Bad Boss Contest

Now here's a contest no one wants to win: Working America's annual My Bad Boss Contest.

Working America is the 1.6-million-member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO - aka the unions who brought workers the 40-hour work week followed by the weekend. The group reaches out to working people who don't have unions to bring them together as a powerful voice on economic issues.

Some of the stories submitted to the Bad Boss Contest are outrageous, some hilarious. You can take the Bad Boss Quiz and read others' stories. Together they tell a poignant story about the workplace and family life. People who can't get time off to go to funerals, take care of extremely sick spouses or relatives, or care for a new baby. Last year the contest received more than 5,000 entries.

While I understand the employer perspective -- the work does need to get done -- my own horror stories pale in comparison, mostly because I've worked for fairly large, family-friendly employers. When a new baby is shown off around the office or there is a funeral for a relative of someone who works at the Post, practically the whole company, including Chairman Don Graham, shows up.

Has your boss been bad lately? Can you remember your worst boss? If you've got a good story about a bad boss, tell us here. Then send it in to Working America.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  August 10, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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Posted by: chemguy1157 | August 10, 2007 7:29 AM

I had a boss throw a good-sized chair across a room once. He had heard some bad news (a 2 hour delay in a data load that had no other downstream effect).

If we had our current workplace violence policies in effect, I would have gladly turned him in.

Posted by: chemguy1157 | August 10, 2007 7:39 AM

I worked with a guy (not really my boss but had senority) who was verbally abusive. He would curse at me in front of patients. He even took a swing at me after accusing me of stealing the coffee money and using it to buy beer. My biggest mistake was stepping back to avoid being hit. If he had touched me he would have been out of here in hand irons.
Luckily he retired not long thereafter. He still calls once in a while to see how things are going - needless to say I never return the calls.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 10, 2007 7:58 AM

Gee, who knew Bobby Knight was a chemist? :-)

I had one truly horrible boss. She was a swoop-n-poop micromanager: she would tell you to do X, Y, and Z, disappear for a month or two, and then swoop back in, yell at you for doing X, Y, and Z, because any idiot would see that you should have been doing A, B, and C instead -- lather, rinse, repeat. And her version of "constructive criticism" was the personal attack (eg, "how did you ever pass the Bar?").

Oh, and passive-aggressive: when she thought I had screwed up a project, instead of telling me about it, she called a meeting with all of my coworkers and my supervisor, and handed out all of my assignments on this project one by one to everyone else there, not speaking to me, not looking at me -- it was like I was invisible. Afterwards, I asked her (very calmly) to discuss her concerns about my performance, and she told me my performance was fine, she was just concerned about my physical and mental health (this all blew up when I was out having a miscarriage), and so she didn't want to burden me. It wasn't until 6 months later, when I asked for a promotion (I had taken over my original boss's job), that she told my supervisor that she couldn't justify a promotion, given how badly I had screwed up that project. (Which, of course, I hadn't, but that's another story).

I finally realized that everyone who had worked for her for 15+ years looked beaten down -- it was an office full of Eeyores. Working with her was like living with an abuser -- you did everything in your power to stay under the radar, you never talked back or defended yourself, you just hunkered down and hoped the storm would pass. It took awhile, but I finally realized that no amount of money was worth my self-respect. So I went home, ran a budget to make sure we wouldn't lose the house, called my old job about telecommuting, and quit.

Posted by: laura33 | August 10, 2007 8:13 AM

Wow Laura, I think we used to work together! I didn't even realize you could be happy at work. I used to drive home crying at least twice a week from my old job. And I worked there five years! It was easy to get this job, I just said that I didn't want anyone to contact my current employer for a reference because they didn't know I was looking (and this was true), but I wonder how I will handle it if/when I leave here... I know she will say horrid things about me.

Posted by: RiverCityVA | August 10, 2007 8:21 AM

laura

"It took awhile, but I finally realized that no amount of money was worth my self-respect"

Ditto. The big paycheck in Biglaw was not worth dealing with the grandiose egos and the posturing of the meglomaniacs.

Many of those who remained at that firm are prematurely aged, overweight, have substance abuse problems, multiple failed marriages, and kids who hate them.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 8:33 AM

Well, fortunately, I never had a boss become violent, but I did teach in a school run by a control-freak nun...not one big incident, but lots of petty stuff:

The faculty couldn't independently enter and exit the school -- something had been stolen from a classroom after school hours several years before, and she confiscated all faculty keys. To enter, you had to go to the far side of the building (fighting the morning carpool drop-off line) and enter by the door she monitored, which was on the opposite side of the school as the office (and my room). I started coming in the outside door close to my room, which was the door for before-school-care access (it was manned by two safeties, who opened the door for me); when she finally discovered what I was doing, she told the students and the before-care teacher to not let me in.

The entire sixth grade was pulled from liturgical singing because one of the teachers had a minor scheduling conflict -- instead of working it out with the teachers involved, he involved the principal, and instead of working out the conflict, she took the activity from the entire grade.

One of the other sixth-grade homeroom teachers planted and tended a garden for the principal -- on her own time -- at the principal's home!

When the principal arrived to observe and evaluate, she didn't like the lesson I had devised, so she taught it HER way -- and then wrote my evaluation based on that lesson, which I never even taught!!

Oh, and my uncle died. I didn't ask to have off for the funeral, but I did want to go to the (one) viewing, which ended at 5:00. Well, that was faculty meeting day -- every Thursday, rescheduled only for the Second Coming -- and I was not allowed to miss the meeting, so I missed saying goodbye to my uncle. But, a month later, when a teacher lost her husband, I was ASSIGNED a viewing attendance schedule, and a dish to bring to the post-funeral lunch (complete with a recipe to follow) -- even though the death happened during winter break.

I only taught there one year...

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 10, 2007 8:33 AM

When I was contracting for a super-big government institute, I had a nightmare boss.

She was a crystal meth addict. She was frightfully skinny, was missing teeth, and blinked every 2 seconds. Her blinks were often not synchronized, i.e., one eye would open faster than the other. Odd.

She said "liberry" when she meant "library" and "presidents" when she meant "precedence." There were many others, but I can't remember them all.

She would come in late and leave early and miss entire weeks without so much as phoning in to tell us. One day she swore up and down that I left at 11:30 for lunch when I actually left at 12:30. we practically had a screaming match about it. When I forwarded her the e-mail I sent at 12:15 before I left for lunch, she didn't even acknowledge it, let alone apologize.

When she handed out the weekend work schedule, I was assigned every holiday weekend, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, etc. Every single one. It just so happened that I was childless. Hmm...

I was laid off 6 months into the contract. Because it's an at-will state, I never got a reason why. I think it's because she was scared I was going to take over her position because I was a much better worker.

Posted by: Meesh | August 10, 2007 9:01 AM

I had a boss who used to throw things across the room to make a point. Sometimes it was a magazine or newspaper, sometimes a phone book, sometimes a pen. I really wanted to say, "Gee, Boss, my 3-year-old niece does the same thing! Am I supposed to be impressed?"

He would also take 3-hour lunches and come back drunk. The staff would purposefully hold off showing him any work until he returned; we knew he'd be so smashed, he'd approve anything. What a bozo.

Posted by: Retrovirus | August 10, 2007 9:38 AM

Great (e.g. awful) stories.

One of my first jobs (when I was still a teenager) I had a high-strung female boss who experienced wild and very public mood swings. She and her husband owned a small business together. Their marriage was rocky and volatile and everyone who worked for them knew everything.

