There are a million reasons why a boss may be completely out of touch with what's going on. Maybe they spend too much time on the golf course and not enough time in the office. Maybe they're the kid of the owner and never had to really work for anything. Sometimes it's that they just don't care to understand their employees. The list goes on and on.
These are those stories. The story of micromanagers that don't realize the damage they are doing. The sons of the owner that don't understand how to keep employees happy. The boss that details time cards down to the second. They are all here and they are all woefully out of touch, it's incredible!
Emotions Are For The Weak
“I found out that my infant daughter was rushed to the hospital. In tears, went to my boss to tell him that I had to leave.
That wasn’t a problem, however, the boss decides it was necessary to lecture me on how ‘unprofessional’ it was for me to be showing so much emotion in the office before he would let me head out.
Luckily my daughter is just fine. The boss changed jobs and later got fired for being an idiot.”
Lost On The Hypocrisy
“I was working at an ice cream place and someone got explosive diarrhea. There was poo on the wall behind the toilet, on top of seat, and overflowing down the side of the toilet onto the floor around it because the toilet was really backed up.
My boss expected me to clean it (fine)… without gloves or a bodily fluids kit… just with our thin paper towels, soap, and water.
I asked him why he wouldn’t do it if it ‘wasn’t so awful’ (which he claimed), and he said: ‘Well it’s freaking disgusting and unsanitary to clean it that way.’
I replied ‘Exactly,’ and quit.”
Timing Is Key
“A few years ago I was working at the corporate office for a rather large company that was about to do a big layoff due to financial problems that had been going on for the last few years. I was sitting in a conference room with about 30-50 other employees who were all getting laid off waiting for the VP to arrive and give the official announcement and pass out the paperwork etc. Everyone else was there, the HR people and unemployment rep etc, but we all had to wait 20 mins for this guy to show up before we could officially proceed. It was beyond tense and awkward.
So the guy shows up and apologizes to the other suits upfront about how his plane was a little late arriving from his COMPANY PAID VACATION IN THE FLORIDA KEYS and proceeded to talk and joke with them about how much fun he had on his trip for about 10 minutes. Then it was like he suddenly remembered what he was there for and was all, ‘Ok so let’s get this thing over with’ and turns back to the rest of us to start his schpiel about how this whole situation was so unfortunate and though the company valued all it’s employees equally, this was unavoidable and how they were so soooo sorry, blah bah blah.
I like to think he was facing a whole room full of these are you freaking serious looks, but maybe it was just me. I’m still pretty ticked about that experience.
Jokes on them though, they just recently announced that they are liquidating the company after several rounds of trying to save it through bankruptcy proceedings and buyouts! Suckers.”
She Was Like The Mean Stepmother For All The School Kids
“I worked at a preschool, the site supervisor walked through the room I was supervising children in and began to berate me about a tiny dirt pile in the corner of the room that needed sweeping.
In front of the children…
While I was helping an upset child with a cut on their leg…
1st rule of being a teacher: Children come first.
I put her in her place though. She brought up the incident again in front of the other teachers during our meeting time in an effort to assert her authority. I interrupted her, explained the situation from my point of view and our behavioral consultant backed me up and lectured her about how to act like an adult in a classroom in front of all the teachers. It was glorious.
The consultant reported the incident to the administration and they decided that our site supervisor wasn’t allowed to sit in our teacher meetings because it was counterproductive AND she wasn’t allowed to make any comments or decisions about the day to day operation of the school, because that is the master teacher’s job.
That site supervisor was a real idiot. She didn’t know anything about running a school, she just came from a privileged background and treated the preschool like it was her own little private gigantic dollhouse for her to decorate. She would blow our entire budget on furniture that often times the children wouldn’t even be allowed to use, it was just so the school would ‘prettier.’ She constantly interrupted children while they were working on something so that she could pretend to be Mary Poppins or something and try to connect with them. The problem was all the children hated her because she was a mega witch 95% of the time and children know what’s up, they aren’t dumb.
The most annoying thing she did was always bring up the fact that she has a master’s degree. She would always be super vague about it though and eventually, I learned that her master’s degree was in theology and she got it from a freaking online school. I hated that woman with a passion.”
