Horrible bosses are everywhere. These former employees share the reason why they had to quit their job. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Can You Imagine Working 24 Straight Hours?!
“I was in college and working at a Jack in the Box for the summer. The day before, I had collected a settlement for a lawsuit involving a motorcycle accident, and instead of taking a check, I took cash. Fifteen thousand in cash to be exact.
I went into work for the evening shift and things were fine, but someone didn’t show up for the overnight shift, so I took that one.
At about six in the morning, my boss came in and told me he was shorthanded for the morning shift and would I work it?
Bear in mind I had already worked 16 hours and he was now asking me to work another eight.
I told him, ‘Heck no!’
Then flashed him the 15 g’s in my wallet and walked out.”
An Impossible Project
“As a grad student, I was hired to help on a research project with a professor and another grad student. I was to build out the equipment we’d use and gather data, while the other student would analyze it. In hindsight, I don’t know how I ended up doing the lion’s share of the work, but it was what it was.
Things got off to an unfortunate start. Just as the project started, I had to step away due to a family tragedy. The professor was actually quite understanding about it, and I did my best to make sure as little was waiting on me as possible. I needed to select the equipment we’d use to gather the data, and it would take some time to arrive anyway, so by making sure it was on order while I dealt with my family situation, we didn’t lose much time.
However, when things got back in motion, they rapidly went downhill. The professor didn’t like the data I was gathering. I did and re-did the experiment, but it just wasn’t what he wanted. It became apparent to me, and others involved in the project that the approach he was taking simply wouldn’t work, and we tried to patiently explain this to him. However, he didn’t believe us, or thought he knew better, or what, but he insisted on continuing with his ill-advised approach.
At one point, he even came out and directly supervised the collection of the data, but still didn’t get the numbers he wanted. I must have re-done the experiment more than a dozen times, and not once did he get the results he wanted. It couldn’t possibly be because what he was trying to do wouldn’t work, of course, nope it had to be how I was gathering the data.
Eventually, the funding for the project started to run out, and of course, we had nothing to show for our efforts. I felt bad that the project had been somewhat delayed because of my family situation, so I kept working on it a little while after the project ended. But things were getting testy towards the end, and since I wasn’t getting paid for what I was doing anymore, I was disinclined to put in additional effort, especially if I was being berated and blamed for its failure.
However, I wanted to try to end things on good terms, so I discharged my duties to the project to the best of my abilities. So I agreed to yet another meeting with the professor. Figuring this would be the last one, I gathered up the equipment to turn it over; reasoning if the professor wanted to continue his impossible project, he would at least have all the equipment ready and operational to do so.
The meeting went south, fast.
I asked him if I could move a bag in his cluttered office so I could sit on a chair it was covering, and got a sharp, ‘No! Sit over there!’
It became readily apparent he called the meeting to prove to me how incompetent I was at this task. I started by calmly rebutting each of his points and accusations as he made them, but he called me over to his computer to show me data that he had gathered that matched what he wanted. I asked him how he had managed to gather this data, as I was legitimately curious how he had done so, especially since it was almost impossible to get those results, and also I had all the equipment.
When he brusquely responded with, ‘Never mind that,’ I realized the data had likely been faked. He wanted me to take the blame for its failure so far, even though, I and others, had explained to him that what he was trying to do was impossible using his method.
I was done. I got up and told him I had gone above and beyond on this project as it was, and since I don’t work for free he was welcome to continue the project on his own, indicating the box of equipment I had brought to his office. I walked out and have barely exchanged two words with that prick since.
For a while, I waited for the other shoe to drop. I figured he’d complain about my performance and try to get my pay reclaimed, or torpedo my relationship with my advisor, so I gathered arguments and evidence to be ready to rebut him, but nothing came of it. A bridge burned, I suppose, but in that sense, I’m probably further ahead. I’d sooner eat glass than work with that incompetent prick again.”
“Many years ago, I left the Air Force after completing my five-year commitment and I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for my next act. We had moved to a new area and job opportunities were somewhat limited, so I took a job as a ‘paralegal’ for a company that was suing IBM. They needed people to review the mountains of documents that had been produced in response to very broad discovery requests.
We worked in three teams of five or six people, spending two weeks at an IBM building in Armonk, New York. We went through boxes of documents, looking for anything that might be relevant to the case. This was followed by four weeks back at our employer in southern New Hampshire summarizing and organizing copies of the documents we and the other teams had flagged. It could have been interesting but the working environment was pretty toxic.
