The worst boss I ever had

We’ve all had them. Bosses who are so bad that we spend equal time cowering at our desk in case they pick on us then laughing behind their back the second they move onto the next sucker.

(The boss I have in mind is still very much alive and well so I have to very careful not to name names!)

His “best” worst quote:

He had some great phrases particularly about people who didn’t agree with him but in my opinion his worst was “Sometimes you just have to bang people!” (Not to be taken in a sexual way – it was an allusion to hitting them and causing them bodily/mental harm). This was in response to a question about why he had been so rough in chewing out a vendor.

My well-thumbed version of How to work for a Jerk complete with receipt from the Minneapolis Airport June 1996!
My well-thumbed version of How to work for a Jerk complete with receipt from the Minneapolis Airport June 1996!

Most irritating trait:

Hard to narrow it down to one so I’ve selected a 1 & 1a

1. Phoning through from his office (20 feet away) to say “I’ve just sent you an e-mail. Have you read it yet?”

1a. Asking you to create a marketing piece and then standing behind you to tell you what to type.

Silliest trait:

Banning certain popular fonts in any correspondence in the office (including between other members of staff) for no reason other than he didn’t like it. Gave rise to the notion of the “Font Police”.

Nastiest trait:

Berating and confronting people with the harshest meanest language without getting all the facts and then backing down gracelessly while referencing the “bang people” principle from above.

The end of it all:

He asked me for a sales projection going out 12 months. I predicted some choppy waters ahead mainly due to new competition coming into the market. He dismissed my report out of hand – “It will never happen!”. 9 months later sales in my division had dropped off a cliff due primarily to the competitive equipment coming into the market. He blamed me for not taking action sooner and I was fired just after Christmas 3 months later!

Leave your stories below. Maybe you have a “best boss” story – I know that’s unlikely!

Posted by John Tully
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