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Readers Respond: What Makes a Bad Boss - Bad?

Responses: 325

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The Smoking Evil Boss

The very first time I entered her room, I sensed that she has this bad attitude for she smokes in her room. Not only that, but it's prohibited in the city. Not all of our co-workers can survive the smoke including myself because I am not a smoker myself. She takes advantage of me since I am young and single. It was also the time when I was fresh from breaking up with my ex-sweetheart. She would yell at me whenever there were visitors. And even if I'm doing the right things, she would still find ways to tell me that I'm wrong. One time, I avoided a guy for consistently staring at me. She sided with the rude guy and put the blame on me instead. She continued yelling at me whenever there are visitors. People avoided me. Our messenger became disgustingly rude to me. I felt harassed. I've had skin diseases because of it. It keeps coming back. I finished my employment contract with the company. My boss didn't renew it. And she would still embarass me until the last days. That's how evil she is.
—Guest The Musical Lady

Manager Thief

My nephew told me his boss at the restaurant was stealing the overtime pay from all the workers on his job. I told him that if he did not confront his manager about this, I would come to the restaurant myself and do it. I would have called the police on this manager, and I meant it big time. I am not afraid of anybody or anything. I am an ex-MARINE, AND THAT SAYS IT ALL. Nobody has the right to be a boss and take people's overtime money. They earned their money and should get it honestly. I was so pissed off that I never forgave this manager, and my nephew quit that damn job. He is now in manufacturing. Reckless in Indiana! Crazy times that we live in now a days ya all.
—Guest drspock55

The plain truth

Sometimes a team leader can be a bully, too, especially in a manufacturing setting. The blatant truth to it all is that bullies are everywhere, and they will never grow up. Whether they are in management or business owners, or team leaders or just fellow coworkers, they are out in the work place, and sometimes, you need to take legal action, too. You have to stand up to them or things will never change. That's the truth, and the way it really is.
—Guest drspock55

Newbie Bosses

At my last job, I worked under different supervisors every day. I really liked this because, while I may not always be working for my favorite boss, I wasn't working for my least favorite all the time either. The worst boss was a newbie; he had worked there for at least three years, (awhile for this place), so I figured he knew what he was doing. Nope. I had a set amount of things that I was supposed to be doing. Although it wasn't a concrete plan, it was a good guide-line. He had me doing things that were other people's jobs. Or my personal favorite, "Hey, could you go do this? Oh wait! No, go do this other thing. Well...just keep doing what you were doing." Because I have to "switch gears" for different tasks, this really interfered with what I was doing. And left me a little confused. Another really bad quality in a boss is one that just says, "You are doing a bad job." If I'm doing a bad job, I need to know how to make it better, not just be told that it's bad!!
—Guest Girlie

Jealous boss

I have worked for my boss for 13 years and she is so insane but does not know it herself. I am the only person who works for her small company. Last couple of years have been hideous. Her husband was made redundant and is now in my face and he gives me the creeps. She hates when customers praise me, is petty, takes credit for my ideas or work, never gives praise, creates problems that do not exist ,forgets everything and I have to remind her, changes her mind on a daily basis regarding company policy, and involves me in her personal problems. She told me every detail when her husband cheated on her and I was sorry for her. Now he is back in there and I am expected to respect him. The funny thing is I know they both hate me and hope I will just leave but I refuse to give up a job I love and give them the satisfaction, even though they make me feel sick. I have noticed that with some bosses, the harder their employee works, the better they are, the more their boss resents it. My boss is a vampire.
—Catgirls

Bad Boss

Some bosses are too personal at work. I think that is what makes bad bosses. He/she might get angry and begin to shout at everyone because of his/her family personal problems.
—Guest phuti

Secretly Manipulative BAD BOSS

A bad boss is one who is manipulative, fearful, and inexperienced - who picks "favorites" to secretly carry out their personal gains. In other words, who runs the team like a mob boss. Case in point, I have a boss who favors the young beautiful girls and grooms them for promotions. Only girls who he has "interests" with and a few "brown" guys get treated fairly. The rest are treated like scab workers - toil away with limited resources, and rotated around as to confuse and divide us up. I personally was switched to a lesser role based on the fact that there was not enough work, only for a girl who is of the same East Indian background as my boss to be promoted into that same position. This boss surrounds himself with DUMB girls half his age (all of which he hits on as potential girl friends). With their ears to the ground, they listen and warn him of potential threats, while "tough" guys, my boss befriends, intimidate those whom he despises or finds threatening to his position.
—Guest Test

