People Share Their Evil Boss Stories
Bosses aren’t always the nicest people in the world, although sometimes it isn’t their fault. Sometimes, they’re the reason working is so hard to do every day. Many of them can be bullies who pass their life’s frustration onto their workers, resulting in an uncomfortable, unproductive, and very stressful work environment.
In the stories that workers shared online, the men and women who have been given power over them have used it entirely in the wrong way and left their workers suffering because of it. They’ve done everything from ignoring their workers to trying to embarrass them in public. They’ve talked bad about them and even had some of them fired from their jobs.
If you’d like to read about some of the worst bosses on the planet (some of whom got their just desserts), read on. Hopefully you’re not one of these bosses.
The Anti-Men Boss
My boss would find any reason to yell at, demote, and degrade her male employees, often yelling at them in the most public places of the office for the satisfaction of having the upper hand. I even confirmed with my female coworkers to make sure that I wasn’t overreacting or making things up in my head.
I found out that all she would want to do with them (the female workers) in their one-on-one meetings was talk badly about men, boyfriends, and husbands. And if, gasp, you loved your husband and didn’t want to participate in the bashing, you would be put on the blacklist (with the men). Reddit user: Joten
The Boss Who Ignores Things
I had a boss that insisted I was imagining things when I told him there was a gas leak. He told me to just keep working when I said I was getting light-headed. It turned out the next day that there was a gas leak (I reported it since he wouldn’t).
When I confronted him about it, he told me that I should’ve just walked out on the job if I knew there was a problem. Reddit user: obeyyourbrain
The One Who Hates Paperwork
I worked at a big box pet store. Once, my boss put a sick mouse in a bag and slammed it multiple times against my giant acrylic fish tank until it died because she didn’t want to deal with the infirmary paperwork. I stood there in stunned silence while she did it.
I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was complete sociopathic behavior. And I quit soon after. Reddit user: pepperbell
A Crappy Landfill Boss
I used to work for a municipality at their landfill sites. We had a new director come on board who was one of the vilest humans I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. He would transfer people from a home site that they had worked at for years to another that was far away from their homes….
He would do it just for fun, then would come up with ridiculous excuses for doing it. He made rules that made life at work intolerable; staff working on the site were not allowed to speak to each other, we were not allowed to help each other, and we were not allowed to help disabled people or seniors who came to dispose of stuff.
In severe weather (heat waves, downpours), we were not allowed to seek shelter, and the list goes on. This man is the person who I would gladly send to his grave if I was positive I wouldn’t be caught. Reddit user: Moos_Mumsy
The One Who Hates Paying Up
I worked as a receptionist for a couple of months, and if one thing was out of place in the entire lobby, my boss would yell at me (sometimes in front of our customers) and for some reason say I’m wasting money. She would do this repeatedly, and I never understood why.
One week, I grabbed chairs and purposely messed them up, I tipped the trash over, leaving two cups on the floor, and so on. That week, I got paid $80 less. So I decided to check all my checks; I realized that the more the lobby was messed up, the less I got paid.
Once I confronted her, she gave me the money back, but it was still pretty messed up. Reddit user: speechlesspoetry
The Boss with Bad Hobbies
I worked at a local high school as the assistant manager. My manager (the general manager) constantly came into work inebriated. She always talked about her inappropriate hobbies in front of the kids but wouldn’t even let me mention the death of my best friend to anyone I worked with.
She also hit on one of our workers daily (who was in a five-year relationship); the janitor even told me he caught her with him in the storage closet hooking up. Yeah, great example and an even better boss. Reddit user: Meadowofpeace
The Pension Thief
I worked at a school for several years until the principal stole my entire pension and severance pay. The school was supposed to deduct a hundred dollars from my paycheck every month, match it, and deposit all the money into my pension fund. Instead, my boss pocketed all the money from 20+ employees’ checks, got Botox done, and bought herself all new designer clothes.
I was counting on the money to pay for grad school, and I ended up having to take out loans because of it. I spent months trying to get my money back, but it wasn’t in the U.S., and the authorities kept giving me the run-around, so I eventually just gave up. Reddit user: FACOFACOFACO
The One That Causes Depression
She was the absolute worst! My ex-boss pitted us against each other and routinely blamed us for stuff beyond our control. I cried every morning on the way to work, and the others in the office were on anti-depressants. She also hooked up in our office once with some guy no one knew….
