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This is a question The Boss

My chief at a large retail chain used to decide on head office redundancies by chanting "One potato, two potato" over the staff list. Tell us about your mad psycho bosses - collect your P45 on the way out.

Bruce Springsteen jokes = Ban, ridicule

(, Thu 18 Jun 2009, 13:06)
Pages: Latest, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Not an alcoholic
Alcoholic bar managers are nothing new. I've had a number of bar jobs, and used to work for a guy who, though never drunk, was also never more than about three feet away from a glass of Stella.

That was one indication of the state of his health.

The other was the fact that his liver had stopped working, making his complexion bright yellow.

It was like working for a giant Lego man.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:48, Reply)
Team Leader
We had a Team Leader once, very keen he was, actually had a sign saying TEAM LEADER hanging pride of place above his desk.

He failed to see the funny side when somebody took down his sign and rearranged the letters to read E RATED MALE
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:46, Reply)
Petty or not?
First, the background. Have been working in my current place for about 4 years now. Around 18 months ago, I went to my manager and said "I want more responsibility", basically because it'd look good on my CV. She said "funnily enough, we are thinking of having an assistant mananger's position created, if you show you can do it, you'll be a shoe-in for it". So I basically ran the department for a year or so. I did all the recruitment (we hired 8 people in 2008, I did all the shortlisting, interviews, inductions etc.), I line-managed just about the entire department - doing time-sheets, troubleshooting, timetables, appraisals, made sure everything worked and, if it didn't got it fixed and so on. All the management bollocks. I also got sent on the NHS's Key Skills for Managers course, which I was told I had to have in order to progress beyond where I was. All the while, my manager was giving it "Great job, Scouse, the Assistant Manager's job is yours! As soon as we have funding for it".

My manager then found another job and so said to me "go for my job, you'll defo get it!" Did the whole interview thing then was told "we don't think you're ready for it" and they gave the job to someone I had been line-managing for the previous 12 months. Without sounding too bitchy about it, this was a bit of a surprise since he has no management experience, hasn't got the "necessary" qualifications and is also the most disorganised person I've ever worked with. It came as such a shock to everyone else that my manager's manager had to do an official announcement, because they thought we were taking the piss.

Oh and he also announced that there was no room in the budget for an assistant manager's position within the department.

So, in a nutshell, I'd worked my bollocks off for the best part of 18 months and got fuckall for it.

So here's the bit where I'm wondering if I'm being petty: a little while ago, I had a meeting with my new manager during which he asked me to lead on recruiting two new team members and to do the appraisals for the entire team. In a very roundabout way, he said this was because he didn't have a clue how to do any of this. So I, in a very polite and professional manner, told him to fuck off, since it's not my job to do any of that.

Thing is, I can see two sides of this. He is new to management and could really do with a hand doing these things. However, if he can't do these things, why did he get the job and, more to the point, why should I help him out when I'm going to get fuckall for it?

So, petty or justified?
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:35, 8 replies)
Crime Scene Investigates...
Very early on in my illustrious career as a lazy fuckwit I used to answer the phone in a call centre for a large energy provider who’s name sounds a little like British Gash. It was an ok job. Mainly sitting round pissing about on the internet, chucking empty paper cups at my colleagues, and finding new and interesting ways to not appear absolutely shitfaced at work after one too many JD and cokes at lunchtime. But, as with most things in life, there was a fly in the ointment, a bit of gravel in the eye, a positive test for a sexually transmitted disease at the clap clinic – yep, we’re talking the inbred, knuckle-scraping, hairy-palmed, cock-sucking cunts who the company had installed to be Team Leaders. The only difference between them and the normals was that they a) never had a laugh, b) never had a drink after work, c) never appeared to get laid, ever, and d) did even less fucking work than we did for a shitload more money. Oh, and they shouted at us plebs – lots.

My Team Leader was a chap named Duncan. He was the typical type of moronic git who used to sit and stare at his service level screen all day, stopping occasionally to give some poor fucker a bollocking for daring to take a couple of second break between calls. If he could’ve got away with installing a big fucking drum and beating it rythmically in the style of a slavemaster on a Roman galley, he fucking would’ve. And one time he got a girl transferred off the team because my mate Dave was making a move on her. Duncan didn’t like the idea of any of his underlings actually having a bit of sexy fun on account of him being a twenty-five year old virgin with the wit and charm of a slice of cheese. Duncan was just plain nasty.

We had our Christmas Party at a swanky hotel that year. Duncan being a cunty prick, came dressed like he was going to a fucking wedding – posh tux, clean shoes, even a wierd looking top hat. The uber-boss overlords were delighted someone had made such an effort. Everybody else just thought he was a brown-nosing prick.

After the meal and a fair bit of cheap plonk and beer, I found the sudden and urgent need to have a shit. And not a nice, solid shit either. We’re talking a dambusting runny fucker. A little worse for wear, I ventured to the bogs and found my mate Dave in there, staring at something on the sink. I walked over to him. It was Duncan’s hat. Obviously the cuntbag had unintentionally left it behind after using the conveniences.

Dave turned to me, a little shaky on account of being pished as a newt, and said: “Look inside.” So I did. And I noticed the hat was a quarter full of lovely reddish vomit, complete with floating carrots, masticated turkey, and the odd bobbing brussel sprout. Dave said with pride: “I did that.”

