The nightmare scenario at work? You love the job, but your boss is the devil. 61% of us say we’ve had an annoying boss at some point in our career, with ‘disrespectful behaviour’ topping the list of issues, a new survey by Glassdoor reveals. In fact, research shows that a bad boss is the number one reason people quit a job. But putting up with can also be character building.
“It helps us develop coping strategies and resilience,” says career expert Jane Sunley, author of It’s Never OK To Kiss The Interviewer… And Other Secrets to Surviving, Thriving and High Fiving At Work. “They can even inspire you to climb the leadership ladder, if only to give others a better experience than your own.” At the very least, dealing with their overblown egos or ridiculous requests bonds us with workmates and gives us a good laugh in the pub after work. From the hilarious to the horrifying, we asked readers to share their worst boss experience.
“He’s a hotshot lawyer who set up his own firm. His favourite pastime is to sit in a chair opposite the lifts, and depending on how late you are for work, he holds up either a yellow or red card. A yellow card is a warning – usually given to people who are one or two minutes late – but a red card means you’re being sent home… unpaid!” – Chloe, 30
“She called me ‘Intern 1’ because she couldn’t be bothered to learn my name.” – Alex, 23
“The founder of our web design company brings his yappy dog into the office and makes everyone – from juniors to managers – take turns to walk her during the day. One time she got a bout of diarrhoea and messed across the carpet. You can guess who had the pleasure of cleaning it up.” – Charlotte, 31
“My ex-boss was the female version of David Brent from The Office. She loved making inappropriate sex jokes in front of everyone – like asking if I got my bruised knees from doing it ‘doggie style’. Er, right then.” – Sarah, 30
“He told me exactly how many seconds to leave his tea bag in the mug for, how many times to stir it, and in which direction. He even got HR to draw a diagram of how the receptionists should display the crisps on a plate for meetings.” – Sam, 29
“I used to work at a well-known London venue as an events manager. Once, while I was showing some prestigious clients around for a potential high-profile event, two prostitutes turned up with their sleazy pimp, who (in front of my guests) announced the delivery of his ‘girls’ for the owner’s son. When I later complained to the owner, he just laughed.” – Gina, 36
“She went ballistic when someone bought peach-coloured toilet roll, instead of white. She belted out: ‘What the hell is this? Can’t anyone be trusted to do anything right in this place?'” – Emma, 25
“In my last accounting job, my boss put on ‘comedy’ Alistair Darling eyebrows that she’d bought from a joke shop to tell people they were being made redundant.” – Jenna, 33
“When I broke my arm, my boss phoned me while I was waiting in hospital to get my cast put on. She said that I had to return to the office because everyone had gone home and the alarm needed activating. (I wasn’t her PA, I was an account manager.) I abandoned the appointment and rushed back to find everyone still at their desks. Apparently, she wanted to teach me a lesson for leaving work 30 minutes early. I couriered my office keys to her the next day and never went back.” – Debbie, 28
“While showing me the ropes on my first day at a small publishing company, he said: ‘Most people in this company are pretty sensible – they don’t tend to get sick.’” – Ali, 35
“In my first post as a trainee surgeon, as we scrubbed our hands before surgery, my male supervisor would whisper seedy things like, ‘Imagine if we were doing this procedure completely naked.’” – Rachel, 30
“One day, when I was working at a beauty start-up company, the founder handed me a promotional Oyster card holder with the words, ‘I know, do you?’ printed on the cover. Inside, there was a condom and an advice slip about AIDS and HIV. When I looked at her, completely baffled, she responded with: ‘Well, you’re single so I thought you should have it.’” – Georgina, 24
“He has one hell of a temper. When someone re-heated curry for lunch, he went berserk and put a sign on the microwave telling people not to re-heat smelly food. A few weeks later, when someone ignored the sign, he removed all three microwaves in a Basil Fawlty-style tantrum.” – Laura, 29
“When I was working at a tiny PR firm in a countryside village, every day my boss inspected my nails and makeup to check they were ‘up to standard’. She was obsessed with everything being ‘super-glamorous’, sometimes rocking up in a sequin gown and full-length mink coat – and it would be just three or four of us in the office all day.” – Susie, 29
“She turned to me and said: ‘Considering you do so much walking, you’d think you’d be thinner.’” – Rebecca, 27
“Last month, my manager was convinced that a tiny piece of plastic had fallen out of her BlackBerry, somewhere between the front door and the sixth floor of our building. She had me on my hands and knees re-tracing her every step. I finally gave up and took her phone to the IT department, who informed me that nothing had fallen out and the phone was fine.” – Hanna, 32
“I’m an assistant shop manager and my boss makes me sort her life out. It hit an all-time low when she asked me to book her bikini wax and then phone a sexual health clinic because she was too embarrassed to call them herself.” – Alice, 26
“When I was a PA, my boss asked me to help him with some work at his home, finishing the request with, ‘Oh, and the weather forecast looks good tomorrow, so why not bring your bikini?’” – Debs, 26
Taken from GLAMOUR UK. Click here to read the original.
Want to know how you can impress your boss today? These 8 things will give them something to smile about.