When I quit, I left Easter eggs for my replacement to find: I printed emails of her verbally abusing the office staff and other things like that. Dirty, ugly, poor excuse for a human. Reddit user: sortashort
The Biggest Loser
I worked at a convenience store, and the store manager was the biggest loser I’ve ever known. He basically hired two kinds of people: pretty girls to entertain him, and guys to do his work for him. He was a disgusting slob, and no girl he ever hired wanted to touch that.
He threatened to fire me behind my back to one of my other coworkers (in an effort to intimidate the coworker). I caught wind of it and reported it to the district manager, and he changed his tune really quickly after that. Reddit user: skyliner360
The One with the Inner Circle
My boss is notorious for treating the newbies badly, while her little inner circle of employees that have stuck with her for a long time get a free pass for just about everything. For a week, the boss had to go on a business trip and left the store with my coworker, who was her right-hand man, and me in charge.
The coworker was working another part-time job at the time and ended up not showing up for several shifts, leaving me completely alone. I had no idea how to do anything and did the best that I could. Even when he did show up to his shifts, the guy didn’t do any work and clearly didn’t care.
And when the boss came back, he still didn’t show up for an entire three days. Instead of giving the coworker hell for missing so many shifts in a row and leaving me helpless, she yelled at me for doing everything wrong. She chewed me out for two whole days, nonstop.
When my coworker finally showed up to work, she was joking with him as if nothing happened. I don’t even know why I stayed at that job. Reddit user: pureunevil
The Minor Devil
I once worked for a really a terrible boss who got joy out of ripping off customers; he really was a minor devil. But I stayed there for a long time because I was the top biller in the consulting department. If I had a down week, it was living hell.
One week, we “lost money” on a project by going over by two hours that we couldn’t bill. The project still profited something like $10k; we just lost two hours of my billable time. Reddit user: skraptastic
The One Who’s Stingy with Money
I worked at a hotel owned by an Indian man in southern California. During a state-wide emergency fire, he raised all of our prices and said, “They have no excuse to not pay in full.” This is very illegal. But all he cared about was making money, and not the humanity behind it all.
He had a revolving door of employees because he refused to give anyone full-time hours and never paid a dime over minimum wage; he always said, “We should just be grateful we are employed.” Once I finished school, I quit the same day. Reddit user: [redacted]
I had a boss who once said to me, “The problem with women in the workplace is that they’re always moody, they talk way too much, and they’re useless for one week out of the month because they’re bleeding all over the freaking place.” And they didn’t fire him for that….
But he did get canned for walking up behind one of his employees (who was sitting at a desk working) and slapping him in the side of the head. People were too stunned to say anything and just stared. It took a few weeks, but once people finally got the courage to band together and report him, he was fired. Reddit user: scruit
I am a female, and I work at my local fast food restaurant. The manager is a huge creep. He’s in his 40s, and he’s been working here since he was 16. A couple of days ago, he told me a story about how a girl that he was seeing went missing and how she was like me.
He’s also shown me pictures of girls he hooked up with. I put in my two weeks the day after he told the story about the girl being murdered. Reddit user: ElephxntHeart
A Tale of Two Bosses
She faked workers’ comp. She was on a one-step “ladder” and she “fell off” and “broke her ankle.” She sued the company and tried to force all of the teenagers who worked there to lie with her about her shady story because she “really wanted a vacation and we owed her.”
She ended up losing her job over it because none of us lied for her, and we spent the next year with a rotation of 20 temporary managers before our store was shut down. I had another boss at another company who LOVED to talk badly about all the employees.
In a company of 6 people, things get circulated pretty quickly, especially if it’s negative. She liked the attention and drama she started. She was in her 60s. Reddit user: rose_garden1992
The Misogynistic Boss
I had a manager who was very misogynistic. We got a new store manager, and he was very upset by it because he didn’t need “no dumb female younger than him” telling him how to do his job. I was his secretary, and that wasn’t my actual job. I typed up reports for him, and he took credit for things I found.
Between him and another coworker, they drove me out. Hours were being cut, and even though I was #2 in the company in our line of work (1,100 retail stores), I would only get 15 hours and the other guy would be getting 35. Reddit user: suppercopper
The Boss Who Could Do and Say Anything
A new young manager refused to let us have breaks on 9-hour shifts. We had to sign in and out, and he would cross off the hours with white-out and change them to 1-2 hours less. Then, he would photocopy them so it looked like we had done fewer hours, and because we had signed it, we got paid less.
He changed the entire system one day and blamed it on us when it went wrong. I confronted him with another employee, and the next day, we got fired. Because we were temps in an agency, we couldn’t do anything. I reported him with audio evidence that I got when the confrontation occurred.
