30 People Remember The Nastiest Thing Their Bosses Have Said To Them, And It’s Hard To Believe Such Horrible People Exist
A solid leader is a quintessential element for any work team to prosper. Ask Michael Scott from The Office, aka “World’s Best Boss.” All jokes aside, it’s no secret that a good boss can make it or break it when it comes to the success of a business, but sadly, not every employee is lucky to have one.
Some bosses turn their employees' lives into misery that lasts over 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. It can happen for various reasons, and it often relates to the way they treat their employees: from toxic management to delusional demands, to awful things bosses dare to tell people who chose to devote a big portion of their lives to them.
“What’s the worst thing your boss has said to you?” a person asked on the Anti-Work community and the responses started rolling in like there was no end. Some stories are plain awful, others cringe-worthy, the rest make you wonder what these people are still doing at that desk.
Scroll down and be sure to check out our previous feature with more out-of-touch bosses who’d better stay silent.
Image credits: Disastrous-Use-2373
Worked for a small, understaffed eye clinic with only 3 staff and the dr (we were down to 2 staff and the dr when I quit). We worked our assess off and kept it running... 6 months in the Dr finally gets around to doing my 90 day performance review. For 30 minutes she proceeds to point out all of my flaws,how she doesn't really like me and thinks I'm not doing good at my job. How sometimes when she walks in the room I have my back to her and a bunch of other stupid expectations she had that I was never told about..
When in reality I was doing the job of 2-3 people and keeping up with it. My patients loved me and I never had a single complaint from any patient or my coworkers.
I interviewed for the same position at a different clinic and when I mentioned i quit due to only having a staff of 2-3 people. He literally blurted out "How the hell does an office run like that?!". Now I have 11 coworkers and I do 1/3 of the work for more money and get treated with respect. It's amazing.
My best friend’s newborn son passed away 3 days after giving birth. She called me in tears. I told my boss I needed to leave right now. My boss looked at me in disbelief:
“So? Her son is already dead, it’s not like you can do anything for him now.”
My grandfather was in the hospital and was notified by my mom through text that he signed a DNR, this was on a Thursday I was a cook at the time.
I told my manager what I was told and that I need the next day off (would make it a 3 day weekend to go up and visit him in the hospital which is 9 hours away).
She told me no that she has nobody to cover my shift (I’m currently cooking dinner rush while talking to her) I told her that this is my last time I could possibly see him and she goes on how her brother died in the hospital and she still came into work because that’s what she had to do and that life sucks sometimes, you just have to get over it, while I’m still cooking during rush she says “so what’s it gonna be?” In a threatening tone and I say “well I guess I can’t go if nobody can cover me” she then said she’s sorry about what’s going on and thanked me for not missing the next day.
Next day comes and my shift starts and my phone is literally exploding in my pocket, I’m at the hospital with my kids and wife with my grandfather, my manager is losing it “where are you!?” “Please let me know if you’re running late!”
I sent a reply “Remember when you said you have nobody to cover my shift? Well you’re covering my shift tonight and all future shifts, enjoy! Oh by the way I didn’t prep anything last night so you better get going on all that!”
People ask if she replied back: No she didn’t as I was in a very emotional place at that time so I sent the message waited for it to show that it was sent then I block/deleted the number, I wanted the last word and didn’t feel like giving her the chance to “make it better” or “tell me how unprofessional I was” I didn’t care.
“A difficult boss can undermine, confuse and belittle his or her employees, which in turn can really damage their confidence,” Christine Mitterbauer, a licensed and ICF-approved career coach based in the UK told Bored Panda in an interview.
She said that “if the employees don’t respect or like their boss, they’re less likely to want to reach or even exceed targets, which in turn affects the whole company.”
I worked for a startup for 3.5 years. Started as an intern and worked my way up to production manager. When it came time to decide my salary, I sat down with the then COO to discuss pay. When I asked for a compensation that was fair and the average for my city, he said to me that it was too high for my role and that they could "find anyone fresh out of college or off the street" to do my job. I was floored.
Fast forward to months later when the company started laying off people and folding, I resigned because I could no longer do my job as a manager since the companies I was managing haven't been paid by us. They begged me to come and teach them all of my processes, forms, and documentation I had set up because they didn't know how to do my job. I simply told them "you don't need me for that, you can find anyone right off the street to teach you." Ahh, sweet bliss.