He Didn’t Appreciate His Employees
“I worked at a company for 5 1/2 years. I was the manager of a small section (3-5 other people at any given time) for about 5 of those years. It was a smaller company that employed about 50 people at any given time, with lots of turnover. The company would bring in about $1.8 mil in revenue and have about $1.2 mil in salary costs. The average income was about $10-12K, managers made a few thousand more and the owner’s family, even more, totaling right about $900,000. The boss/owner got the remainder. So he’s sitting around with about $300,000 a year. Revenue was generated for non-profit charities so it kept taxes at a minimum, lots of write-offs as well.
The last year I worked there I asked for a quarter raised. I was told no. Ok, how about a one week paid vacation? No. Christmas rolls around and I find out I’m getting a bonus. Finally, something! What is it? $75. Seventy-five freaking dollars! My 5th Christmas at the place and I got less than a day’s pay. Something is better than nothing, sure. Holiday bonuses aren’t anything guaranteed.
A few months later I put in my two weeks and moved across the country. The owner told me ‘see you in a month,’ in a tone only a true prick can generate. I went back to my hometown to visit 8 months later and stopped by the old office (plenty of co-workers were good friends) and let my boss know I was making a three times as much as I did while working for him with full health coverage, two weeks paid vacation, a week sick time, and plenty of other benefits, plus a yearly bonus that equals about 10% of my yearly income. Of course, I did that after he talked about profits… which were down ~20%. It felt good.
Keep in mind, this guy was a prick in general. Only good thing about the job was the flexibility. The guy had no idea what ’employee appreciation’ meant, and barely any business sense. He’d come in every 3-4 months and try to ‘fix’ things he didn’t understand, he was so out of touch. I feel bad my brother and sister-in-law still work there.”
New Management Messes It All Up
“I worked in an organic food warehouse for a very small company. My boss’s boss leaves the company, and we get some executive type from a big company. The old boss was there 60-70 hours a week working on paperwork and running the warehouse and production. The new boss shows up and spends most of his time locked in his office on the Internet and doped up on pain pills.
One of his first acts was to completely redo the production process, taking a very efficient model (most employees work 40-50 hours per week with little stress) and flipping it on its behind, tripling the amount of work to be done. To process a single standard order you had to email back and forth 5 times. If the order had issues or was complicated, this could escalate to 10-20 emails for a single order. I went from 30-50 emails a day to 300-500.
Production was the most efficient department before he showed up, and became the worst. We used to produce 20k-30k lbs a day, after his intervention we were lucky to get 10k. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the production team leads were required to sit in on all meetings, so my boss spent 6-7 hours a day at meetings, on top of his normal 40 hour week. Yes, he was there for 12 hours every day and 16-20 hours each weekend. His boss was there around 30 total.
On top of that, he moved the meeting schedule from 1:30 to 11:30 when most people were on lunch. He tried to make them ‘lunch meetings,’ where you don’t get paid and have to bring your own lunch to the meeting room, but that got shot down. But everyone’s lunch schedule got shuffled around.
He’d routinely scream into his phone about someone’s incompetence, and this was in a very small thin-walled office. If you messed up, everyone could hear every word.
After 6 months of work in the warehouse, he still did not know how to use the inventory system or the accounting system…
He made some of his employees babysit his children when he was on business trips for no pay.
He hired his wife, then she was allowed to work from home, and then they got divorced. We all know this because we could hear their fights from his office. Not sure if she’s still employed.
He made the decision to fudge some paperwork and hide things that were salmonella or e-coli positive. One of our customers tested their product, found salmonella, so the FDA came to our plant and spent a month there, and now when you google the company the second page is about the FDA investigation.
We all repeatedly tried to tell the higher-ups about his stupidity, they just didn’t listen. He pawned off everything and blamed everyone else for the issues. As far as the higher-ups were concerned, he was doing a fine job if not for the slackers he employed. Thankfully my boss and I no longer work for that company and they are not doing well at all.”
“I worked for a company where the owner sent everyone an email to inform us that we were expected at work the next day, even though it was probably going to snow that night and be icy in the morning. He even said if you couldn’t drive to call in and he would have someone come get you in one of the trucks.