Unethical, Narcissist, and Gossip

I've been working in an academic office for going on 3 years as a temp with the promise of having a real position created for me mentioned once a quarter. My boss is an office manager who can get away with a great deal of unethical practices, which are usually requested of me. She has had me house sit for her without compensation, asked me to draft letters for students who need food stamps when the students are not eligible, and review and make notes on applications for positions I have applied for myself. She acts like a den mother in our department, expresses a sympathetic ear and with much skilled coercion, extracts the opinions and concerns out of individuals and staff, then broadcasts them to other faculty members and the department head under the guise that this information simply fell into her lap. She is the queen of saying one thing and doing another. Gossip and whispering speculations overrun the office and no one can talk directly to each other about the problems.
—Guest strung-a-long temp

Negative Boss

Negative bosses are those people who always try to find his subordinate's defects, never goes for appreciation, always tries to demotivate. Those bosses are very harmful and dangerous especially when his salary is less than his subordinates. He will always plan to get them out of the office, highlighting only the defects of the subordinates to the top management I don't know how to handle those hypocrites. Please help to resolve this issue.
—Guest Indranil Indu

What Makes a Bad Boss

I am angry that I have been demoted from my job and I don't know what will happen next. All I can do is have a stronger Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist practice and not have any grudges and show them how the Lotus Sutra interpreted by Nichiren Shoshu (best English translation by Burton Waston) works. When the right time comes, a better job or opportunity will be there when I need it; meanwhile I am helping these people by living the Lotus Sutra and stopping my anger and resentment. You can find the Lotus Sutra on the internet or at your local bookstore it shows a better path to take in life. (Susan suggests that you also put some thought into why you were demoted. Are there other skills or practices that you could develop to avoid that in the future.)
—Guest J

Crazy Company

I'm reporting to 3 lady bosses. The problem is that they keep demoralizing me and making me look like a fool. Even when I have zipped all the files, they complain that the size is too big and that their new notebook can't open it. Then, I was asked to re do them again into a smaller size by removing some of the potential details which are for past reference. The problem is they will always say, didn't I tell you before this and that? You didn't listen or write down what I said. To avoid confrontation, I will just act dumb, but this is very stressful. To make things worse, the employment contract is 3 months which will tick off any potential position available on the job market.
—Guest dolce

Discipline Obsessed

Thinking that a discipline matters giving it, for example, to engineers and nurses. Better treatment as oppossed to accountants, masons, and researchers. Showing biased decision making on the majority of cases that put other disliked members at the disadvantage.
—Guest chepha

Insecure bosses are the worst

I have had two really bad bosses. #1 was the son of a really wonderful man who, unfortunately, passed away. The son took over unprepared and lost 1/2 of the employees - most, like me, had been with the company a minimum of 10 years - ticked off our biggest customer, and eventually bankrupted the company - all in less than two years. Boss #2 was a very insecure woman. She ran the office like a prison and was so antiquated in her procedures that it really wasn't difficult to improve on them, but if you should try, she would get nasty. The final straw was when she told me to put an order out that had no SHIP TO info on it. I tried to contact the customer; she told me not to worry about it - when it was time to be shipped, I could get the info then. Later that day I tried to contact the customer again and she literally hung up the phone on me! The next day the owner came out and tore a strip off me for putting an incomplete order out - while she stood there and listened - I quit on the spot.
—Guest Karen

My boss is difficult

My boss is difficult and I find her intimadating. I just joined the company 2 months ago, and have been getting into the new works. She's an account director and I'm an executive, but she leads me directly with no managers in between and we work very closely together. Everytime I come to her to ask about something, instead of answering them directly, very often she would say things like"haven't I already told you about this before" (while honestly I can't really recall when she did) or things like, "Arent you supposed to know about these things and figure them out yourself". Very often she would give me that frustrated kind of tone or look like I'm retarded or something. Other times, when she says something, she would be like "get a note pad and write them down because I'm not gonna waste my time telling you this again." It undermines your self-confidence when your boss treats you like that. It makes it hard to work with her and has put a lot of stress on me because of that. Now I'm scared of her.
—Guest MissyX

Not so bad

I'm happy to report that I have had more good bosses than bad. I think employees want to be included, listened to, and feel their opinions are valued. When I started out, I wasn't a very good boss. I meant well, but I didn't communicate and I didn't trust my staff to do a good job. Over the years, I learned that a collaborative approach works best with most staff. They like to be involved in projects from planning to the final execution. By developing a more team-oriented approach, we have a great success rate. My own boss is a wonderful person--kind, highly intelligent, and always takes time to listen, give good advice, and even pray with me (yes, he is a minister). I have never been happier in a job. After 40 years of working, I've found the truth in the saying, "If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life".
—Guest guest patricia

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What Makes a Bad Boss - Bad?

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