8 years ago early 20s I was a receptionist at a hair salon and the owner / main stylist was my boss and he would make fun of me every day. He even gave me a haircut on my second week and it was purposefully a bowl cut and I was so broke and insecure I pretended everything was fine. I caught him laughing at me more than once.
One day he looked at me, scoffed and said "My socks cost more than your shirt."
He fired me exactly the day before my third month and I cried I was so happy.
Felt ashamed to quit as I was raised never to quit but I have learned there's no shame in demanding you deserve better.
I woke up to my house being on fire, so I texted my boss and his response was “are you still coming in?”
Moreover, Mitterbauer said that “it is definitely a good idea to keep track of the conversations you’ve had with your boss, so you can prove these events occurred.” She added that keeping emails, other documents or audio recordings is a good idea.
“You can use this material to show to more senior bosses later on, or even the court, if it ever goes that far,” the career coach concluded.
Boss told me she didn't know what happened but that I was not the same person from the previous year. She wanted that happy, cheerful person back.
She knew what happened. She was at my father's funeral two months before.
I used to work at Walmart and they were rolling out these new scanners that were basically large Android smartphones with barcode scanners built into them. Anyway I normally worked in the back unloading trucks, but this particular day, I was sent out to the toys department to stock. I used the scanners to locate where items are supposed to go since I didn't really stock any departments besides grocery and wasn't too familiar with the layout. A customer comes up to me and asks for help looking for something. I don't remember what it was off hand. The customer was nice, thanked me for my help, so on. About 20 minutes later, the store manager comes up to me and asks me to follow him to the office. After he closed the door, he told me that lady had complained that I was "using my cellphone on the floor" and he started chewing me out over it. I explained that it was the scanner, not my phone. He said "I believe you. They do resemble phones, but I still have to coach you" (Walmart's term for write up). I asked why, and he said "well, customer complained and I have to follow up". So basically I got wrote up for doing my job. I was a good worker, barely called off the 4 years I worked there, and that was my first write up. After that incident, I noticed a huge difference in how I was treated by other managers. I didn't work there much longer
I was working on a devapps team for a major ISP and we were told to finish work on a project by the day after Thanksgiving. We ended up working till midnight the day before Thanksgiving, all day OF Thanksgiving, and all night to midnight. Basically it was 44 of 48 hours on our desk, heads down coding and testing.
We turned the project in at 4:30 the day after Thanksgiving, and when the CTO accepted the submission she said to us, and I quote: "You should not have taken so long to get this done. Not only are you not qualified to work at this company, you are not qualified to work as developers *at all*."
The next Monday they announced the sale of the new software package to another company for 4.2 million dollars.
All three of us turned in our resignations that day.
In our previous interview, Mitterbauer also said that “the culture of the company, as well as the personality and habits of the employer, can have a huge influence on the extent to which work boundaries and therefore personal time is being respected." She added that this is different for every company and every employer.
“Well, if the management shows a complete lack of respect for your personal time, it’s a bright red flag that proves your work environment is unhealthy,” Mitterbauer stated. “If taken to the extreme and the employee feels their boundaries are constantly being transgressed, then this can be considered a toxic atmosphere,” she added.
“We’re starting to get a little behind, so you guys might have to work through your breaks.”
The icing on the cake was this was a union job. The whole shop laughed so hard we no longer felt well and had to go home sick the rest of the day. Some were still sick the day after.
Have a guest who described what they were looking for (clothing) to me in vague terms, I managed to deduce what they were looking for, led them directly to it, asked them if they had a size and color preference, fished that exactly out of the racks, handed it to them and directed them back to the fitting rooms.
Was re-hanging clothing with my Store ASM standing right next to me, doing another z rack. Guest comes up and hands me what she didn't want, asks ASM if she's the manager, ASM says yes, obviously bracing for a complaint of some sort. Guest gushes about how I am friendly, knowledgeable, treated her wonderfully, found exactly what she needed, and that I deserve a raise.
ASM pointblank : *"She makes too much already."*
In high school, I worked at a Subway. My boss asked that the team come in on a Sunday night after closing for a meeting. As soon as everyone was settled, my boss said “we all know there is one person in this room who isn’t efficient like the rest of the team and it’s becoming more obvious by the day.”
