General Discussion

Terrible Bosses
HippieVan at 8:57PM, Dec. 14, 2013
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I was just reading this (warning: bad words and awful stories) and figured this might be a fun topic of conversation…I think everyone's had a terrible boss at some point.
 
I've had a couple bad ones, but the worst was actually in a job I loved.
I worked in a very small store with a handful of girls. We cared about the shop and tried to run it as best we could. We almost all got along really well and worked hard, so aside from crap from head office it was a really great and productive environment. We relied on a sizeable group of loyal customers who we all knew. And then the store was sold, and everything went to hell.
 
First of all, she ran the place carelessly – didn’t pay us on time, misplaced money, did sketchy things with scheduling and so on. She hired her friends and didn’t expect much from them, and never trained anyone to close to I always had to work evenings. I could go on about that stuff for ages, but it’s probably not interesting to anyone but me. Here are the hopefully more interesting bits. I’ve numbered this to try to make it less wall-of-texty, but it’s still pretty long. Sorry! It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to rant about this!
 
1. She played favourites.
Completely arbitrarily, too. Pretty much right from the start she decided that she hated one of the girls she had re-hired. Rather than being a grown-up and firing her or having some kind of discussion, she just made her life pure hell. This girl was genuinely the best customer service/sales person I’ve ever met. She was always positive, was knowledgeable about the products and had built relationships with all of our regulars. The new owner basically relegated her to stocking shelves and cleaning, and snapped at her for anything and everything. It was always incredibly uncomfortable to be around the two of them.
 
2. She let her dog run wild.
A few months in, she adopted a giant, untrained dog. Rather than training it at home and then bringing it in to the store, she opted to make him our store dog right away. He was a really nice dog, but completely unsuited to spending most of his time in a shop. He was constantly pulling products off of the shelves and chewing them, after which she'd make us clean them so that they didn’t look like a dog had played with them. He barked when people came in to the store, especially men, and sometimes he would jump up on them.
 
3. She treated aboriginal customers like garbage.
I made it pretty clear to her that this wasn’t acceptable to me right away – she referred to native people as “Indians,” in casual conversation shortly after hiring me and I had explained to her that I had issues with that term. Maybe she forgot, I don’t know. But some time later I was working alone with her when a perfectly ordinary-looking aboriginal guy came in and was browsing. The whole time he was there she glared at him, probably making him super uncomfortable, and he left without buying anything. As soon as he had gone she said, “Those are the people you have to watch out for.” “What people?” I asked. “Oh, just…anyone who looks suspicious.” It made me even angrier that she wouldn’t be upfront about her racism when confronted.
 
3. She treated my dad like garbage.
We did a Pictures with Santa thing for charity at Christmas. My dad had been Santa the previous year and did a great job, so I asked him to do it again. He sat there playing Santa for eight hours that day (unpaid, mind) and she hardly spoke a word to him the whole time. She didn’t offer to buy him lunch or even a coffee, and thanked him very mildly, almost as an afterthought, as he left at the end of the day.
 
4. She ruined Christmas.
The week before Christmas I worked every single evening. Massive overtime, effectively missing all the Christmas dinners and events I would normally have done. She didn’t ask if this was alright or thank me for it, which was bad enough.
 
At the beginning of the week I was standing by the cash desk when a glass case on it fell off and shattered, basically right on top of me. Rather than asking if I was alright (fortunately I only had a small cut on my hand), she continued chatting with some friends as I cleaned it up. She then came and stood over me and pointed out bits that I had missed. She refused to believe that I hadn’t knocked it over, and for the rest of the week explained to people who asked where it had gone that “magically jumped off the counter” while looking at me pointedly. In frustration I even suggested that she could look at the cameras to prove that I hadn’t touched the thing, but she never did of course.
 
Then the night of Christmas Eve the keyboard broke at the cash desk, leaving me and the other girl working unable to register any sales. We did as well as we could, manually writing out sales so that we could enter them later and counting out change by hand. She was absolutely furious about this, and continually demanded to know what we had done to break it. On boxing day I came in to find her reviewing the cameras, clearly looking to see how we had messed it up. When the tech people fixed it they made it pretty clear that it hadn’t been anything we had done – as the cameras must have made clear as well. No apology though, of course. Aaaaand that’s the day I quit.
 
What are your terrible boss stories? I'm sure some of you have had worse ones, and I welcome your walls of text. :D
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last edited on Dec. 14, 2013 9:01PM
ozoneocean at 9:52AM, Dec. 15, 2013
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Interesting! I remember when a lot of that was happening for you- hard times…
 
I'll have to think about this one!
 
ozoneocean at 9:34PM, Dec. 15, 2013
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None of my bosses have ever been as bad as those mad idiots reported on Jezebel.
Your expereince sounds a lot like what usually happens when the boss is an inexpereinced person who comes in from nowhere, doesn't have the ability of the pervious person, and doesn't realise that it'ts only your abilities that are carrying the whole place and them too nowbecause THEY don't know how to do the job properly.
My current boss has to be carried by the staff a lot because of that, but he's a good guy. Only his inexpereince and tendency to talk waaaaay too much hurt him, appart from that he has a good personality, he's kind and very considerate.
 
My worst boss was this guy who used to be a CEO of a mining company- he'd retired and was looking after his son's firm as boss there instead and didn't have a clue what he was doing… He was a massive control freak and his eyes were always almost bugging from his stress.
He was in a sexual relationship with my imediate boss who was this thin, brittile but pretty chain smoking older woman, badly affected by the stress from that appoplectic fool.
 