I laughed heartily. In my drunken state this was absolute comedy gold. If there was a Nobel Prize for comedy, I’d have given it to Dave there and then. Then a thought occured to me. I took the hat, hmmm – nice n warm, and took it into the bog cubical with me...

It was an odd bollocking the following Monday at work. Dave and I had been pulled up to one of the meeting rooms. There was Duncan and a few other of the Team Leaders, even the Team Team Leader, and another older woman who must’ve been her boss – her job discription was probably the Team Team Team Leader. They proceeded to give Dave and I a final verbal warning. We protested our innocence, but when it was pointed out to us by Duncan and a few of his Team Leader colleague ‘witnesses’, that we’d actually gone and sought him out afterwards with the hat brimming with hot vom and hotter runny shit, just to make sure he knew it was us, well, our defence fell flat on its arse.

But the best bit was when Duncan produced a small container from a breat pocket and held it aloft like it was He-Mans fucking sword. It looked like one of those little screw jars you get lip balm in. He held this recepticle on high and proclaimed: “Don’t deny it!!! You two made a big mistake!!! I kept a sample!!! .... For DNA purposes!!!”

Everyone in the room just stared... Yeah, Dave and I got a severe bollocking, but Duncan was the one who came out of that room looking like a complete and utter fucking tit.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:35, 2 replies)
Gaylett: part 3 (aka: ‘Why I can’t call him a wanker’)…

One of the many problems with working for a shallow, self indulgent, dong-wangling despot with a borderline mentalist popularity complex, is that it can lead to some paradoxically crap management decisions.

This can be gonad-crushingly frustrating when you realise you have little or no control over what bizarre form of logic your working day is going to be based on.

Let me give you an example:


Mindless Donkey 1: “Gaylett, can I have a cushy job today?”
Gaylett: “Ooh, I don’t know about that. “
Mindless Donkey 1: “Aww, go on…I’ll tell everybody that I think you’re ‘triffic’…”
Gaylett: “Oh…OK then!“
Mindless Donkey 1: “Hahaaa….sucker!”


Mindless Donkey 2: “Gaylett, can I do the aforementioned cushy job today?”
Gaylett: “Sorry, I’ve given that to Mindless Donkey 1“
Mindless Donkey 2: “Aww, go on…let me do it… I’ll pretend to be your mate at breaktime.”
Gaylett: “Oh…OK then!“
Mindless Donkey 2: “Hahaaa….dumb twat!”


Mindless Donkey 3: “Gaylett, can I have the aforementioned cushy job today?”
Gaylett: “Sorry, I’ve given that to Mindless Donkey 2“
Mindless Donkey 3: “Aww, go on…let me do it… I’ll feign interest whilst you ramble on inanely about what a global superstud you think you are...”
Gaylett: “SOLD!!“


Mindless Donkey 1: ”WTF?”
Mindless Donkey 2: ”WTF?”
Mindless Donkey 3: ”Muuuuhaahaaaahaaaa!”

As for me, I didn’t give a Giraffe’s blotchy elevated scrotum, simply because at that time, the ‘Mindless Donkey number 3’…was me. Thankfully, all the other foolish spakkers had too much self respect to keep it going…but before I could settle into my easy day, I was of course subjected to hearing the egomaniacle blitherings of a bloke who clearly had no understanding of boundaries; and would stoop to scrape any warped level of personal depravation if he thought it could score him some precious popularity points, or even a droplet of one-dimensional acknowledgement from any indifferent semi-acquaintance or passer by.

This is the story he told me (and the other dozen or so people hanging about) that fateful day – and as you can tell, he doesn’t dilly-dally with getting to the ‘nitty-gritty’…

Gaylett: “You know what, Pooflake? I’ve never had a wank…’Cos I don’t believe in ‘em…”
Me: “Oh dear god! – Too much information! Why are you telling me this?... Hang on….you don’t want me to wank you off do you?...I’ll only go so far for that cushy job!….”
Gaylett: “Nah…but the thing is…I’m such a man, that I have to empty my bollocks at least twice a day…and if my missus isn’t up to the job whenever I click my fingers then she knows I’ll go elsewhere and fuck someone else”
Me: “I don’t want to know!”
Gaylett: “Fortunately, there is no shortage of women about round here who are gagging to help me out with that…know what I mean? *nudges* ”
Me: Please stop talking…"
Gaylett: “Oh, hang on……now that I think about it…yes I have had a wank.”
Me: *rolls eyes* “Well…whoopee-fucking-doo! We’re all proud for you.”
Gaylett: “Yeah – after I had my vasectomy* I had to have a wank to provide a jizz sample…”
Me: *whimpers* “Is that the time?....Can I go now please?”
Gaylett: *oblivious* “…so I took the sample cup home, and when I got there, all the builders were about, working on my extension …”
Me: “I hope that ‘working on my extension’ is not a euphemism?”
Gaylett: “…Anyway…I sneaked into the lounge, closed the curtains, and cracked a big, lumpy, juicy one off into the cup while my missus was talking to the builders in just the next room! – with no lock on the door! It was quite a turn-on I can tell you! Hey Pooflake, If you come for a beer with me tonight I’ll tell you what else turns me on…and I’ll also give you a few pointers on how to 'fire-in' to the ladies”
Me: “Ermm….I’m busy tonight….You know what?...I’ll take the shitty job – nothing is worth this” *walks off shaking head*

Now, all this is bad enough, but there’s been one vital bit of info that I’ve missed throughout the telling of these ‘Gaylett files’. Ever present throughout the whole sorry mess of one sordid incident after another, was his own poor old dad, who worked as a lowly trolley donkey in the same team as us. He was a nice, no-nonsense, likable sort, quietly getting on with his job and unconditionally supporting his twatsponge son, living every day with the double-edged sword of being pleased for his boy’s success, but with the deep shame of knowing it is at the expense of him being a loathed, pretentious flangewart. I believe he’s retired now – I’m glad he doesn’t have to put up with it anymore.

