Three Contenders for The WORST Boss EVER

Hi there. Russell Stratton, president of Leadership Champion with Bluegem Learning.

Over the last 25 years I've worked with a range of organizations to improve bottom line productivity.

In the last couple of blogs I've been talking about Managing Your Boss.

As I've said before, this is one of the key topics that people come to talk to me about after my workshops. How do I deal with my boss? And often they've brought an anecdote or a story to tell me about the person they're working for.

So I took this one step further recently, and we ran a competition with my colleague Ken Cameron of let's pick the worst boss that we can find, and we invited people to send in their anonymous stories.

I'd like to share three of them that I thought were pretty good contenders for the worst boss, and give you a chance to comment on them in the comments section below.

1. The Anti-Social Boss

The first person we're going to talk about had a boss who actually never spoke to the individual the whole time that they worked for them!

So imagine this....

They came on day one, they were introduced to their new boss, the person said hello to them, they showed them to their desk, and that was it.

For the next two years they virtually had no conversation with them at all.

None. Emails, yes. Face-to-face conversation, no...

Even though the person was only about two cubicles away from them.

The only time they actually had a conversation was when that person put their resignation letter in and left, and they said, "Oh. Why are you leaving?"

Can you imagine that? Working for somebody for two years and you only actually had a face-to-face conversation with them twice?

I couldn't believe it, but it was true.

2. The D-GAS Boss (Doesn't Give A $#*!)

The second entry we had was a boss who just didn't want to deal with the subject at all.

Apparently our employee had an overtime claim. They came into their boss and they handed it into them saying "Here's my overtime form", and their boss looked at it, just crunched it up into a ball, and threw it in the waste paper basket saying, "I'll deal with that later."

Undeterred they came back again with a second version that they handed to him. And guess what? Their boss did it again!

Screwed it up into paper, and threw it across in the waste paper basket.

They even sent them an email version, electronically. Still nothing, and after three months they were still waiting to get paid.

It actually took three further attempts to actually get this paid and the employee had to go above their bosses head and go and speak to THEIR boss to actually get this overtime paid.

Can you imagine that? Just screwing up a piece of paper in front of somebody and casting it into the waste paper bin. Pretty bad.

and finally:

3. The ANGRY Boss...

Okay, the last one that we had was somebody who would regularly just walk into the workplace, and they worked in retail, so they would have this set up, the displays in the shop ready for opening.

If this particular individual didn't like what he saw, he wouldn't just say to people, "Hey, I'm not too keen on that. Could we change this? Could we change that?"

Instead he would just fly into this rage, and just be pulling down the displays and throwing things across the shop screaming out, "Do it again! Do it again!" Cowering his employees into submission.

So there we are, Three TRUE stories about BAD BOSSES!!

  • The boss that would go into a rage and throw things around the store.

  • The boss that would go and crumple up his employee's time sheet or overtime sheet and just throw it into the waste paper bin.

  • And the boss that never spoke to their employee for two years.

I'll let you decide who's the worst boss.

Put your comments below and I'll see you next time.

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"Bluegem Learning & Development and Corporate Culture Shift have presented two very effective and interactive workshops with our organization. Their comedic and engaging presentation style in the ‘Managing the Unmanageable’ workshop has left a lasting impression on our staff. I highly recommend this workshop if you are looking for a valuable, cost effective customer service training option."

- Jeff Gerestein, City of Brooks

"Russell produced a highly engaging HR programme that reflected our organisational issues. He is without doubt an outstanding training deliverer, challenging managers to address what can be difficult HR issues. I highly recommend Russell, and would always seek to engage Russell on future learning development opportunities."

- Sharon Gartland, DSG Consultancy Services

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Russell Stratton

Leadership Champion

RUSSELL STRATTON is an international Leadership Expert, Professionally Certified Trainer and Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. He is co-author of the book 'I Need to F@#king Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'.


He is a Master Facilitator for Bluegem Learning's ground breaking "Leadership Success" workshop series - providing a practical toolkit for building engagement and improving individual and team performance. Using live actors in a stop/start forum theatre approach and a combination of dynamic experiential learning techniques, participants come away with a greater ability to actually perform better as employees and leaders in your organization.


He is an accomplished management education, learning & development professional with a proven track record of working with clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors to achieve lasting, measurable step changes in business performance.


Russell works internationally with a wide range of organizational cultures and with all levels from front line customer facing staff to executive management boards. Having worked as both a Personnel Manager and Operational Manager he works at both strategic and tactical levels.

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