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How To Fill Out Form W-4

Readers Respond: What Makes a Bad Boss - Bad?

Responses: 255


What makes a good boss, good?

I have never had a boss I cared for. I work somewhere now where I have two bosses and they are both terrific! They are honest yet supportive with any criticism, they care about their employees as people (yes it's a very small company) and help me whenever possible. They are always open to new ideas as well.
—Guest Idol Fan

worst boss

Too many. I'm quiet, I keep to myself; always told I'm a great worker. The bosses I've come across are unbelievable. Being an independent contractor's made it worse. Employers get away with using us as contractors so they think they don't have to follow employment rules, etc., and can boot us out at their whim for no reason without notice. "Don't be an independent contractor, be an employee," a friend said. In this market, we take work where we can get it and have to put up with their crap. Why should someone be "fired" for not wanting to go out and party with the girls? I'm there to work, not party. Why should someone be fired for cleaning the office because it's a pig sty and I took it upon myself to not have my area be a haz mat disaster? No, I "went beyond the scope of duties without asking." For free, my choice, because I hate filth. Can't count the times I've been screamed at, had things thrown at me; once was shoved to the ground by a manager on cocaine, sexually harassed...
—Guest guest

Big Ego-Small Heart

As a female programmer I find many managers are not technical enough to understand what you are doing and the good ones are humble enough to ask questions. The ego driven ones are the ones to watch out for. In my previous job I was in charge of a project but assignees were not required to follow my directives - specifically if male (the company was pure Old Boy). One ranted and raved about how he should have been assigned the project lead. As a result, I was let go for not being able to get along with this one person assigned to me although I had no issues with anyone else that were any different from anyone else on the staff. This person also aggravated the women on the project and continually screamed and yelled at them. Nevertheless, to the boss, he appeared humble and contrite but to the rest of us, he was a sicko. The boys stuck together and will always win. Gals - use your boobs if that's what it takes - that's all they see us for.

Military leadership

You are showing ignorance when you state that some folks don't mind being yelled at; "...people in the military are totally used to it." The Marine Corps and Navy spend a lot of time teaching and observing leadership skills. Although yelling is a tool it is best saved for truly life and death situations. And then the situation is often best dealt with without adding noise and confusion.
—Guest obyrnejeffmac.com

Brings Private Life to Work

Everyone has bad days, but to take it out on your subordinates is really bad. My boss's private life, whatever the cause, is about to make us all look for another job. The dog was sick, the boyfriend gets on her nerves, and one of the partners has it out for her. She will take it out on us. Riding us like ponies just to prove she is in charge. But, if we are on vacation, she is completely lost, so we stress more while we are gone. She will throw you under the bus at any chance she gets. You're not even safe out on maternity leave.

Move On

I could have anticipated that I wouldn't put up with a bad boss and was in the process of moving on when I was fired. They tried to say it was performance but I received my full performance bonus. After my first 3-months of employment I knew we had a problem so I sought to discuss it with my boss hoping to work out our differences. After about 6 months I realized I needed help with my boss from the operations manager who had warned me when he hired me. I was able to motivate the people who worked for me without confrontation and achieved a 30-day reduction in the project's CPM schedule (a big deal). My boss continually put me on the spot, belittled me in meetings with my subs, and nit picked everything from minor quality issues to dust. What I learned is that just being associated with a bad boss is a debacle. The reputation a bad boss has can and will affect your career and wreck relationships.....the one you have with yourself the most. My advice - don't hesitate to move on.
—Guest Todd

bad boss,military

I must correct you about yelling in the military. The people in charge still have to treat you with respect and not yell at you in the military. If I deserve to be yelled at in the army, then yes, but not just because the sergeant wants to yell.
—Guest loretta martin

