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Hellish Bosses

Updated on September 6, 2015
gmwilliams profile image

Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.

HELL Has No Fury Like THIS BOSS!!!!

Some bosses like nothing better to make their employees' lives miserable.   Well, miserable is a mild term for what these employees are enduring minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.........
Some bosses like nothing better to make their employees' lives miserable. Well, miserable is a mild term for what these employees are enduring minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.........

Manipulation as Motivation

Hellish bosses use devious and underhanded methods to motivate their employees. In their estimation, if the employee at hand does not like the way the manage, well THAT'S the latter problem!THEY can ALWAYS LEAVE.....
Hellish bosses use devious and underhanded methods to motivate their employees. In their estimation, if the employee at hand does not like the way the manage, well THAT'S the latter problem!THEY can ALWAYS LEAVE.....

Creating a DANGEROUSLY Toxic Work Environment

Working with SUCH bosses is often quite a perilous situation. Employees have to learn how to constantly navigate their work environment regarding these bosses.
Working with SUCH bosses is often quite a perilous situation. Employees have to learn how to constantly navigate their work environment regarding these bosses.

Oh My God, My Boss is Satan or At Least, Very Similar to Him!

Oh the ideal workplace! How lovely indeed! How lovely it is to have a workplace where the boss is the most supportive and understanding person there is. A boss who is always there for you and supports your career goals. You can always go to this boss with any work-related problem that you have. This boss usually has your back and is there for you 24/7!

Of course, there are a few bosses who are like that. These bosses are usually joys to work for. These bosses usually welcome the participation and input of their subordinates. If a subordinate is more talented or educated than this boss, she/he is usually not threatened but encourages this employee to fulfill her/his ultimate human potential.

This type of boss does not believe in the dictum that might makes right. She/he is usually democratic and believes that her/his subordinate is just as important to the working of the corporation as she/he is. She/he does not believe that she/he knows everything. Furthermore, she/he does not believe that because of her/his title that she/he is superior to her/his subordinates.

This type of boss freely admits when she/he is wrong and does not pass the buck. She/he truly walk the walk. She/he exhibit the act of behaving responsibly through her/his own actions. There is no double standard between this type of boss and her/his subordinates. However, we are talking about the evolved boss from heaven or some such place. Let us not digress ladies and gentlemen, the subject of this hub is the boss and/or superior from the nether regions or at least it seems that way.

There was a recent movie called HORRIBLE BOSSES. The subject of this movie is three employees who have infernal bosses. These employees have such hellish work lives that they are thinking about ways to avenge their ill treatment by eradicating their bosses. Yes, this movie is a comedic farce but there are people who have hellish and infernal bosses which makes Attila and Genghis Khan seem like saints.

In the workplace, there are people who definitely should not have been bosses in the first place. These people are often unevolved, immature, and have other negative characteristics. There are some bosses who are demoniacally sociopathic. They do not care how their callous actions affect their subordinates and the workplace.

There are various types of infernal bosses. There is the boss with something to prove. This boss is either newly promoted or is the first one in her/his race, gender, and/or ethnic group to be in this title. She/he must prove to her/his superior to be a worthy contender of the title.

Any subordinate who reports to this boss must be constantly aware for each mistake and aspect of her/his work performance will be carefully monitored. Any mistake committed by an employee under the supervision of this boss is considered to be an affront to her/him. This boss is often stricter than most and believes in literally adhering to the company rules with no exceptions.

This is the type of boss who is not loathe to write up a subordinate for the slightest infraction to prove to her/his superiors that she/he is a good boss and was worthy of the title. This boss also employs the principles of micromanagement to ensure that the work is performed correctly. She/he believes that subordinates often do not have the innate intelligence to work correctly thus needing her/his guidance.

The first subset of this type of boss is the boss who believes that NOBODY can do the job as efficiently as she/he can. This boss is often loathe to delegate the more difficult assignments to her/his subordinates because it is her/his contention that they do not have the wherewithal to do the job as expertly and professionally as she/he can. This boss believes that by performing the more onerous tasks, she/he is in charge.

The second subset of this type of boss is the overcontrolling boss. She/he wants to control every aspect of her/his subordinates' work lives. This boss is often very insecure and loathe to delegate certain responsibilities to their employees. She/he is also loathe to allow her/his subordinates some type of independent action which is necessary for the functioning of the workplace. Any subordinate who works for this boss is kept at a very immature level. This boss is extremely threatened by any employee who exhibits any type of independent action. Such employees are either summarily transferred into another unit or terminated. By exercising inordinate control over the subordinates in the charge of this boss, she/he feels that she/he is omnipresent.

