for me. I’m terrible at it! The female manager would be constantly over my shoulder and shouting at me. She screamed at me in front of customers on my third night because I forgot the order of the table numbers.
One night he was left alone and it was quiet. A group came in and asked for mojitos and he wasn’t taught how to make them and had no drink guides so I jumped on the bar and helped him. As I’m helping him the manager spots me behind the bar and loses the plot and starts screaming at me in front of everyone… it was so degrading.
I was eventually fired by the manager who I’d never seen because of the feedback from the female manager. And rightly so because I was so bad! Still cringe thinking about that job and that horrible witch!
Work overtime for no reason, please
Ever had a boss get annoying over really petty things? Well, if you haven’t, here’s a great example…
I once worked at a discount sportswear store, and my supervisor was an absolute jerk. I was on the minimum wage with no overtime payment, and he wouldn’t let me go home until two hours after my finishing time because the coathangers weren’t fully extended. Pretty impossible when you’re working on the childrenswear department (where the clothes are too small to fit on extended hangers)!!
Grocery gateway… to misery
I worked at a grocery store for almost 3 years. At first it was great!! Easy job, lots of hours. But then.. Corporate changes happened.
They fired one of my managers, and brought in the GM as a new permanent manager. I would often ask him things, to make sure I was doing it right so I wouldn’t get yelled at later.. Only to be yelled at with “it’s common sense, you’re not bright are you?”.
I had a front end manager who was basically my second mom. And the GM loves to bully her. To the point where he makes her cry. And note, he only bullies the female employees, because the men “do it perfectly every time”.
So not only does he her, but he bullies me and tells me how I don’t even deserve a job, and I’m stupid, incompetent, will be like my dad, etc. So I cried every time I worked with him.
When I quit, he gave me some crap about how he loves working with me, I’m the best worker etc. Since I have quit this past March, THREE OTHER PEOPLE have replaced me and either quit out of fear or been fired because they are too intimidated around him and fuck up their change.
So what if I earn $100,000? I want free soup!
Back when I was a starving student, I worked several jobs to pay the bills. By far the worst of these was working at a petrol station for a manager who was quite simply the worst person I have met. Here are some of the highlights of my time working there:
- We received a message from the corporate office that they were going to have a country wide efficiency audit, where they would compare this month’s electricity / water / general bills with the following month’s. The manager of the office with the biggest improvement would win a holiday to Bali. Her way to win? Simply turn on all the lights and taps and leave them running for the entire first month so we would look terribly inefficient, then just go back to normal in the following month. She won;
- She and her friend (both on $100,000+ annual salaries), would go to the local soup kitchen for lunch because “our taxes pay for it!”;
- We had to report to head office that there was a theft of a pallet of chips and chocolate bars, then help her load it into her car;
Even the 7 year old thinks you’re a bad boss
I worked at a kids charity where the boss HATED children. There are too many stories to pick just one here, so I’ll sum her up with a story of how the kids saw her.
I was washing dishes after cooking classes with the same tiny little 7 year old (the smallest, most adorable girl at this place… so sweet with huge eyes that made her look like a pixar character) when the second-in-command boss walked by and coughed. The little girl looked up at me and said, “He’s sick.” I responded with “I know, isn’t that sad?” To which she replied, with the darkest, most ominous voice I’d ever heard from this angel child, “… I wish Ms. BossLady would get sick…”
“We order the same of everything here!”
I used to work at an ice cream stand in a pretty popular tourist spot. Boss was a nice guy, friendly, accommodating, etc, but not necessarily the brightest bulb on the tree.
Dude would order the same quantity of EVERYTHING. Like, just went down the order sheet going 5, 5, 5, 5. Doesn’t matter how fast we run out of vanilla or how few people ordered the weird flavors; we got 5 tubs of each a week. Nuts come in tiny pouches and sprinkles huge bags? Doesn’t matter, you get 5 each. Cones are boxes of 24 and cups bags of 50?
It was spectacular how quickly we ran out of certain things and how massive our stockpiles were of other stuff. And it took him until August to figure this out and let us “advise” his orders, since we couldn’t do it ourselves.
That stare means hello
I’m a personal assistant and have worked for some very wealthy and insane people…
Wealth-management CEO & his Russian bride: He would tell me everyday of the new jewelry and sports cars he was buying his wife. Literally, everyday she got a gift that cost over $50k! He spent more on her daily than I would make working for him in one year. Russian bride when I had to help her would never look at me, or even speak to me unless she had no choice. She would just make hand gestures or the maid would “translate” her glares to me.
“How dare you be nice to children?!”
Worked at a ski supply company.
A kid maybe 12-13 comes in and asks if we sell a certain brand of mittens. I said we don’t carry them but we could order them for him.
I found out through talking to the kid that the only reason he wanted them was because he thought he was getting both a mitten and a glove at the same time.
When I found this out, I explained to him that it was just the name, and you only get one set of mittens, and not a set of mitts and gloves. I recommended him a cheap set of mitts and a cheap set of gloves that were both decent, just not made by burton and without the mark-up. Off he went, happy as a clam.
I proceeded to get yelled at by my manager for not selling him the combo mitts. When I explained to him that the kid was going to be upset when they came in he told me “that’s not your concern now, make the sale and worry about that later”
I walked away from the manager and he cut my hours drastically after that.
