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A good workplace atmosphere is truly a blessing. Cozy headquarters, friendly coworkers, and tolerant management are the stuff dreams are made of. It’s no surprise we want more than just a paycheck from a job – we spend more than half of our day in the office.

Sadly, we often hear more workplace horror than success stories. It’s 2023 and Amazon still hasn’t normalized bathroom breaks for their workers. Bored Panda reached out to the author of Work Jerks: How to Cope with Difficult Bosses and Colleagues, Louise Carnachan, to talk about workplace rules and jerk bosses. You can find the interview below.

This selection of ridiculous rules from horrible bosses and management is an ode to the exploited and the unappreciated. So upvote the notes you find the most absurd and let us know in the comments if you have a story about an entitled boss.

#1

Looks Like Jer Got To The "Finding Out" Part Thanks To Shelly

Looks Like Jer Got To The "Finding Out" Part Thanks To Shelly

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Bored Panda reached out to Louise Carnachan to chat about difficult people at work. Louise is a trainer and organization development consultant with 23 years of experience under her belt. She’s worked with companies like Boeing, Starbucks, McDonald’s and many hospitals and medical centers on the West Coast.

In 2022, Louise wrote a book Work Jerks: How to Cope with Difficult Bosses and Colleagues to help people deal with difficult people at work. She’s not only an expert in this area, but has been in the trenches herself. Work Jerks offers practical solutions on how to stop dreading going to work and make it something you enjoy.

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#2

85°C Bakery Cafe Enabled Tips On Their Point Of Sale Devices. Tips Don't Go To Workers. You're Just Giving The Company More Money

85°C Bakery Cafe Enabled Tips On Their Point Of Sale Devices. Tips Don't Go To Workers. You're Just Giving The Company More Money

MightyTribble Report

#3

Eat And Get Laid Off. Snitches Get $20

Eat And Get Laid Off. Snitches Get $20

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When it comes to demands from bosses, Louise says anything that is illegal, unethical or unsafe can definitely be considered out of line. She gives three examples: “Being asked to commit fraud by double billing or billing for services never rendered. ‘Fudging’ numbers to make the department’s production look better than it actually is (or any lying). Being required to do work for patients or customers without the proper credentialing or training.”

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Louise provides tips on how to deal with toxic management in her book Work Jerks. She also shared some advice with Bored Panda. It depends on how toxic your boss really is, but there are a few strategies. “If the situation is frequently causing you sleepless nights, you may want to find other employment as soon as you can,” Louise adds.

#4

This Is At My Significant Other's Workplace, Which Is Also My Old Workplace. Absolutely Terrifying

This Is At My Significant Other's Workplace, Which Is Also My Old Workplace. Absolutely Terrifying

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#5

This Was Posted At My Boyfriend's Old Job At A Grocery Store

This Was Posted At My Boyfriend's Old Job At A Grocery Store

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#6

I Found This Posted In My New Office

I Found This Posted In My New Office

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JB
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This does not belong here! It’s kinda rude but encouraging employees to embrace life outside of work.

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“The narcissistic leader is probably the most toxic because everything is about their gain,” Louise begins. “They’ll throw you under the bus if they need to divert attention away from their misdeeds. A strategy with them is to stay friendly but do not get caught up in their inner circle. It may not feel as good to stay out of the chosen group but it’s a lot safer.”

“Do not give them any personal information that is important to you because they are not beyond using it to demean or threaten. Don’t gossip about other employees with them. And look for job opportunities away from this person unless it’s clear they’ll cycle through quickly.”

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#7

Shout Out To The Worst Place I Ever Worked. Minimum Wage, Of Course

Shout Out To The Worst Place I Ever Worked. Minimum Wage, Of Course

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#8

So My Best Friend Just Got This Email From Work

So My Best Friend Just Got This Email From Work

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Caroline Nagel
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For a country so proud of their freedom of speech they sure try to muzzle the people.

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#9

What Cell Phone? Call The Landline, Maybe I'm At Home

What Cell Phone? Call The Landline, Maybe I'm At Home

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However, annoying behavior from a boss doesn’t always mean grounds for taking action. “There’s a difference between a manager's poor communication style and bullying or harassing behavior,” Louise says. “The former is highly irritating but the latter is illegal.”

