Worst boss

dreadnut

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So I had a boss, owner of the company, who was the worst of the worst.

He would gather everyone in the company at 7am om Monday morniings, so he could blather on and on for 2 hours about how everything would go so much better if we all just did things "his way." He would also berate poeple in front of everyone else.

Some quotes:

"When I walk on the jobsite, things start getting done right!"

Once he commented to me "You gave this guy a good reveiw, but I have seen him arrive late for work several times. You need to make note of these things and use them against him at review time." He never considered that perhaps I was talking to this guy when he was actually late instead of holding onto it for a year, that perhaps the guy had a reasonable excuse for being late, or that he wasn't exactly a habitual offender, some of the things I considered when I wrote his review. I had already spent 20 years in management at a different company, and my considered opinion is that you speak with an employee about issues when they occur, you don't just shove it in their file and dump it on them at annual review time.

He had an electric magnet holder attached to his office door, then he would call you in there and hit the switch under his desk so the door closed behind you. Think "Oh $hit!"

He told me once "I could do twice the job you're doing in half the time!"

Finally, I took him up on it, I'm outta here! Best job I ever quit.

I could go on and on, but I just want to say nobody should have to work in an abusive environment.
 

gjmalcyon

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I work with people I mentor to help them understand the differences between being a boss and being a leader, and why you want to be a leader.

What you just described is a perfect example of why you don't want to be a boss.
 

Rambozo96

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Well you see you have two types of bosses, perhaps plenty of grey area but in one corner you gotta leader that goes in the trenches with their employees and in the other corner you got a professional shouter/whipcracker that is a detriment to morale and wonder why the turn over rate is so high.
 

Guildedagain

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Been known to sing that aloud at work before ;[]

My 1st worst boss was this middle aged lech who would take young waitresses into his office for closed door meetings while they ran me ragged, the dishwasher at a VIP's Big Boy "restaurant" if you could call it that, in Farmington NM, 1978. I was 17, dreaming of buying a '66 650 BSA Thunderbolt, and being a Rock Star...

I washed all the dishes, cleaned up spills, cleaned the parking lot, the walk-in cooler, dumped the trash, there was no end to my work.

One night about 1am, the dishes piled up real high all the way across the counter because two ball teams had just come in to eat, he comes into the back and starts lecturing me about being too slow, and he says "You see all these dishes, I can do these in 1/2 hour (lie), you know why, cause I'm good" and as he was saying that I started undoing my apron and handed it to him and walked. He yelled, "you can't leave!" and "I won't give you your check". I came by on Friday and collected my check.

That's the only fast food job I've ever had in my whole life.

Years later, I got hired by a construction company, and the old coot wanted me to duct tape two really long wooden ladders together and go up to the ceiling to knock concrete dust buildup off the rafters with a shop floor broom...

I quit on the spot when he gave me this lecture; "You know whats wrong with you young people today, you're afraid, you're afraid of yourself!"


Years later I'd been working for the City Parks Dept for 5 years a seasonal employee, and was good enough to have moved up to the Premier park in town, Manito Park, up on the hill where all the rich people lived. Our new supervisor was a young guy who had it in for me, would spy on me through the bushes, always looking when I wasn't actually doing anything. He would jump out, yell at me, tell me to drop what I was doing, go to an equipment shed, grab the "high bush lawnmower" - a Brush Hog - and make me mow some acre wide wild area in full summer noonday heat.

One day, he had me come up to the office for a talking to. Dodson was his name, flaming red hair, bad temper. He starts telling me what's wrong with my work and got so enraged that - no lie - he cleared his whole desk with the back of his arm, everything went flying across the room.

His face was beet red and he says to me "Basically, your problem is that your immature" ;]]]

Years later I worked at an electrical shop, rebuilding 6 Delco 50MT starters a day, old school semi truck starters, probably a 20lb starter. It's really fun putting those in... My boss was a prankster when he was in a good mood, and would draw "the finger" on my workbench with captions like "you're #1" and lob flaming BBQ lighter fluid soaked tennis balls at me in the back warehouse when he'd send me back there to sweep...

Eventually, I discovered eBay and he laid me off saying "I could have fired you 20 times".

I can't really tell anymore without violating GAD's family friendly policy ;]

Like they say, one door closes, and another one opens.

Everytime I've been laid off of fired from a job, I seriously wanted to send them a thank you card because my new one was so much better ;]

I have had a "variety of jobs". From apple picking (tough!) to being the FNG at a 100 year old grain elevator and being the being the one that has to "ride the manlift" - a 100 year old heavy canvas ribbon with a wooden step every six feet - all the way to the top of the elevator with a grain shovel and some empty 50lbs bags so you could scoop all if the highly explosive dust and chaff into bags and bring the stuff back down, or working in a lumberyard and getting sent out to move a pile of wood over for no apparent reason and it's so hot you get a nosebleed and pass out. I woke back up and it was quitting time. Boss says "where were you, we been looking for you for hours"...