The HR head promptly lost his mind over the liability and retracted the order. Safety first.”
He Had To Have His Hands In Everything, Even When He Had No Idea What He Was Doing
“I was working as a temp in a small office and started to organize potlucks so we could have a nice lunch together once in a while.
Management heard and thought that was a great idea! So they took it over. Suddenly potlucks needed approval from management, despite it being solely organized by employees off-the-clock and taking place during our lunchtime. There was also going to be a ‘winner’ and we would vote for who made the best dish. I won most of the time, and actually felt awkward about it. One time the head of the company actually came in during the potluck, and started giving us a schedule for the meal and how and when voting was going to occur. We’re just trying to have lunch here, calm down!
All I wanted was to do something nice for and with my coworkers. I didn’t plan for it to be a management tool or a competition.
The worst part is that he was just bad at managing the in-office stuff. He was always out working on getting new business or SOMETHING. I guess his personal assistant who got promoted to daily operations manager was supposed to take care of that, but she was too busy sucking up to him to actually fulfill those responsibilities.
So, you’re left with a pathetic, bossy woman who won’t take care of things in-house, and an oblivious head of the company who likes to stop by and be friendly and make changes without consulting anyone. He didn’t understand how the day-to-day even worked, so his continued attempts to fix things, while ignoring the MANY suggestions we gave him, were incredibly frustrating.”
Upper Management Had No Idea What Was Going On
“I used to work for Costco. I was fired for failing a urine analysis that positive for weed. Thing is, I was sold weed, blow, pain pills, molly and mushrooms all from different members of the management and supervisor teams over the course of 10 years. These weren’t off-site, off the clock transactions either, most took place at work (not that it makes a huge difference). One manager, in particular, used to feed me pain pills while I was working the register ALL THE TIME. The same manager had to be hauled out of the warehouse on a stretcher because they were overdosing on prescription pain meds and foaming at the mouth having a seizure. Maybe it was a legit seizure, but this particular individual was so zonked out on pills 100% of the time, their eyes could barely open and you couldn’t understand anything they said due to the slurred speech.
This is NOT a complaint about the termination of my employment, I’m much happier now that I’m not there. Just stating some facts. Costco is the biggest ‘do as I say, not as I do’ place around. A good ol’ boys club, where the only limit to your advancement is the amount of butt you can kiss.
Another example of this terrible behavior:
A manager got caught banging a subordinate, in his own vehicle, in the parking lot of their warehouse. Gross misconduct of company policy, they should have been terminated. Instead, they were transferred to another warehouse and remained a manager, and the story was swept under the rug… except for those who know the individuals personally and had no problem confirming the facts for EVERYONE to know.
I wrote an e-mail documenting everything I could remember after I was fired. I chose not to send it to corporate, in the event that I wanted to try and get my job back after 12 months, yet I don’t think I’d ever want to work there again, no matter how good the pay (for the work) and the benefits are freaking great.”
The Cheap Boss Is The Worst Boss
“I worked for a family-owned company. The family was rich, like millionaire rich, made up of the mom, the dad, and the grown son. There were only about five of us that worked there for them – for minimum wage.
The grown son (who, side note, had previously told me that he didn’t believe in student loans because that is his tax dollars helping others…) has been asking me to stay late to close up. When I did, I’d mark the extra fifteen minutes or a half hour on my time sheet.
One day I have to go to his desk to answer his phone (I regularly did his job in addition to my own for the last half of the day because neither one was difficult) and I notice a small calendar with my name written beside the month and in each small square things like ‘3m’ or ‘4m.’
There was one day marked ’15m’ that I specifically remembered being a day where my car broke down over my lunch break and I had called to say I’d be late. I went and got my time sheet and my pay stub to do some math and saw that not only was he meticulously clocking minutes I had been late returning from lunch (all under five) but the guy had also not been paying me for the time I stayed late (all over fifteen). For a summer job. This man was a millionaire, I made minimum wage.
Although it was my second summer there and I liked the job otherwise for its setting and how it let me save money by staying at home, I applied for and got a job offer in my university city and quit shortly after this to go back for the second half of the summer. Freaking prick.”
