The results are in, and it’s official! Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, holds a contest every year in which people tell their bad-boss stories. The three best (worst?) get published. Take a look at the winners. Sound like anyone you know?
An office manager in Kansas City, MO, was asked by her boss to organize an employee outing. She planned a trip to a major league baseball game two months ahead.
Our heroine got a group ticket rate, arranged for snacks, carpooling and ticket distribution. Just one problem: She wasn’t able to predict the future; she didn’t realize that it would rain on game day.
Most bosses would understand that even the best employees can’t control the weather, right? Most would, but not this one.
“My boss informed me that I had picked that particular date because I knew it would rain,” she wrote in her worst-boss submission to contest. She ended up losing her title because of the “blunder” and had to take a pay cut.
And a few months later, the boss asked her if she would like to organize another picnic. She declined. The boss then went to the company’s board and complained about the employee’s lack of cooperation.
A driver for a small, rural ambulance company in Illinois tells his story.
All three of the company’s ambulances had problems. One had no lights or sirens, another had no functioning brakes and the third had no heat.
On a cold Christmas Day, our hero was forced to pick one of the faulty ambulances for emergency duty. He chose the one with no heat, figuring that was better than tooling around in a vehicle that had no brakes or siren.
So our driver froze all night, along with the patients he was transporting. When the driver complained, the boss decided to make things worse by pairing the driver with a member of the staff that no one liked.
The employee liked to complain about her problems, especially her marital problems and sexual shortcomings of her husband, who also worked for the company. The stories went on for the entire cold 14-hour shift.
And after that, the boss fired the driver.
No. 3 (tie)
Two sad stories just couldn’t be separated, so they share third place.
(a) One boss was less than sympathetic when a worker reported that his grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given less than two months to live.
After telling his boss of the situation and how it might have an impact on the worker’s attendance and productivity, the boss just said: “I don’t know why you are worried about him. He is just your grandfather and he is going to die anyway.”
(b) A fast-food manager was working the night shift. The phone rang. It was his wife, screaming that their house was on fire.
He makes a frantic call to his boss to find a substitute manager. The boss says he can’t find anybody to come into work and that the manager must stay and keep the business open until the usual closing time. The manager then asks his boss why he can’t come in. Answer: It’s the boss’s “family night” and he doesn’t want to ruin it.
The manager closes the store early and rushes to his burning home.
He gets fired (no pun intended).