I’ll finish by saying: ‘Gaylett, you are a deeply disturbed demonic douchebag – and for somebody who claims to have been so ‘sexually experienced’, you don’t actually have that many different stories to tell. I know, because over the years I’ve heard ‘em all…and while we’re on the subject, briefly sitting in a girl’s tent when you were 14 and on a school trip to France is NOT a sex story – so stop telling everyone all the time like it is. Sort yourself out.’

*The vasectomy that he has since had reversed so he could impregnate his new wife. Lucky her eh?

Part 1...
Part 2...
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:35, 4 replies)
Upon learning that being a lazy ass student was an unpaid career move, I decided to get a part-time job in a bar. The particular bar that I began my barman career in was a vodka bar and the manager at the time was a slightly dishevelled hippy type, constantly high or pissed character called Dean.

After my particularly tiresome first shift, I was ushered into one of the seating bays where the rest of the staff were assembled. Dean stood up and gave an incomprehensible speech but it was something along the lines of welcome....lets all get wasted. He then pulled from behind his back a small glass half full of a smingy, orangy/ red liquid.

As the excitement and suspense grew in the room, I had to enquire as to the components of this concoction. Dean replied in a beaming voice.

D:"Rus...THIS is a Dead Man Walking!"
R:"Sounds...lovely. What's in it exactly?
D:" Well Rus. This is 25ml of 88% Balkan Vodka...."
R:" Cool..."
D:"25ml of 79.9% PPY vodka"
R:"Nice...why is it that colour?"
D:" That'll be the tabasco sauce and dash of absinthe"
R: "Christ...do I have to?"
D:" We've all done it"

I scanned the room and saw the cringing faces of my new colleagues and knew they had all suffered the same cruel initiation. I took a deep breath and threw it all to the back of my mouth and swallowed in 1 quick motion.

1st the burn of the Tabasco, then the warm shiver from the absinthe, then a gag reflex from the taste but if you survive that, and i did, You then get the euphoria from the rush of alcohol into the blood stream. I woke up on my kitchen floor 6 hours later with no idea what happened that night but with a smile on my face.

And as for Dean, he was forced out of the bar some weeks later. Apparently he was behind on paperwork and stocks were down.

Best Boss ever!
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:18, 5 replies)
I heard she got what was coming to her
There are many things you could have called my ex-boss (words ending in itch wern't uncommon) she was one of the stingiest people you could hope never to meet, refused to spend any money on anything more than essential maintenance so as a result we worked in this decrepit old stone building with no proper heating or lighting and don't get me started on the plumbing (I was sure the water there was going to kill somebody some day).

I stuck it out because jobs wern't easy to come by in those parts (I think the main industries were farming and logging, and despite the ill advised sweet factory that set up nearby (which soon closed due to poor transport links) the area was rural with a capital R, we even had our own big cat sighting which no small area in the middle of nowhere is complete without these days, anyway back to my story).

I remember one day she came in, because she had been out on the pull the night before she came in completely hungover which made her even more crotchety than normal and covered head to toe in some sort of cheap fake tan, which she was evidently allergic to as it turned her skin the most unwholesome shade you can imagine.

Never the most stable at the best of times she seemed to think the world owed her something and that she had been robbed of some trinket or other which she bitterly took out on us, constantly ordering us around never a please or thank you in sight, frequently ordering us off site for pointless errands, oh fetch this and get that and dont come back without the other (the one time i did hear her compliment somebody she said it in such a weird way I was more than a little creeped out)

Things came to a head one day when some visitors from a rival company came by for a meeting she got so angry that they couldn't reach the compromise (for compromise read the deal that would be best for her personally) she actually started threatening them, till this one young lass picked up her glass of water and threw it in her face before storming out.

The noise she made! You'd think somebody was carefully torturing a cat with all the screaming and screeching going on up in the board room.

That was the day I decided enough was enough so I packed up my desk and left without bothering to hand in my notice or ask for a reference, I was sure I could get a job doing something, anything as long as it got me away from there.

I landed a job as an extra with a production company making low budget horror films where I was very happy for the next 6 years.
The world really is your oyster when you're a flying monkey.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 12:04, 4 replies)
Everyone of you is fired... everyone one of you is oh oh oh oh!
My old boss was a bit rubbish.
Not only was she running a dtp/design department without any knowledge of the software we were using, she had some funny ideas about motivating staff.

After 18 months of pissing off everyone in the company and making our team look like a bunch of fuckwits, she went on maternity leave for a year. In that time the stand in manager improved every aspect of our business and managed the unenviable task of re-raising our profile within the company.

When the belgian dwarf returned her first day was spent moaning that all her procedures had been scrapped (despite them being better in every concievable way), continually asking us 'why are you doing it that way?' and generally being a pain in the hole.

At 4 o clock on her fiorst day back, she called us all into a meeting... and proceeded to tell us that her boss (Mrs P) had informed her that she wanted to sack us all. Mrs P, it seemed, saw no further use for a design team, and would look for any reson to give us the chop, so we'd better buck our ideas up.