She'd tell me one day that I was the hardest working employee she had. Then the next she'd scream at me in front of customers for something minor like using too much Lysol.

She also liked me to deliver messages to her husband. Embarrassing beyond belief, especially for a teenager: "Bill, Allie wants you to know that she loves you."

Yik!

Posted by: leslie4 | August 10, 2007 9:42 AM

My worst boss ever was to young and immature for the role of manager. He was a micromanager in the worst way. Everything had to be his way, no room for deviation of what he knew. He had favorites and gave them the best assignments, told inappropriate performance and HR issues to them and in general was just a tool.

When I came back from maternity leave and sat down to do merit increase, he told me to put down attendance for area of improvement. I said no way that is against the law. He also put out an email telling everyone my medical condition after I had my baby, with details. I think he missed the memo from HR that said you aren't allowed to reveal workers medical conditions to other staff. It should have been no surprise since he told everyone in a staff meeting that I was pregnant. I could go on and on, but I won't.

Now, I am the boss and I can tell you, you learn just as much from bad managers as you do from good ones.

Runner ups include:

Manager who asked me why I felt like I could keep my maiden name. I laughed and said because the law says I can.

Internship manager from an Ivy League school who told me if I didn't lose my dialect, I would hold my husband back in business. I told her that we didn't work in the same area, so they wouldn't be seeing me much, and she said "no dear, I mean when you entertain."


Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 9:45 AM

I had a boss that viewed everyone else as a lackey to serve him. He once told me that absolutely had to have a report the next day. I stayed later and finished it. I came in the next day, asked where he was and was told he went on vacation for two weeks! About three months later he rushed into my office and asked if I had done that report. I said yes, i had it ready but you went on vacation. He turned on a dime and left. Another time he had a performance review with me, hands me the review and says to sign it. I asked to read it first and found he had dinged me for some incident 7 months earlier! I said you never even discussed this and he couldn't come up with anything but vague details. I said I would not sign it, he then crossed it out and said well sign now. I quit shortly after, as did anyone who worked for him.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 9:53 AM

Wow. I have had some bosses, but nothing like these stories. I think you should name these jerkos.

Posted by: dcaparna | August 10, 2007 9:53 AM

The worst boss i had was my father unfortunately. He would yell at me, employees anyone. He had a strange view that if he paid someone, somehow that gave him the right to degrade people. We went through so many employees it was pitiful and of course it was never because of him. We had an employee who asked for 2 days off to see his son in germany before he went to Iraq. My father denied him the days off, so he quit and went anyway. We then went 4 months without a bookkeeper because of that. I finally quit and went to a different job, he took it as a personal insult and didn't speak to me for months. It's hard when your family is crazy.

Posted by: anon123 | August 10, 2007 10:07 AM

Years ago one of the surgeons I worked for was finishing up an operation. I had to get the patient out of the room to a recovery area, clean the room and set up for another procedure. He actually dropped his gloves ON THE FLOOR, looked at me and said "I am going to lunch. Have the next one ready in 30 mins when I get back".
Well, I took care of the patient I had and went to get something to eat myself. When he returned he was furious that the room wasn't cleaned and the patient wasn't ready. I told him that even slaves have to eat if you want to them to keep working. Also reported him to the chief who kept him behind closed doors for a while. He didn't do it again.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 10, 2007 10:07 AM

Wow, you people have had some winners. I've never had a boss anything like this. The only thing I've had that was ever even close was the owner of the gas station I worked at in college. I got held up one night; one guy stayed out front as the lookout while the other came over and put the gun in my face. They left; the police responded; and I gave all my statements etc. Once the initial furor had died down, the owner asked if I could go back to work until the regular closing time of 11 pm. (The robbery had happened at about 9:30.) Her reason was that since she had lost the money that was stolen, she really needed to make that up. She did understand, though, when I said I really didn't want to finish out the shift. She worked it herself, and didn't dock me for the time.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 10:07 AM

"She said "liberry" when she meant "library" and "presidents" when she meant "precedence." There were many others, but I can't remember them all."

Are you sure your boss wasn't a man?? And that the man wasn't GEORGE W. BUSH???? Did this person say "nuke-you-lur"?? Did she/he/it say that when clothes are dirty, you have to put them in the "warsh"??

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 10, 2007 10:10 AM

How can we comment on these parenting issues when world stock markets are crashing all around us??? Why is Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke not listening to our national hero, Jim Cramer? For the love of God, Dr. Bernanke, listen to Cramer. Cut interest rates, do whatever you need to do in order to bail out the owners of mortgage-backed securities. Please do not let these people sustain losses. Losses that THEY COULD NOT POSSIBLY HAVE FORESEEN!!! I am sure they just assumed that the higher returns on those securities were simply manna from heaven; those higher returns could not possibly have been a signal that those assets were risky?!?!!? Right?!?!!? Oh GOD BLESS YOU JIM CRAMER! Please keep agitating for the little guy.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 10, 2007 10:25 AM

Back in my college days, I had a boss who received playboy magazine in the office mail. I was the receptionist, and one of my duties was distributing the mail into people's mailboxes. Every month, when the playboy came, he would pick it up from his mailbox, go into his office, and shut the door. Ewwwww!!!

He also did weird things to get attention, like walk down the hall to the elevator dragging his coat on the floor behind him. He wasn't particularly mean or nasty to anyone. He was just plain old weird and icky.

Posted by: Emily | August 10, 2007 10:25 AM

Right before I left my job as a programmer, I remember sitting in a meeting with my boss and a handful of other coworkers. We were going part of a program that I had worked on, but the major chunk in question was actually written by my boss (who told me very specifically to do x, y, and z). I had to listen to him berate me as a moron in front of all my coworkers for writing the code badly- when it was his code! I guess I should have ignored what he told me to do and just written it myself, but it really steamed me. Even if I *had* written it, what exactly was the point in trying to embarrass me in front of my entire working group?

Oh, and this fellow also used to attempt to proselytize me on a regular basis. Really didn't care for that, either.

Posted by: floof | August 10, 2007 10:27 AM

I had a bad boss once. I fixed his little red wagon, I ate him!

Posted by: nonamehere | August 10, 2007 10:28 AM

Oh- my friend's former boss was pretty amazing. Used to leave graphic porn on view on his computer moniter, so that if you went into his office it was staring right at you. EEW!

Posted by: floof | August 10, 2007 10:29 AM

One of my favorite things about work (vs. home) is that there is far less emotion at work and people seem to behave with more self control.

When you run across someone who is out of control in a professional environment, you know you are in trouble.

I feel terribly for all these wacko bosses and their families. If they behave this way at work, imagine what they are like at home.

Unfortunately I think there are a lot of people who believe that if they pay you, they have the right to abuse you. The situations that make me the angriest are the ones where the employees need the job so badly that they cannot stand up for themselves or quit to find a better boss. And too often HR and management ignore bad behavior if the employee's numbers look good.

Posted by: leslie4 | August 10, 2007 10:30 AM

Seriously, why does every blog have to turn political? Take it somewhere else.

I've had some annoying/bad bosses. One would call me from the gate at the airport to change his flight -- he couldn't walk to customer service and do it?! I had to call the travel agent service and take several extra steps. Plus, he HAD to have the exit row, aisle seat -- pretty hard to book last minute which is often how he traveled. And had to have "neverlost" in his rental...