We were all college graduates but they treated us like we were totally clueless. One lawyer was really fond of reminding us how he got on the waitlist at Harvard Law. It didn’t take me long to decide that if these guys could be lawyers, I certainly could be so I took the LSAT and started applying to law schools.
For the two weeks, we were in Armonk, we were housed in a really dreadful, cheap motel and given a minuscule per diem for meals. We were expected to drive down together and each team was reimbursed for two cars total, so we took turns getting reimbursed. We weren’t reimbursed if we wanted to go home over the weekend in the middle.
When it was finally my turn to be reimbursed for the car trip, I included my mileage and the tolls.
A couple of days later, my boss called me in and handed me my expense report saying, ‘We don’t reimburse for tolls since there is a route that doesn’t have tolls.’
It was only about five bucks, but it was just the final straw.
I said, ‘I have decided this job is not a good fit for me,’ and walked out.
A week later, I got my acceptance to Harvard Law School and made sure one of my friends told everyone there, especially the waitlist attorney.”
What Happened To Her Commission?
“After many years, I closed my bridal salon to take care of my parents. After my parents were gone, my husband and I moved out of the area. I was bored and decided to get back to work.
I found a job in my field and the owner was impressed with my knowledge. The manager was a former dancer on cruise ships and literally had no experience except for the gift of gab.
One day, the dancer decided we’d have a new pay rate which meant I’d be working for less money than I started. When I objected, he said if I didn’t like it to pack up and leave. Unfortunately, I didn’t leave because I liked the job. I was forced to sign for the lower pay.
The owner would come into my office and talk about various ideas and my thoughts. When the dancer found out he was in my office, he’d dance on in and object to everything I said. I had more experience than everyone in the company and I knew my stuff, which made the dancer nervous. He had his nose up the owner’s rear and had a cushy job basically doing nothing.
The week of chaos started with me being called into the dancer’s office with him screaming at me.
He stuck his finger in my face and literally screamed, ‘Do you really want to be here?’
A few days later, he called me into his office and said he’d been outside my office and heard everything I said about him. I told him I wasn’t there the day in question and I have no idea what happened. He said he would fire me if I didn’t confess.
But he had me scheduled for two weeks of 12-hour days with no overtime and no time off, no lunch, and no breaks. He decided we were not allowed to eat at our desk. One gal reported him to the authorities, but nothing came of it.
The third time, he called me and the gal working with me to ask why we weren’t doing our job. The other gal working with me had gone to the restroom and apparently, the dancer was spying on us again. We were working ourselves half to death. We were tired, hungry, and angry.
To add fuel to the fire, he had stopped me three times from getting a promotion and working at another office off-premises after the owner assured me the promotion was mine. Instead, the dancer’s friends were promoted. I just wanted to get away from this prick.
So that same week, on payday, my commission was missing. It should have been hundreds of dollars. I called my manager who was under the manager, and she couldn’t explain it. I went to the finance manager and he said it had been removed from my paperwork. I found out my commission was given to one of his friends that he partied with. The paperwork was doctored.
I calmly packed up all my personal items. I put my keys and the award’s on my manager’s desk. I called my husband to pick me up as I was on a late-night shift and he didn’t want me alone in that neighborhood.
The next day, my phone began to ring, and my manager begged me to come back. When I refused, three other women and my manager left the company. It turns out he was harassing all of them. I always wondered why this company had a revolving door of employees. Now I know.
I went back to working for myself.”
He Thought He Was King
“Long ago when I worked for Sony theaters, I walked out in the middle of a write-up on the boss of the time. This particular theater had been through seven managers in the three years I had been there. Floor staff lasted longer at that location than any form of management did.
Shortly after I started, I asked about dyeing my hair a funky color, and since there was nothing in the employee dress code about it, no big deal.
So for years, I had odd-colored hair. Was never a big deal and most of the managers were happier I showed up and worked every shift in uniform than worrying about what color my hair was. The three-inch high stack of review/customer comment cards for me might have had something to do with that.
But the last manager, Phil, was ‘special.’ He was one of those who got a promotion and suddenly thought he was king.
