• Michael Najar, Ph.D

10 Bad Boss Stories

Updated: Sep 5, 2017

Bad Boss #1 I worked as a secretary for a large metropolitan hospital. My son was in day care at a local church. One day a co-worker ran into the office and screamed "the church is on fire, the church is on fire". Immediately, I ran to the church, where I could see the smoke, the fire, four fire engines and people everywhere. I was in a panic. I lost my shoe, tore my dress and dropped my purse looking for my son. After finding him (Thank God!), I returned to work frazzled and disheveled. When I made it back to my desk, my Boss approached me and said "You left your station without permission. You will be disciplined for this!"


Bad Boss #2 My last promotion entitled me to two new departmental benefits: a chair with arms and a bigger cubicle. Since I didn't see the need to disrupt my life and move another employee for 4 MORE INCHES, I declined the larger space. I was very comfortable where I was. But my Boss wouldn't let it die. He got maintenance workers to 'reconstruct' my area. It took them all day to add an 18" panel to my cubicle. When the work was done, my Boss stopped by. With a big grin on his face he said "Now this is more befitting of your new status."


Bad Boss #3 My Boss discovered the motivational quote "Only in the dictionary does SUCCESS come before WORK". He ordered a large banner for our work area with an "improved" version of the quote. The banner reads: "Only in the dictionary does SUCCESS come before HARD WORK".


Bad Boss #4 A vendor's rep held a meeting with the executive staff at my company. After a frustrating afternoon in which the only opinions expressed were those of the owner of the company, the exasperated rep exclaimed, "Are you all just a bunch of 'Yes' men?". To which my boss replied, "Of course not! If the owner wants us to say 'No' we're 'No' men!"


#BeABetterBoss @SupervisorTrainingCenter.com


Bad Boss #5 I recently wrote a justification to buy a new computer. It had to be approved by my boss. Unhappy with my writing style, my boss re-wrote the justification to show me how it should be done. After it was finally written properly, he turned it down.


Bad Boss #6 My Boss heard there was an opening for a plant manager in our South American facility. To better prepare himself he decided to attend Spanish classes on the company's time and at their expense. The only problem? The plant is in Brazil where they speak Portuguese!


Bad Boss #7 I worked on a HUGE project for an engineering firm. EVERYONE was FORCED to work long overtime hours to finish it on time. A large portion of this overtime work went unpaid. Management frequently threatened the workers since the employment market was tight. When the project was finally completed, the staff was called together and berated terribly. My Boss was particularly upset that this project was late. Later that day I talked to one of the clients on the phone. He seemed to be very happy with our work. Towards the end of our conversation he said " Well how did yawl split up that $300,000 bonus we gave you for FINISHING AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?


Bad Boss #8 On Monday, my Boss approached me at 4:00 PM with an emergency assignment. He had an important meeting early the following morning and needed a new version of a 400-page document. I worked the all-nighter, made the updates, and left the manual on his desk. I left to go home at 7AM the next morning. When I came to work that Wednesday, I asked his secretary about the important, emergency, client meeting. She said "Oh, he decided to cancel. He took a few vacation days instead."


Bad Boss #9 My company recently showed a video during one of our monthly review meetings. The video talked about the importance of working together in a morally and ethically pure state. It expounded such virtues as optimism, hard work and honesty. It claimed that an honest management would cultivate honest employees. The movie was very uplifting and motivating. Just before the lights came on, the last message ran across the screen. It read "FOR DEMO PURPOSES ONLY -- ILLEGAL TO USE FOR TRAINING".


Bad Boss #10 When I resigned, my Boss asked for more than the normal two week period. He wanted as much time as possible to find a replacement. Since my new job didn't start for six weeks, I found it easy to comply with his wishes. After three weeks I told my Boss I could no longer work weekends because I was moving out-of-state. However, sure enough, despite my requested restrictions, I was scheduled to work all seven days in my final week of work. "I can't work Saturday and Sunday." I told my Boss. "You've had the last two weekends off." he replied. "You have to work or I will fire you." "I've already quit." I told him. I am working this week as a favor to you." "You're FIRED!" he shrieked. "Fine." I shrugged and started out the door. Before I could reach the door my Boss caught me. He said "What are you doing? You can't leave yet! You're not fired until the end of your shift!!"


Excerpts from: James, J. (2011, September 23). Top 40 Bonehead Boss Stories - CBS News. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-40-bonehead-boss-stories/


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