I worked at another mill once, JLD Wen, where the psychos called out "HIGHBALL" around mid morning and everything started moving wayyy too fast, I almost cut my left hand in half under a foot operated saw. By lunchtime, I hopped in my '63 New Yorker with 413 and peeled out all the way down the length of the building in front of the guys eating their lunches in the shade. Never even went back to collect my morning's hours on that one.
 
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Neal

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I have had a few bad bosses, but I took the opportunity to learn from their bad example, so that I would be a better one when the time came.

It comes down to one thing. You either control the work environment with your position power, or your personal power.

Those that control the work setting by relying on their position as boss often use threat and intimidation as their primary tools. What they get in return is a workforce that in all kinds of subtle, underhanded ways try to undermine what it is the boss is trying to achieve. Bad for people, bad for business.

Those bosses that rely on their personal power in the work setting use their experience to teach, and provide abundant incentives and recognition as their stock in trade. What they get in return is a workforce that would knock down walls to help achieve the boss's objectives. Good for people, good for business. And the customers can feel it.
 

dreadnut

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I had one boss who gave me an annual review where his highest marks were "3". I said "This is the worst review I've ever received, I've always scored in the upper ranges - 8's, 9's, even 10's."

He said "I don't give out any scores highr than 3." I said, "but the scale is 1-10." "I don't care, I don't go higher than 3"

Well, you can't argue with that logic!
 

Guildedagain

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I was working at Ryder Truck in the 90's and my boss took me out to lunch for my yearly review, and the 1st thing he said while we were ordering was "Don't even ask for a raise, you're lucky you still have your job". I'd been a stellar employee for a year, hoping for that raise, you know how that goes. I had a double degree in Automotive Technology plus Diesel/Heavy Equipment repair, I'm not even sure he had a High School Diploma but he could do change all eight tires on the back of a Semi in an hour.

No tire machine on those, you do it on the shop floor and use special bead hammers and big prybars. I got good at that too. He tried to send me to a shop in Phoenix, where it's so hot you had to work at night, I said forget it. I got laid off two years to the day I got hired, they gave me a couple weeks severance in exchange for "not suing them", on paper.

Big companies are not fun to work for. Like Bob Seger says "You feel like a number".

I worked for a small mom and pop shop after that, too small. No benefits. The owner's son was on coke, wouldn't give us a raise "cause they couldn't afford it" but he bought some insane speed boat with dual pumped up 454 engines, and brought it into the shop so he could have someone do a custom stereo install in it, like a $2500 stereo. I used to fantasize about running his BMW over with a semi truck/trailer... We had to park those at night, in a semi circle out back, inches away from each other to have enough room to park em all. I didn't have a CDL, but they still made me take the trucks out for test drives, etc, so it would have been totally excusable to run his car over ;]

After that, I started working on CATs out in the woods for a small logging outfit in N Idaho that had been selectively logging the same mountain for 100 years. 1st with mule teams, then Model A Fords. They treated me like gold, paid me from the time I left home to the time I got back (mob/memob), long drive in a '65 Power Wagon I restored so I could drive into the work site and not have to get towed out by one of the other guys... I rebuilt old CAT motors in the winters, 1953 D69U and an equaly ancient IHC TD6. Good pay, my own boss, no paid sick leave or holidays but it was enough money fro me to buy my 1st house. This was 1998.

Ten years later, the financial crisis. I walked away from the house with almost no equity and felt really really lucky to do so. Now that same house sells for 5 times what it did when I walked away. I bought a used 335 with the money, all I got left from 12 years of mortgage payments.
 
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Brad Little

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Well you see you have two types of bosses, perhaps plenty of grey area but in one corner you gotta leader that goes in the trenches with their employees and in the other corner you got a professional shouter/whipcracker that is a detriment to morale and wonder why the turn over rate is so high.
Back in the '70s I had some friends who worked for their town maintenance crew. One of their assignments was to help the women of the Garden Club with their beautify the town program. Mostly they resented it because the Garden lady would stand on the road and tell them what to do. When my aunt was in charge, they said they gladly would do whatever she wanted because she got down in the dirt and dug and planted as hard as any of them. Good bossed get good result.s
 

DrumBob

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When I worked at the Daily Record newspaper in Parsippany NJ, the sale manager was an obnoxious, narcissistic, arrogant thirtysomething punk from Merced, CA who thought he was hot sh**, until his wife dumped him and took the kids. He turned into a monster who brought his problems into the office daily. I had just finished up the best year I'd ever had, but I'd have to endure his tirades, while he'd scream, yell and single people out in sales meetings every week. I gave up any hope for things getting better, and finally, after they changed my territory and gave me a crap one, I gave up completely and waited until they fired me. I had something else lined up already and moved right it. The sales manager douchebag was eventually fired. He went to another group of newspapers and was fired after a couple of years, for terrorizing the sales staff.

