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Twenty Signs Your Manager is a Bully (if you are new on the job)

Updated on July 28, 2013

You are a newly hired staff along with other few hired employees. You receive warning signs good and bad.

The Red Light: One newly hired resigned before she could even learn how to maneuver around the workplace. She was seeing danger ahead or perhaps a future possible collision and had to stop. Countless red signs flashed before her. Motivation to the slightest was not on the lane next to her to keep herself going. She thought of looking for a better change somewhere else. Another one says, “You know, I almost quit during my first few weeks on training, but I have to stick around. I needed this job.” You had the same feeling, but you do not want to show rage. You maintained to drive forward.


The Caution Light: On the other hand, a couple of old employees give you a friendly warning piece on how a newbie is treated on the job: “They will push you around because you are new." "Do not get intimidated by them. That is them." One says, “Getting nervous is natural. You know if you are doing well, just keep up the good work."

The Green Light: A fellow trainee had run out of courage to continue in his journey. His reason: “I left work though I needed my job because both managers were bullying me.” Though his drive was draining down to an empty tank, he flashes a green light of advice to you, Just hang in there and don’t worry. Keep going.”

The boss is like the highway police, trailing behind you, but for what?


20 Signs of a Bullying Boss

1. A bullying boss humiliates you in front of others; showers you with insulting instructions, even embarrassing remarks in short wavelengths to customers and co-workers. A non-bullying manager can be discreet about mistakes and explain the situation and solution privately or in a lower tone.

2. A bullying boss pushes you beyond limit. Since you are new, you do not say anything but diligently obey.

3. A bullying boss is inconsiderate and keeps you away from your “own” tasks. You fall behind from successfully ending the day with completing your own tasks because you have provided your time over in doing the things that you already helped with.

4. A bullying boss is insensitive and teases without realizing that it hurts the receiver.

5. A bullying boss makes you miserable and your working abilities to function well becomes unpleasant. Mentally bothered, you feel that everything you do might displease the boss.

6. A bullying boss is defiant. He/she refrains from saying “Sorry”. The word “sorry” is not in their vocabulary. It is being ruthless and callous to accept a wrongful accusation. At occasions, the boss makes mistakes and uses you to answer for those mistakes.


7. A bullying boss applies and creates FEAR to gain respect from staff. This manager dominates and rules; can be tough and abusive. It makes a worker tremble, especially if you are new on the job. You would abide in your manager out of fear and to keeping your job, but deep inside, you know that the “boss” is not worth of any respect for being fearfully mean. You hold that rage inside you, wanting to charge like a bull.

Be wary of both bullying and harassment. Document everything.


8. A bullying boss is a boa constrictor suffocating your dreams. Privately, he/she may praise you and you become grateful, but no one else hears or knows about the praising or acknowledgment. A bullying "snake" boss swallows largely of your brilliant ideas all to him and declares ownership taking all the credits.

9. A bullying boss is aggressive, arrogant, rude, tough and reveals an annoying immature behaviour.

10. A bullying boss alienates by selectively excluding people. You will feel that you don't belong.

11. A bullying boss is one who terrorize, harass and frequently enforces fearful negative verbal warnings that are intimidating.

"I'll throw you out of the window."

"Look at him; he is a kitty."

"Keep watch like an owl because someone else is watching you."

"No one cares if you're working late. That is your own doing."

"Why don't you stay at home?"

You hear footsteps and a hint of a familiar voice, then you recognize it is your manager. You get tensed. You become terrified.


12. A bullying boss laughs about you like a hyena. Your manager is no joker. Confused out of a sudden? Was your boss being mean?

13. A bullying boss counts time for the time wasted on her/his part for helping you out. Bitches about a favour that wasted 15 minutes of her time when actually it was just 2 minutes.

14. A bullying boss is inconsistent and always critical even to the smallest of things; makes you feel like you want to run and hide to the darkest area in your workplace like a roach.

15. A bullying boss is inconsiderate. Your manager does not treat mistakes the way they should be, waits for the same mistakes to happen over and over with which he will point the fault at you.

A fault or mistake can be corrected once it is spotted. No one wants to commit the same mistake repeatedly. We learn by our mistakes, yes, but we also learn better if a special instruction or information is given beforehand to avoid committing a mistake. If you are forgetting something, it just polite for a good manager to say, “You forgot this.”

16. A bullying boss has no team spirit but uses threats and manipulation instead.


17. A bullying boss is stern, “I don't want you here. Go, find a job somewhere else.” There is always room for reminders and proper coaching.