I recorded him saying, “I’m a manager, I can do what I want; if you want breaks, go to another job, and if I want to change your hours I will, you don’t work hard enough as it is.” I never heard anything back about it after reporting him. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Beyond Dishonest Boss
I once worked for a guy (when I had just finished high school) who would screw the customer in every way imaginable. Take their money and not order the item, refuse to order the item for weeks even though the employees reminded him every day, get mad at the employees and blame them, etc.
He even acted like he had no idea what the problem was when the customer demanded their money back. He lied to customers about what he had in stock or what he could get, lied about prices, shorted employees on time worked, and almost anything else you can imagine. I honestly don’t know how he is still in business, but he is. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Boss Who Couldn’t Understand
One of my managers was really cold-hearted. One of my friends I worked with had a miscarriage and called in to tell our manager she wouldn’t be in because she lost her baby and was about to go into surgery later that day. My manager told her, “Well you know you work tomorrow right? You need to come in or find someone to cover your shift.”
She was completely insensitive to my friend’s situation; later that day, my friend’s mom went up there and went off on her in front of EVERYONE. She completely deserved it. I would think that out of everyone we worked with, she’d understand since she has a daughter that’s two. Reddit user: InsaneSauce
The Inexperienced Boss
The owner of the business decided to hire his recent college graduate son as the new general manager of the restaurant. The son had no experience at all in any kind of service industry. For about 10 months, it was like Michael Scott with anger management issues but times one hundred.
We went through 4 kitchen managers, not to mention supporting staff back of the house and numerous waitstaff and bartenders. I lasted about a year until the owner sold the place. Reddit user: TupacSchwartzODoyle
The Mean Manager
I worked at a Sonic when I was 16; first job. The manager was terrible; he was rarely there, so it was usually a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds running the place (with a non-English-speaking cook, so there’s that too). We’d be forced to lie about our tips, saying we made more than we did if we were under, or else he’d fire us.
He once gave me a 12-hour shift with only a half-hour break, and that was only after I complained; he wasn’t going to give me one at all. When I broke my foot, he still wanted me to work (aka lift heavy and full trays and walk around), even against doctor’s orders. But now he’s gone, so all’s good I guess. Reddit user: kupur
The Paranoid Boss
When I worked in the publishing industry right after college, I assisted the owner of several magazines and newspapers. By that time, print was well on its way to becoming a dead medium, and it was driving the owner insane. He became convinced that people in the community were stalking him and his family.
He even hired a private investigator to tail this guy that he thought had it out for him. The PI put some sort of tracking device on the suspected stalker’s car. One day, the owner comes screeching into my office, grabs me by the arm, and starts yelling, “He’s a mile away! You have to get out of here!”
I hightailed it out of there and quit the next day. Fun fact: no one was stalking the owner. He actually contacted SLED with the “findings” from his PI (he paid this guy almost $50K), and SLED closed the investigation due to a lack of evidence. Reddit user: Queen_Dare_Bear
The Bully of a Boss
I worked at a non-profit arts-based summer program for kids with disabilities. It sounded great to me, but it remains the worst job I’ve ever had. The boss was a huge bully to her entire staff, most of whom were unqualified college students who quit as soon as they had a better option.
One day, during recess, she comes into the break room and screams at us about the kids not having the water cooler outside. The guy who usually filled it was gone (he quit) and hadn’t gotten someone else to take care of it that day, and apparently this was our fault?
I got screamed at for leaving due to an urgent medical issue. People were regularly screamed at if they went over 40 hours a week because they couldn’t afford to pay us overtime. It was the most miserable job I’ve ever had. Reddit user: SourLadybits
The Boss Who Gives Double Duty
My first job, I was a ‘housekeeper’ at a hair salon. I was the day person, then there was a second lady who came in before close and stayed after closing to mop and such. My boss came up to me one day and told me the afternoon/evening lady had been let go.
She then told me I would take over her duties. I basically had to do my job and hers as well, all before closing. I did it for about three days before I quit. Reddit user: AuroraLux
Two Different Styles of Management
The manager at a movie theater I used to work at used to “inspire” employees by snapping orders at us and then telling us that if we didn’t like what she told us to do, we should quit because “you need us more than we need you.” I quit shortly after she said those words.
But then there was the bookstore I worked at where the assistant manager used to steal from the register by doing post voids on large transactions. Sometimes, he used the backroom as meetups with one of his half dozen mistresses. He got away with it for so long because he was one of the “cool” bosses who didn’t really care what we did.
