Worst Boss Stories -- Ever!

We dared to ask and you were brave enough to tell! We received loads of bad boss stories -- some sort of funny, some just plain sad. Here are 15 of our favorites...

Stingy Supervisors

1. I worked for a doctor who was so cheap he wouldn't even buy the office a pack of highlighters. When we needed office supplies he would tell us to call the drug company reps and ask them for supplies. It was humiliating to have to ask a drug rep to go to the store and get us a pack of highlighters. He once wrangled 6 free staplers from a rep when we didn't even need staplers. They just sat on the shelf unused. He also liked the free luncheons they would provide and hounded us to schedule at least one free lunch a week for him. -- Amber F.

2. I was working at a restaurant and the boss also the owner was so cheap he demanded that when we got a drink of water we were told not to throw the cup away because it only had water in it to reuse it for customers. – Cynthia C.

Deceptive Mis-Directors

3. My 1st job out of college, my boss made me do all sorts of personal work for her - Christmas cards, party invitations, etc. She was having a big party in her Park Ave. apartment & invited me. I told her that my then fiance would be in town & would it be ok if he joined us. She said that would be fine. I should have been suspicious when she said how pretty my white blouse & black skirt looked on me & would I please wear it to her party. When we got to her apartment, I asked her what I could do to help & she introduced me to the caterer as the waitress & showed my fiance, an attorney btw, to the bar where he would be working! – Erin

4. On Administrative Professionals' Day (formerly Secretarys Day) all of the support staff got taken out to lunch by their bosses. My boss told me to make sure to save my lunch hour for her because she needed my help with something. I thought maybe just maybe she was going to surprise me by taking me to lunch to celebrate the occasion and thank me for all of my hard work. Even when we pulled up in front of her house I thought she may have fixed a nice lunch at her place. Nope, she just needed me to help her put flea collars on all six of her cats. -- Nancy

Sadistic Superiors

5. I was the assistant to this woman at a manufacturing company. She never spoke in a normal voice - she yelled about everything! She threw a stapler at me once for stapling her papers in the top left corner, as she liked it at the top/center - and she missed my head by an inch! She called me a stupid idiot for clipping a stack of papers with the colored binder clips, as she only liked the black ones. – LuckyStrike101

6. I had a boss who used to stand by the clock. So I, along with all of my co-workers, needed to be at work at 8:00 AM sharp. And he would stand there and watch people file into the office. Now we all would panic because he would also, watch the second hand as it counted down. I dreaded being at the end of the line because as soon as the clock turned to 8:01 AM you were considered late! And if it happened more than a couple of times he would send you home without pay for that day. – Phyllis

7. My ex-"New Boss" was an egotistical, maniacal, idiot with an "Inferiority complex!" We both had the same "first name" yet he never seemed to be able to remember mine! He once forced two of his Managers to take their shoes off and place them on the wrong feet to make a point about having the wrong people in the wrong assignments! He did this in front of Associates, humiliating the Managers and causing them to lose their Associate's respect. – MADDOG

Clueless Commanders

8. My worst boss owned a printing company. He was trying to attract a new client. The client was a catholic seminary. The day before the client visit, my boss hung up crosses all over the company from the front door to the bathrooms. – Karen C

9. When I was working in a photo lab, my boss hired a guy who was COLOR BLIND to do color corrections in photos. After having numerous customers bring their pictures back because they were wrong, I decided to inform my boss about the situation. She told me that I was putting him down to build myself up. – Sharon T.

Anti-Social Administrators

10. My worst boss was actually a really nice guy. Unfortunately he had horrible people skills. There were less than ten people in the company. I was his second in command. But throughout the entire 11 years that we worked together, he never once managed to say my name right. Every chance that I got I would try to introduce myself to others in front of him so that he could hear the correct pronunciation of my name, which is not that difficult. But the next time that he would introduce me, he would always have to sort of mumble my name to them because he wasn't sure how to say it. – Rhonda

11. I was the assistant to the administrative officer of a sponsored research lab at a leading university. You would be having a conversation with her about something and suddenly she would 'snap' and her facial expression would change, she would lock eyes with you, and her voice would drop very low. All of us in the office figured she was simply 'crazy'. Then, once in a meeting, she let it slip that she had learned this technique in obedience class with her dog. She first used it on a professor with whom she had trouble communicating. That she found it to be an effective 'tool' in managing people. – RandomVariable

Heartless Heads

12. When my grandmother died, he forced me to provide him with a copy of her death certificate and proof that she was indeed my grandmother before he would grant me time off to attend her funeral. When my grandfather died a month later, he refused to let me go to the funeral because he said I couldn't pull "that trick" again. – Pam

13. My boss had his 80+ Mother-in-law working for him as his accounts payable employee so that he wouldn't have to just give her money to live on...she had no income! His MIL was in his office upstairs from mine, he calls my name very loudly and I ran up stairs. He was talking to his wife on his cell phone. Without hanging up from his wife he says to me, "Would you mind giving her the Heimlich manuever, she can't breath." He then turns away from us and continues his conversation. I left his employ not long after that when he had me plunge the toilet that his elderly father had stopped up as soon as he got to the office! – Alta G.