This was a bit of a suprise, considering for the past year, we'd received nothing but praise for all our efforts.

Two weeks later, it transpired the whole thing was a lie. What had happened was, she'd come abck, realised none of us had any respect for her whatsoever, and we'd done perfectly well without her. This was her way of stamping her authority back on 'her' team.

Six months of hell, before, thank god, she got up the duff again. This led to a protracted legal battle so she could work from home. The argument against being, of course, how can you manage a team from home?

In the end, because my company are a bunch of pussies with 'delicate' matters like this, they let her work from home, on full mannager pay, on various projects that would take any one of our team a couple of hours, but took her weeks to finish.

She recently got preggera AGAIN (3rd time in four years) and I believe she is 'no longer with us'. Everyione is being very tight-lipped about the actual circumstances though.
Sadly her legacy is still with us, with various projects in various stages of completion. Her complete ineptitude in Indesign, Photoshop etc means that sadly many of them have to be started again from scratch...
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 10:59, 3 replies)
I used to work as an English teacher
in Warsaw. Then I went and worked for the boss's ex-wife in Gdansk.

They were Poles, apart.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 10:42, 2 replies)
A sign on the wall
of the local council offices:

"you have to be mad to work here, but not help."
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 10:40, 2 replies)
Stoned, Angry and Angry-er...
In my former life as an IT-monkey, the nature of the job meant that every 12-18months, I'd find myself working on a new contract and therefore for a new boss, thankfully the work was pretty constant, but just having to adjust to new working 'rules' could be trying...

The Ex-Public School Boss: Usually to be found zoned out on the strongest skunk his dealer could supply. Had absolutely no clue about IT or business - but his father-in-law was bankrolling the firm so he just let everyone get on with it. Would suddenly decide that he was bored and march everyone off to the pub (yay!). If he was lacking in the drugs department, he'd get incredibily moody and at one point, demanded that I had over my work-issue mobile so he could check the call list to make sure I hadn't been talking to his competitors. Wife would walk in, trailing two of the bratiest kids in tow - clearly off her head on coke. It all got too much when he started to take an interest in personal life and tried to set me up on dates with weird women he went to college with.

Mr Angry Gay Boss: Possibily the most angry, hate filled individual I've ever had the misfortune of meeting. I took over from a guy who on his last day, took me aside and told me to start looking for another job. He'd lasted 6 months. The Boss was paranoid about people stealing business from him - so wouldn't allow any staff to have an email account - or individual phone lines. There were two phone lines, one for sales, one for support and both had extensions to his office - and every so often, you'd be on the phone to a client and you'd hear a slight click and he'd be listening to your conversation. If he recieved an email addressed to you, he'd print it out and write comments on the bottom of the sheet.
His incredibily camp boyfriend (who collected Barbie Dolls) would prance into the office and generally throw his weight around - while the Boss would write angry letters and threaten his customers with legal action for missing an invoice deadline - he was too tight to send them by post, so he worked out where each of us lived and on the last Friday of every month, he would hand us a stack of evelopes and ask us to deliver them on our way home.
I left after two months, when he discovered that a)I wasn't scared of him (as the IT bod - I got paid my salary, everyone else was in sales and relied of the level of comission/bonus he saw fit to award) as he had no way of bullying me and
b) I'm not gay, unlike 99% of the rest of the male staff members (and was fed up of the angry, sometimes drunken 'straight' bashing he would engage in on a daily basis.)
A very bitter, angry man.

Shortarsed Design Woman: Did some freelance support work for a mate as a favour while he was ill - and found myself in the offices of a well known outdoors clothing/tent retailer, in their clothing design department. Everything was top of the range - dual cpu workstations, 21 inch monitors (this was back in the days where a 17inch CRT cost £300) - the works. The problem was that the place was overseen by a very angry woman, who - while being blessed with rather large 'assets', was about 4.5ft tall and looked like she had spent the last ten years chewing a bag of rather angry wasps. She was evil and most of her staff lived in abject fear of her.
I saw her reduce a work experience girl of about 15 to tears because she put sugar in her tea - and when one of the designers tried to defuse the situation, he was told to clear his desk.
She actually tried to scream at me the last day I was there - her hard drive had strangely managed to format itself - thankfully all the machines backed up to a server, so I managed to restore everything, apart from her copy of photoshop - on searching through the cupboard, I couldn't find the CD - and aparently that was my fault. Her face actually went bright red as she practically accused me of stealing the disk. So I did what most highly trained IT monkeys would do - told her to go feck herself, and walked out. Last think I heard she had been arrested for assulting one of her staff - god only knows what the poor bastard had done to deserve a beating - probably left a window open or something.

Having said that, I have worked for some brilliant people, and am glad that they and their businesses have gone from strength to strength - I even get a christmas card and an invite to the christmas do from one every year, even after leaving 8 years ago!
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 10:31, 3 replies)
Work is work
I left school with sod all qualifications and joined the army. I could probably write a few entries on my bosses from there but that’s for another day. As I didn’t really have the brains to further my career I didn’t attempt to move up the career ladder in the forces (Something I sometimes regret). After a few years service I was discharged after I was caught stealing from the barracks (Yeah I know boo hiss etc etc, I have always been like this since a kid so it’s a hard habit to break).

Anywhoo, a ex squaddie with no real qualifications and a black mark for theft next to his name gives me hardly any decent career options, which is why I am pretty thankful for my current boss.