The post voids eventually sunk him if you’re curious though (loss management noticed a suspicious pattern). Reddit user: schnit123
The Lying Boss
My last boss told me in front of my entire staff (I was a supervisor) that I wasn’t pretty enough to wait on HER clients because I didn’t come in every day with a full face of makeup. And then when I reported her to HR, she countered and said that I was a compulsive liar with a drinking issue. I don’t drink; it does nothing for me.
When I went above my manager’s head to her manager because my boss was clearly getting away with murder, the market president blew me off and told me to handle it like a big girl. Reddit user: chasingthunder
The Aggressive Boss and Her Dogs
Our office had five workers. My boss came in and out of the office, but she’d bring in these dogs…and dear lord did they smell. They used to jump onto my lap and drool. If not that, then she brought in her kid (who faked sick), who was a handful. And she was very rude to the women especially.
These things on their own would be fine (to me at least, my coworkers couldn’t stand it), but she was a fairly aggressive woman; she had an excellent rep and was full of herself, but she’d ask the staff personal questions about their love life and would complain about people after she’d been on the phone with them.
She’d often shout at the dogs or the kid, talk about making love, cigarettes, and men (and how awful they were)…and in a tiny office, it was deafening and distracting. Working as an intern was great, but working as an employee, well, I lasted only three months. It felt longer. Reddit user: Paladin_Girl
The Boss with the Hygiene Problem
When I was 17, I worked at our local Chipotle. My manager was cool sometimes, but when we got busy (Chipotle is busy 3/4ths the time), she would sweat a ton, which is fine. I know you obviously can’t control that, but she smelled really bad, and her idea of encouraging people would be to go up to them and give them a big hug.
She would say, “Here, have some of my sweat.” Now Chipotle is a very open restaurant, as in you can see almost every employee while getting your food, so customers saw her doing this. I saw customers leave on multiple occasions, thinking her smell would transfer into their food. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Boss Who Wouldn’t Let Go
I used to work at our local grocery store just minutes from my home. My coworker wasn’t feeling very well and told me to come over. She instantly passed out, and my other coworker and I picked her up and were holding her limp body. She eventually came to, and my manager came over.
Someone was calling an ambulance, and my manager ripped the phone out of the customer’s hand and hung up. He then proceeded to take her into our online pickup room and told her to sit down. We sat there with her for a few minutes, as she still didn’t feel well.
She asked if she could call her parents and go home, and the manager said no, she had to stay and finish the rest of her shift and if she couldn’t, she would have to continue to sit in the room until her shift was up. It was another 2 hours until she was done. Reddit user: Tabby2036
The Boss Who Couldn’t Understand
I worked for a small café doing a manager’s amount of work while being paid minimum wage, and when I contracted pink eye from caring for my sister, my boss got mad at me. The idea that he couldn’t sympathize with me really got to me, and I had enough of the abuse.
After that, I applied and was hired at Starbucks. His business fell apart without me there and closed within 4 months of me leaving. Reddit user: VaultHawk
The Jailbird Boss
When I was 17, I worked as a secretary for a construction company in TN. I drove over 45 minutes to get there and arrived at 6:30 every day. I barely had work to do, so my boss gave me the dumbest tasks. I spent most of my time cleaning. He called me all sorts of pet names like “lil mama” and “baby girl.”
I caught him cheating on his wife like three times, and after each episode, he “gave me a raise.” I worked there for about 6 weeks and then left for a week for family issues. When I came back, the building was empty; nobody was there, everything was locked. I never got paid one cent.
I found out he went to jail for extortion and all kinds of other things. I’m still mad because I did so much work and never got paid. Reddit user: Pm_me_pigs_plz
The Calculating Boss
I had to shovel snow for Ms. Smith (she was 86 years old at the time), as she was too old to do it herself. She caned her way into the snow and started to berate me for not shoveling fast enough. So, I picked up the pace. That wasn’t good enough. She had to point out where to shovel next.
So, I ran around in circles, no longer being efficient, to shovel the designated spots. After two hours (I could have done it in under 30 minutes solo) she said it was “as good as it will get” and told me to follow her to the front door. After 15 minutes or so of waiting, she comes back to the door with $12.12 exactly.
“What is this?” I questioned, as the deal was $20. “Well, I had to manage you for 2 hours, and at minimum wage that’s $14.50 of my time. And all this snow has ruined the rubber stomper on my cane, which will cost me $4.38 at Walgreens. So here is your $12.12. Now get off my property.” Reddit user: JDogg_of_RS
The Bully Boss Who’s Really a Coward
My current boss has no experience in our field of work; he’s just the biggest angriest guy on site and bullies everyone, then he’s sweet as pie to the office staff. They love him, so if you stand up to him, you will get punishment work for a minimum of a month.
