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Readers Respond: What Makes a Bad Boss - Bad?

Responses: 325

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Sadist BOSS

My boss is a sadist. He likes to take credit for the work he had not done. I am working on a product, my boss and another guy had been working on for 18 months. Unfortunately, I had to work with him as he is expert in the domain and I am the software guy to make the software happen. The product was bang on within 11 months of my start on this product. My MD was able to proudly show the product to our guests ( almost all ), in the mean time my BOSS overloaded me with another 4 month, project. I did complete 70% of it in 1 month. My Boss's plan was to take it over from me and put his name on the work. My BOSS was reluctant to increase the deadline for me on the previous project I was working earlier. I did send an email to my MD about this issue and my BOSS was belittled. I am keeping my BOSS on check. currently I am facing one last problem with my BOSS, he asks for status aysnchronously, as he sits behind me, which annoys me. Hope to get over this soon.
—Guest BB

Unstable Boss

I love children, and found my dream job, only to find my dream job turned into a nightmare. The first week my boss and her husband appeared to be very moral and stable. They opened a play group and run it from their home. After the second week, I was shocked to the bone to see how my boss lies to the parents. Changing the facts around to suit her. I was then shouted at because, when asked by the parents how their children did through out the day, I told them why and how the child got his or her bruise. Turns out they have no insurance and I could mess it all up for them. However, I was screamed at again, this time for answering a parent's question about whether his child arrived with Mosquito bites on his face (which he didn't); playing in the classroom a few hours later they appeared. My boss called me into a tiny room with her husband and he shouted in my face for ten minutes. He actually spat on my face. Putting up his hand to shut me down.They clearly have no clue how to deal with people.
—Guest Guest - Nursery School Teacher

Look for the Reason for the Bad Behavior

Make sure you are not dealing with a boss who is mentally ill. It can be hard to detect or interpret when you have no knowledge of the specific illness and how it presents. Narcissistic Personality Disorder, learn about it. Mental illness in bosses, is apparently quite common. I went through it all the time in the dark. The illness controls them and because of it, they try to control and use you. Very manipulative and abusive.
—Guest Ken

Boss are always right..or not

I've joined the company about 5 years ago. In 5 years, I've worked with several different managers and this current manager is the worst of all. She has mood swings almost every day, is like waiting for a tsunami or something. She loves yelling to people, even on the phone. I've worked for so long, but I never heard any praise or recognition for my effort. It's not that I'm asking for rewards, just some appreciation would be enough. Recently she loves to point out my mistakes, even the small ones. Keeps talking behind my back, spreads the gossip to other managers which is kinda inappropriate to do. She insists we follow the company's rules, but if she herself didn't follow them, then why blame us for doing what she did? She even brought her kid to play around in the office and the store, treating it like nursery and we were the nannies. By the way, when I read about the signs you should quit your job, I knew I had to leave this place. That's the only way I can find my peace back.
—Guest Miss H

Toxic boss

The place I work has a toxic manager. She berates everyone, whines when she has to do something for herself and lies constantly. She refuses to take responsibility for any mistakes she makes, instead blames someone else. No one wants to work with her because she's lazy, and if someone asks her for help, she says it's not her job help them. The job I do is a busy one, but I get called lazy if I don't do her job for her. Needless to say, I'm the "laziest" person there because I refuse to do her job. Fortunately, my job keeps me in frequent contact with the owners so she can't treat me the same way she does other employees.
—Guest I'm not your gopher

Really? Is this how you treat employees?

