the worst boss of 2014 is…

We have a winner! 3,313 votes are in, and the worst boss of the year is the manager who spoofed an employee’s caller ID to make her think her hospitalized mother was calling  … with 30% of the vote. Congratulations, terrible manager of the year! You suck.

The five runners-up, who managed to be pretty terrible themselves:

* the manager who didn’t want an employee to meet with clients unless she lost weight – 29%

* the manager who showed up at an employee’s house and beat on her doors and windows, damaging her home – 22%

* the manager who wanted to buy underwear for employees — and approve it first – 14%

* the manager who was penalizing people for not participating in monthly athletic events – 3%

* the boss who kept pushing an employee to drink – 3%

{ 42 comments… read them below }

  1. Clerica*

    I went and reread the underwear post and for a minute wished I’d voted for it instead. But…I keep imagining all the fun I’d have picking out the most expensive underwear that I’d never normally be able to afford. But then, I’m the person who gathers all the tampons and lays them at the top of my purse before bag check at my second job. I guess it’s harder to get mad at someone when it’s so much more fun to poke them with a stick. :P

    1. A. D. Kay*

      I’m the person who gathers all the tampons and lays them at the top of my purse before bag check I’m dying here!

    2. Ann O'Nemity*

      Except in your case you’re poking the stick at the front-line employees instead of the management in charge of setting the bag check policies. I feel kinda bad for the security personnel who have to rifle through your pile of tampons to do their job while you’re watching on with vengeful glee.

        1. HR Recruiter*

          I totally agree! I always put a tampon on top of everything in my purse before going to sporting events. They don’t check your bag if they see a tampon, gets you through the line twice as fast!

          1. TheSockMonkey*

            You can hide/smuggle in extra food if you throw some maxi pads on top. More surface area. Not that I do that…

  2. Snowball II*

    How is underwear boss not the worst?!

    I feel like the other bosses all had at least some sort of internal logic to their terribleness that I could comprehend – for example, I would not ever damage someone’s home in my zeal to get them to pick up an extra shift at work, but I can imagine the broken thought process that could lead to that behavior. But underwear boss? I cannot fathom a thought process that leads to “and then my employees will put their preferred underwear on hold at the department store for my approval.” Cannot. Fathom.

    1. Clerica*

      Meh, I get it, but that’s because I have several control freaks in my life. I can see the boss having a vision of her employees looking chic and perfect for work and wanting *ahem* everything to be perfect. (Like some people said, a supportive bra and second-skin underwear can make an outfit look better). Not okay. But I can see it.

        1. Bea W*

          That kind of neutralized that one for me. It was creepy and weird, but at least the boss in that one was footing the bill. It also said more “creeper” to me than “jackarse”. Some of the others were super a-holes and/or a higher level of BSC (bat shit crazy). It was all relative.

      1. Anonsie*

        I think this is part of why it didn’t phase me nearly as much as it should have, too. Same with the door and window pounding manager… I’ve actually seen this happen several times when I worked in restaurants and someone no-showed and we had no one else to take their shift.

    2. AnonEMoose*

      For me? The underwear thing was creepy and strange, but not as threatening as the thought of my manager showing up at my house and pounding on the doors and windows – hard enough to damage the house.

      Maybe it’s partly me being protective of my space (I’m enough of an introvert that home is my “sanctuary”) and a violation of that magnitude would trigger major fight or flight at the very least. (I use the word “violation” deliberately, because to me, it would be one.)

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Yeah, I brought my own lens to this one, too. I would have been filing a report with the cops for sure- because (in my mind) this was an “at work” issue. In 30 plus years of working, no one has ever come on my property and behaved in a violent manner because of an at work issue.

        Some day though he is going to do this to the wrong person, if he keeps doing this. We have too many articles daily about people getting shot. This is setting people on edge, he is lucky OP keep her wits about her.

    3. Cupcake*

      Honestly, with this kind of embarrassment of riches from which to choose, it is almost impossible to pick just one. Each is creepy/cringe-worthy/unfathomable in their own way. I think I dithered between “Underwear Boss” and “Boss pretending to be sick mom” for awhile before I finally clicked. I just got a Red Ridinghood vibe from the last one that made me choose it.

    4. Mephyle*

      To the question, “How is underwear boss not the worst?!” I think it’s because many people judged on the effect on the employee(s), rather than on how twisted or absent the bad manager’s logic was.

      By that measure, I agree that the winner (who thought the hospital was calling with news about her mother) was the worst. Imagine the emotional roller coaster followed by the sense of betrayal that the employee suffered from that one.

      1. Snowball II*

        This makes a lot of sense – I was definitely thinking of the question from a “which one of these bosses appears most BSC to me” perspective, rather than from the perspective of “which of these people did the most emotional damage to the employee.” By that second measure, I get that the hospital spoof call is the worst.

        And while I do get that there might be semi-logical reasons why Underwear Boss is interested in what her employees wear, I’m really hung up on the “put it on hold and I’ll approve it” aspect of the whole thing. But I’m probably also exceptionally private about this stuff – I wouldn’t even let my husband underwear shop for me – so I’m likely more squicked out than the average bear by the thought of my boss perusing my underwear selections.

    5. INTP*

      I actually saw the most logic to underwear boss. I am imagining someone thinking that all women deserve nice clothes, and particularly that they should have a quality bra and underpants. She knows that a gift card or something not under her control would only be spent on practical things or things for their families. In her mind, she’s doing the women a favor by making sure that they wind up with these luxurious “necessities.” If one is going to invest a lot in one’s wardrobe, it really does make sense to put a big chunk of that into undergarments, so after years of buying clothes that’s probably what the employees need.

      I’m not saying it’s RIGHT. It’s creepy. But that’s the POV that I imagined from that letter.

  3. AndersonDarling*

    I just hope that one of these bosses finds out that they made the list. I would love to hear their response.

  4. SRMJ*

    has anyone ever been on this site and seen a letter that was without a doubt about them? I’d love to hear about that. especially from one of these bosses!

    1. Nethwen*

      I’m not a boss, but a year or two ago, I read a comment and I knew it had to be about me. The comment was about a cover letter and the writer did everything correctly to anonymize the events, but I could tell it was me. It was from when I was learning how to apply and followed bad advice. I cringed and wished I could take back that letter as soon as I sent it. Maybe someone else will learn from my mistake as portrayed in the original comment.

    2. Formerly Bee*

      I wrote in about a problem and later, somebody at work discussed it with me. Using my own words to describe it.

      I’d love to see the other side of these letters!

  5. Ella*

    Well can I ask, did we ever get an update from the OP of the winning post? That seem way way WAY crazy…

Comments are closed.