Posted by: AnneArundel | August 10, 2007 10:31 AM

Hey Mako,

I wish someone would eat bababooey!

Posted by: anonthistime | August 10, 2007 10:31 AM

Mako

Does it bother you when your female co-workers have their periods?

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 10:33 AM

Hey Mako,

I wish someone would eat bababooey


Mako, doesn't eat junk food. ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 10:35 AM

Bad Boss #1: His primary goal was to make people suffer. An expert at pinpointing people's weaknesses, and manipulating them so that they would either a) become his lackeys or b) ruin themselves by their own misconduct. Everything he did had to be dishonest in some way. However, he had such charisma that no one would even hold him to normal standards of behavior. A nervous breakdown within 2 years was the norm working for him. Oh, and did I mention the sexual harassment? Out-of-control come-ons to women in front of other employees and even his wife? It should also be mentioned that the project I was hired to work on never got anywhere before, during or after I worked there since he blocked any planning and would not allocate any resources!
Bad Boss #2: Total disconnect with reality. Only knows how to spin and promote himself. Every interaction with him is viewed by him as an opportunity to abuse you. He expects that he will somehow wing it in the end and get away with his complete irrationality. Also very charming. Can charm millions of dollars out of people, so I don't feel so bad about thinking it would be great to work for him. Whoops, here he comes, gotta go!

Posted by: dc_ca_2004 | August 10, 2007 10:38 AM

My first job out of college, I landed at a well-known talent agency in NYC where I was an assistant to venomous, abusive, insecure, prematurely old men. One used to close the door to have screaming conversations with his mother and across the department I could still hear him say, "No, Mom, f--- YOU!"

I stuck it out, thinking it would build character or something, until one day I found myself in a lot of pain. By 3:00 I knew I had to go to the hospital. But that agent didn't want me to go. I stood in his office doorway, trying not to cry, as he, without taking his eyes of his computer screen (where he was playing freecell) said, "I'm sorry you don't 'feel well,' but I have a business to run and you don't seem to be respecting my business."

I went to the ER anyway and it turned out I had a serious kidney infection; but the agent didn't care. He never spoke to me again and, although his attempts to get me fired for insubordination didn't work, I ended up quitting because I couldn't handle the atmosphere. I did, however, write a detailed memo to HR and receive several very moving apologies from them on behalf of the company.

Posted by: shorterstory | August 10, 2007 10:41 AM


I had a prince of a fellow for a boss once. One that I could write a book about his abhorrent behaviors but I will give you only one vignette. (unless I hear a scream for more!)

My darling wife was pg with the first child and already overdue. Mr. Smith came into my office and said that I "should take my wife up on the roof of the house and throw her off. That would make the baby come!"

He thought this was so funny that he came back to my office when my officemate (who was trying to get pg) was there and repeated his "advice."

The SOB was finally forced to retire and he bemoaned the fact that NO ONE came to visit him. At his funeral, I heard that about 2 people attended. As Earl says, it is Karma or what goes around, comes around!

Posted by: Fred | August 10, 2007 10:44 AM

I must say after working in corporate america, I understand how people could be willing participants in things like the Nazi party. Give power to certain people and build a system where there is no escape. Add a brutal police state on top and there you go.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 10:48 AM

Bad boss the first - flighty, planning her wedding on company time. Spent all day on the phone with her bridesmaids regularly. Insisted that I stop folding origami birds while on the phone (not that this in any way hindered my ability to walk people through rebooting their PCs) because it bothered her. Threw fits when her wedding plans were thwarted (no, you can't book the biggest hotel in town's ball room last minute for $300, no matter what you call the reservations clerk).

Bad boss the second - high school educated, minority, did one stint in the Army and thought that was all the education she'd need in business. Threatened when I joined the 'Diversity Committee' sponsored by our company because I was getting recognition outside our department, and she didn't like me. Openly hostile to all minorities other than those like her - Native Americans were apparently responsible for slavery (a direct quote!) and she didn't like them. Fired three of her top performers (literally the top three in the last performance review) when she discovered that we were all in college getting business degrees - two B.A. students, one M.B.A. - she was scared one of us would take her job. Last I heard, she's been demoted two levels and is making half her original salary.

I don't worry about them anymore. I have a job making twice what I was, and a boss who loves what I do and thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread. :-) Revenge is sweet!

Posted by: RebeccainAR | August 10, 2007 10:48 AM

pATRICK, You are correct, I don't eat junk food. That what's the Hammerhead does!

Posted by: nonamehere | August 10, 2007 10:51 AM

I forgot about the boss I most despised. He reminds me of the guy dc_ca_2004 is describing. This guy was a youngish partner at a big DC law firm. Very charming to clients and people who did not know him well, but pretty abusive to all his employees. Never took responsibility for anything. Once, he had forgotten to file some pleading, and called his secretary from out of town telling her to prepare and file it by 4:00 pm or else she would jeopardize his case. She did not know how to do it (nor should she have since she was not a lawyer), and had to scramble and get another lawyer to help her figure it out and write it for her). He would routinely forget about scheduled meetings and then claim not to have been properly notified. He expected us to call him at home in the early morning and remind him if he had a meeting earlier than 10:00 am. When he did come in for meetings before 10:00 AM, he would bill the client for parking, because coming in at that hour meant he had to drive and could not take his leisurely walk to work.

I worked for him for 6 months. I was busily looking for another job after 3 months, and was lucky to find something that quickly. And I gave almost no notice when I left (I initially gave 2 weeks notice but then changed my mind and cut it short by a week and a day -- I usually don't burn bridges, but I strongly felt that particular bridge merited a handsome bonfire). I just could not stomach him. He planned a big going away party for me, but I just decided on a Thursday that I was not coming back again, and told him so as I left at the end of the day. I did send an email to my coworkers explaining that I would not be back at all. Most of them were busy searching for other jobs as well and quite understood.

Posted by: Emily | August 10, 2007 10:52 AM

I actually have a boss I like now. He has small children and is easy going. There is no problem when I need to do something for the kids, because he does too. So I will give him his props, but man he has bad luck. One 5 year old with kidney failure and a compound fracture, a 7 year old who just broke his arm and he just had major back surgery.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 10:53 AM

Damn, pATRICK likes someone besides himself? Next thing we will find out is that pATRICK works for Matt from Aberdeen! (or vice versa)

Posted by: anonthistime | August 10, 2007 11:00 AM

anon

"Damn, pATRICK likes someone besides himself? Next thing we will find out is that pATRICK works for Matt from Aberdeen! (or vice versa)"

Ha, ha, ha!!!!

I nominate for Quote of 2007!!!!

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 11:07 AM

Hey pATRICK likes me and catlady!

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 11:08 AM

No Irishgirl, he only likes your flan.

Posted by: anonthistime | August 10, 2007 11:12 AM

"Hey pATRICK likes me and catlady!

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August"

Until his hemorrhoids act up!

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 11:14 AM

Hey pATRICK likes me and catlady!

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 11:08 AM
Actually, I would be hard pressed to name anyone that i really don't like personally. This is a blog remember and arguing is our part and parcel.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:14 AM

Umm, hemorrhoids is emily's department, not mine.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:16 AM

Until his hemorrhoids act up!

No that is Emily and I can't make Flan, sorry.

I can make stout cake and Irish soda bread though.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 11:16 AM

I can make stout cake and Irish soda bread though.

