The Crummiest Thing Bosses Have Ever Said

by Dora Wang on Apr 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM

When Good Bosses Go BadGood talent is hard to find — and keep. Which is why so many company leaders worry about employee retention, how to be a good manager, and how to keep their teams happy.

Unfortunately, it looks like these bosses missed the memo.

Skewed Priorities

For Trishelle Miller, Program Supervisor in Marketing and Special Events at Spring Hill Recreation Commission, her boss definitely didn’t score points in loyalty when she “told me I needed to choose which was more important: scheduling nurses to take care of the patients, or staying home with my sick child. She said I didn't care about my job and I needed to get my priorities right.” Unsurprisingly, Miller put in her notice the next day.

Writer Yvonne deSousa might have expected sympathy and support from her supervisor after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Instead, “[M]y boss said, ‘[W]atching you go through this [...] is stressful to my office.”

The source of that stress? The single sick day that deSousa took after three months of working through the disease.

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No Common Courtesy

Melissa L. James, Owner of Creative Copy and Design, once had an upsetting meeting with her new boss that caused her to leave the building to cry in her car. The boss heard about this from James’s coworker and then called James into her office. “She said, in a cruel and sarcastic tone with and a face of exaggerated mock sympathy, ‘Awwww, did I make you cry?’”

Yikes. Though James had been at the job for six years, and the new boss had been there only for three days, she wrote her letter of resignation that day.

Apryl DeLancey, President of Social Age Media, also had a boss who had no qualms about being rude. “[He] unashamedly told me that he took credit for my work in a recent article about the company's success [...] and bad-mouthed me to clients.” DeLancey quit to start her own business.

Our last story is from someone who wishes to remain anonymous: “I quit when my boss stopped speaking to me. Literally. Like at all. I'd say hello to him and he'd look at me, and then look away. I'd enter the room with someone and he'd greet the other person, but not me. Mature, no?”

Hopefully you’ve never had (or been!) a boss who’s quite this bad. But there can still be some good lessons to take from these extreme examples: practice empathy and treat employees with respect.

 

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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