This company was one of my dream jobs. I had tried to get in immediately after campus. That didn't happen, so eventually, I got in 2 years down the line. It's a horror movie! It's a family business, so the CEO is everything. They have NO HR system here, so when you're stressed, just deal with it. We put up with insults, constant yelling, threats, late salaries, deductions from pay with no reason, and a 'don't care' attitude. It's depressing to say the least. The hunt is definitely on for another job and I am going away soon!
—Guest Going away soon

Picks favorites, gossips and talks down

My boss is 30 and made friends with a 22 year old girl at work. He is gay so it's not sexual but the two of them sit in the office gossiping and laughing at the rest of us while we work ourselves sick. When we come in we can't sit for one minute without him wanting us out so they can go back to dishing about us. They both talk down to us like we are idiots and look at each other and laugh when we speak. Many of us call them the plastics from the movie mean girls. When we express concerns, he pretends patronizingly to care, then sabotages us by going to the program director.
—Guest hatemyboss

Won the war

I'd worked for this company for 10 years when they decided to get rid of my boss and hire the tyrant who is there now. He'd lost his job during a bank merger. He brought two of his former employees with him that also lost their jobs. He didn't like the fact that I knew more about the company and the department. So he slowly took away all of my leadership in the department. When I was on FMLA, he stripped me of my duties and gave me menial duties when I returned. During my next review, I was denied an increase because I didn't know he wanted me to perform my job differently. I overheard his co-workers saying, "When he wants to get rid of someone, he picks at them until they quit." One month before my wedding, he eliminated my position, terminating my employment from the company after 14 years of service. Because he couldn't fire me for cause, he had to pay me severance, one week for each year of service. I am much happier in my current position. That experience made me appreciate life.
—Guest patiently waited

Managing through intimidation; bullying

My boss has, through the last couple of years, become more and more intimidating. She has begun to use comments such as, "Don't you remember?" or "I've told you that several times." It has, at times, caused me to doubt my memory and job performance. I am at my wit's end on how to handle this. The union representative states that she cannot help unless she is a witness! Well, that's not going to happen, my boss may be a bully, but she's not stupid.
—Scouser52

A boss who thinks I am a mind reader

I have a boss who doesn't tell you what is expected out of you and expects you to perform.
—Guest cookie

Good or bad boss

Bosses are good when they exactly know their authority and responsibility and use it in a positive way, when they are able to communicate well, and bad when they are confused.
—Guest neha

Miserable boss

I actually chose to work with my current boss because I thought she would be inspiring to work with. Oh dear, was my assessment wrong. On day one of my new job she yelled at me in the middle of an open plan office for not delivering (it was 11 in the morning and the office had opened at 9). She also told me that sometimes when she spoke to me she found 'my face disappointing'. She also attempted to humiliate me in public (making her peers and colleagues feel very uncomfortable and ask if I needed support in managing her). I took the high road; told her I quit in the middle of one of her rants; and high tailed out of there. She still glares at me when she sees me in the hallway. I was completely blindsided by her, but I am so glad I no longer have to 'work' (read act like her servant) with her.
—Guest enoughalready

Left a Loser

I worked for a company for 24 years and was fairly content, until I got a new boss. She was/is the devil's spawn. She was absolutely evil, but she was a golden girl, and was in the position to stay. For three years I suffered under her, but during that time I scrimped and saved every penny, paid off my house and any/all consumer debt. When I was finally in a good financial place, I began looking for something better. Amazingly, I found a great job with a terrific boss, and I'm making more money and I have less stress. I am so blessed. But my advice, try to do what you can to cope, pay off your debt and get the heck away from the ugly situation you're in as soon as you can. You may find a better opportunity. Good Luck!
—Guest gonegirl

I look better when you look bad

In hospitality jobs, of course, when you're dealing with the public, it's anybody's guess as to what you'll get. My boss berates me for expressing any sort of negative opinion about customers, then when I say nothing, cuts my hours for having a "bad attitude." She'll walk in when it's busy, grab orders at random, and scream at me in front of customers for trying to tell her which table the orders go to, then scream because she's taken it to the wrong table. She constantly has temper tantrums and has provoked other employees into quitting and reduced others to tears. I am actively seeking other employment and can't wait to be out of there.
—Guest had enough

Poor management

My boss was a stupid f...aged lovelace. His last hired person turned out to be his passion, who behaved awfully feeling a support man! She could simply ignore any assigned work or not come at work at all. Our HR department couldn't do anything with this. At the end of the project, he reduced all except her. Luckily he resigned and that was his last working experience.
—Guest Mara

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What Makes a Bad Boss - Bad?

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