“Report harassment through whatever channels are available to employees (union, boss’s boss, human resources, EEOC, whistleblower hotline, ombuds office). Worry about retaliation keeps  many from reporting but if there are enough of you, you can form a coalition,” Louise advises.

#10

I Make $15 An Hour

I Make $15 An Hour

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#11

Strictest Rule In Office About Returning To Work After Lockdown

Strictest Rule In Office About Returning To Work After Lockdown

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Mr.G86
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean, it's understandable if you're providing customer service. 🤣

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#12

This Is Terrible

This Is Terrible

"Do not sit unless you have a doctor's note."

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What if your manager is constantly looking over your shoulder at work? “Being micromanaged is less toxic but it can make going to work miserable,” Louise admits. “Assuming you know how to do the job, ask what it is you need to demonstrate for them to trust you’ve got this. If it’s a habit they are unaware of (and you have a decent relationship with the boss), ask if you can give them a heads up when they forget and intrude on your work.”

#13

I Found This In The Break Room In My New Office. This Can't Be Legal, Can It?

I Found This In The Break Room In My New Office. This Can't Be Legal, Can It?

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#14

Injury At Work

Injury At Work

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HF
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

leave no trace of your injury, so we don't have to be accountable

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#15

I Found This At A Local Drive Through Store

I Found This At A Local Drive Through Store

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Taking on a leadership position can be daunting as well. Louise invites us to look at things from the perspective of a person doing the managing. “Most people are thrown into leadership positions because they’ve been there a while and were very good at their job – not because they’ve demonstrated competence in leading others, which is a totally different job.”

#16

You're In School, Working Two Jobs And Attend Church? You're Going To Need A Proof

You're In School, Working Two Jobs And Attend Church? You're Going To Need A Proof

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AJay
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This font paired with the all capitals is literally what my nightmares are made of. Never mind the actual content of the text. Signed, a struggling dyslexic who gave up about two sentences in.

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#17

This Was Recently Posted At Work

This Was Recently Posted At Work

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My “in my head” Voice
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They mean bowel movement (I.e., taking a dump). I'll poop in the dark. I can clean up using the braille method. I'll shake the manager's hand on the way out.

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#18

I Make Over Minimum Wage Here In Utah. Is This Legal?

I Make Over Minimum Wage Here In Utah. Is This Legal?

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Leadership, therefore, is also a skill that people need to learn – but few are given the opportunity. “Unless you’ve had a role model to follow, you’re probably at sea about what to do,” explains Louise. “Leadership training and coaching can help immensely but not every organization makes this available. There are many good books and leadership classes you can take on your own or through your professional organization.

#19

It's Time To Find A New Job?

It's Time To Find A New Job?

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#20

Stop Stealing My Electricity

Stop Stealing My Electricity

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JB
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If your boss cannot afford 10¢ of electricity, find a new job.

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#21

This Sucks

This Sucks

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NikNok
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No, my break time starts when I reach the break room! Also I use the toilet on the way to my break as I always get paid to pee.

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The biggest mistake a newbie leader can make is to strive to be liked. “Being loved is a terrible goal for a leader and can lead to all sorts of dysfunctional behavior like trying to be buddies with the staff, gossiping or being too soft on performance,” warns Louise. “The leaders most people say were their best boss ever tend to have similar characteristics, although the personalities may be completely different.”

#22

There's No Way This Is Legal Right?

There's No Way This Is Legal Right?

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sbj
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sadly, being unpaid and suspended is probably the only way you can get free time away from this place

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#23

Owners Throw Out All The Chairs In Store Because They Don't Want Employees To Sit Down

Owners Throw Out All The Chairs In Store Because They Don't Want Employees To Sit Down

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Gustav Gallifrey
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Next month: 'All employees are required to continuously jump up and down on the spot while on shift. Ceasing to jump up and down will result in termination!'

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#24

Employer Says Employees' Break Times Are Before They Reach The Work Site And After They Leave The Work Site

Employer Says Employees' Break Times Are Before They Reach The Work Site And After They Leave The Work Site

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andrew-w00197 avatar
Did I say that out loud? (he/him)cis/het
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, if it's before or after your shift, it's not actually a break. A break is exactly what it says. It breaks up the working shift.