LowLife Leaders

14. The worst Boss we have installed microphones (bugs) in our cubicles so he could listen in, when we figure out the hidden microphones we started talking in codes or tune in a small radio and tune it to all talk station this drove him nut's, he took the radio away but we still talk in codes till he got fired for being drunk on the job. (Yeah) – Jimi

15. The worst boss that I ever had was when I was about 21 my brother and I worked for an wealthy owner of many service stations. One day we were reviewing our paycheck stubs an saw large deductions being taken for missing tools and equipment. We approached the owner and asked what they were for. He replied that certain equipment was taken and we were all to share the expense. Being young and needing a job you accepted the result. One night we were working late and saw the owner loading specific equipment into his truck and to our surprise we were billed for that equipment. We then walked of the job site and quit. A few years later we read in the paper of his arrest for tax evasion, theft, etc, etc, etc. – Mike

Bonus: Just Plain Wrong...

The worst boss was this guy who as soon as he started to talk to you he would scratch his crotch. This was made worst by the fact that I worked in the Santa's Workshop. – Belynda P.

Next: 43 Things Actually Said In Job Interviews >>

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Bad managers are rare in my experience. I've never had a bad manager, but I have seen a few. The worst I've observed was manager who seemed to have taken Nurse Rached from One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest as an examplar of a motivational management style. "Her boys" were programmers, all introverted nerdy types, fresh out of university, some with PhDs, so very bright, but clueless. They were the kind of guys who would have been bullied at school. The only way I can explain their putting up with her is that they were used to taking it, perhaps she could spot a masochist in the job interview, and that they loved to program - programming is like crack cocaine to some of these guys. She didn't understand software development but would refuse to listen to "detail" explanations from her underlings, which she dismissed with a "tell it to the hand", or "what-ev-er." I guess she felt insecure because she'd been a secretary and office manager who, by way of software support, had worked her way up to her position of incompetence (the Peter Principle writ small). I think there might have been some aspects of a woman trying to be what she thought was "assertive" in a male environment thing going on too, over compensating like you sometimes see with women police officers who get a power trip out of ordering a big man to get out of the car, but mostly it was a bully who had found some nerds to victimise. Pleasing her was their job, and they were well aware that they worked for her personnally, not for clients, company profit, or any notion they might have from studying programming at some ivory tower university. She loved it when a bug was found or a job came back because the requirements had been misunderstood. "You just can't get the staff." she'd sigh loudly. You could see all their heads duck a bit lower behind their screens. They knew what was coming. She'd pounce on her victim, "Ah-ha! Not so clever now." Meekly they just took it, but one of them did try to speak up for himself. Big mistake! "You're not paid to think." "I'm the organ grinder, you're my f***ing monkey!" The insolent individual was then mercilessly singled out, his work would constantly be interrupted by higher priority jobs, he'd be hurried along, have his concentration broken by incessent chivvying, "What's taking you so long?" and eventually harried into making another mistake, and then his cycle of hell would begin again.

April 20 2014 at 8:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul Cougar

Worst boss ever has to be Dan Book of Sam's club!!!!!!!!!!. And the company will do nothing about him. Dan has a reputation of threating associates and managers , bullying employees, not living the so called (wal-mart culture) .Talking down to people .Making fun of them . He is only worried about himself and cares less about the associates in the company . He is often in Utah and makes remarks about Mormans and how he should be one so he can have multilple wives. Hes understanding of our relgion is a joke he has no true faith except arrogance .Sam's upper management need to deal with him and stop sweeping it under the rug.Ever time there are corparate peoople coming he comes in to the clubs and beats up everyone because he wants to look like a hero. it is a true reign of terror. i really wish it was like it use to be when i first started with this company 18 years ago. But i dont feel it ever will be the culture died with Mr. sam

January 15 2014 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Worst boss ever? Well I have a couple of them but the worst one is my new boss Lisa Stampley. She just came on at our company and what she says goes. Doesn't matter how we have been doing things, she has completely changed everything. She came in as a hard a$$ thinking that she knows everything and no one likes her one bit. She basically got rid of people she didn't like so she could put people in that only she liked, didn't matter how long you worked for the company, she got rid of them. As a woman myself, I would never treat anyone with the amount of disrepect that she does. It's a shame.