And it's mighty tasty too.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:18 AM

"GEORGE W. BUSH????"
. . .
"JIM CRAMER! "

Posted by: Baba Booey '02 MPP | August 10, 2007 10:25 AM

Making fun of people again, huh? Pretty clever to do it on a Friday, when you know that abu ibrahim is off at mosque for the Mohammedan holy day and can't post to ask us all to get along and not make fun of one another.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 10, 2007 11:18 AM

The sexual harassment stories cause flashbacks to the one time I was a boss. I was a Fed and was interviewing existing employees from other groups for a spot in my group. We were doing the interviews in a conference room. One woman that I really wanted to bring into my group said she wouldn't take the job unless she saw my office first. A weird request, I thought, but okay. After seeing that it was the standard Fed manager's office with some standard geeky "Murphy's Laws" posters on the walls, she agreed to come work for me.

Turns out her last boss had decorated every square inch of his office with centerfolds from Playboy and similar magazines! All the walls, the ceiling - everywhere but the floor. And whenever a woman on his staff needed to talk to him, he insisted that they talk in his office.

He took an "early retirement" not long after, but I had the benefit of a top-notch engineer for my project until she went back to MIT to finish up her PhD.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 11:21 AM

One of my worst bosses was a woman who hated me as much as I despised her.

She made me work insane hours when I was going through a terrible divorce. One night, totally alone in the office like always at 9 pm, I put something in her inbox and saw a draft of my upcoming performance review. I secretly copied it, analyzed it, and was fully prepared to counter all her bs allegations when she gave me the review a few days later.

She was shocked -- she was sure I'd crumble under her scathing criticisms, especially in my pathetic emotional state.

But I survived! Even though I quit the company to get away from her.

At first I was afraid I was petrified
Kept thinkin' I could never work after your terror eyes;
But then I spent so many nights
Thinkin' how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along

And so you're back from outer space
I just walked in to my cube to find you with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid id
I should have made you leave your parking pass
If I'd've known for just one second you'd be back to bother me

Go on now, go walk out the door
Just turn around now
'cause I don't work for you no more

Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with your lies
Did I crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die?

Oh no, not.I. I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to type I know I'll stay alive;

I've got all my life to live,
I've got all my skills to give and I'll survive,
I will survive.

Hey hey.

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying' hard to fix the gaps on my crappy resume,
And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself. I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high
And you see me somebody new
I'm not that chained up little person still working under you,
And so you feel like droppin' in
And just expect me to be free,
Now I'm savin' all my workin' for someone who's nice to me

Go on now, go walk out the door
Just turn around now
Cause I'm don't work for you no more

I will survive. Hey hey.

LOVE that song!

Posted by: leslie4 | August 10, 2007 11:21 AM

"Hey pATRICK likes me and catlady!"

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 11:08 AM

Dia's Muire dhuit agus Padraig! (or should that be, "agus pATRICK"?)

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 10, 2007 11:22 AM

Irishgirl74 - stout cake and soda bread! Woo hoo!

We used to have discussions with our Irish au pair, though. Seems that much "soda bread" these days is made with raisins, currants, etc. But true soda bread has no such fancy stuff - she taught as to make it the "traditional" way and after I could cook it to her satisfaction I was allowed to "experiment" with various other ingredients.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 11:24 AM

My same boss, tried to derail my promotion but couldn't once I was safely in my other department. i told him never to speak to me again. He kind of shrunk since he knew he could not do anything. The classic bully, once their power is taken away they are helpless.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:25 AM

Actually, I would be hard pressed to name anyone that i really don't like personally. This is a blog remember and arguing is our part and parcel.

Posted by: pATRICK


Dear Comeback Kid

Interesting. You "retired" from the blog because you didn't like the blog's policies.

And your "comeback" rivals that of Elivs in '68!

But in the saddle, your postings haven't changed. The name calling gets tiring very quickly. When you agree with me, I feel the need to take a shower...

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 11:26 AM

One boss I had wasn't the worst but quite insensitive. My brother had died and a coworker lost her father about a year apart from each other. We found out that our boss had told both of us about a week after the funerals that we should get our minds back to work and that it was time to stop grieving. Both deaths were sudden and we were very close and we both reacted the same way - with tears. Upon this he said "I don't know what there is to cry about". All I can think of is this guy has issues with death but in the end it just made my decision to no work for him a stronger one.

Posted by: dlyn67 | August 10, 2007 11:27 AM

Dear Comeback Kid

Interesting. You "retired" from the blog because you didn't like the blog's policies.

And your "comeback" rivals that of Elivs in '68!

But in the saddle, your postings haven't changed. The name calling gets tiring very quickly. When you agree with me, I feel the need to take a shower...

hmm, First off, I think ELVIS was a smashing success. Second,I retired because like Leslie, it got old with anon's like you posting insults rather than arguments. 3rd, Your post rarely add anything but some hit and run snark, so buzz off.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:29 AM

By the way NEWHERE, what were you before you went into hiding with this new moniker? or are you trying to start fresh?
I doubt you are really new here, just another troll.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:32 AM

No raisins in my soda bread army brat. At least not when making it at home for St. Patrick's Day.

Off topic to my lawyer friends. I have a friend who is being sued for a minor fender bender. The lady who is suing was not hurt, but you know how that goes. Anyway, her husband is suing my friend as well because he said he is distraught over his wife's suffering.

And, they are suing my friend's husband for negligence because his wife drove his car. However, both of their names are on the car and he was not in the car when the accident happened.

Do you think they will get away with the "my wife" argument and the negligence argument. It seems to me they are just after money. I am curious myself because it seems so strange that any good lawyer would sue based on these allegations.

Thanks

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 11:36 AM

The classic bully, once their power is taken away they are helpless.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:25 AM

pATRICK complaining about a bully!


Oh, the sweet, sweet irony!

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 11:36 AM

When you agree with me, I feel the need to take a shower...

But then how will we identify you without that horrible troll odor you give off?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:42 AM

3rd, Your post rarely add anything but some hit and run snark, so buzz off.

Posted by: pATRICK | August

As opposed to the wit & wisdom of your posts?


Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 11:43 AM

What is that horrible smell? Oh, it's just 'NEWHERE" wink, wink- trying to post.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 11:45 AM

"THC" used to throw things at the attorney employees, like paper clips, black clamps, M&Ms, and routinely asked us if we had our heads up our a$$e$; he'd rant and rave about projects he needed done IMMEDIATELY, and then after receiving the "drafts" for review, would leave them sitting on his desk for weeks. And then after all this he'd say "Peace - don't ever change". Most people eventually quit; the ones who didn't were all on medication in order to cope. THC was the one who needed it - we decided eventually that he was bi-polar or manic-depressive or something. I quit and got myself a nice fat increase in the process.

Posted by: markinirvine | August 10, 2007 11:53 AM

pATRICK

"What is that horrible smell? Oh, it's just 'NEWHERE" wink, wink- trying to post. "

Who QUIT the blog? Is that the horrible smell of cowardice?


Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 11:54 AM

"And, they are suing my friend's husband for negligence because his wife drove his car. However, both of their names are on the car and he was not in the car when the accident happened."

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 11:36 AM

Will the jury hold your friend's husband responsible for maintaining the vehicle, since his name is on it? Did he allow ice to build up on the windshield, or gunk to encrust the brake pads? If so, even though he wasn't in the car, the jury may find him liable for negligent encrustment.

"It seems to me they are just after money. I am curious myself because it seems so strange that any good lawyer would sue based on these allegations" (Irishgirl 74)

I'm shocked -- Shocked! -- that anyone would think that members of the Bar are "just after money."