I am always paid a decent amount for acting as a bodyguard of sorts for my current employer who requests nothing but obedience and for me to wear a garish uniform he likes(as I am ex forces this is fine). Sometimes it is hard work but he always has a smile on his face whenever I see him.

The problem is my employment is always on a temporary basis as he always gets dragged back to Arkham by some bloke dressed as a bat.

Hey ho he will probably be out in a few more weeks (If not then I may have to go work for one of the others and I hate dressing in a bird themed getup for Mr Penguin - you try fighting while dressed as a parrot).

So yeah, my current employer Mr J you rock!
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 10:11, Reply)
The boss from hell
I was going to post something about this bloke in the recent Bullies QOTW but didn't, so I'm glad I have another opportunity.

A few years ago I got a job that entailed upping sticks from London and moving to a lovely city some 60 miles to the northwest that is well-known for its university. During the application/interview process I'd had the odd misgiving but decided to ignore them (bit of background - I'd applied to do a master's degree in this place a couple of years earlier, and although I didn't get on the course, we were pretty into moving here from London, so if this job made it possible, that was a bonus).

The company employed about 25 people and was run very tightly by the guy who had founded it. I was put to work on a particular project that had been on the back burner for a while and was left to get on quietly with it.

Now, the work at this place is project-based, and very much driven by publishing and event deadlines. And God help whoever's publication or event was coming up next, because they were very much in the firing line. In my first few weeks there, I saw several colleagues reduced to tears by this guy's bullying.

I just kept my head down and got on with my project, which he never had time to look at, until one Friday he asked if we could meet up the following lunchtime to go through it (my day off). So the wife and I cancelled the day out we'd planned in London, and then at 1130 on the Saturday he rang up to say he couldn't make it and we'd talk about my project another time. Thanks.

Then the project that I'd been employed to do started, and that's when things really started to go wrong. For a start, this guy seemed to believe that anyone who joined his firm already came there hard-wired with how things worked there - what the systems were, how you went about doing things, who the key personnel at clients were, etc - there was no flexibility, and next to no training about this.

He'd ask to see a piece of work with no notice, never mind if it was still in draft form, and without even getting as far as the end of the first line would decide it wasn't what he'd asked for (and believe me, what he initially asked for and what he later thought he had asked for were two totally different things) and once even threw the work back in my face. All the while shouting at the top of his voice about what a bunch of idiots he had working for him, of course. And heaven help you if you printed something off in Times New Roman rather than Arial (not a mistake anyone ever made twice). Or gave him something that was stapled together, rather than attached with Treasury Tags (remember them? We must have been the last place on earth using them).

He used to arrive at the office a bit later than we did, and you could feel the atmosphere change as he walked through the door - quite often, he'd make a beeline for whichever hapless soul he had decided hadn't done a decent job of something, and stand there, berating them, still sweating in his cycling kit (and don't think I never wondered whether I should 'fix' the brakes on his bike for him).

All classic bullying tactics - undermining people's confidence, shouting at them in front of colleagues, changing the goalposts, berating them for not knowing something they couldn't possibly have known, getting you to do something on someone else's project if you'd decided to stay late to get on with your own work, which defeated the object of staying late in the first place.

I'd never have got through it without the support of my line manager (who had the patience of a saint) and the support of colleagues (I remember an email from one, just after I'd emerged shellshocked from his office, saying that she knew what I was going through because she'd experienced it herself).

The lowest point came when I had to travel up to London with him to finalise my project with the publisher - I had prepared everything as meticulously as I could, and I'd planned for every eventuality, but it still wasn't good enough, I was wondering what more I could do (and then, a ray of sunshine, the senior guy we'd gone to meet found me at a quiet moment and asked me how I was coping with it - they had his number all right).

The following Saturday, I went into the office to finish everything off on the project, and my heart sank when I saw his bike outside. I almost didn't go in. And there I was, quietly getting on with my work, when he emerged from his office - I should mention, we were the only people in the building - and stood over me, way too far inside my personal space, and ranted at me for what was probably an hour. I actually had to tell him to back off several times, and I was a wreck by the end of it.

Because his staff were so incompetent, meaning that he had to spend all his time correcting our mistakes and therefore didn't have time to work on taking the business forward (his words), he recruited an entire tier of senior management at vast expense. They saw through him, and didn't last long. And on the day the last of those walked out (the owner said he'd fired him, but we're not that stupid), we all sat in the office, stunned, and decided that enough was enough. We closed the door to our department, and told our line manager every single problem we had with him, and she had the unenviable task of going to him and outlining our grievances.

Of course, he didn't accept that any of this was his fault (this is someone who still slags off a former employee who had the cheek to take him to an employment tribunal for constructive dismissal, and won), but he promised to take a different approach.

I left shortly afterwards, so I'm not sure whether he kept to that or not - certainly he still had time to scream at me about my incompetence in front of a roomful of strangers (and, unfortunately for him, one of our senior staff) at a five-star London hotel before one of our events. I'd have snapped there and then, but I had already been verbally offered another job, so instead disappeared for an hour and sank a couple of pints before going back to the hotel by which time the event was in full swing and he was otherwise occupied.

(As an aside, this is the same hotel that told him his company would never be allowed to hold an event there again because he had verbally abused a waitress).

And of course, when I resigned, his reaction was "That's just as well. I was going to sack you anyway" (No you weren't, you lying bastard, otherwise you'd have done it already).