Somehow he had managed to keep his job and position after his all-hands meeting where he informed us of the dress code (which had not changed) and informed all the female staff he would be inspecting our undergarments to make sure they complied with the code. Yeah, he was ‘special’ like that, and yes, I brought it to corporate attention. He got ‘sensitivity training’ for it.
Anyways, the dress code did change after that in regards to hair color. I found out about it from the management at a neighboring theater for the company. The exact wording was ‘Employees are not allowed unnatural hair coloring.’
But Phil never said anything to me about it. Instead, he went to all of my coworkers and asked them how to handle me about my hair color and asked them to do his job of informing me. As if that wouldn’t get back to me.
Then the district manager came for an inspection and hauled me into a meeting with Phil and the manager from the other theater. They tried to read me the riot act for not complying with the new dress code. They showed me where in the employee handbook the new dress code was and asked why I hadn’t complied.
I pointed out how Phil never said anything about it to me. I also pointed out how unnatural meant any color not growing out of their head, and since not one fake blonde or redhead had been made to change to their natural hair color, I figured no one was enforcing the dress code in that regard.
Because I am petty and contrary, I also pointed out that due to the wording of the policy, if I had to change my ‘unnatural’ hair coloring, so did every bottle blonde, redhead, etc. This created a stalemate and ended the meeting.
I left and on my next shift, I had to work for Phil. His date for lunch showed up and Phil decided that was a good time to give me my write-up in the lobby in front of his date. I am sure he was hoping to impress her with his ‘authority’ etc. with the display he put on, full of threats, and ultimatums.
I was the only employee on that shift other than him.
Instead, I red-penned the write-up in front of him while mocking his education. He had previously bragged about his private school education and his IQ. But I have seen better writing from children, with fewer spelling errors. Yes, his date got to see all of this, front row seats.
After red-penning and mocking him, I dropped my apron and name tag on the counter and walked out. I didn’t sign the write-up.
No employee to cover for his lunch break, his date looked horrified and disgusted by his behavior, and he couldn’t leave until someone else showed up to cover my shift, which was hours later. Also, because I walked out mid-shift, instead of two pages of separation paperwork, he had 10 pages of job abandonment paperwork to do, which meant he had to include the red-penned copy of the write-up to corporate.
I walked down to the Kay-Bee toy store where my friend worked and we went to have a drink to celebrate.
Phil got demoted and transferred to another state. And I still got free admission to movies at that and the other theater for a few years until management changed again.”
A List Of Charges
“I have worked in quite a few different libraries over my 14-year paid career, but had two direct managers over me who were either entirely inept or completely toxic. This toxic boss was the reason I left after a year, and to this day, I have an almost visceral reaction when I think about my time at that place.
The final straw after a year of being belittled and gaslighted happened when I was called into a meeting with the boss and someone who had no real authority over me but handled payroll. We didn’t have HR, so she didn’t qualify as that.
The boss had this list of charges against me, and about half of them were completely fake or highly exaggerated. In fact, with one of them, I had suspected from before that what was simply a change in the procedure by another manager could be viewed as a charge that I was doing stuff wrong.
There’s a huge difference between ‘I’ve decided we’re going to label books this way from now on, so let’s start on that’ and ‘You’re labeling the books wrong, and we need to fix that immediately!’
The tone of her email was such that either could be interpreted, so after receiving it, I immediately went to see her to clarify what she meant and explain my concerns. She confirmed she simply wanted to do things differently but was rather unsympathetic to my concerns.
I was accused of other false things, as well as not wanting to do something that was quite dangerous and nowhere in my job description.
They told me to sign the form addressing these acts of slander against me, which I did.
Later that night, I began to compose a written response to what I had said in the meeting if you could call it that. I concluded my response by submitting my two weeks notice. To say they were surprised would be an understatement.
Seven and a half years later, I work at two other libraries and am widely recognized as a knowledgable and highly valued employee. ”
“The Lazy Got Rewarded”
“I worked for two years for a big public company in the IT department as a lead technical engineer. I did a really good job there, and a big part of it was dealing with too many lazy incompetent people who were just not willing to do the job the way it should be done.
There was this one team in particular whose members started to use a project I led which was used by a few other teams. They wanted to add some features and did a terrible job, so I went to see them and explained what exactly they needed to do for me to accept their work.
They didn’t and just re-submitted it exactly as it was the first time, so I went to meet them again, and kindly explained again what they needed to change. They didn’t, but this time they tried to bypass me, and apply their modifications to my project while I was on vacation.