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 10, 2007 11:55 AM

Wow...some pretty awful bosses. That's why "Devil Wears Prada" was a best-seller--so many people can relate.

My first job out of college, I worked for a small, family owned publisher in McLean. It was a husband and wife team--they were in their 60s. They fought (she picked up a stack of books and threw them at him). They would leave for hours on end, and I was their only employee. Then their creepy son, who was my age, would come by with his creepy friends, light up a joint, then leave. I made sure to tell the boss when he got back, "Your son dropped by." When they bought a new house, they made me help them move on company time--because their wretched son and daughter would not help them. She yelled at me because I did not peel off an uncancelled stamp from some mail (these people lived in Great Falls). I finally quit after the old man called me fat (I wore a junior's size 7).

Posted by: pepperjade | August 10, 2007 11:59 AM

MattInAberdeen

They are saying he is liable because he let her drive the car, but both their names were on it, so I hope that doesn't work.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:04 PM

"They are saying he is liable because he let her drive the car, but both their names were on it, so I hope that doesn't work. "

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:04

You get what you pay for when you ask for "free" legal advice.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 12:13 PM

markinirvine,

THC certainly had some problem; I have concluded that such behavior is some kind of personality disorder. Thanks for encouraging me with the info that you moved on to something better!

Posted by: dc_ca_2004 | August 10, 2007 12:14 PM

I had a boss who suffered from OCD.He was going on leave he would polish he fake vinyl woodgrain desktop with pledge and his bald head would turn bright red when during a meeting any of us leaned against his freshly polished desktop. His desktop at the the corner had a v on each side from all the sections met. In the v on either side he would leave his pens two each in perfect order . I would come in and switch the order of his pens knowing he knew exactly how he left them and he would spend his first day back ruminating over did someone mess with his desk. Once while serving as acting team leader when he was detailed to a special project. I told him I was taking the team for ice cream sundaes about 100pm because they were busting my butt for me. He said he would check to make sure it was okay. He got bacl to me the enxt day and said we needed to discuss team business at the meeting. So the next day we went for ice cream and as we were sitting enjoying it I told them what he said and said team business and we went back to eating! Spent an hour and half with him one time becuase he thought he could revise something I wrote to make it sound better. After wasting my time he said you know yours sounds better. Thanks boss. I am to lunch.

Posted by: dave2002ti | August 10, 2007 12:15 PM

You get what you pay for when you ask for "free" legal advice.

I geuss the same can be said when you insult people too.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:16 PM

"You get what you pay for when you ask for 'free' legal advice."

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 12:13 PM

Are the real lawyers on this blog gonna let me get away with this? "Negligent encrustment," indeed!

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 10, 2007 12:17 PM

Are the real lawyers on this blog gonna let me get away with this? "Negligent encrustment," indeed!

Matt thanks for your advice.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:20 PM

My scariest boss ordered me to leave the office and lose a day's pay because I sneezed. His wife was pregnant with their third child and he told me he would get yelled at if he "brought home" a cold from the office.

The kicker is that I was not sick but was sneezing from all the cigarette smoke in the office (he allowed his office manager to smoke while at her desk).

Posted by: ishgebibble | August 10, 2007 12:25 PM

"'Are the real lawyers on this blog gonna let me get away with this? 'Negligent encrustment,' indeed!'"

"Matt thanks for your advice."

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:20 PM

Scarry, no one is going to give real legal advice over the Net. If I know my wife is drunk, and I let her drive our car and there's an accident, I could be sued for negligently entrusting the car to her. That's "negligent entrustment." I was just making a pun for the benefit of our lawyer friends on this blog.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 10, 2007 12:27 PM

My last boss was notorius for calling you at 5:15 fridays and ask for a "quick" (VERY LONG) meeting where he would hand out huge assignments due saturday or sunday. Otherwise he would call and tell you to wait for him on a friday at 6:00 and he would never come and or return your pages.

Also would ask that documents be driven to him for corrections. Then he wanted you to correct and drive back.

Posted by: stikyfingas | August 10, 2007 12:30 PM

My last boss was notorius for calling you at 5:15 fridays and ask for a "quick" (VERY LONG) meeting where he would hand out huge assignments due saturday or sunday. Otherwise he would call and tell you to wait for him on a friday at 6:00 and he would never come and or return your pages.

Also would ask that documents be driven to him for corrections. Then he wanted you to correct and drive back.

Posted by: stikyfingas | August 10, 2007 12:30 PM

Scarry, no one is going to give real legal advice over the Net.

Haha, well people have given me adivce before, I mean it's not like I can say MN told me that is was a bogus lawsuit.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:33 PM

"Haha, well people have given me adivce before, I mean it's not like I can say MN told me that is was a bogus lawsuit. "

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 12:33 PM

Huh? What does this gibberish mean?

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 12:49 PM

Wow, what crazy stories. My worst boss was a lot like Laura's - she'd tell you to do one thing, but while you were working on it she'd keep thinking about it and it would change in her mind, and then she'd be furious with you for doing what she told you to instead of what she thought of three weeks after your meeting and never told you. She also was super paranoid - any time she heard that we went out for beers or whatever she though we were organizing against her or something (and since I was the usual social organizer she was particularly suspicious of me). She also had a terrible temper and would tell me FU all the time. When I quit that company I said in my exit interview that she was one of the main reasons I was leaving and she ended up being asked to resign about a year later.

Other than that I've had pretty good luck. My current boss is great - very focused on just getting the work done and getting it done well, he doesn't get hung up on when, where or how you do it. He's very straightforward too which I like a lot - I always know where I stand, if I did something wrong he just says so, if I did something well he tells me that too.

Posted by: LizaBean | August 10, 2007 12:50 PM

I can't believe I am going to say this, but bababooey has a point. I can't seem to think about anything but the market at the moment.

I know why it had to be done, but I can't believe the fed just paid $35BILLION to bail out frigging predatory lenders this morning. Yes, they are now a corporate industry, I realize that.

But those sharks finally got what was coming to them (no offense Mako) and then we had to bail them out to keep the USDollar from crashing down.

How come the good guys never win?

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 10, 2007 1:01 PM

MattInAberdeen

How do you manage to stay such a good sport & gent after the constant name calling?

I apologize for any names I have called you. They were cheap shots and won't happen again.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 1:03 PM

"I just realized the world is run by C-minus students." --John Wiley, Non Sequitur (comic strip)

There are so many reasons why bad bosses exist. Here are some reasons I think they exist:

1) Poor (or non-existent training). There is no formalized training program for many bosses. Business school may teach a few things, but most people think that "common sense" is enough to run an office or department.

2) Power complex. Some people are bosses simply because they want to order other people around. They see giving the orders as an end in itself, not a means to an end (getting a product or service out, keeping customers happy, etc.). It's like someone becoming a cop because he wants a state-sanctioned excuse for beating up people he doesn't like.

3) They hate their own lives. Because some people get to be bosses for no other reason than, perhaps, someone owing them a favor, their position is a burden, not a pleasure. Add to that unstable marriages, unhappy sex lives, disillusionment with life in general and, perhaps, a biochemical imbalance or two and you have a walking, breathing psycho that signs checks. They take out their frustrations on you because, presumably, that's the only "control" they think they have. They would rather beat up others than fix themselves.