Anyway, she turned to me and asked me how it felt to hold others back because I wasn’t quick when it came to making sandwiches and cleaning up. My boss then asked three others to give examples of my “poor” performance in front of everyone. I ended up crying out of sheer embarrassment and was asked to leave the meeting. It bothered me for days and kept me up at night for a few weeks. It’s still such a vivid memory…no one has ever made me feel so low before in my entire life. Of course at a damn Subway lol
In order to make sure you don’t get into a toxic workplace with a boss you won't be able to handle, Mitterbauer’s advice is to find out about the company culture as early as you can. Even in the interview stage.
“Before you even accept a job in a new company, try to get an honest feel for how the culture is. You can do this by asking the interviewer, but better still is to ask to spend some time with people working for the company. Ideally, in a similar position to the one you’re applying for. Looking online for reviews such as on Glassdoor can also be very revealing,” the career coach explained.
Manager called a store meeting to discuss how sick calls were costing us big time. Said, "everyone one who calls out costs our store $10,000 a day in lost sales." My man straight up told everyone how valuable their labor was to the company, in stark contrast with how much we actually made per day.
“You aren’t worth the paycheck we give you “.
I was working 70 hours a week, turning unprofitable divisions profitable for the first time ever in the history across all brands. Developed and Ran the quality control process for a domestic manufacturer. Also did product development ma management for the s**te brands the big boss couldn’t be bothered to deal with ( mine sold better with fewer issues in the market). Traveled the trade show circuit 5-8 months a year for 5 years, chumming it up with local work crews and unions so we weren’t paying expo center rates for booth set up, carpet, power, “entertainment” and other cost cutting measures.
I asked for a raise because I was making minimum wage (early 1990s) and living in nyc. I was paying for groceries w a credit card.
3 months later I found another job. The hiring manager was incensed that the old company was paying me so little. The new boss hand delivered my resignation letter to him at a trade show (at their request- apparently they had a beef going back decades). The next three weeks were a bit uncomfortable.
Last day: got 2 years back pay in an handwritten check and was asked to reconsider the offer.
I laughed. And ran to the bank to cash that check for the cash.
I was a week into a new job when my best friend’s mom was put into hospice. I warned my boss that I would be attending a funeral probably within the next couple weeks. On the Thursday morning of my 2nd week (before Memorial Day weekend) she passed away. I was in tears when I went to my boss to let her know. Her first comment, “Let’s hope the funeral is on the weekend.”
It was the Tuesday after Memorial Day & I took the entire day off. Quit 2 months later.
If you're currently stuck working for a horrible boss, there are a few things you can do to try to improve the situation. First, try to communicate with your boss and let them know how their behavior is affecting you. It's possible that they're not even aware of how their actions are impacting you and your work.
If communicating with your boss and changing your attitude to try and find positivity in their behavior doesn’t help, or if the situation is truly unbearable, you may need to look for a new job. It can be difficult to leave a job, even a bad one, but sometimes it's the only way to find relief.
That if I had a penis I'd be making $10k more per year.
District Manager: 'Why haven't you been hitting your sale targets?"
Me: 'Sorry, I've been tired and distracted, I just found out the other day my mum has breast cancer.'
District Manager: 'Well everyone has things going on in their lives."
I had a friend at a restaurant I worked at that trained me in and made sure that I got a free meal each day (starving art student and all that.) Eventually he started teaching me the line and got me bumped up from dish washing to working along side him on the line which came with a nice raise. We would even hang out after shifts and play a couple hours of Cod Zombies or Borderlands. Well one day I walk in and the owner is in tears. Ends up my friend had suffered a heart attack the night before and had been found dead that morning. I was devastated but we remained open and I just kind of ghosted through my shift. I forget exactly what it was I think I cooked some fries or something and set it aside and forgot they were there. Got the order sent out (with some fresh fries btw) and the owner came back found the ones I had forgotten about glared at me threw them out and pulled me aside and said "I just had to throw out those fries! You need to do better work! He would be so ashamed of you right now!" I just looked at her and then proceeded to walk out with out saying a word.
I worked for a small family owned place as my first office job.