When I told them they don’t get to do that, things escalated quickly. They ended up whining in the management office that I was mean to them, so management put pressure on me to accept their work and didn’t care at all that, if I did, it would put at risk every other projects that used mine, so I did.
Then again, a few days later, I got summoned by the manager and ordered to accept their terrible work.
A few weeks later, once again they started again sending me their stuff. I got fed up with their work and told my management I was wasting a considerable amount of time with them and that I was no longer willing to even review their job.
I said, ‘If they need whatever feature, they can just tell me about it and I’ll do it myself.’
One week later, I was summoned by two pricks from the management. They started by telling me I had behavior issues and had a lot of complaints against me.
Confused, I started to ask questions, ‘Who? When? Where? About what?’
Their responses were, ‘That isn’t important.’
‘We don’t give a hoot.’
‘Why are you so obsessed with this?’
I already knew those alleged complaints were total lies since I got along just fine with everyone else besides their beloved team of lazy, incompetent whiny knuckleheads.
Then they told me they had arranged a meeting with my manager, and if my behavior didn’t change quickly, they would have to terminate my mission.
I was sick of this company where the lazy got rewarded.
So I jumped on the opportunity and said, ‘But, why do you want to wait? Let’s terminate it right now. I don’t want to work here anymore, I’m done with you.’
They were extremely surprised, and arrogant as they didn’t think, even slightly, that I wouldn’t let them threaten and intimidate me just so I could keep working in their great and beautiful company.
Soon the surprise disappeared. They got really angry and started yelling at me about how everyone hated me, and how I had ego issues.
The next day at the meeting with my real manager, they yelled at me again, in front of my manager who tried to calm the situation down. They were ridiculous. My manager was kind of shocked and didn’t seem to know what to do in such a situation.
He told me they were that angry probably because they lost a lot more than I did. I couldn’t agree more with that.”
He Was Angry For No Reason
“After clearing my Chartered Accountancy exam and working for a while, I took a break and went to prepare for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) or civil services exam. Unfortunately, I couldn’t clear it and started working after two years.
I started working for a small firm. The people were pathetic, and the boss was pathetic.
The boss used to work from another city and used to specifically visit our branch on weekends and made us work, both Saturdays and Sundays. He was rude, cruel, and hated everyone and everything for some reason. I wanted a job to restart my career and hence worked along.
One day, he called all of us on a Sunday to the office. He was irritated and started with some nonsense.
He asked me, ‘Who is in charge of whether the expense reimbursement bills are real or fake?’
He questioned the integrity of the full staff.
We needed to travel to the client’s locations and get our travel bills reimbursed. It was the company policy.
Nobody answered, so I said, ‘Mine.’
He was ticked off for whatever reason, and he just uttered, ‘You are a failure and that’s why you couldn’t crack whatever exam you tried.’
‘Enough of all nonsense,’ I said, ‘It is none of your concern about my studies. I am still happy with whatever steps I take in my life.’
Some arguments followed and I told him, ‘I quit’ and just left.
Thankfully, I got another job in a month’s time and things have been perfect since then.”
“I Had A Boss Who Was Unqualified”
“I had a boss who was unqualified for her position and extremely rude to me as well as other employees. I was a Ph.D., while she was not. I taught with extremely high student ratings, while she had low ratings and was a very boring speaker. However, she often talked to me and others as a ‘holier than thou’ boss.
She was speaking to a man from another organization about our organization and how she ‘fixed’ everything. In reality, the employees fixed a lot despite her, not because of her. Nonetheless, I think she was jockeying for a promotion.
After berating me in the middle of the meeting in front of a total stranger, I stood up and walked to the door.
She said, ‘Where are you going?!’
I said, in front of the same stranger, ‘You have verbally abused me for three years. I am going home, and I will not return. By the way, you have a new class of students beginning my course on Monday/ Good luck with that!’
I now have an easier job with higher pay and a boss that shows me respect.”
“One Day, Something Went Wrong”
“After a lot of unpaid overtime, one day something went wrong. My boss called me into his office and began to scream at me.
‘You will do what I say if you want to provide milk for your children!’ He screamed.
That was it. I got up and told him I had heard enough and that he no longer had to tolerate my presence. That was my last day at work.
A few months later, I came to Germany and have been working as a railway surveyor since then.”