It’s Boss’s Day, and while many of us have supervisors who have totally earned that “World’s Best Boss” mug, I bet lots of you at least briefly contemplated adding a little extra something to the cookies you brought in this morning. Even so, here are nine bosses who likely make your less-than-stellar supervisor look like a saint.
1. Just a couple of weeks ago, the owner of some Iowa convenience stores ran a contest of dubious taste asking workers to guess which of their teammates would be next fired.
New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!! To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope. Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things. If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again. And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!
2. How about a boss who suggests you kill yourself? When faced with complaints, he apparently claimed that he had been a victim of Word’s autocorrect... what do you suppose he was “trying” to type? Source: the always-awesome Passive Aggressive Notes.
3. Of course, a boss who suggests you off yourself is probably better than boss who goes ahead and does it for you.
Last year, the owner of a brick-field instructed that one of his workers be beheaded to make his bricks redder. The kiln wasn’t producing bricks of a coveted shade of red; a fortune-teller allegedly said a human sacrifice would help the situation.
4. If you can’t accurately predict the weather a couple of months in advance, you’re probably not going to last long at this un-named Kansas company. (Go ahead. Insert your local weatherman jokes here. I’ll wait.) An employee in charge of planning a company event at a baseball game was demoted when it rained the day of; the boss claimed she had purposely sabotaged the event. When the employee was asked to plan a company picnic several months later, she understandably declined. The boss reported her for failure to take on requested responsibilities.
5. Think your boss is a bit rough? Be glad you don’t work for Naomi Campbell. Over the years, at least eight employees have alleged that she hit or otherwise abused them. Among the accusations:
She assaulted her personal assistant with a cell phone.
She physically abused her secretary.
She slapped, kicked and scratched her assistant.
She held another assistant hostage and threw a phone at her.
She threw her BlackBerry at her housekeeper.
She hit her maid and also verbally assaulted her.
Yet another assistant said Campbell slapped her and beat her with a BlackBerry.
She scratched her drug therapist in the face.
That’s in addition to her non-employee altercations. Naomi has taken anger management classes, completed community service and paid lawsuits and fines, but these things seem to keep happening.
6. We all have our office annoyances - the person who doesn’t refill the coffee pot, the person who chats while you’re trying to use the bathroom, the person who doesn’t clear the unused time off the microwave. But it was a milk bandit that set off the CEO of a PR firm in New Jersey. Excerpts from his email to employees:
“I have repeatedly requested until I am blue in the face that the person that finishes the milk must replace the milk. It’s not complicated and is a simple sign of respect for fellow employees. “Imagine my chagrin this morning when I stumbled in at 7:15 after enduring a typically painful Redskins loss and in dire need of a shot of caffeine, only to find that the skim milk in the refrigerator had three drops of milk left. “The person that did this is either incredibly lazy, obnoxiously selfish or woefully devoid of intelligence -- three traits that are consistent with the profile of FORMER Beckerman employees. “I am gravely serious when I write this -- if I catch someone not replacing the milk, or at least, in the case where the downstairs store has closed already, not sending an e-mail to the office so the first person that arrives . . . can pick one up upon arrival -- then I am going to fire you. I’m not joking. “Have fun explaining that one to your next employer. This is not a empty threat, so PLEASE don’t test me. As you can tell from the tenor of this e-mail, I am not happy and at my wits end. I have repeatedly beseeched you to replace the supplies that you consume -- whether its pencils, paper or MILK.”
7. Even the most successful businessmen have had encounters with cruel bosses. John H. Patterson, head of the National Cash Register company, was infamous for his firing methods. He would axe people for not riding horses correctly or for being unable to explain why the flags were flying. He banned butter from the company and had employees weighed twice a year. Legend has it that Patterson fired then-sales exec Thomas Watson by relocating his entire desk to the lawn. Watson then went on to make IBM one of the biggest companies in the world.
8. In 2004, American Apparel big boss Dov Charney was interviewed by a writer for the now-defunct Jane magazine. During their series of encounters, Charney openly engaged in what he called “self pleasure” at least eight times. “During [those times] we casually carry on our interview, discussing things like business models, hiring practices and the stupidity of focus groups,” writer Claudine Ko said in the original article. She also said that during the interviews, Charney requested and received sexual attention from his employees. It may come as no surprise that Charney has been the subject of several sexual harassment lawsuits since then.
9. So this is not exactly a Jean Valjean situation, but you have to admit that it's a little petty to fire a hungry employee for swiping a burger off of a food cart meant for executives. When the German company was questioned for what seems like an overreaction, their managing director said, "This is a highly sensitive case. When you lose your trust in someone you are left with a bad feeling."
Do you have a story that belongs in these ranks? Feel free to do a little venting in the comments. We promise not to tell HR.