We’re out of business, but show up to work
My first job was working fast food for the biggest cheapskate ever. He would regularly schedule me for more hours than I was legally allowed to work, paid less than minimum wage due to a loophole, and refused to turn the air conditioning on to save money.
One day, I was scheduled for a shift. I spent the night before at a friend’s house who lived close enough for me to walk. It was raining heavily that day so after walking twenty minutes to work I was drenched. I pulled the door handle and the building was locked. No signs on the door, just locked. I call my boss and he says, “You don’t have to work today, we are closed for business.” I say, “Am I working tomorrow?” “No, we are closed for good.”
He was afraid people would half-ass their last shifts and steal product if they knew we were closing, so he just didn’t mention anything. One of the managers was his own brother, and he didn’t even bother to tell the guy that he would be unemployed and needed to find a new job.
Absentee boss (unless you mess up)
I’m in the Navy, and have actually had good luck with my supervisors. Even the one I’m about to talk about isn’t terrible. It’s just that he’s never around. Ever. Unless you do something bad.
Whenever you need him, he’s not in the office, not in the building, and his car is gone. He has all these pet peeves and rules that aren’t really necessary. When you make the decision to go against his “ways”, sure enough, he’s right there, and demanding answers as to why things aren’t being ran like he expects.
A human comic strip
Unfortunately, those business comic strips are inspired by real life – this boss, it seems…
For those who know “pointy-hair” boss in that business comic strip, my boss is his human counterpart.
He hears nothing of what you’re actually saying, even when he takes you aside and asks for input (which is rare). Even after a discussion, 5 minutes later he doesn’t remember a word you said, no matter how important the subject.
He is the personification of the “Peter Principle” – namely, he’s been promoted to his level of incompetence. Everyone who works with me agrees, in full. Yet, he makes the big bucks …
He had it coming
Revenge is sweet sometimes, but it’s even sweeter when you don’t have to do anything and the universe takes care of it for you…
This will be quick:
I worked for a retail store, I’d been there for close to three years, I asked my supervisor for the possibility of a promotion, the supervisor laughed at me and told me I had crap attitude. I left that job the next day. Fast forward 5 years and…said supervisor was a greeter at a local retailer while I now work for the State.
Nope-ing the heck out of there
My boss is an absolute HR nightmare. First of all, he’s the CEO of the company and thinks he can get away with anything because his brother is the company lawyer and his other brother is the HR manager. He is SUPER inappropriate. Like makes awful sexual comments to me all the time. In the beginning he used to hug me ALL THE TIME. When I told him that I wasn’t much of a hugger, he said “well, we will have to change that.” Creepy. He also told me all about his first sexual experience (with a coworker!), and said that women should be more sexually aggressive in the workplace. Urm, what? Needless to say, I’m nope-ing the heck out of here real soon. Putting in my two weeks on Monday.
Now that you the worst bad boss stories, we want to highlight the traits you need to be a great leader. Keep reading below!
The key traits all good leaders have (that every aspiring manager should work toward)
If you’re an aspiring leader, you have a lot on your plate. Not only do you need to perform your current job well, but you also have to show leadership potential. Once you get there, the tasks get even greater because you may have a team under you (and even if you’re not a direct people manager, you’ll need to lead projects or teams). It can all be dizzying. But when thinking about the top qualities of leadership, there are a few that stand out from the pack.
20 – The ability to think on your feet
This scenario could easily happen to you as a new leader or manager: the CEO wants to give you a chance to step into your role. Or perhaps you are at a client meeting and the company wants to officially introduce you to the client.
So your manager asks you to deliver a presentation for 10 minutes on the latest project updates your team has been working on. So far, so good. But suddenly, your team is called away on an emergency and you have to go alone. Now, you aren’t speaking for 10 minutes – you need to fill the entire two hour meeting agenda. You figure this out on the ride over, so you scramble to remember roughly what everyone else was going to talk about and how you’re going to frame the fact that you’re arriving alone (after all, the client was expecting everybody).
In another example, it’s possible that your well-thought out plan completely fails for a new marketing initiative and it’s back to the drawing board… two days before the campaign launch date. You’ve got a lot of work to do and little time for intense “brainstorming” sessions. You’ve got to think on your feet.
Thinking on your feet like this is something that all good leaders are able to do. They know what their own messages are, but they also pay attention to everything else. It may never be necessary to turn a 10 minute presentation into a two hour one, but thinking on your feet can happen in a variety of ways.
How to get better at thinking on your feet: There are a couple things you can do to think on your feet more efficiently.
For one, have basic frameworks in the back of your mind that you can draw on. For example, a framework that helps you plan a talk or a framework that helps you test out new ideas. When times get tough, you can pull out these frameworks and immediately get to action.
Secondly, be observant. Look around at what’s going on. Pay attention to what people say in meetings. Keep your ear to the ground, so the speak, to learn what other people’s initiatives are. This isn’t about spying or gossiping. Instead, it’s for your own knowledge and context. It will not only help you make your work more integrated with what everyone else is doing, you’ll also be more prepared if an emergency comes up and you need to handle it.