Not that long ago, I was working for North Jersey Media Group. We were bought out by Gannett in 2016, and I saw the writing on the wall. My boss, a nice guy, quit right before the acquisition, and his replacement was a woman with an attitude and some ridiculous ideas about how things should be done. She was a frigging idiot, to be honest. Gannett came in and screwed up everything up, and again, I grew weary of the corporate BS. I let them fire me so I could get severance. Once again, I had another job lined up, so I took two weeks off and started with them, have done well, and am still there. Small company, family run, and they treat all of us like family. I wish I'd found them 30 years ago.
 

adorshki

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Being the boss often means knowing more and doing more for the same money as the other guys.
Reminds of the story of the ditch digger who asked his foreman one day "How come all you do is stand around and tell us what to do, but you get paid 3 times as much as us, when we're doin' all the hard work? Why do you get to be boss?"

Foreman says "Look, I'm the boss 'cause I got the smarts."

Ditchdigger (we'll call him Andy) says "Whaddaya mean, smarts?"

Holding his hand out in front of the scoop of a front-end loader, the foreman says "OK. I'll show you. Take your shovel there and hit my hand."
"Really?"
"Yeah. Trust me"

Andy picks up his shovel and takes a mighty swing at the foreman's hand, who moves it out of the way just in time for Andy to connect with the scoop. (Which yielded a surprisingly bell-like clang).

"That" the foreman says, "is smarts".

Duly chastened, Andy returns to the ditch where his buddy asks him "Well, what'd he say?"

"He says he's the boss because he's got the smarts."

"Whaddaya mean, smarts?"

Holding his hand up in front of his face, Andy says "Here, I'll show ya. Take yer shovel there and hit my hand."

Andy never did get to be boss.
 
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JerryR

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Some old sayings I came to appreciate during my working life:

Those that can - do. Those that can't - manage.

Not all meetings are a waste of time - some of them are cancelled.

A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

"This place is run by mushroom management."
"Mushroom management?"
"Same way they grow mushrooms. You're fed on sh*t and kept in the dark."
 

dreadnut

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When I was 14, my buddy said "Hey, my Dad said he would pay us to shovel out the barn." So we went to work. What a pile! My Dad and I would clean out the animals' stalls every night in the winter and lay down fresh straw for their beds. This guy had apparently just thrown down straw on top of the mess, so by the end of the winter it was almost 2 feet deep. We spent all day with pitchforks and wheelbarrows, and when we were done he paid me $5, a pittance for that amount of work, even in 1968.

That was my first lesson in working for someone else.
 

Guildedagain

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Between other jobs, I sold cars one summer. I'd just had three knee scopes in a row and no one wanted to give me a job. I went a straight 100 days without any pay. I couldn't even get a job at a parts counter because they said "I was overqualified".

I found out car salesmen are tucked somewhere between child molesters and lawyers in public opinion ;]

My first job was a used car lot "Executive Auto"... and the cars were awful. One day I told my boss, "You gotta get this Buick detailed, it smells like barf when the sun hits it and it gets hot inside" and he says - and this is a lifelong lesson for me - "Son, there's an @$$ for every seat", lololol. Remember that when you're selling some wretched guitar or you think no one wants to date you ;]]]]

I actually set sales records there, beginners luck.

And so I was headhunted by the car lot down the road, a Nissan SAAB dealership.

This was the beginning of the financial crisis, and cars weren't selling.

We used to have Friday morning sales meeting, with donuts, a pep talk about selling more cars. Within a few weeks, we were having "sales meetings" every morning...

It got to the point where they said "If someone drives on the lot and you don't sell em a car, you may as well jump in the car with them because you don't have a job anymore". No lie.

So, a car pulls into the lot, I go talk to them, and they leave.

I walk back in the building and my boss says "grab your sh*t, you're done".

It was just a carload of stoners who couldn't find the Taco Bell that was in plain view just around the corner.
 
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Opsimath

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My goodness. These are horror stories. I can't imagine how any of the people here ever got to be in the boss position.

The bosses I have had have always been wonderful. Laid back, congenial, with good senses of humor, and appreciative. I was always allowed to set my own hours, come and go as I pleased as long as the work got done - and I always got it done before leaving the office, even to go to lunch. I got raises and Christmas bonuses. The staff in every office got along well; there was never a problem. I guess I was pretty fortunate in the work environment.
 

dreadnut

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The new company president that ended up firing me after I'd spent 22 years there told me, among other things "You're too nice to the employees. I need to change horses here." I tried, unsuccessfully, to argue that respect goes both ways. My guys would do anything I asked of them, including staying late into the night sometimes to complete a customer repair. On the other hand, if some of them wanted to leave a couple hours early on a Friday to go golfing, and they already had their 40 hours in, then I OK'd it. I also let my guys work a flexible schedule due to the fact that we were doing a lot of overseas business, so it was nice having the service dept. phones staffed 12-14 hours a day. Some people didn't like this, as the Manufacturing dept. had strict attendance requirements.
 
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