OH yeah.....I have had 4 in my life

This is a great blog. The pattern I see with bad boss syndrome, is that they are threatened, and they should not be in the position they hold. It is called the Peter Principle. So they make your life absolutely miserable every second of every day, hoping that you will just walk. I have had to go higher up, to explain the "un-necessary" things that were said and done by my bad bosses. I have documented everything in a little notebook that I kept with me at all times, and the bottom line is they are incompetent and have probably screwed someone to be there. Really it has to be something like that always. :) God Bless you all that are in this circumstance right now. It is the toughest, I don't need to apologize for having strong work ethics, and good people skills...they need to step down, and go pout somewhere else.
—Guest neecee

OMG - that's my boss

My boss is a combination of many above. To top it off, she calls in sick or takes vacation every week. She has missed 36 days since March 1! So, guess who is having to do all of her work as well as mine!
—Guest can't say or I'll get fired!

What? Boss?

The word already answers! Every boss in the world acts this way; they yell, they humiliate, they lie, they are the worst thing inside an office, but to their superiors or to whom there's any interest, just a "flower." But they usually forget that there's a tomorrow, because no one keeps their jobs nowadays for so long. One day, when they get to be simple workers, they'll bite their nails because they'll have the same treatment or even worst than what they did to their staff in the near past. Imagine the treatment they have when they arrive in heaven.....SO....everybody there who hates their boss, think about your boss's tomorrow. Then, relax, because here they do, here or in heaven they'll pay for it!
—Guest Just me

Wishes he would retire

I've worked for the organization for nearly 20 years, when I got promoted to management, my manager was wonderful. She treated us like adults and never raised her voice. She retired and her replacement is a man who takes out his bad moods on his employees, treats his women employees like idiots, unless you're one of the select few. I should mention that 90% of the employees are women. I'd rather work for 6 women going thru menopause than him. We've decided that he's in over his head and just can't handle it.
—Guest Tired

bad boos...good boos!

Happy employees make happy customers and happy employees come from great bosses. The boss has to put the employees first. And, there should NEVER be ANY yelling whatsoever. Teaching the employees the art of non violent communication (Rosenberg) and having an incentive program; Listening to each employee as an individual is also key. This list goes on and on but you get my drift!
—Guest Steven


I once worked for a major company that sold computers. I had the world's best boss ever. He was your friend and your protector! He went to bat everytime you needed him. He would spend hours of his own time to make sure his team hit their monthly quota. One day he went to a meeting and left his brief case with a recorder in a board room recording because he had a feeling something fishy was going on. What he recorded was his superiors talking about him and how he was a monkey lover because he is white and his wife is black. They said several other negative things also like how he only hired black women cause he wanted to sleep with them all. This was not the case! I worked in a bilding with over 1200 and less than 25 were non-white or black. He was later terminated and he sued the company.About 300 other employees also followed suit and sued for discrimination and corp. bullying. I really hope he won his case.
—Guest Foxy

I was a "Bad Boss."

I understand what all of you are saying. I was a bad boss and didn't even realize it, until one of the CSR's said something to me about it. I was a by the book manager. It took someone just starting to work there, to tell me, that if you wanted a better crew, you needed to see that everyone would respond to things differently. Some people you can be straight up with. Others, you have to kind of baby them. I never meant to hurt anyone's feelings or make them feel less of a person. It took an 18 year old to make a 50 year old see the light.
—Guest GammyX10

Can We say Bitch???

I must say my current boss is the worst boss I have ever worked for. I work in a small company and there is NO CONSISTANCY! None. One day everything is fine; the next day everything you do is wrong. There is no pleasing this peson. I tried to get all of my fiscal year end paper work done early and I did but it was on the wrong format. She had me turn it in to her and she looked over it and said it was fine. But later, she changed her mind and said it was all in the wrong format and I had to redo a year's worth of work in less than 2 days! I asked her if I could have the correct way the work should be formatted since I did not have a copy of it. She refused to give me the new copy. So,I had to make a spreadsheet of the old copy and make all of the updates to it manually to make it look like the new formatted version. This took forever and, of course, her reports were turned into her boss late and as usual I get the blame for her mistakes. All she had to do was email me the new copy.
—Guest Anonymous
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