10 ways to piss off your boss

by Ask a Manager on October 3, 2011

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Want to infuriate your boss and ensure you don’t get raises, promotions, or general respect? Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I give you 10 ways to do exactly that. You can check it out here.

{ 14 comments }

Kevin October 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Great advice! Can you elaborate on ” disclosing your biases” ….
Thanks!

Ask a Manager October 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Yes! Let’s say you’re discussing a problem with a coworker with your boss. You really dislike this coworker. You might say something like: “I’ll be honest, there’s something about Joe that gets under my skin, and it’s possible that’s coloring my judgment here. That said, I do think it’s a problem that he’s putting up these roadblocks to getting these invoices out.”

Or, in another situation, you might say, “I have an incentive to favor Solution X because it’ll make my life easier. But I do think it’s the right way to go aside from that because of the following factors.”

In other words, you put your biases on the table up front. This says to your boss that you care most about getting to the right answer, and so you want her to know what might be coloring your judgment. Everyone has stuff that colors their judgment, but most people aren’t good about even realizing it, let alone disclosing it.

Christine October 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I wasn’t sure about the bias thing either, so thanks for explaining further.

Jamie October 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Yes x 10 to everything on that list!

It’s like you tapped into my head and downloaded the top ten things that drive me crazy.

Anon October 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

There are all common sense, but it’s great to have them spelled out like this.

I need to look for work elsewhere and I know it, so I tend to fall into the trap of complaining too much. I try to be aware of it and try to separate my sour grapes from legitimate concerns, but I don’t always succeed. Luckily, while I don’t like my company anymore, I do like my coworkers so it’s not like I’m angry or unhappy all the time. I also read an article about how it can reinforce your negative feelings to complain too much. Some talking can help you vent and release, but if you keep talking about it it just keeps those negative feelings fresh in your mind. This is also something I try to keep in mind.

Esra October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I actually had a manager who would get angry at me for taking notes while he was telling me what to do. He was… not very good.

Scott July 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I work at a company where we all despise our boss. He docks us pay when are 10 minutes late, but then will expect us to work 3 or 4 hours late for free. We reported him to the labor board and got back wages since we’re hourly, but basically are looking for new jobs.

We’re trying to coordinate it so that 5-10 of us quit all at once on the same day which will totally f*** him over in terms of running the business. Are their any negatives to this that we should consider? Can he sue us for leaving the same day?

Ask a Manager July 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm

He can’t sue you, but you’ll have an awful reference from that job, since it’ll be obvious that you coordinated to try to screw him over. That kind of thing isn’t worth it — find a new job and leave, but don’t coordinate it with your coworkers. Preserve your reputation, and act like a mature, professional person, not a spiteful teenager.

Jo November 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Sounds like a good plan. Don’t worry about the bad reference. If that was true I would never ever have a job. I’ve messed up on a few jobs and got screwed over too. I did something similar but it was only two of us that left at the same time but my idiot boss felt it hard being that we were the two key players in what we did with this small company. Vengence is necessary sometimes.

pizza-person May 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

i agree. vengeance IS necessary some times. I work at a Dominos Pizza and I’ve caught my boss docking my pay, cutting hours from my time sheet, and on top of all of that, we can’t cash our checks! Nobody in this small town(taft, California) will cash the checks because my boss’ checks keep bouncing! now I have to drive to some little mom and pop store that our boss pays to cash our checks. even though we have to pay $7 to cash it. I know that this is illegal and no banks in this town accept checks from him. he squats in these really nice houses and his fat children eat pizza for free for every meal. its absolutely disgusting.
I’m sorry. that’s a personal opinion. but I’m just so angry. I’m shaking as I type this.
Other people have been fired for threatening to tell on him. One of my coworkers’ parents is an officer and has threatened my boss(who we shall call bob). bob has been more helpful to him but there has to be something I can do. hes taking our money, treating us terribly, and people in the community wont believe me! He’s in tight with the city. He’s in the rotary club. he has these meetings with other restaurant owners in the town(this is a small town). im assuming the police wouldn’t be able to do anything. and ive submitted a form to the labor board twice. please someone has to know how to help me. should I tell my local news channel to do an investigation?
Quitting isn’t an option because I have bills to pay but at $8/hr and paying to receive my checks, if I can cash them at all … Its hard to make a living.

im sorry this was so long but I need some helpful advise.

any input is greatly appreciated. :)

KellyK May 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Personally, I would keep track of every hour you work and every discrepancy in your pay, look really hard for another job, *then* file a complaint. Don’t threaten, because it’ll get you fired. Just do it when you’re in a position to.

KellyK May 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Yeah, but how sure are you that your next job even called the employer you screwed over? Some places don’t bother checking references, but a lot do. There’s no way to know if you were just lucky. Just because it didn’t come back to bite you doesn’t mean it won’t come back to bite Scott and his coworkers. Especially since 5 or 10 people leaving at once is more obviously coordinated than two, and the odds that *none* of those people’s potential next employers will call that guy for a reference are really low. For that matter, it might still hurt you the next time you’re looking.

Boss June 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Personally, I feel your next step is to wait….find another job….. But wait…. If your boss is that big of a jerk it will come back to haunt him… In the mean time contact IRS ,….I’m sure he could use an audit!

Anthony Alfidi March 26, 2014 at 2:44 am

A lot of these perspectives assume that a manager will respect an employee who wants to do the right thing. That isn’t always the case. Unethical bosses will feel threatened by a do-gooder employee. Leaving a bad boss is always the right thing to do even if it means turning down incentives for unethical behavior. Temping is the future anyway, even for highly-skilled work that pays well.

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