The funny thing was, I'd been headhunted to my new job, because the place I was working had a very good reputation, and did produce the goods... if only people knew what lay behind the facade. That job didn't work out, partly because of the long commute to the West Midlands every day, but I'm now freelancing and very happy with it, it's also taking my career in directions I'd have never thought possible, particularly in those dark days working for him.

He may well have changed now - I look at the website now and again, and most of the old staff are still there (compared to something like 75% staff turnover in the 15 months I was there) - but I somehow doubt it.

The above is just a snapshot of some of the stuff that I had to endure, there's a lot of stuff I've had to leave out because if I put it in I might as well type the company name and have done with it, but I know that I am not the only one who had to undergo this. It's been cathartic writing this, and I'll leave the final word with an ex-colleague who handed his notice in just before I did:

"I really wish I wasn't leaving - I love the job. It's just such a shame that he's the boss".
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 9:11, 2 replies)
I should have just taken the hint…

A few years back I started work in a new office. On my first day I walked into the reception area and noticed on the wall that one of the employees had scrawled the slogan:

'You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps!'

I was about to do a sympathy chortle, but then on closer inspection I realised the message was actually written in human shit…

And blood.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 9:00, Reply)
My Current Boss
What a cunt. I work as a teacher in a music school, which is a pretty cruisy job. Start at 2pm, finish by 8pm, and basically jam with the kids whilst getting paid. Everything would be perfect, but for the boss.

You see, in our work, there's a music retail shop at the front which the big boss runs, and then the school's at the back which is run by my mate.

Now I work there 5 days a week, with about 50 students which is almost double that of the next popular teacher. I also bought a pretty high end drum kit to teach on and let everyone else use it because the kit the school provided was a piece of shit.

I think I deserve a pay rise for my commitment to the team. The school manager thinks I deserve a pay rise. The boss? As if. Apparently, I'm not enthusiastic enough with the younger kids. Because he can see me teach at the very back of the building, in the basement, from his position front of house, upstairs. If I was anymore enthusiastic with the kids, I'd be on a register.

We had a staff meeting a few days later where he proceeded to praise me at every opportunity on my hard work and general attitude. The twat.

He's also having the most blatent affair with a female teacher. He's married with kids. They don't hide it very well. Always arriving for work together, spotted on their days off walking around holding hands. Both at the school on a sunday when it's closed (a former collegue found them that day). Said collegue then told a few people about it and was swiftly fired. Then the boss sat everyone down individually and gave them a talk of horrible rumours being spread by an ex team member and risk being fired yourself if you believed it.

All in all, proper knob.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 3:19, Reply)
I worked for the most miserable son of a bitch. Ever.
He was the VP of Sales for a 100 million dollar company and was an inveterate cheapskate...wouldn't eat in the sunshine because he was afraid his shadow might ask for a bite.

I made an error on an expense report one day, twelve CENTS in my favor. The accounting lady called me - fair enough. Then Mr Miserable's secretary called me. Then faxed me. Then the asshole responsible for 100 million dollars in sales called me...over 12 FUCKING PENNIES. Fuckwit.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 2:11, Reply)
As you may all recall, Mr T from The A-Team used to run a small catering business out of Gateshead after the drugs and money dried up.
On my first day on my YTS scholarship there was a circle formed in the car park during lunch, as initiation was to fight the boss.
I took Mr T down in under 3 minutes. Then slept with loads of girls with tits and fannies whilst on the drugs Mr T couldn't afford any more.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 1:57, Reply)
My boss is a psychopath
But he's also lovable in a strange kind of way. Though there was one incident with a sandwich toaster and my hand which led to me joining a competing company for a while, I realized how much I missed working for him when I found myself in danger of becoming a bland, soulless zombie.
(, Mon 22 Jun 2009, 1:32, 2 replies)
Ah, yes.
"Remember who you're talking to! I am the account director - you are the scum. You will either agree with me, or the next words out of your mouth will be 'do you want fries with that?'. Do you understand?"
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 23:26, Reply)
I worked for a maniac.
As an engineer, you occasionally get the opportunity to do some seriously odd stuff. Some of it is cool and intriguing- but some of it is clearly unworkable horseshit that the bosses insist will work anyway.

One of mine was a project which is theoretically classified, so I'll be a little vague on it. Basically it was to be an electromagnetic pulse bomb that could be carried and deployed by one person. Sounds cool, doesn't it?

The thing is, to make a substantial enough EMP to do damage it has to put a large amount of current through a coil. That means a lot of electrical storage capacity. What he was proposing to power it with was a tiny capacitor capable of holding thousands of volts- but very little amperage. It was like trying to blow out a house fire with a CO2 cartridge- a lot of pressure, but no volume.

Also, the way that the electrical engineer wanted the thing to be configured was idiotic. It worked in part by a plunger that would impact the target and be pushed in, triggering the coil. He wanted a neodymium magnet attached to the plunger, 3/4" diameter by 1" long. I did a quick computation- on launch the thing would exert 400 lbs of thrust, pulling the plunger in as it launched and causing a lightning storm in the barrel of the launcher.

Apparently he was taking his physics lessons and materials knowledge from Wiley Coyote.

I tried explaining this to my boss. Only one little hitch- every day he started his morning with coffee and switched to Coors Light by 9:30. Early in the day he would be lucid but hung over. By lunch time he was unable to follow what I was saying to him and would get truculent. By 4:00 he would be drunk off his ass and incoherent.