4) Just for the money. Because managerial positions pay well in some cases, some folks will just show up to collect a check, without realizing that leadership (among other virtues) is a part of the job description.

Ideally, bad bosses should accept responsibility for their actions but it seems it takes running into a brick wall somehow - getting fired by a superior, having a mass mutiny or exodus from a company, being carried off the premises in handcuffs - to realize something isn't working. But the authority they're given, combined with the fear most folks have about losing anything - their homes, their cars, their boats, their big-screen TV's, etc. - makes them loathe to take on such an idiot. So they pay with their souls - years of tolerating a tyrant to protect their homes. No wonder so many people need anti-depressants.

My philosophy is that life is too short to tolerate bad bosses, and the moment you realize you have one, start making plans and taking action (discreetly, of course) to get out from under him/her. Don't wait five to ten years because if your life suddenly ends - as it did for the unfortunate victims of the bridge in Minneapolis - you're gonna wonder, "Why the h*ll did I wait??"

Posted by: wpreader2007 | August 10, 2007 1:15 PM

Correction: the cartoonist's name of Non Sequitur is Wiley Miller, not John Wiley. wpreader2007 regrets the error.

Posted by: wpreader2007 | August 10, 2007 1:17 PM

oh, the memories are coming back to me now...

my first job out of b-school was at a large prestigious advertising agency with a huge cigarette account. although it was illegal to smoke in most office buildings in the city smoking was condoned EVERYWHERE in ours.

even elevators. bathrooms. tiny windowless meeting rooms.

i had quit smoking myself about 15 years before but i have to admit i loved the secondhand smoke. pathetic but true.

i bet it drove other non-smokers absolutely insane and i'm sure it was not legal. this wasn't on my radar screen then but can you imagine being pregnant in that environment? anything for the client...

Posted by: leslie4 | August 10, 2007 1:22 PM

wpreader2007 wrote:
"1) Poor (or non-existent training). There is no formalized training program for many bosses. Business school may teach a few things, but most people think that "common sense" is enough to run an office or department."

This is actually a very good point. The Feds have some very thorough training programs for managers. However, when I was a Fed, you had to actually BE a manager first before you were eligible for the training. Then you had to take it when you could fit it into your schedule. So even if you were well-intentioned and wanted to be a good boss, you stumbled through on your own for quite a while, and built bad habits.

The explanation I was given was that they didn't want to waste the training on somebody who might not ever become a manager.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 1:22 PM

"Unfortunately I think there are a lot of people who believe that if they pay you, they have the right to abuse you. The situations that make me the angriest are the ones where the employees need the job so badly that they cannot stand up for themselves or quit to find a better boss. And too often HR and management ignore bad behavior if the employee's numbers look good."

Leslie, you are so right. The power trip some bosses go on reveal just how small they really are. They are to be avoided.

Posted by: wpreader2007 | August 10, 2007 1:22 PM

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 10, 2007 01:01 PM

The fed added liquidity to the system, they did not bail anyone out. Europe added obver 135b, the fed did about 34b.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 1:24 PM

Posted by: wpreader2007 | August 10, 2007 01:15 PM

As Michael Corleone said "Senator , we're all part of the same hypocrisy".

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 1:32 PM

I have been working for several years and have had several bad/quirky/nutso bosses. One at a big law firm was a senior partner. I was scared to death of him. Back when e-mail was first introduced he didn't have a computer in his office as a lot of older senior partners didn't like them or use them. Whenever he got an e-mail I'd have to print it and take it in to his office. One morning my sister called just as I got to my desk in the morning and said our father had died and to come home right away. In shock I shut down my computer and left for two weeks -- the funeral and other business dealing with our loss. When I got back to work and turned on my computer the cantankerous old poop had two weeks' worth of e-mails he hadn't seen. Of course I was bawled out for not arranging for him to get his e-mails in my bereavement absence. He was a senior partner and could have arranged with IT to get his e-mail to him but chose to put the blame on me.

He also wanted me to get his coffee for him AND he would not answer his own phone. He would just put his coffee mug on my desk I was expected to jump up and get his coffee. One day his phone rang while I was getting his coffee, so I got bawled out for being away from my desk. I was often tempted to put something a little stronger than caffeine in his coffee mug. I ended up with ulcers and asked to be reassigned to another desk. That man is dead now and I'm still here!

At an earlier job, I was told by the office manager that I did not deserve a raise in salary because I was single and didn't have children to support. However, I had been working my a** off for six accountants and had been with the firm over 7 years. Getting the message, I left the firm and they had to hire two people to replace me. That firm has since gone belly up putting thousands out of work. I have been gainfully employed at other jobs since I left there.

Then there was the VP of a broadcasting company who had me buy champagne for his visits to his girlfriend's apartment. He drove his own car to the office but let The Wife use the company-issued car to run errands, go shopping and pick up the kids at school. Of course he was reimbursed for mileage and gas for the company car which The Wife was driving.

Posted by: bevb20678 | August 10, 2007 1:42 PM

For two years I worked for a small design firm co-owned by a couple. They went through a messy break-up, bickering over me and claiming custody like I was a child (it was just the three of us). Against my better judgment I stayed on with the owner who kept the office (the guy) and eventually broke off contact with the girlfriend who kept trying to trick me into spying on her ex.

Well what do you know in 2 months my boss has a new girlfriend whom he immediately puts on the payroll! He was definitely not a quick learner. She was the most competitive, controlling person I have ever met. Just a short time into her regime I was no longer allowed to address my boss directly even though we all shared a one room office. Everything was said to her or through her. He just sat there silently as she berated me daily. When I finally got up the nerve to quit, I received an email shortly after expressing their disappointment in my "immature and unprofessional" behavior.

Posted by: frankieo19 | August 10, 2007 1:52 PM

Now how about some balance? Have a "Bad Employee" contest that can showcase examples of bad employees who get their knickers in a twist when work has the audacity to get in the way of their efforts to make the 40-hour paid work week a virtual personal holiday?

Posted by: RBCrook | August 10, 2007 2:00 PM

"Now how about some balance? Have a "Bad Employee" contest that can showcase examples of bad employees who get their knickers in a twist when work has the audacity to get in the way of their efforts to make the 40-hour paid work week a virtual personal holiday?"

There are thousands and thousands (if not millions) of government (local, state, and federal)employees who are warm bodies.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 2:11 PM

lelsie

"my first job out of b-school was at a large prestigious advertising agency with a huge cigarette account. although it was illegal to smoke in most office buildings in the city smoking was condoned EVERYWHERE in ours."

Lucy & Ricky Ricardo and Andy Taylor smoked AND starred in TV cigarette commercials. Ricky Ricardo smoked in the living room while chatting with a near by PREGNANT Lucy!

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 2:16 PM

My first boss always told me to make a copy of whatever he needed faxed.

It's delicious to hear these other stories because they make my bad boss seem tame. It's a small place- just him, his wife (pretending to be office manager), myself, a co worker, and the boss' sons girlfriend pretending to be an office asst.

There's NO division of work/private life with them. The son is a completely coddled co-dependent typical 22 year old who will end up living at home at 30 on mom & dads money who happened to buy a puppy- who gets brough to the office every day. We schedule their personal vacations and work vacations. I have to listen to the wife talk obscenly loudly as she paces around the office on her cell phone on everything from doctors appointments to how she forgot to pay the electricity bill AGAIN- always with a new excuse to why she's behind.

