Most of us have had to endure a horrible boss at one time or another -- and if you haven't, just wait. Stay in the workforce long enough, and it's bound to happen. The employee-boss relationship can be quite volatile, causing hostility, stress and declining performance. Florida State University business professor Wayne Hochwarter, who has spent his professional career studying bad bosses, says the problem is the worst it's ever been, primarily because employees who have bad bosses don't have many viable alternatives in this tight job market. So just how poisoned is the supervisor-employee relationship? Hochwater interviewed more than 400 mid-level employees from a variety of industries about their views on the changing face of work. Their responses revealed some strongly negative opinions. If one or more of these describes your manager, you have a horrible boss!

  • 42% of employees reported that their boss was concerned more with saving his or her own job than with developing and assisting employees to be productive. 
  • 42% said they failed to receive things that were promised more than once over the past year. More than 25% said they failed to receive things more than five times in the same time period. 
  • More than 40% of workers said they would not acknowledge their boss if they ran into him or her on the street. 
  • 40% agreed with the statement that "the only fun thing about work is leaving." 
  • 34% reported that their boss is "two-faced," in that he or she is nice in person but speaks negatively behind the employee's back. 
  • 32% indicated that they work for a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 
  • 29% felt that their boss would "throw them under the bus" if it meant saving the boss's own job. 
  • 24% caught their supervisor in a direct lie but never received an apology or explanation. 
  • 20% have heard a supervisor tell a co-worker that he or she could "get them fired if they wanted to."


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