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Louise shares some qualities that a good boss should have: “The commonalities of great leaders are that they ask questions, listen, know something about their direct reports’ lives (as in what’s important to them, not by being intrusively personal)."

#25

Daughter Received This Rule List On Her First Day Of Work

Daughter Received This Rule List On Her First Day Of Work

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Quirinus
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean, this might be rough, but quite true. But why on Earth would you send this to your new employee?!

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#26

My New Manager Wrote This Up Today. Non-Union Grocery Business In Ohio. What Are My Options? Is This Legal? I've Already Told Them I Will Not Be Signing It

My New Manager Wrote This Up Today. Non-Union Grocery Business In Ohio. What Are My Options? Is This Legal? I've Already Told Them I Will Not Be Signing It

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Shane Hussel
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Illegal in US https://www.nlrb.gov/about-nlrb/rights-we-protect/your-rights/your-rights-to-discuss-wages#:~:text=You%20also%20have%20the%20right,way%20for%20having%20that%20conversation.

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#27

Figured Y'all Would Appreciate This Sign In My Place Of Employment

Figured Y'all Would Appreciate This Sign In My Place Of Employment

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“They tell people what they are doing well and what they appreciate, are clear about goals and direction, have high expectations of themselves and their team members, don’t shy away from difficult conversations, and aren’t afraid to admit when they make a mistake,” the author says.

#29

A Senior Nursing Manager Was Handing This Out In The Hospital To Workers

A Senior Nursing Manager Was Handing This Out In The Hospital To Workers

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arthbach
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a load of carp! The most important reason people give for joining a union is they want to be treated fairly. The 'doom and gloom' suggestions is simply not how unions work! you are more likely to experience these situations in non-unionised settings.

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#30

Is This Legal ?

Is This Legal ?

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If a leader successfully acquires the aforementioned qualities, the result is more than being loved. “These are people who are not only respected, they often are the role models for future leaders,” Louise explains. “Not surprisingly, former staff members stay in touch with them after they leave because they have been mentors, not just bosses.”

#31

What Are Sick Days?

What Are Sick Days?

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#32

Sign Posted At My Friend's Job, Hospital Behavioral Health Unit

Sign Posted At My Friend's Job, Hospital Behavioral Health Unit

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#33

My Second Job Recently Changed Managers

My Second Job Recently Changed Managers

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#34

Nice To See Management Following Their Own Rules

Nice To See Management Following Their Own Rules

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#36

New Work "Rules" And They Wonder Why They Are Short Staffed

New Work "Rules" And They Wonder Why They Are Short Staffed

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John Harrison
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When calling off to work, please remember that you are not required to give a reason. Call up, tell the appropriate person that you won't be coming in. Don't ask ... tell. If you feel you must say something additional, say it is for personal reasons. Those words. "Personal reasons." Best bet is to give absolutely no reason at all. Confirm that the person has received your message. Do not discuss the issue. Wish them well and hang up. But here's the most important step that makes everything else work: Be a valuable employee that doesn't call off for b******t reasons.

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#37

Is This Even Right?

Is This Even Right?

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#38

Just Started A New Job, And This Tardy Policy Is Ridiculous

Just Started A New Job, And This Tardy Policy Is Ridiculous

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Kelly Scott
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't know. I've heard from so many employers how they would just like employees to show up and show up on time. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation if you're running a business. I don't agree with the fines in this case, but write ups and possible termination don't seem out of the question. I would think it's understood today that when people start a job, they're told the starting time and it's a given that they have to be there on time. If they don't like the starting times, they're free to not take the job or look for another one. And it does sound like in this case, people have been abusing the situation.

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#39

My Job Involves Walking For Hours At A Time. We Also Don't Get Breaks At All, Even For 12+ Hour Shifts

My Job Involves Walking For Hours At A Time. We Also Don't Get Breaks At All, Even For 12+ Hour Shifts

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#40

Wow Points

Wow Points

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JB
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Translation: We are guilting decent people into freely providing marketing data we desperately need for free. As a Brit, I find NA tipping culture odd. Sorry, it just doesn’t make sense to me that the government sets a minimum wage then allows certain types of companies to pay a tithe of that because tips. Americans are amongst the most generous people I know but why…why would you force someone to live on assumed generosity?

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Note: this post originally had 98 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.