The boss himself is so self absorbed he refuses to admit anything less than perfection. A meeting he misses is because we didn't tell him it was on his calendar- that he looked up 5 minutes before he left. Every assignment begins with "Call..." even if we've done it a hundred times before. He loves to create chaos and if we schedule time for him to organize his office, he just stares blankly out the window or talks on the phone to friends.

Wednesday he turned a plan review meeting into a FULL account review meeting. Of course interrupting me in the middle of getting statements to show me that it was already in the file- uh no that's FIRST quarters statement I got faxed in May. Then to show me we had last quarters statement under that- uh no that says 2006. Then going through another report "They kept this person on, this is wrong, all wrong" Uh no- they have zero value. "Oh you're right, this is good."

Posted by: EmeraldEAD | August 10, 2007 2:36 PM

pATRICK, you can say the Fed didn't bail anyone out if you like, but...

The Fed added liquidity by purchasing mortgage backed securities:

http://marketwatch.nytimes.com/custom/nyt-com/html-story.asp?guid=%7B36B05802%2DBA9D%2D4BA8%2DA901%2DD88521577888%7D&siteid=NYT&dist=NYT

"Adding liquidity" need not be some abstract concept. The reality of what the Fed did was buy a block of crappy subprime loans that other final institutions were unwilling to buy.

No, they didn't directly write these crooked lenders a check but they absolutely bailed them out, because the market problem right now is that no sane financial institutions will buy blocks of crappy loans underwritten by big companies like Citywide. So yes, the Fed is bailing them out by being the Buyer of Last Resort.

If the Fed were to step in and pay me for a bad investment I made (interfering with the "free market"!) Republicans would say that's a handout. If the Government does it for big business, they don't seem to have a problem with it at all....

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 10, 2007 2:39 PM

Speaking of smoking -- when working with the Government in the late 1960's I was assigned to a desk between two male chain-smokers. In those days men could smoke at their desks but women had to go into the ladies' room to smoke (we had a sexist Director). Being a non-smoker, I would go home every day with a throbbing headache, my clothes and hair stank of cigarette smoke. That's one habit I'm glad I never picked up, but that passive smoking has worried me since we have a couple forms of cancer in our family history.

Posted by: bevb20678 | August 10, 2007 2:40 PM

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 10, 2007 02:39 PM

Close but not quite, those are REPURCHASE agreements which means that they will be rebought for more than what they were sold. Those european "republicans" are doing the same in europe.

Posted by: anon123 | August 10, 2007 2:46 PM

Posted by: anon123 | August 10, 2007 02:46 PM

Repurchase agreements? A distinction without a difference.

The politics of this maneuver are completely different if you are a foreign investor. The politics of us selling our debt to the Chinese is completely different than that of the Chinese purchasing the debt.

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 10, 2007 2:52 PM

I apologize for any names I have called you. They were cheap shots and won't happen again.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 01:03 PM

Don't hold your breath, this person does nothing but cheap shot people and emit a foul like troll odor.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 2:52 PM

Some of these people sound pretty hostile. My experience with a bad boss was more just strange. During college and a bit after I worked for a government contractor at one of the big places on capital hill. The guy was fresh from China and full of really weird mannerisms like drinking 10 diet cokes a day (you could see him go walking into his cubicle literally loaded down with them). He also had a nervous twitch and erratic breathing, didn't speak any language very coherently (though he claimed to be somewhat of a linguist, he would often criticize my German when his was so terrible I couldn't understand a word of it half the time) and was notorious for grabbing people for very long awkward chats literally as they were on the way out the door for the day. Some of his more outrageous moments included a meeting held in the cafeteria in which he asked for employee feedback on a current project then upon receiving some very timid constructive criticism exploded into a top-of-his lungs tirade about challenging his authority and literally shouted at one point "This is not democracy! This is a dictatorship!" and on one instance of calling me a butthead in front of a lot of people. Thankfully I have a good sense of humor. (really it may have been the strangeness of the man that made it hard to be truly offended)

He also would have meetings that had about 15 minutes worth of real things to discuss followed by 45 minutes of sitting in an awkward silence. It was as though it was written in stone that we had to be there for an hour regardless of wether or not anything important needed to be discussed. On many instances he would set up projects that left lots of loose ends so that there would be future projects for my contract to propose to our angency (this is probably typical). However it led to situations where everyone was doing things in an obviously inefficient and incorrect way which can be something surprisingly difficult to get around psychologically for long periods of time. There were also lots of arbitrary rules about clocking in that I don't care to delve into. Not necessarily the worst boss I've had but certainly the strangest.

Posted by: nitrojunkie_20723 | August 10, 2007 2:58 PM

I apologize for any names I have called you. They were cheap shots and won't happen again.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 01:03 PM

Don't hold your breath, this person does nothing but cheap shot people and emit a foul like troll odor.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007

Spoken like a true Christian.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 2:58 PM

ProudPapa, you're confusing me.

Repurchase agreements? A distinction without a difference.

Huh? The fact that it's a three day repurchase agreement means that the banks have to buy the mortgage-backed securities back from the Fed on Monday, or be in default. That's not the Fed taking the problem off the banks' hands permanently, or even for a long time. It's a big difference. True, it's not economic Darwinish, but it's not a "bailout".


The politics of this maneuver are completely different if you are a foreign investor. The politics of us selling our debt to the Chinese is completely different than that of the Chinese purchasing the debt.

I have no clue what you're saying here. Can you elaborate, please? And what does this have to do with the fact that most other Central Banks (the ECB, the central banks in Japan, Australia et alia) are doing the same thing as the Fed?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 3:09 PM

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 02:58 PM

How would you know what a true christian speaks like?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 3:10 PM

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 03:09 PM

It means PP does not know what he is talking about and has his lefty glasses on.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 3:11 PM

How would you know what a true christian speaks like?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 03:10 PM


I forgive you, my brother.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 3:16 PM

these are great stories! i've had a few bad (and crazy) bosses in my past, but the best one is right out of 'devil wears prada'. but it was in the nonprofit world, so not nearly as glamorous.

the boss in question was totally manic. you never knew what to expect. i got to sit outside her office, so as soon as she walked in, i knew if it was going to be a bad day or a crazy day. my main job was to print out emails and type out responses for her review. we'd spend all day on one email, and in the end it would change maybe one word.

she'd want steak at 10am. and one time the order wasn't perfect (i think there were mushrooms on the steak) she threw it across the room.

one time, i was on the phone and she hung it up, even though i told her i was talking to someone who was at her house fixing her computer. she didn't even need anything. she just didn't want me on the phone.

Another time, she came in earlier than usual (which meant it would be a bad day) and someone was fixing her drapes in her conference room and making a lot of noise. her dog happened to be visiting the office that day as well. she would yell profanity at the guy and ask us what he was doing, then turn to her dog and give it kisses and then turn back to the guy to yell more profanities then back to the dog with love and kisses. she went on for at least 10-15 mins like this before one of my coworkers finally told the guy to leave.

i made it a year. can't say she opened doors for me, but i did get a lot of entertaining stories, too many to recount here. and she paid well, when she was in a good mood, she could be a very generous, gregarious person. i considered her to be like my crazy old aunt. if you stayed on her good side, despite the drama, you'd be treated well. i even got severance when i quit.

Posted by: jane-y | August 10, 2007 3:17 PM

Here's another from the boss himself.


"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." -Matthew 12:34

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 3:19 PM

If you don't like troll, i can use viper if that strikes you as more christian.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 3:23 PM

Here's another from the boss himself.


