Bad bosses are a big deal. It’s next to impossible to enjoy your work if the person in charge is a micromanager, or unavailable when you need them, or just plain incompetent. At some point in our careers, most of us run into a less-than-ideal boss.
But, there are a few horrible managers out there who are so bad, they’re almost legendary. Reading about them will almost certainly make you feel better about your boss.
1. TMI Guy.
“So about a week ago I had to email my old boss to get some tax stuff,” writes coolool at Reddit. “After about a week they still hadn’t responded. I sent them another email asking if she had received my last email. The response was priceless!”
2. The Vacation Planner.
“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,” writes ostentia at Reddit. “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.”
Note to bad bosses everywhere: visiting a dying grandma is not a 'vacation,' unplanned or otherwise.
3. The Caterer Who Goes With His Gut.
From a reader submission at The Fast Track: “A boss of mine (I was the chef of a catering company in San Francisco), during a performance review said, ‘You are not doing anything wrong per se, there is just this intangible vibe that I can’t really describe that is keeping me from feeling like you deserve a raise.'”
4. The One Who Thinks Team Player = “Person Who Will Help Me Steal.”
“I worked for the federal government. My boss wanted me to assist him with stealing a $2,800 laptop for his daughter to take to college so he could save some money (he was paid about $168k a year),” writes Craigf1998 in a discussion on Today.com. “I refused and he fired me. I filed a complaint which was promptly ignored by his superiors. I lost a $100k-a-year job because of this sociopath. What makes it worse is that he was shortly thereafter caught stealing from the government, but was not fired because he had been there for more than 25 years and his boss ‘did not want to ruin his career.'”
5. The Ultimate Micromanager.
I used to work in high-pressure sales. Once a week the director would come in and to get everyone energized, she brought in Monster drinks. She’d leave them in her office for the sales people to have. Now I liked the director, she was nice and professional. My manager on the other hand was a piece of !@#$%.
I got tired of drinking energy drinks so I decided to not participate this one week. My boss came to me and said, “You didn’t get a Monster. You know Wendy (let’s call her Wendy) bought these for the entire division?”
I said I was aware of that but I didn’t want one. He 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 asked me to walk into his office.
Now I wasn’t the best at the job; in fact, I hated it. He stated to me that my lack of energy was extremely distracting to him (not to the team, him) and that it shows in my performance. He ended with “if you keep this up we may have to let you go.”
All I said to him was, “OK, well that’s unfortunate – but I will not drink something that takes a toll on my body.”
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. (Since moved on to a better opportunity.)
Now my ex-boss. He ended up being terminated for drug use. He actually had the audacity to request me as a friend on Facebook. I didn’t accept but I heard from my prior sales co-workers that he was asking for money.
Note: Posts have been lightly edited for clarity.
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This post was updated from an earlier version previously published on PayScale.