November 15 2012 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Share your worst boss stories/moments with us www.worst-bosses.com

November 21 2011 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where do i Start with my former boss

He yelled at us, he yelled at his family, he yelled at our clients...

On my first paycheck i realized he payed me less money than i expected. When i asked him about it he told me it was because "leisure time" .

Never payed overtime even though we worked 9-10+ hours daily plus some Saturdays, because we couldn't leave work until he do. He usually went to surf the Internet, or even take a nap at the time we were suppose to go out.

After a month saying we were gonna take a 1 week vacation in July free so we needed to work hard, he told me the Friday before the vacation that i had to go work 3 days of that week (other 2 were holidays)

After one month of one of the secretaries quit (a mid-20 year old woman) he told us that he no longer see toilets papers with blood on the bathroom trashcan.. (the other secretary was on her mid 40s)

After I finally quit he didnt pay me my last check telling me he was gonna send it on my mail. After 3 weeks of waiting i finally got it.. with a date for next month...

October 30 2011 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I recently had the displeasure of meeting a new boss, which in itself is frightful. This man not only did not know the business but was a relitive of someone higher up in the company. He came in thinking he was better than anyone because of his "handed down" position. This is a drug and alchohol rehab and all the employees are also recovering addicts. Someone who does not know what it is to be there can not possibly know how to help those that are. He is arrogent and mearly expects others to pull his weight while he sits in his office acting like he's the one doing it all. He takes credit for everything and has no respect for anyone or their feelings. He demands to be told about anything your doing. If you want to go somewhere for lunch you must ask his permission and if he can't be found then the answer is "obviously NO". All the employees were like family to each other and now no one wants to talk or help each other. Everyone walks on egg shells when he is there because if he doesn't like you for what ever reason, then he will pick, pick, pick until he invents enough to get rid of you. In his first two weeks, 5 people were let go. I am one of them. I had such a great relationship with our clients that almost half of them left the program when they discovered what had happened. I have a lot of calls from people I know about rehab's and I will recommend any place but there. I've even considered making up rodent infestation, but I will not lower myself to this "wart on a hogs ass" man. Karma will come around and he will have a rude awaking one day. I feel sorry for him in a way, someone must had told him he is King.

December 05 2010 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My boss thinks the world revolves around him. He boasts about how little work he does without being fired. He makes weaker employees be his friends. He goes home one to two hours early from work. He takes up to three hours of breaks. He plays the lottery at work. He yells at employees who have no respect for him. He lies on his time sheet. His health issues make him unfit to work. In his own mind, he's a great guy. Everyone wishes he would just retire or step in front of a bus.

December 05 2010 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edgar gill

I work for a boss who hire drunks and addict and pay the more than the senior
i would neither to say they were all cocasion bum i sense the first day he said i dont like them i havent see a raised in fiev year and when it become a prb he cry to me to save his company face im tired of this ready to quit

December 05 2010 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CiCi Bloom

The worst boss I ever had was a Vice President (Corporate University) at Global Multi-Brand Commericial Manufacturing Company located in Davidson, North Carolina. It was very apparent that she was insecure and only favored people who could stomach telling her how wonderful she was on a consistent basis. In 7 years, she eliminated over 65% of her entire staff for the most selfish reasons, costing the company over 1 million in relocation, severance pay, loss of productivity, and recruitment costs. The ironic part of this story, is the department was based on providing techniques and skills to the top leaders of the company on how to develop their employees for retention purposes. She grossed over 1 million dollars in bonuses in 2009, but her entire job was conducted by her staff who was completely exhausted working grueling hours trying to prepare her for meetings, metrics, operations, etc since she knew absolutely nothing about her organization. She was quick throw her staff under the bus to save her own behind. The VP is unfortunately still there and continues to treat her staff in the most unrespectable way, by holding her hand in their face not allowing them to explain themselves when she made false acquisations or didn't have the facts straight. She would also ralley other staff members against others out of enjoyment of seeing the frenzy to eliminate an employee. By far the worst, is when she would humilate her staff in front of others by saying "Repeat what I just said!" "Repeat it again...and now repeat it one more time so I know you got it through your head." Out of my 18 year work history in Corporate America, this is the worst "MONSTER" I've ever encountered and I know for a fact that her management style was NOT part of the University Curriculum.

September 15 2010 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had a boss who would yell at you if you were dressed up too nicely. Of course he was also particular about dressing professionally too. If you weren't in between, you'd get it. I think he didn't want you to interview somewhere else.

July 18 2010 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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