the worst boss of 2013 is…

JoffreyWe have a winner!  1,975 votes are in, and the worst boss of the year is the manager who fired a receptionist after another employee asked him to reimburse her business expenses … with 42% of the vote. Congratulations, terrible manager of the year! You suck.

The four runners-up, who managed to be pretty terrible in their own right:

* the manager who spent the money from an office bereavement collection on herself – 27%

* the manager who ordered an employee to come to work during a dangerous tornado while police were telling people to take cover – 20%

* the manager who spread a false rumor that an employee was dying – 3%

{ 42 comments… read them below }

      1. Victoria Nonprofit*

        Agreed – but still, it’s hard to argue (for me) that firing someone is worse than putting someone’s life at risk (e.g. the tornado example).

  1. Dry White Whine*

    It was a tie between 1 and 2 for me. Finally voted 2. Because it’s grinchier than the grinch himself

  2. IronMaiden*

    And can we give a dishonourable mention to the boss who gave the employee a choice of offices and is now punishing her for the one she chose/failing to mind read/didn’t get out of jury duty.

  3. Chocolate Teapot*

    So many choices, so difficult to opt for a shortlist.

    The story about the person who worked straight through the weekend, then was docked a day’s holiday was also rather bad.

    1. Anne 3*

      I forgot about that one! The worst part was that, iirc, the OP actually worked basically a whole workday that Monday (at night and then later in the day, logging in remotely?). Being treated like that would make me SERIOUSLY question my commitment to the company, I doubt I’d volunteer to work a weekend ever again.

      1. en pointe*

        Agreed. Although, I recall there were some questions raised with that post as to whether the manager was fully aware of / expected the work to take the whole weekend, especially considering the employee was quite new. So perhaps that mitigates it (a little not a lot).

        1. Anne 3*

          I tried to link the post below but it’s awaiting moderation. The OP responded in the comments that the manager was in fact aware that the work took the whole weekend and expected it of their employees. And then the crazy train really flew off the rail…

          To quote the OP:
          “When I met with him about the weekend debacle, he stated that all firm personal commitments (24/7/365) need to be approved by him in advance – otherwise we should consider ourselves on call. He also made a point of stating that people can take vacations, but only if they keep up with their work emails and attend all meetings via conference call.”

          The post title is “I worked all weekend and then got charged a vacation day”, if you wanna search for it.

  4. Just a Reader*

    These are all so horrible.

    Can we have a reader-contributed bad boss thread? I’m sure there are some doozies. My last boss was a terrorist.

          1. en pointe*

            I think Anonymous wanted to clarify whether your boss was for realz a nation-hating, bomb-toting terrorist or just rather enjoying terrorising you.

  5. BrandyB*

    I voted for #2 but it really was a toss up for me between #1 and #2. I think we need a submission tool just for this next year. That way even people who don’t have a question can still submit their evil boss story. I have a few from my past that we’re pretty rough, although may not be at this level. LOL.

    1. Just a Reader*

      I’d rather put up a profile with picture, company, what they did to earn the title and make it go socially viral. The internet equivalent to sandwich board shame and humiliation.

      1. Andrea*

        No kidding, I’d love it if AAM could call these people (and their companies) out by name. But there could be repercussions for the OP, among other problems, so better not. But if anyone wanted to drop hints….

    1. Chuchundra*

      We should get up a collection to send Peter Dinklage to go to the worst boss’s office and give them a couple good slaps.

      1. Karyn*

        Oh my God I think I just peed my pants laughing at this thought. That was the best scene thus far in GoT, hands down.

  6. BCW*

    I’m shocked the tornado one didn’t win Its one thing to fire someone or steal, but to me putting someone’s life in jeopardy is crazy

    1. The Clerk*

      I think the big difference was that the tornado employee could have said no and just lost an attendance point, while the receptionist didn’t even get a final choice (either pay for the gas or leave the company). Besides, since it was a Kmart, at least one manager would have come in also (presumably the one whom the employee talked to) so it’s not like he was asking her to show up while management stayed home. Still an ass, but then again, when you work for a corp like Kmart, you don’t have a lot of leeway on policies anyway.

      1. Dowager Countess*

        @The Clerk — when I worked retail, I had a manager who would stay home during bad weather. He lived in a city with lots of public transportation, but he refused to take a bus because it was “beneath” him.

        He expected all the salespeople to come in no matter what the weather, because public transport was just fine for such people. As long as the store was still open, we had to be there, whether we had a car or not.

        Of course, this was also the same guy who “managed” by scooting around the department on a scooter pointing out all the things we had to do but never lifted a finger to help because physical labor was too lowly for him. He expected entire tables of merchandise to be cleared off in 30 seconds.

        The sad thing was that I had a college degree and he did not.

      2. Liane*

        Depends on the company. I work for another very well-known retailer and each of the last 3-4 winters have had to call in for several shifts due to snow/ice* but it’s never been counted against the maximum absences someone can have. That includes this past month.

        *we live in one of those places where it doesn’t take much of either to bring things to a standstill.

    2. FiveNine*

      The point system that that letter was based on is standard operating procedure for service economy workers (another insight into the growing chasm between working realities for the professional sector v. the service economy). The worker would not have been fired unless she had already taken five unplanned days off in a one-year period and this was her sixth.

  7. Me*

    How about a boss that buys an office pet the week before everyone is going on vacation for Christmas. Duh!

    1. The Clerk*

      Oooh, do they have a drawing to see which student…er, employee gets to take the pet home while school…er, the office is closed? Or is there an essay contest or something to choose the winner?

    1. Not So NewReader*

      The biggest loser got his story told on the internet for all the world to see what a big loser he is. He has won the disrespect of everyone who reads this forum. More importantly, he has earned distain/disgust from our fearless leader, Alison.

      If the guy lived under a rock that would be a upward move for him.

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