There is the authoritarian boss who steadfastly believe that might and power equals right. This type of boss believes that subordinate exist to unquestionably and obediently follow her/his orders and dictates. She/he believes as a boss, she/he has carte blanche to do as she/he pleases but woe to the subordinate who elect to exercise her/his independence and free thought. This action on the part of the subordinate is not tolerated at all. This boss believes that she/he should have perks and liberties because of the title.

This is the type of boss who contend that subordinates are actually inferior to her/him. There is no such thing as equality in the workplace to this boss. Subordinates are to be seen and not heard is the dictum of this boss. To this type of boss, subordinates are akin to children to be dictated to and pushed around. The authoritarian boss believes that she/he has the best interests of her/his subordinates at heart!

There is the bully boss. This type of boss can be described as a combination of being capricious and a sociopath. She/he enjoys the exercise in power and is not hesitant to use it to suit her/his wishes. This boss usually preys upon subordinates who exhibit weakness or conversely, characteristics which are diametrically different than her/his. She/he often delight in creating havoc in the workplace and demoralizing employees.

There is the volatile boss who has sudden outbursts of temper depending upon what mood she/he is in at a particular time. Unstable is an apt word to describe such a boss. An employee must always be vigilant and document everything when she/he is interfacing with this type of boss. Because if the subordinate does not document the instructions of such a boss, she/he could lead in perilous trouble as it is usually the word of the boss against her/his word!

There is the prima donna or diva/divo like boss who must always have her/his way. If not, she/he would use methodology no matter how immature and/or underhanded to assert her/his authority. She/he usually believes that she/he is the star of the workplace. An employee no matter how efficient will never be appreciated by this type of boss. This is the boss who often steals the credit of her/his employees' work and make it hers/his. There is a name for this boss-scene stealer!

There is the uninvolved or unconcerned boss. This boss is usually here to pick up her/his paycheck. Oftentime, this boss was promoted because of nepotism and she/he has no fear of ever losing her/his position unless a nonrelative becomes her/his superior. However, this seldom occurs! She/he is often the boss in name only. The tasks are often delegated to very capable subordinates while she/he gets the credit. Very capable subordinates are also assigned to be acting bosses thus they are the power behind the throne.

There is the predatory boss. This boss would use any egregious means to exercise her/his power and to extort compliance from her/his subordinates. This boss is extremely dangerous-she/he usually thinks of nothing of sexually harassing her/his subordinates and threatening them with punitive actions including dismissal if they dare to complain. This boss is also adept at covering her/his tracks regarding any egregious actions committed. She/he takes the concept of CYA to another level.

Lastly, there is the overwhelmed boss. This boss is clearly over her/his head. Think of the Peter Principle which states that people are continuously promoted until they are in positions beyond their capabilities. Many overwhelmed bosses often wish that they were somewhere else; however, they are in their present positions because of either nepotism or they have been promoted according to the Peter Principle. The job is just too much for the overwhelmed boss and she/he often delegates everything to a highly capable subordinate as they do not want the headache, only the supposed power, prestige, and the glory.

In summation, there are bosses who can be described as heavenly. However, there are bosses that could be described as hellish. These bosses clearly do not have the best interests of their employees at heart. Many of them believe that the position of boss gives them the license to exercise their power haphazardly, deleteriously affecting their employees and creating an extremely toxic workplace.

© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams


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    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Many people vie for management positions because of the glamor and prestige; however, they do not have the tools to be an effective leader. I have seen this. I was a supervisor and I was fair and respected my staff. Thank you Austinstar for stopping by and responding.

    • Austinstar profile image


      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Most people don't know the first thing about managing people or real resources. They just live for the "title". Good subject for a hub! I think you would probably make a great boss!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I have had all sorts during my life, from good to uninvolved to overwhelmed. I have had to literally do the bosse's work because he was incapable.

      Probably the best boss was one who simply told me to take what crew I needed and report back in 9 months, when the job was finished. Backup was always available if needed.

      And the worst was one from a much larger union plant. Ours was very small, non-union location and he considered himself to be God. "Do what I demand or there's the door". After 4 years of his nonsense, I finally chose the door, without having any other job lined up it was so bad. Interestingly, on the day I left every other employe told me they were right behind me although I don't know if they followed through or not.

    • IJR112 profile image


      7 years ago

      Good hub. How cool your boss is can definitely make or break your work experience.

    • feenix profile image


      7 years ago

      Hey, gm,

      Thank The Lord, I retired back in 2006 after working non-stop for about 50 years and for a whole lot of lousy bosses.

      In fact, during all the years I worked, I only had about four or five "good bosses."

    • Magdelene profile image


      7 years ago from Okotoks

      Hi GM,

      Great article, certainly have known a few of the above. One time I did have a genuinely great boss, but from my experience the great bosses are rather hard to come by.


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