One day, I decided that the job just wasn’t worth it and if he ever tried anything, I would stand up to him. He started screaming at me, and I decided screw it, I’m gonna knock his lights out. I made an angry beeline for him, and he immediately backed up and stared at his shoes.
Now, he just screams at everybody else because he actually happens to be a coward, but he’s still the biggest guy on site. Reddit user: moosecakems
The Petty Boss
I don’t have an exciting story, but my boss is probably early to mid-50s. He’s worse with drama and gossip than a teenager. He writes things about you in the manager book, tells you he doesn’t care if you’re there and that he can find someone better, etc. He threatened to write me up for being a minute late, even though I called beforehand.
I don’t know why managers (not saying crew doesn’t do this) think they can talk to you however they want. Now that I am thinking about getting another job, they’re being super nice. Reddit user: barkbarkchihuahua
The Boss’ Girlfriend
At my second job in high school, I was 16 and working alone in a warehouse/office on an apple ranch. The owner was a 45-year-old divorcee who said creepy things, like telling me I was in his dreams. What made him the worst boss, though, was how he treated me when he started dating this dumb, trashy woman.
He gave her a bunch of authority in his business, which she used to try and get rid of me and keep me “in my place.” She secretly installed spying software on the office computer to monitor me remotely, then when that didn’t get me in trouble, she became openly nasty and petty.
The worst power play was when she made my boss institute a “bathroom ban” so I had to walk out to the field to use the porta-potty rather than the office’s toilet. I can only assume his creepiness towards me made her somehow insecure and want to punish me. Reddit user: roadkill_burrito
The One Who Steals
I worked at a tanning salon, and one of my managers would always call me to go in because he was too hungover or he just wouldn’t show up. He also took a crap ton of money from the store and went gambling with it. Nobody heard from him for like two days.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t fired after the whole steal from the store thing. They gave him a week to repay it, and he worked there for another few months. I transferred stores though. Reddit user: LifeisaCatbox
The One Who Calls People ‘Greedy’
I worked a contract IT job on an army base; my boss was enlisted, and I was not. My direct technical superior quit, and I was given his responsibilities with no pay adjustment. After 8 months, I asked for a pay increase and was told no and that if I ever asked again I would be fired…on Christmas Eve.
He said I would have to “explain to my kids why I was so greedy and was fired.” I took another job in the private sector the next week. On my last day (no notice), I emailed his boss the gist of that conversation and that I quit. Two weeks after I began my new job, they called for help with some systems I designed. I laughed so hard. Reddit user: sweetjimmytwoinches
The One Who Gives Used Walmart Cards
My worst boss was a guy named Glenn at a hospital I used to work at. I was hired by this guy, and he was pretty new himself. It became apparent to everyone pretty quickly that Glenn didn’t really know what was going on or even what we really did there. He eventually got fired, but that is a whole other story.
Christmas came around, and although we didn’t receive any kind of bonuses, Glenn gave everyone gift cards to Walmart for Christmas. There wasn’t any kind of amount on them, so we had to call the phone line on the card to find out how much they were worth. They were all for $3.26. Reddit user: MindVirusMedic
The Boss Who Loves the Heat
I worked in a store where in the summertime, it was up to 37 degrees Celsius (98.5 F). We didn’t have air conditioning because it costs money. Instead, we had machines out back using 5-6 kW/h. That causes a lot of heat. When the machines broke down, causing a loss for our boss, she had aircon installed for the machines.
But in the shop, we didn’t have aircon; it was still 37 degrees on the worst days. 30-35 was normal. On one of the bad days, our boss walks 500 meters to another store to buy Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. The other store was a chilly 18-20 degrees, as it was air conditioned.
After our boss had waited a whole 15 minutes, she called up our store and asked for one of the new employees to bring her a bottle of cold water, because it was so hard to stand in line in the cold, air conditioned store. At the same time, we were standing in a shop from 09:30 to 17:30 in serious heat. I left. Reddit user: Granthree
The Boss Who Uses People as Stopgaps
A week into a new job, someone came by my cubicle and said I shouldn’t expect to be on the job for a long time. I took it as a threat and got defensive. But they explained that my boss only kept Jewish women (two things that I am not) around, and that everyone else was just a stopgap….
Until the boss found a suitable Jewish woman to hire. Within a few weeks, the boss was voicing disapproval at how I handled things and nitpicking everything. Three months later, I was out. Reddit user: elevenghosts