One day I didn’t know where something was (because it was misplaced from its usual spot) so I asked my manager where it was.
They looked at me like I was the dumbest person alive and pointed somewhere to the far right of them and then said to me, “It’s a wonder how you ever made it even this far in life.”
I apologized and went back to working on whatever I was doing. That night I drove home while bawling.
I really was trying my best at the time and it honestly was very hard to wake up in the mornings sometimes even before they said that. Despite that, I would always go above and beyond at work and come in 1-2 hours early and leave late.
I had been diagnosed with major depression few months before I even started the job and I was living paycheck to paycheck. On my own with zero support from anyone, and I spent all my free time clipping coupons, doing doordash and picking up side gigs so that I could afford to feed myself and
my dog and buy furniture. I literally had no time to myself and was constantly working.
I made $9 an hour.
F**k that place and f**k anyone that makes you feel worthless.
I’m a young Hispanic woman in the hospitality industry and while working a Mexican concert my old dusty white boss said to me “everyone is late which isn’t surprising…You know how your people are..” this was a few months after working an event where the lights were turned down low and when he came by my work area he asked me if I needed an extra light to see better..I reply “no, I’m ok thanks my eyes have adjusted” his response was “ I heard you do your best work in the dark” than walked away. I reported this to hr three years ago. He’s still my boss.
“Geez, how many more aunts are left to go?”
His words to me whenever I told him I couldn’t come in for a full day due to a funeral. This was my third family member to pass away in less than a year so idk that s**t hurt to hear.
Back when I was a student I worked as a waiter. The place was sold and the new owner was an horrible person. The new boss worked 6 days a week and on his day off there was no manager, we were instructed to call him in case of emergencies. The kitchen messed a client order and to apologise I offered for free a 12 oz glass of beer. It had always been the policy to give a little something when an order was messed up and I genuinely did not think I needed to call the owner for this. Anyway, the next day he questionned me on the free beer I gave and I explained what happened. I thought he was asking because he wanted to know what went wrong with the meal. He then asked who authorized me to give something for free. I said no one, I took it upon myself. To which he replied:
- you are an employee and as such you don’t take decisions, you do what I tell you to do and nothing else. If I asked you to get down on your knees and wash the floor with a toothbrush, you would do it because I say so.
I asked for to be put on a 2 week LOA while I dealt with my abuser in court. It was denied. I cried & my boss saw the tears so she pulled me aside & asked what’s wrong. I told her the truth, because she kept saying “it’s ok” and “you can tell me.” I told her I was homeless & needed the time off to deal w/ things. She looked me in the eye and said “Well when my son was born with autism you can’t even imagine the pain I felt. Did I cry? No. I moved on & focused on WORK and it made me better. You don’t know how hard it is being an autism mom. No excuses! I can donate you some old blankets though! But no time off!”
I was working six days a week sometimes 7. I quit that day.
"Your dreams are over. The future you imagined no longer exists. You need to accept that"
She colluded with the head of HR to ensure that I stayed at the bottom of the salary band for my position because she was afraid that her boss would recognize that I was much more qualified to do my and her job.
She and the HR person were publicly fired. But it was after they managed to get me fired. It still hurts when I think about it =(
"You need to schedule your medical emergencies. " mind you, I went to the ER to make sure I was not in DKA again. Which I was lucky enough to survive last year, but got written up for *being admitted to the hospital* last year. Here in the USA you have a *1 in 10* chance of dying if you are admitted with DKA.
I complained about colleague who was always saying something sexual no matter what I talk about, and the owner answered: "I don't care if a serial killer works here".
When asked for junior resources to better fill out our team, they said " *You* are our junior resource." This wouldn't have been a problem if I didn't carry 12 years of experience, which in my field is considered senior-level. As if that wasn't insult enough, they went on to say "I'm getting paid x3 your salaries to do a better job than you, so no need to worry about me or my workload". I'd have quit right then but I have an ailing parent to take care of. Actively looking out for something better though.
Worked for Amazon. Boss had his bootlicking underlings tell us that because we couldn't handle Amazon's increasingly ridiculous workload, the boss had to put off buying his house for a while.
“We don’t allow chairs on the sales floor because if a customer walks in and see’s you sitting, they’ll view the company as lazy and won’t come back”