Top 40 Bonehead Boss Stories

Last Updated Oct 28, 2011 2:52 PM EDT

  • #11: In a group review meeting, my Boss turned to one of his direct reports and said "I'm told a strong manager will admit to his mistakes. So tell us, how did YOU manage to lose so much money?
  • #12: A vendor's rep held a meeting with the executive staff at my company. After a frustrating afternoon in which the only opinions expressed were those of the owner of the company, the exasperated rep exclaimed, "Are you all just a bunch of 'Yes' men?". To which my boss replied, "Of course not! If the owner wants us to say 'No' we're 'No' men!"
  • #13: After asking each manager to spend two weeks preparing detailed building and capital improvement "wish lists" to plan our facility's budget, our supervisor said "Oh...your wish lists are just that...don't expect anything you requested to actually get done. It was just an exercise!"
  • #14: I recently wrote a justification to buy a new computer. It had to be approved by my boss. Unhappy with my writing style, my boss re-wrote the justification to show me how it should be done. After it was finally written properly, he turned it down.
  • #15: When I was hired, my boss promised that I would be making a very handsome salary by the new year. Although the starting salary was less than I wanted, I took the job based on his promise. Over the next few months it became apparent that his promise might not be kept. When I confronted him, he said "I tried to get that raise for you, but the front office won't allow it." "Why, then, did you quote me a figure that you weren't authorized to give?" I asked. He said "When I made you the offer, I quoted you the salary that I WISHED you could get."
  • #16: One day I was called into my boss' office and asked to take the lead on a benchmark project. Over the next seven month period, I traveled and worked 16 hours per day, seven days a week. My team accomplished the impossible. Two weeks later, my Boss announced major layoffs. He saved two people in the department, but I wasn't one of them. After such stellar performance I had to know why I was let go. He said "Your last project was good. It just didn't give you the right management exposure to save your job."
  • #17: I was working with my Boss to prepare for a big meeting with the executive vice president of our division. My wife and I were expecting our second child at the time. Ahead of schedule, my son was born a month premature, the weekend before the big meeting. On Monday I came to work to tie up a few loose items, and to tell my Boss about my son and his critical life situation. Looking up from his slide rack my Boss said "Don't let you personal life interfere with your job. It can only hurt you, professionally"
  • #18: I am the manager of the secretarial pool. One night a manager came to my office in a panic. He said he had a very important proposal that HAD to go out that night. It was 5:00 o'clock, I was tired and I refused. Before I could leave the department the sales rep managed to reach the VP who called and 'convinced' me to get it done. Before I started the proposal, I told the manager that I would miss my ride and as a result, I would be without a way to get home. The manager offered to take me home and said he would be waiting in his office upstairs. Without that worry I went to work. I worked non-stop until 8:00 p.m. Proud of my accomplishment, I carried it up to the salesman's office. The floor was empty and his office was dark. The cleaning crew said he left at 5:30.
  • #19: After two and one-half years of college I quit and got a job at a major retailer. I quickly learned the ropes and, within the span of eight months, began training the newly hired managers on how to do their job, as well as mine. I repeatedly asked to enter the management training program, seeing as how I already knew how to run the store and had already proven myself as an outstanding employee. My district manager repeatedly denied my requests, while hiring management trainees with no retail experience or degrees in related subjects. I finally confronted my Boss when a fellow associate was promoted after being with the company for three weeks. She said "It takes experience and education to get ahead. You'll need a college degree to be successful, here."
  • #20: Our company was running into financial difficulties and my Boss asked me to work for half of my salary. I said, "Well, I can work half the time for half the pay." He said "Oh no. What I mean is... you usually work 80 hours a week with 40 hours of unpaid overtime... now I want to pay for just half of the first 40."