"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." -Matthew 12:34

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 03:19 PM

I agree, my brother.

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 3:24 PM

Newhere,
You are cracking me up. One piece of advice though. Stop feeding the troll!!!

Posted by: Emily | August 10, 2007 3:26 PM

MISSOURI CITY, Texas -- A Missouri City, Texas, man has filed a federal lawsuit against 1-800-FLOWERS, Inc. after they sent his wife a thank-you card for flowers he ordered for another woman.

MyFOXHouston.com reported Leroy Greer ordered a dozen red roses and teddy bear through 1-800-flowers.com for a woman while he was in the middle of divorcing his wife. However, at the time the flowers were sent, Greer and his wife were reconciled.

• Click here for the full story from MyFOXHouston.com.

After Greer ordered the flowers in April, 1-800-flowers reportedly sent a thank-you card to his home, which his wife saw. She then called the company, and they faxed her a copy of the receipt, the note he sent with the flowers that read "just wanted to say that 'I Love you'" and a report of what he actually purchased.

His wife re-filed divorce papers and is asking him for a $400,000 divorce lump sum and $6,000 per month in child and spousal support. He is seeking more than $1 million in damages from the flower company.

No wonder lawyers are held in such low regard. What a classic case of judicial roulette, step right up spin the wheel, win a million dollars!

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 3:29 PM

janey - your boss sounds like my crazy aunt who thinks she is psychic, likes dogs better than people, and is computer illiterate. Could it actually be her? Did your boss also chainsmoke and bring a thermos of whiskey to work?

Posted by: Emily | August 10, 2007 3:29 PM

Hate to get off topic...

$6000 a MONTH for child support? Wonder how many kids that's for? Good grief.

Posted by: AnneArundel | August 10, 2007 3:34 PM

pATRICK

"No wonder lawyers are held in such low regard. What a classic case of judicial roulette, step right up spin the wheel, win a million dollars!"

Jesus loves you.

YLS '85

Posted by: newhere | August 10, 2007 3:38 PM

I'm confused about one of the posts on that bad boss site. The one where the lady is complaining that her boss didn't pass along a message that her husband (who lived in another state) had passed away. Her husband, mind, had some very serious disease and poster knew he was near death.

Couldn't help but wonder why the poster would think someone would feel bad for anyone other than ... her husband.

Some excerpts:

"I knew that he was getting sicker and sicker and I knew that the end was drawing near. I was dreading the phone call that would tell me he had passed away."

My comment: Er, did you forget to tell us you were legally separated or something? Otherwise, I can't imagine why you weren't there for him or why this story would do anything but make us have sympathy for your husband (not you).

"As a matter of fact he didn't tell me for several days. By that time, the funeral had taken place without me. My husband's family members were really upset with me."

Comment: Are you saying they didn't have any way of contacting you except through work??? Were in the habit of going "several days" without checking on this terminally ill spouse? (Or perhaps you were in the habit of ignoring phone calls from family at home or elsewhere.)

"When I went to do my exit exam, there was no offer to ever return to the company given to me."

Comment: Not sure what you mean here. You had chosen to leave, yes?

Yeesh.

Posted by: Fxston | August 10, 2007 3:40 PM

pATRICK -- that is a similar resemblence, but she never brought in whiskey (recovering alcoholic), but she did have a pocket of pills that she'd offer to anyone who needed some.

Posted by: jane-y | August 10, 2007 3:48 PM

pATRICK -- that is a similar resemblence, but she never brought in whiskey (recovering alcoholic), but she did have a pocket of pills that she'd offer to anyone who needed some.

Posted by: jane-y | August 10, 2007 03:48 PM

Hi Jane-y, I think you were responding to her all knowing highness-EMILY

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 3:54 PM

Ohhh, tell us what non-profit or at least give us a hint.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 10, 2007 4:16 PM

Argh! I wrote a long rebuttal to pATRICK and Army Brat, but the site ate it.

Suffice to say, when the Fed steps in to prop up domestic subprime loans it sends a different message than when foreign interests do so. The Fed is also implicitly placing the weight of the US Gov't behind the industry/instruments, and I resent that given that industry's attempts to prey on some of our weaker citizens. The industry does not deserve the Fed's endorsement. And yes, I know we are talking markets and not just simple corporations so the stakes are higher, blah blah blah.

I don't have the time to do a full eloquent rewrite.

Oh, and I had a pretty good line about my lefty glasses compared to pATRICK's reactionary earmuffs but now I'm too busy to get into it.

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 10, 2007 4:21 PM

PP, i laugh at the suggestion that those weaker citizens were taken advantage of when those foolish companies gave them liar loans. But it's late and the weekend is coming up, so I hope you have a nice weekend in leftyland.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 10, 2007 4:29 PM

ProudPapa15 - the main thing that's confusing me about your posts traces to this:

"Suffice to say, when the Fed steps in to prop up domestic subprime loans it sends a different message than when foreign interests do so."

Umm, the foreign interests are NOT moving in to prop up US subprime loans, which I think you're implying. Instead, the foreign interests are propping up their OWN markets.

From the BBC's website: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6938425.stm)

"he European Central Bank (ECB) has pumped 95bn euros (£63bn) into the eurozone banking market to allay fears about a sub-prime credit crunch.

The ECB made the money available in the form of loans, an offer taken up by 49 banks and other financial institutions. "

That is, the foreign interests - the ECB - are supporting the European banking community. Similarly, the Japanese central bank is supporting the Japanese banking industry; the Australian central bank is supporting the Australian financial community; etc.

Yes, one of the reasons that European, Japanese, Australian etc. financial institutions have issues is that those institutions invested in US securities backed by subprime mortgages, which is why the current crisis has world-wide implications. But you seem to be saying that the foreign banks are propping up the US industry. That couldn't be further from the truth; they're supporting their own.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 10, 2007 4:32 PM

While not actually my boss, he's my bosses boss...
He's nary five feet tall and his attitude reflects his inadequacies...
Not sure how he made it to his position...being a Blair-like lapdog to those more powerful (and taller!) helped, I'm sure!

Posted by: kase | August 10, 2007 5:15 PM

When I was working for the Feds in an agency which was responsible for making decisions on entitlements, one of my bosses was despised by most of the employees due to his blantant favoritism for people who were of his own racial extraction. Most of the workers were minorities who worked in the office for years before he was transferred to our location. Whenever there was overtime work on weekends he would go out with his "favorite boys" for breakfast/snacks while the rest of the workers toiled away. None of the other workers were ever invited to join in. He also was not knowledgable in the application of the laws used in our work but did not accept my opinions when they conflicted with that of his "favorite boy". Once I caught a case which was improperly worked by this "favorite boy" and it was so screwed up that the beneficiary had been denied thousands of dollars in payments. I placed a note in the file directing that corrective action be taken. This got back to "favorite boy" and he disputed my opinion. We went before the boss and I explained the laws and reasons for my stand. The boss said he'd review the case and get back with his decision. Well, he never did. I'm sure he didn't understand how the laws I cited had to be applied in that specific case. I checked the file and found out he destroyed my note and no corrective action was taken. All this to protect his "favorite boy" from admitting he was wrong. I was eventually able to get the errors corrected and the beneficiary paid at the correct rate. That did not sit well with the boss and "favorite boy" but they couldn't do anything to retract the correction. We were sure glad when that boss left.

Posted by: posxb04434 | August 10, 2007 10:02 PM

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