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Blago’s Actions Nothing Compared to Those of These “Bad” Bosses

Sure, he lied, cheated and stole (allegedly, of course) but former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was unanimously voted out of office yesterday, has got nothing on the “bad bosses” CareerBuilder.com found in its latest nationwide survey

According to the poll of more than 8,000 workers, 43 percent of workers have quit a job to get away from bad bosses. Fair enough…I mean, when you think that you have to spend 40 hours (give or take) per week of your life working with and reporting to someone, don’t you want it to be with someone you respect or can at least tolerate, if not outright like? 

But what makes a bad boss? For some, like the friend of one reader on Allison Green’s recent post, it’s someone who yells.  For others, like the respondents of the CareerBuilder.com survey, it might be much more…bizarre.  Take a look at some of the real life examples of bizarre behaviors workers cited that pushed them over the edge:

  • Hid in weird places in order to spy on employees
  • Took a bite of someone’s doughnut while they were away from their desk
  • Held a meeting while locked inside the bathroom
  • Brought a gun to work and cleaned it in an area behind employees
  • Tap danced on employee’s desk
  • Showed everyone a kidney stone he had passed
  • Broke down during a meeting and cried, “Why don’t you like me?”
  • Kept his lunch in a freezer intended for human organ storage
  • Used a taser gun on a subordinate
  • Declared “Talk like a pirate day”
  • Rode a child’s scooter through the office

I don’t know, some of these behaviors – while creepy, for sure – don’t all seem like deal-breakers. 

Don’t get me wrong: Anything gun-related would have me running for the door for certain (and probably having to buy a new pair of pants)…and taking a bite out of someone else’s donut without asking is simply unforgiveable where I come from. 

But let’s face it: some people like talking like pirates. (I’m not one of them, but who am I to judge?) What are your thoughts? What makes a bad boss – and where do you draw the line? 

Better yet, what “bad boss” stories do you have of your own?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
7 comments
John
John

I recently left a local company where the COO did all the client billing. Her invoices weren't based on reality (time and materials) but rather on what she felt each client would find acceptable. Thus, she over-billed some while minimally billing others, all the while maintaining with our clients that it was purely T&M. She even went so far as to make up complex line item descriptions for the fake pieces, hoping that clients would feel they were getting more than their money's worth.

As a new employee, when I questioned her, she explained that this is a credible, accepted accounting system called "the Mixed Billing System" and that it doesn't matter whether or not anyone else (much less an accountant) could reconstruct the books based on T&M, or other nonsense. A couple of weeks later she called me in to ask how much my clients "would be able to bear" for the current billing cycle.

I was fired for my reply.

She and Blago are probably Facebook friends!

John
John

I recently left a local company where the COO did all the client billing. Her invoices weren't based on reality (time and materials) but rather on what she felt each client would find acceptable. Thus, she over-billed some while minimally billing others, all the while maintaining with our clients that it was purely T&M. She even went so far as to make up complex line item descriptions for the fake pieces, hoping that clients would feel they were getting more than their money's worth.

As a new employee, when I questioned her, she explained that this is a credible, accepted accounting system called "the Mixed Billing System" and that it doesn't matter whether or not anyone else (much less an accountant) could reconstruct the books based on T&M, or other nonsense. A couple of weeks later she called me in to ask how much my clients "would be able to bear" for the current billing cycle.

I was fired for my reply.

She and Blago are probably Facebook friends!

Mary
Mary

Beverlie,

Thanks for your honest input. While I won't argue that what makes a bad boss was a fairly obvious topic, it was meant as a lighter piece to bring in some humor at the end of a particularly dreary week in the job market. I invite you to browse our blog archives to see that we do focus heavily on the more serious side of employee management, engagement and retention. Our intent is to address the concerns and areas of interest to hiring managers and recruiters. That said, please feel free to tell us what sort of issues you'd specifically like to see addressed on our site. I'm sure others who feel as you do would appreciate it as well.

Mary
Mary

Beverlie,

Thanks for your honest input. While I won't argue that what makes a bad boss was a fairly obvious topic, it was meant as a lighter piece to bring in some humor at the end of a particularly dreary week in the job market. I invite you to browse our blog archives to see that we do focus heavily on the more serious side of employee management, engagement and retention. Our intent is to address the concerns and areas of interest to hiring managers and recruiters. That said, please feel free to tell us what sort of issues you'd specifically like to see addressed on our site. I'm sure others who feel as you do would appreciate it as well.

Beverlie
Beverlie

Why waste people's time in writing such a stupid article. Do you have nothing less obvious to write about-perhaps something a bit more intellectual?
In my opinion, one quality every boss should have: Never ask anyone on your staff to do something you cannot or would not do.

Beverlie
Beverlie

Why waste people's time in writing such a stupid article. Do you have nothing less obvious to write about-perhaps something a bit more intellectual?
In my opinion, one quality every boss should have: Never ask anyone on your staff to do something you cannot or would not do.

Jessie Rivera
Jessie Rivera

Nothing is worse than a boss who seeks out people who make "mistakes" rather than celebrating good work. Bosses shouldn't be baby sitters, and if they think they need to act this way, they've obviously hired the wrong people for the job. A good boss trusts the team and can help when things do go wrong, but shouldn't constantly focus on the negative.

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