As I understand it he had at one point attained the rank of colonel in the Army, so now he was living off of favors he begged from old friends to get DOD money to innovate new weaponry. He would weave clouds of bullshit so profound that he believed it himself- and even when I showed him my equations to demonstrate what I was saying he refused to accept it, because the other engineer had been in the military and had been the owner of his own company for years and had more experience than I did as an engineer. This long-haired hippie looking kid with an earring was obviously wrong.

Recently he relocated in the wee hours of the morning. I'm told that he had several trucks that showed up and loaded his entire household, including some stuff that I had built, and were gone by 6:00 am.

I wonder if Acme finally sent him the bill for portable holes and anvils?
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 22:23, 2 replies)
Dodgy boss...
So as I've mentioned previously here, in a past life I worked for a company supplying "adult" telephone services. The owner of this company & my boss was a "character" if you want to be charitable.

Some examples:-

Before I even joined as I was recruited through an agency I was asked to lie about the salary I'd accepted so the fee would be lower.

He could never go back to the USA as he was wanted in 7 states for fraud.

In a meeting, fags would be offered around the table being a non smoker I answered "No thanks, I don't smoke", the response was "Why don't you start"

The first 2-3 weeks I was working there there was a bin outside full of smoldering financial records.

In a similar vein the Madrid office was 'closed' with a can of four star.

I decided it was time to leave when I was brought a spam pyramid scam email with the comments "This is a really good idea, can we do this"
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 20:45, Reply)
Chav 0, Boss 1
I did time years ago in one of those dodgy finance companies a few years ago in the north west - the kind of place that makes Ocean Finance look like the paragon of business ethics.
The owner was (and probably still is) a complete gobshite, who delighted on getting coked out of his skull and then throwing his weight around the office. One of the poor sods who was working in the incoming call office got the sack once for walking in still wearing his hat and scarf one winter morning, which was enough to offend the glorious leaders Colombian enhanced sensibilities.

He had a grovelling lickspittle of a bloke managing a seperate department for him on the ground floor,called D, who delighted in playing the alpha male with everyone he could get away with, and demanding things as aggressively as possible from the IT department (which I'd ended up part of after a few months there). He called up one day in a blind panic, as 'all the computers have stopped working'. cue me and N, my colleague and the nicest most laid back guy you could wish to work with heading over to that side of the building. N has a bit of a poke around his pc, then sighs and looks at D. the conversation then goes something like this -

N - have you knocked any of the cables or unplugged anything?
D - no...
N - are you sure?
D - positive.
N - come on D, tell me the truth.
D - I havent touched anything.
N - ...
D - well... I plugged my mobile phone charger in...

turns out he'd unplugged the router for his floor (which true to form for this place, was just sat on the floor in a snake's nest of cat-5). mong.

My immediate boss however, was a bit of a legend and great to work for (we remained friends after I walked out and still are to this day). We all went out one night after work, which ended up with us having a bit of a lock in at a bar where he knew the owner. So well lubricated, we leave there and set off across town - the munchies have struck and my boss wants a pizza. On the way, we pass a club that at the time was chav heaven. And lo and behold, sat on the steps outside is a particularly outstanding specimen - shellsuit in a variety of eyebleedingly dayglo colours, (presumably) nicked trainers with those horrible rubber spring things on the heels and baseball cap perched at a silly angle on the back of it's head. And for whatever reason, he's got his arms tucked inside his top so it looks like he's got no arms.

'fuck me' says a very drunken and so slightly more observationally disadvantaged than usual tjn, 'that lads got no arms'.

to which I recieve the stunningly erudite response of him poking one of his hands out of his jacket, and giving me the finger. I laugh at him and keep walking, but my boss is a bit less than taken with this response to say the least. (I should also say that he's a 6"4 skinhead, as a bit of background.)
He tells this lad if he doesnt put his finger away, it's going to get broken.
To which our sartorially challenged (I mean, where do these silly twats get these clothes from for gods sake?) responds with 'f*** off... or I'll get so-and-so and so-and-so from inside the club and then you'll be sorry' - and reels off these names of his mates that presumably we were supposed to be intimidated by.

My boss isnt taking this lying down - he says 'Am I supposed to be worried? I grew up in bloody Belfast, you silly sod.' And then grabs hold of this lad by the foot and starts dragging him down the street. shellsuit boy cant get up because of the angle of his leg that my boss has hold off, and is sort of bouncing down the street. We get about ten yards down the pavement, and his trainer comes off in my boss's hand.

my boss then drops it on the floor... and promptly takes a wazz in it. shellsuit boy starts screeching that 'he's going to f***ing kill us', I'm crying laughing at this point - it's juvenile I know, but bloody funny if you've had a skinful as well.

We continue our way down the main road to the pizza shop, and after a few minutes I'm aware over the usual noise of traffic and punch ups over who's getting in first at the various taxi ranks we're passing, I can also hear someone shouting 'Im going to f***ing get you fat c**t... and you you bald tw*t...' and so I look around to see where it's coming from...

And see it's our friend from outside the club... about a hundred yards away, hopping after the two of us as fast as he can...