He had the best office in the building of course and did almost nothing there. He spent most of his time on the road trying to sell our product to people (some sort of webste directory and other types of advertising). He had this idea that even though the product was stupid and outdated he could make it work just by his old fashioned face to face selling, vice firm handshakes and looking people in the eye REALLY hard!
Seriously, he's a good advertisment for how moronic that approach is. and I always laugh at people who parrot that steely gaze/firm handshake stuff after that.
 
I might have sympathised with him if he wasn't micromanaging each and every aspect of the damn bussiness and not letting people do what they were best at in the time that it should take, getting people fired all the time… He caused his son's business to fail through his control freakisim…
 
I remember once I couldn't come in a few times because of Migraines, so one day he tried to “fix” me using chiropractic techniques! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!
I am not joking. This imbecaucle stretched and cracked my spine… It was too stupid for me to remember detailes, but it was waaaaay too much persona contact!
So glad to be out of that job. It really soured me on graphic design for a long time after.
 
One thing I've learned with working is that it only really gets to you (and the bosses too), if you have a stake in it. If you care about it or have limited alternatives, or really need it then the more things can affect you. Even if you don't though people can still get at you if you have to do the same task twice or whatever or have to finish something extra fast or a whole lot of things in a time limit, but generally a find if I retain the attitude of not caring too much, leaving my work at the office door each day, and knowing they need me more than I need them then it's generally ok.
 
HippieVan at 9:55AM, Dec. 16, 2013
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ozoneocean wrote:
Your expereince sounds a lot like what usually happens when the boss is an inexpereinced person who comes in from nowhere, doesn't have the ability of the pervious person, and doesn't realise that it'ts only your abilities that are carrying the whole place and them too nowbecause THEY don't know how to do the job properly.
My current boss has to be carried by the staff a lot because of that, but he's a good guy. Only his inexpereince and tendency to talk waaaaay too much hurt him, appart from that he has a good personality, he's kind and very considerate.
  
 
That's exactly what it was… that combined with the fact that she just wasn't a very nice person by nature made it a really frustrating experience.
 
micromanaging each and every aspect of the damn bussiness
  
 
That's the worst! I had a great boss last summer who couldn't have cared less what I was doing or how so long as my assigned work got done. Occasionally he would stop by my cube just to ask how things were going, but that was it.
 
one day he tried to “fix” me using chiropractic techniques
  
 
That is horrifying! I'm sure not all chiropractors are scam artists(despite my belief that most are), but it's pretty terrifying for someone who isn't a doctor to be messing around with your spine at all.
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lba at 5:53PM, Dec. 20, 2013
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Mine was my first job out of college. 

I got a job working for an apparel design company who specialized in retail, making t-shirts and the like for places like Spencer's Gifts, Walmart, Target, etc. One of our biggest clients was Miller Coors Brewing, which I found out I was really talented at making new designs for. I absolutely loved the job, despite that we typically started a day around 830am and worked through until 12am the next day about 5-6 days a week. I liked what I was doing enough that the hours and pay didn't matter much to me. The big problem was my boss. He was a writing major in college and had ended up running the art department solely because his father, who had been a graphic designer, had started the business as a retirement project. He had me working on an old white imac that was about 10 years old, which wouldn't have been a huge problem, except for the fact that he refused to delete anything off of it or upgrade the software, meaning that it had approximately 500mb of 120gb left on its hard drive, was running CS2 when CS4 was the standard, and he refused to acknowledge that it might have something to do with why I didn't produce the 80+ designs in an 8 hour period like he demanded of me. In short, he had ridiculous expectations because he didn't know what he was doing.

To make the stress worse, his idea of leadership and creative meetings was to kick open our door to the office, bounce in and rattle off an incomprehensible list of single words before disappearing for hours on end, after which point he would come in and demand, in full screaming, to know why we hadn't put anything he'd rattled off at us onto a shirt yet. He would also regularly get into screaming matches with his brother, who ran the marketing side of the business, in our office and then threaten to fire us if we didn't keep up with his brother's expectations. We were threatened with this about once a day, everyday. By my second month, I was so physically and mentally drained that at one point I got home sometime around 2 am, walked into my roommate's bedroom, sat down on his floor to take my shoes off and passed out right there having interrupted him and his girlfriend's privacy. I don't remember doing that, but he told me that I staggered in and passed out on his floor the next day.

After a while I started to snap back because of exhaustion making me short tempered. I got fired on a Monday, right before I hit my 90 days and they had to start paying unemployment. The Friday before, I finally stood up for myself and screamed back at him that his lists of words didn't mean a damn thing to us, and he got so angry at me that he began stomping his feet and eventually ended up laying on the floor like a 5 year-old throwing a tantrum at me. He was 47. That next Monday I walked into my office to find my computer, the back-up hard drive and everything but the keyboard missing. He had me wait around for an hour while he slept in at home and the office manager called around trying to find out where my computer was, before telling her that I was fired.

It remains a certain point of pride to me to have survived that job and have been fired from it. That job was almost three years ago, and it left me pretty scarred and twitchy about working for other people in the design industry, but every time I feel like I can't handle the stress I'm going through in the army, or trying to keep up with running a business, I just remind myself that I survived the hellhole of that job.
HippieVan at 8:02PM, Dec. 20, 2013
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Holy crap, that bit about the tantrum and one-word idea diarrhea sound like they're straight out of some comedy sketch!
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Have a comic milestone, a community project or some comic-related news you’d like to see in
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lba at 8:08AM, Dec. 24, 2013
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Something like that. I was planning on using it as a sort intro to the comic I've been working on on and off again for the last couple years since the story is supposed to be about a total sad-sack of a character, I figured it would serve really well to get the reader set in his mind-set of malaise and self-loathing. 

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