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The Five Worst Bosses: Recognize Yours?

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We’ve all had bosses that we’ve either loved or hated. The boss who helped you get that promotion, or the one who clipped his toenails at his desk.


Some help us advance our career, while others seem to hold us back. Different leadership styles can lead to different results for each employee. But certain styles seem to be good or bad across the board, helping or hurting all employees with one fell swoop.


1. The Know-It-All
The Know-It-All has done everything you’ve done, but better and faster. Somehow, in the time that they’ve been in the workforce, they have managed to accomplish every feat known to the working world. Regardless of your accomplishment, they will let you know how it could be done better.

Not only are they omnipotent, but they expect you to be all knowing as well. The Know-It-All will assign a three-day task to be completed in one day. They will give you vague instructions and expect you to figure out what must be done. Or they will assign you an impossible task—one that not even they could perform—and demand it on their desk by the end of the week. The Know-It-All is all about pushing you to your limit to prove that they are smarter than you.


2. The Hovercraft
You can almost hear the faint buzzing of The Hovercraft as it floats over your shoulder, watching your every move. Nothing can be left to your own devices. Even when The Hovercraft is away from the office, they will constantly check in to make sure everything is running smoothly. In The Hovercraft’s office, it’s 1984 and Big Brother is watching.

With The Hovercraft, everything must be double-checked. Second-guessing is second nature to this boss. Without their stamp of approval, no task is actually complete. The Hovercraft has trust issues that can only be cured by years of therapy.


3. The Best Friend
Work is just another reason to socialize for The Best Friend. They view their team as a circle of friends, whether their employees like it or not. No subject is off limits. They feel the need to share every detail of their life with the staff, as well as ask you personal questions about yours.

The Best Friend knows no personal boundaries. They are the boss that will give you a backrub while standing over your shoulder. Or who shares, in detail, their sexual exploits behind their closed office door. In essence, The Best Friend is just a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen.


4. The Ghost
You never see The Ghost, but their presence is everywhere in the office. The Ghost seems to have an infinite amount of vacation time, or is always on a business trip. But when the cat is away, the mice can’t play. The Ghost will haunt the office through e-mails and phone calls, making sure everyone has plenty to do in their absence.

The problem: It’s hard to get any work done when your boss isn’t there to answer questions. Can’t decide the best way to complete a task? Better figure it out. Have a personal issue with a coworker? Take it up with them. Need something signed or approved? Better hope they are near a phone or fax machine. By constantly being out of the office, The Ghost can accomplish their tasks without the nuisance of actually having to manage their team.


5. The Bully
It’s like the third grade school yard all over again, except this time The Bully isn’t after your lunch money, they are after your time and commitment. They aren’t interested in your problems or your opinions. The only thing The Bully wants is for you to work as hard as humanly possible and make them look good to upper management.

The Bully makes all team decisions, with little or no input from the rest of the staff. Their word is gospel, and to challenge them is to spit in the face of the company. And since The Bully seems like such an asset to the company—mostly due to all the work you put in—it’s futile to go around them. Working with The Bully always ends up being a lose-lose situation.


Related Stories:
How to Make a Good First Impression
Five Friends You Should Have at Work
The Twenty-five Species of Coworkers


By Jeff Hindenach for Excelle

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