...clutching a trainer still steaming gently in the autumn air.

length? I didnt look to be honest. but great aim on my boss's part.
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 17:05, 3 replies)
Prior to my current period of unemployment, I spent seven curious months working for Shithead- not his given name but one that suits him very well and the one generally used by those that worked under him. With hindsight I should have seen the signs- the employees of the merging part of the old company deserted almost to a man rather than join the new team under him and the confused looks on my co-workers faces when I joined them. And I guess the fact they all called him Shithead.

He has worked for this company for over 25 years. In absolute terms save for a student job here or there he has worked nowhere else and has no experience of any other working enviroment. In addition, is childless and unmarried- women do appear from time to time but never stay. He essentially lives to work for the company. Not that he was particularly keen on attending the office though. Within the first two weeks, items where his sign off was required (and despite my job having "manager" in the title, that was pretty much everything except my stationary order) were piling up. Generally at about 9.30, we'd receive an email stating Shithead would be working from home or otherwise not attending. To add variety to this however, he would periodically turn up late in the day and proceed to call a two hour meeting. His personal best was arriving at the office on a Friday with a 5pm finish- at 16.56.

Of course the fact that a huge amount of work was late whilst it waited for his illegible scrawl wasn't Shithead’s fault. His ability to fly into a petulant rage when something wasn’t right or delayed- irrespective of the fact that the delay was largely centred around the two weeks it had sat in his in tray- were the stuff of legend. I’d be instructed to fire contractors or demand written apologies or some other symbolic pound of flesh before they would be invited back on board days or even hours later. Above all though; Shithead knew best. Never mind the fact he had worked for 25 years selling something only tangentially related to what I had been bought in to do- Shithead could do it better. Most curious- and often damaging- was that despite being a forty something childless, single male with a dress sense akin to Tintin having a gay weekend, he was convinced he was absolutely representative of the man in the street. This led to some startlingly misdirected marketing work and some truly cringeworthy decisions- I have demonstrated a five grand hifi system with Barry Manilow to a group of journalists I knew personally.

I suppose it is telling that even though I was made redundant in the first real recession for a while, I was actually fairly relieved to be “let go.” Shithead in a rare moment of generosity doubled my redundancy pay- from one week to two. Since then, I have watched from an independent industry position as the wheels have started to come off the company’s wagon. My salary is available as an additional sum to the budget but when it is being wielded by a man who thinks that “Night birds” by Shakatak represents “cool, modern music” its effectiveness is going to be limited. I hope never to work for someone as aggressively clueless ever again.

Length? Well I am glad he did very few full days in those seven months to be honest.
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 17:01, 1 reply)
If you happen to work
as an area manager and find yourself visiting my place of work.

Please what ever you do, do NOT tell me 'to make myself usefull and make you a cup of tea'... as i'm dealing with two customers and re-arranging the store display AND keeping an eye on a shop lifter.

As you will end up drinking some of my bodily fluids.
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 16:11, Reply)
Not very funny just really really bitter... and really really long....
I worked for 18 months for a husband and wife team at a 'london style', Bahrain based 'branding consultancy'. They insisted on putting a commitment to living the brand into our contracts, and laid claim to a fanatical dedication to the environment and sustainable development.

They had excruciating brand mantras and daily circlew4nks. They made us all take part in toe curling bonding exercises like having to write our favorite things about each other which we then had to read them to our horrified colleagues faces at the christmas party. They asked about our star signs at the interview stage, and placed a boundary of rice around the office to ward off negative spirits. We all also had to draw 'angel' cards daily to show to one another to aid our 'mutual personal growth'. A hypocritical mandate from a pair of neo-fascists who loved nothing but money and the sound of their own voices.

She had a 'happiness' book from which she would read excerpts if you displeased her by 'un-positive' acts. They knew when this occurred as they monitored all mail, and he watched us on remote desktop to monitor productivity. Every time we opened hotmail there would be a mysterious inquiry across the open plan studio about what we were working on.

Their philanthropic and environmental credentials were tarnished further by their need to race to work, her in a Chelsea tractor and him in a sports car. They motivated staff to work eighteen hour days by repeatedly telling them that they weren't dedicated or positive enough if they only worked sixteen.

I once took a lecture on lack of commitment for leaving on time on my anniversary. Most people just sat there every night like terrified mongs, shuffling papers around on their desks until the bosses left in order to avoid a lecture.

They also took huge wads of cash from the corporations that had decimated the marine ecology of the gulf by building huge man-made islands for the likes of David Beckham and his emaciated insect of a wife.

I shed a tear for the poor twunts that still work there. They even outshone the boss i worked for in a London marketing agency who took me and a colleague (aged only 21) skiing in france to use us as bait for girlies (funnier if you knew my monstrous visage) then asked us to smuggle his gak through Heathrow for him as he 'had a wife and kid to think about"

We declined.

Oh and the guy in Bradford who used to get the female studio manager to clean the granny pr0n off his computer when it became fatally choked with malware...

Oh happy days...
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 15:34, Reply)
Had Shrek's glamorous granny for a boss a few years ago
She was fat, which doesn't necessarily go against people in my book, but she was about 50 and wore dangly earrings and faux-hippy clothes, as if she thought she was about 17.

Her face though - horrible. Huge, with bulging eyes and a sort of muddy complexion, moustache, big moles, short scraggy hair, big wide mouth, all daubed ineffectually with Avon's best.

She was so hideous that every time I looked at her I laughed - couldn't help it. Sometimes I swear she'd catch me sneaking a sideways glance at her and shaking my head and whistling under my breath.

I didn't last long in that job.
(, Sun 21 Jun 2009, 12:41, Reply)

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