If you’ve ever worked for a bad boss, you can remember exactly what you hated about him, and you don’t miss him one bit. You think of him the same way you think of a toxic ex-boyfriend and you’re so glad you’re free from that mess. You’re one of the lucky ones if you escaped a bad boss, but if you’re in this kind of toxic relationship right now, then my heart goes out to you. You better have one hell of a good reason for subjecting yourself to him on a daily basis. I’ve had my share of bad bosses and I was one of the unlucky ones with a boss at one point who fit more than six of these categories. How these kinds of people get promoted to that level of position is a great mystery.
But if anything positive has come out of it, I’ve been subjected to enough bad bosses to be able to compile this incredibly on-point list of 16 types of bosses. And honestly, none of these are great. Yes, I’ve also had one very good boss in my short millennial lifetime who somewhat possessed some of these qualities, but not to a great extent. I mean, no one’s perfect, but there are a whole lot of crazies out there.
16. The School Teacher
This boss talks to you like you’re six. He’s the kind of boss that tries to teach you every little detail about how to write an email including what to put in the subject line and which words not to use. You wonder why he doesn’t just go ahead and send the email himself since it takes him twice as long to show you how to do it. It’s not like you don’t know how to do it either, he’s just a fucking school teacher who needs narrate every single step of the process. He’d teach you how to pick your nose if he could. And when you add a comma somewhere he doesn’t like, he’ll let you know as well.
15. The Micro-Manager
This is the boss that paces back and forth by your desk because he’s trying to see if you’re really working. He thinks he’s like a spy but it’s so obvious that he’s always checking up on you and it’s annoying as hell. He not only tells you exactly how he wants a job done but when to do it and how long to spend on it. And he’ll check up on the project every five minutes just to see “how you’re doing.” He’s also the boss that confronts you for clocking in two minutes late or shutting down your computer thirty seconds before your shift ends.
14. The Mommy
This is the boss who’s always asking you how you’re doing and if everything’s okay. She wants to know that you’re happy working for her and she also needs constant reassurance that she’s doing a good job. Every time she asks, “Can I get you anything?” your silent answer is always, “Breathing space.” She seems nice and sweet but she doesn’t just want to hold your hand, she wants to keep you chained to an umbilical cord. She’s the kind of boss that would probably have a faux heart attack if you were ever to start looking for another job elsewhere.
13. The Cheap As Hell
You know this boss is cheap as hell when he complains about you printing with colored ink instead of black and white. Or when you printed something you could have just emailed. This boss is always talking about conserving resources as if he’s trying to do the world a favor when in reality he’s just cheap as hell. His idea of a Christmas bonus is a Starbucks gift card worth ten bucks that he probably purchased with a Groupon deal. And when your team goes out for lunch, he tells you what you can and can’t order so that you don’t rack up the bill.
12. The Under-Qualified
This boss stumbled upon her position by a miracle. She knows diddly squat about the actual role and therefore relies on you to make her look good. Don’t ever ask her to teach you something either, she’ll turn red in the face like a kid who got caught stealing. And if the workload is unmanageable, it’s because she can’t help you get any of it done – she doesn’t know how. Her talents are super simple: just managing people, and that means you. If the company were to ever dissolve her position, it wouldn’t make any difference at all.
11. The Hypocrite
This boss is always lecturing you about something new as if she has really high standards or something. The only problem is that she doesn’t do any of the shit she expects from you. She expects you to be on time all the time, and yet she’s always showing up late for her own meetings. She doesn’t let you take certain days off, but she can and she will. She probably sets the worst example, which is why you’re confused about why she’s always shoving these really high expectations at you. The level of hypocrisy running through her veins is strong.
10. The Workaholic
You wonder if this boss has a home outside of work. Even on days where you show up an hour earlier, he’s already there. And on nights when you’re the only two people left in the building, you’ll probably leave before him. He works so much that it makes you feel like you’re not working enough even though you’re also putting in longer hours. And when you ask him what his weekend plans are, he’ll probably say something like, “I might come in to get some stuff done on this project or work on it at home.” This boss has a sad life.