Ruined By The New Boss
“It’s so sad when great workplaces get ruined by new management…
I had a job where that happened once. I worked at Staples as a computer repair guy, and the job was good at the time and the people were awesome, but then, of course, a new boss comes in and proceeds to RUIN EVERYTHING.
I’d heard about how we’re getting a new store boss for a few weeks, and one day I come in on my day off in my civilian clothes and oh! It’s the new bosses first day, I’m going to go over and introduce myself. I extend my hand for a handshake and tell him I’m one of the computer guys here, my name is Bill… This prick doesn’t even tell me his name, he IMMEDIATELY STARTS ASKING ME ABOUT SALES. This is my first time meeting you, and before introducing yourself you’re asking me how many repairs we’ve had last week and if I know about our store averages?!
And it’s all downhill from there. Long story short, everything was running beautifully before and it was just me and one other guy running the computer department. He turns everything on its head, makes us learn new procedures, WHICH HE KEEPS CHANGING CONSTANTLY. First, it has to be one way, and after we learn it a month later he wants it done differently. The department goes in the tank, my great and very knowledgeable coworker ends up leaving, customers are unhappy, orders are getting messed up and everything is declining. Two new guys come in and mess the place up even worse, and in the meantime, I am constantly getting grief from the boss despite the fact that I was keeping the whole place afloat. I got written up for petty stuff over and over, once for having a bottle of water at the register, another time for talking to people in other departments.
The thing is, he thought he was legitimately helping. He thought micromanaging everything and putting pressure on us to do things exactly how he wanted them would make us work better. That’s why I say he was out of touch, and I feel like a lot of these managers come in and start babysitting people thinking if they only manage every breath they take then the results will come.
Eventually, I left, and I can only imagine how much worse it got after that. Out of touch management sucks, especially when they think they’re doing so much good.”
Two Bad Bosses
“My old boss, in a construction company, thought that if I ate my lunch while driving the company truck from one site to another that I had to knock the half-hour off my time card for lunch. I explained to him, just because I am eating while working doesn’t mean I’m not working but for him, it’s the other way around. He thinks the fact that I am eating means I should be working for free.
My current newspaper editor is hysterical. She demands the highest possible ethical standards but insists I only write news articles about businesses that buy ads and I am not allowed to give coverage to any business owner that doesn’t buy ads. I think I may quit soon.”
Nerds Go To Battle
“Ours was a fast growing engineering company. I joined in the mid-’90s. I was one of the first 3 engineers/technicians to have Internet access at our company.
We had a bare-bones computer network, and I started researching company data sheets for the products I was working on and then dumping those data sheets onto our network in a shared folder.
This didn’t go over well with management, who said that engineers shouldn’t be on the Internet, ever. The engineers saw the easy access to data sheets and revolted, resulting in giving EVERYONE in engineering access to the Internet.
The company STILL didn’t think the Internet was in any way useful, and refused engineering advice to purchase their own domain name. So one of our engineers purchased the domain name. He kept it for 3 years until the company asked him for it. They asked him nicely, so instead of gouging them for a couple of million dollars, he sold it to them for the price of a new car.
Finally, the company hired an IT guy to manage the network and the Internet. In Engineering, it was common for an engineer to have his or her PC sort of gutted so that we could use the older versions of In Circuit Emulator while interfaced to a product motherboard.
The IT manager implemented a draconian Internet policy that blocked the YAHOO search engine (which was popular at the time) and he told the engineers that anyone who got around the firewall, or anyone who didn’t use a cookie-cutter, underpowered computer, would be subject to being fired.
This was in the middle of the Dot Com boom. Every single engineer was getting multiple head-hunter calls from people begging for employees.
They laughed so hard at the IT guy that I thought he would cry. I told him that firing an engineer meant that engineer would probably get a pay raise at a new company.
It was war between the IT manager and engineers for the next couple of years. Several engineers would refuse to even notice when the IT manager tried to call or talk or email them. The war only ended when a more savvy higher-up created an IT department with its own Vice President and set the IT manager as one of several ‘company IT service reps.'”