As a new employee, you are being careful in following everything that is being taught. In some instances, you question an instruction just said to you by your manager to make sure it is all and perfectly clear to your understanding. Your bully manager declares, "You NEED a hearing aid!"

18. A bullying boss care less. Walks away without acknowledging a customer’s given good remark about you.

As you are tending to a customer, the manager is beside you. The customer is thankful for your service, turns to the manager and muses, "She is very good. You have a very good staff here." Your manager walks away without one word uttered to agreeing with the customer or recognizing the flattering comment. Your manager's action immediately felt like a slap on the face.

19. A bullying boss exhibits superiority by frequently displaying hands-on-the-hips when making demands.

20. A bullying boss has no time to listen. Will find you at fault at all times without a time to listen to you. This manager listens to gossips brought to her attention and convicts you without finding the truth. Would ignore complaints from you but would attend on complaints of to whom the manager favours. In a workplace department, there is always one or two envious-type co-workers. A jealous peer becomes bitter and evil. This yellow-eyed co-worker would tell lies and get credits from the manager. You as the victim of false accusations may retreat hurting and teething.

Please visit workplace bullying link below. (Thank you, for sharing.)


My Boss is a Bully

How did bullying by your superior affect you?

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    • profile image


      7 months ago

      walked away from a career I loved due to many reasons listed especially #20

    • biomechanics2018 profile image


      22 months ago

      Factual article, but why hasn't it been updated since 2013?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I found just what I was needed, and it was eniatreintng!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Good Hub! During the final five years in the headquarters of a major U.S. manufacturing company I had three bosses who exemplified many of the characteristics described in this Hub. They were demeaning, critical, hot tempered, assigned impossible taske, etc. When another opportunity came along it took me less than five minutes to accept an early retirement buyout and move on. This was a decision that I've never regretted.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks to everyone who posted about this... I think I have some hope now... Lots of good advice ... Never saw myself being in a situation like this... Sad I'm not the only one, but kind of good to know I'm not alone...

    • wildove5 profile image


      6 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Great Hub, But may I ask where on earth are you working? Need I say, Karma is a wonderful thing; one day she will meet her match, maybe she already has and that's why she is so horrible to others. Maybe no one has ever cared about her or her feelings. Maybe when she's being horrible you should just give her the " you poor, poor thing" look instead of the " your scarring me look," maybe it will trip her up a little. Then just walk away smiling, knowing your life is so much nicer than hers! Great Hub and Best wishes!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile imageAUTHOR

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you Faith Reaper


      MHatter99 and

      Life Iz Beautiful

      for your inputs, voting up and sharing.

      A workplace should not be another place to cause depression, frustration, fear, uncertainty, confusion, humiliation, low esteem and doubt. While we love to work and perform our services, a workplace should be a happy place for each worker. :)

    • coffeegginmyrice profile imageAUTHOR

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Hello promaine. Thank you so much for your visit and putting time to leave a comment for this hub. I would definitely add the link you have enclosed here. Have a nice day at work!

    • promaine profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks for this good hub. I've seen bullying too. A couple comments, teasing sometimes takes the form of "jokes" which are abusive, and which the bully won't allow to himself/herself. (They have a double standard for how they expect to be treated.) Your #10 on the list is a sign that you may become a target of 'workplace mobbing,' where one person doesn't quite fit the dominant 'culture' and is forced out, like the way crows will 'mob' one crow from the flock.

      You might suggest people visit the Workplace Bullying Institute, which was based on the really great book, The Bully in the Workplace--which pretty much lays out every behavior I've ever seen.

      Great hub. Voted up! Paul

    • Life Iz Beautiful profile image


      6 years ago from India

      A very useful hub in today's time. Bullying is a common malpractice seen in almost every sphere of life. Work place bullying, like others are also equally unsettling and depressive.

      Nice pointers you have cited for help of your readers.

      Thank you for sharing...

      voted useful.

      Have a nice day...:D

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.Bullying at my oil company = HR (human resources). It was not good for the bottom line. money.

    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Ahh, coffee is bullying, I mean brewing! Lol!

      Great hub and absolutely helpful. Thank goodness, I've never experienced any of those warning signs (yet) and if ever, I won't let it happen specially I am an advocate and an active member of the Employment Equity Committee at work.

      Thanks for up, useful and passing it along.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Another great hub on bullying in the workplace, and one would think in this day and time, we have become more sophisticated and that such would not happen, but it is everywhere, unfortunately. Thanks for the useful hub here.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Repaer


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