9. The MIA
This boss is literally always missing in action. He’s either working from home, going from one ‘meeting’ to another, or on a vacay. He’ll find any excuse to escape having to be in the office, that prison of a place. You’re probably wondering if he’s actually got another side gig like he’s selling houses during the work day or managing a separate business while on the job. And while you don’t mind not having to see your boss on a regular basis, it’s also extremely difficult to do some of your work when he’s never around. It takes him three days to respond to an email and he never picks up his phone either.
8. The Gordon Ramsey
Ever seen Hell’s Kitchen? Gordon Ramsey is the physical embodiment of a boss from hell. He’s the boss that’s always yelling at you and always trying to make you feel like a little piece of shit. If he catches a little mistake that you made, you can guarantee that he’s going to give you hell for it. Going to work is like entering a battlefield or war zone. You feel like you’re in a military boot camp, except you’re not. You’re not sure if you’re a victim of workplace abuse either, simply because you’ve been enduring the harsh treatment for so long and you’re too afraid to saying anything.
7. The Power-Hungry
This boss is all about status and he’s always trying to rise to the top. He treats you differently if you’re not at an equal or higher level than him. He’s power hungry and treats the workplace like it’s a game of politics. The only time you’ve ever seen him being somewhat pleasant is when he’s kissing the CEO’s ass. Otherwise, he treats the little people like shit because he’s got authority over you and also because he can’t gain anything from you. Also, he absolutely loves the idea of hiring more employees or acquiring new teams under him because it gives him more power.
6. The Test-Your-Might
This boss is always trying to set you up for failure by testing your knowledge and skills. And some of the things he tests you on aren’t even related to your job, but he just wants to make you look dumb. It’s like he’s trying really hard to build a case and get you fired or something. And if he’s not testing your knowledge, he’s trying to test your perseverance and will power. Perhaps if he pushes you close enough to the edge, you’ll just volunteer to resign and all of his dreams will come true. But unluckily for him, you’re a fucking genius and you down without putting up a good fight.
5. The Hard-to-Please
Please, stop trying to please this boss. She’s just hard to please in general. You’ve never heard a single praise or compliment come out of her mouth and because of that, you try even harder. But she’s never happy with anything you do. Even if the rest of the world were to think you did something amazing, she’d still keep a smug look on her face. You really never know if she’s even happy with your work because her resting-bitch-face game is so strong. On the other hand, she’s not afraid to express if she doesn’t like something or if something you did made her unhappy.
4. The Cray-Cray
This boss is all drama. She is too much to handle and you have no idea how you ended up working for her when you’re not the type of person that attracts drama at all. She’s the boss that everyone knows is crazy and every time you tell someone that you work for her, they feel deeply sorry for you. She doesn’t get along with anybody, which makes your job even harder because no one wants to be associated with your team. You can always guarantee that she’s going to get into an argument of some kind at every work-related meeting. Also, she blows the smallest issues out of proportion. You’re going to need Xanax to survive her.
3. The Martyr
This boss would sell his left kidney to save the company if he had to. His undying devotion and passion to his work seems borderline psychotic, but you’ll continue to encourage him anyway. Because if you were to hint even the slightest bit of negativity about the company or your position, he’d probably slice off your dick and feed it to the sharks. Oh, and you absolutely love seeing the way he worships the CEO like he’s Kim Jong-Un. But you gotta give it to him. People with a truly authentic admiration and commitment to their work are like a rare gem.
2. The Host
This boss is all about celebrations – birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, you name it. She wants to throw a party for just about everything. She’s always trying to get everyone together for random pow-wows. She’s all about promoting a ‘team spirit’ and if you want to be her favorite, all you need to do is act like you’ve got lots of it. She’d probably devote an entire day to team building activities if she could. Also, her desk is not hard to find because it’s the most colorfully decorated one that stands out on the floor. She also keeps a regularly filled candy jar on her desk because she loves visitors.
1. The Passive Aggressive
This is the absolute most difficult type of boss to work for. The passive aggressive boss seems nice at first, but she’s got a deadly sting that will kill you slowly from the inside out. She’s mastered the art of asking you to do something without actually asking you to do it. She apologizes every time she throws a monstrous project into your hands that will require loads of unpaid overtime. In fact, “sorry” is her favorite word to use, although she has no idea what it means. And boy does she dance around her words. You’re constantly trying to translate what she’s exactly trying to say because she never just says it.
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