You Won't Believe What Some Bosses Ask Workers To Do

14 Percent of Workers Grade Their Bosses a 'D' or 'F'

Businesspeople making face at boss in office
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By Debra Auerbach

Have you ever wished you could flunk a boss for being so bad at his job? Or perhaps you'd assign your manager an A grade if you could, because of how well she treats you and your team. A new CareerBuilder survey provided workers with an opportunity to do just that – evaluate their bosses' performance and give them a grade from "A" through "F."

While more than 6 in 10 (63 percent) U.S. workers say their manager deserves an "A" or a "B," 1 in 7 would assign a "D" or "F" (14 percent). Here's the full breakdown:
  • A: 24 percent
  • B: 39 percent
  • C: 23 percent
  • D: 9 percent
  • F: 5 percent

Getting good grades for communication
If bosses want to boost their grades, they need to study up on good communication skills. According to the survey, workers who interact on a regular basis with their bosses tend to give them higher ratings than those who have more silent managers.

Thirty-one percent of employees who interact several times a day in person with their boss assign them an "A," compared to just 17 percent of workers who engage with their boss once a day or less.

The survey also shows that it's becoming more acceptable to communicate through technology, and that any type of communication, whether in-person or over a text, can raise a boss's grade. Twenty-five percent of workers say their boss typically communicates with them via text or instant message. Of those employees, 30 percent assign an "A" to their boss's performance.

"Managers who interact frequently and communicate directly are more likely to have the support of their employees. The ideal form of that communication will vary from individual to individual, but everyone's jobs get done better when expectations and roles are clearly defined," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "The best managers understand the triggers for their workers' success and are able to course correct when productivity drops or conflict arises."

Request fail: Bosses and their odd demands
The quickest way for a manager to earn an "F" from her employees is to ask them to do tasks that are unrelated to their jobs, and frankly, inappropriate. Workers shared some of the strangest requests made by their bosses, which include asking an employee to coach other employees on how to pass a drug test, or forcing a worker to fire a colleague and then drive him home.

Other real requests bosses asked of their employees include:
  • Asked for employee's opinions of Tinder profiles
  • Asked employee to order items on personal Amazon account so boss's spouse wouldn't know about it
  • Asked employee to pluck a client's unibrow for a photo shoot
  • Asked that employees "Like" his Facebook videos
  • Asked if employee would be better friends with him
  • Asked employee to find out how to obtain death certificate for her deceased ex-husband
  • Asked employee to commiserate with daughter-in-law about the death of her cat
  • Asked employee to climb on roof to see if there were any dead birds

The lesson?
In today's tough and competitive workforce, it really doesn't take much for a boss to pass a worker's test of good management. As long as bosses communicate well and keep their requests work-related, they'll get a gold star.

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I gave myself the rest of the day off. Oh wait, I forgot, I retired years ago! Silly me.

July 19 2014 at 3:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I had to find gloves and then fish a half-grown dead duck out of a garden pool, per the request of the boss. This was not in my job description.

June 23 2014 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Question 1: Are there more bad bosses or bad employees?
Question 2: Are the bad employees more likely to think they have a bad boss?

June 23 2014 at 2:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So when you looked on the roof and found it littered with dead birds, did you tell the boss the roof was clear? I sure would have.

June 23 2014 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jrexmarda's comment

I also would tell the boss the roof was clear. I also would have dropped the dead birds in the main vent stack but not tell him that. RotoRooter.

June 23 2014 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


June 22 2014 at 11:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

had an attorney who insisted I read all incoming/outgoing emails he received and sent and copy them to other locations -- something the office's system would not allow me to do - even the head of IT explained to him it was impossible and he still demanded it - what a frigging idiot he was - good thing I got laid off and 2 years later retired when I ran out of unemployment and sick leave pay (due to protein kidney stones that had to be surgically removed -- so I would rate him an F for sure.

June 22 2014 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One day, various body parts were having a discussion when they began to argue. Each part insisted that THEY were the most important. The brain said: "I do all the thinking, I control what you say, write, and when you walk. I am the most important." The mouth said: "No I am the most important. I do the speaking, you could not say anything or get your thoughts across without me, and I taste and chew all of your food." The eyes said: "We are the most important, we see everything. You wouldn't have a clue where you were going or read the paper without us." The stomach said: "I digest all of your food, you would starve to death without me." The arms and hands said: "We are most important. We pick up everything you want us to, we feed the mouth, scratch when you itch, dress the body, and more!" Finally, the a$$ hole was tired of listening to it and had enough, and declared itself boss. It clammed up and refused to work. The arguments continued. for a while, but after 3 days, the brain was achy and delirious, the mouth dry and unable to speak. The stomach had cramps and couldn't handle any food, the eyes teary and closed. Finally, they all had to admit: The a$$ hole was boss. Just goes to show, you don't need to be a brain to be the boss, just an a$$ hole.

June 22 2014 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There are some great managers around, however I suspect a MUCH higher percentage would earn low grades than what is listed here. It would be interesting to know where/how this poll was conducted to find out why it is so biased. Maybe not everything that goes wrong can be blamed on management, but how often to they blame workers who had no knowledge or control of issues just so they can throw someone under the bus? And then give 'raises' which do not even keep up with inflation, once per year (which is 10 months after prices went up, anyway) and actually think they gave out a raise? Who do they think they are fooling?

June 22 2014 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

24% of workers report that they waste 1 - 2 hours per day on personal e-mail and phone calls - and I can't ask the slacker to go out and check for dead birds on the roof!? Next time I won't ask, and she'll still scrape their cold bodies out of the rain gutter!

June 22 2014 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I forgot that one boss DIRECTED me to lie to a government entity (I didn't) in order to try and get this person's license removed. That was a scary situation.

June 22 2014 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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