28 types of horrible bosses and how you must handle them?

Is there anything worse than having a horrible spouse? Yes! It’s having a horrible boss who can make everyone else in your life looks sweeter. This one person, called boss, has the immense power to turn your life upside down, toss your career topsy-turvy, throw your emotional quotient out of the window, and transform you into infuriated soul.

I have seen some of the good and the worst bosses in my career. By conventional management, more or less all the bosses are good or average; but some raise to have the distinction of horrible bosses. They are the ones who are breaking many careers day in and day out. Strangely they are, most of the times, unaware of their misdemeanors.

I have attempted to put these horrible bosses into certain categories, although they are not bound to any typecast. The more the number of the categories they fall into, the more terrible is the life for their subordinates.

If your boss fits into more than 6 categories, you need not read my other post 21 warning signs you must quit your job. You must start immediately looking the way to quit.

1. The Micro manager

He pokes his nose into everything you do at workplace. You find yourself to be choked, unable to take decisions, need to update him on every single moment, attend unnecessary meetings, and receive lot of FYI mails from this micromanaging freak.

He prefers quantity over quality and Keeps an eye on every single detail of his subordinates.

What should you do? – Over communicate, send frequent mails, keep him in cc or bcc in all mails; most important anticipate problem before it stands on your head.

2. The Dumbass

This boss compels you to re-evaluate your whole career. How it happens that you work so hard to reach a stage where you report to a person who is not even fit to pass school, let alone running an organization? He has good connections, he is expert in scratching backs, or he is simply present in the right place at the right time. Dumbass is generally lucky fellow who never thought to grow that farther, who never knows WTF is going around him.

What should you do? – Learn to become self-reliant, manage your own show. Keep yourself ready to thwart any attempt that makes you scape goat. Always remember, dumbasses are expert in protecting their ass at any cost.

3. The Villain

This is the shrewd fellow who always plays on the edge but never crosses his line. He is overly friendly with you if you are a woman. Every woman has worked for this villain at some part of her career. He never misses to pat you on your back, cuts a bad joke on your boyfriend, intrusive about your personal life, appreciate your looks and clothes more than your work. He emboldens especially during get together and lets loose after a peg or two. His actions fall on thin line between flattery and inappropriate.

What should you do? – Nothing much you can do except maintaining a safe distance and subtly let him know his boundaries.

4. The Griever

He is the loser whose school mates have leapfrogged several steps ahead in their careers. He always rants and raves. If you take your problems to him, get a bunch of tissue papers with you and be prepared to listen to the atrocities that he has faced throughout his career. Your problem will automatically be shortened in front of his vast sufferings.

What should you do? – Be short and succinct during discussions. Boost his false ego and make him the king who is there to take care of helpless mortals like you.

5. The 24/7 Maniac

You start questioning your own priorities while working with this 24/7 maniac. He is workaholic to the core. You get mails at 2 in the night and at 6 in the morning. You lose the power to differentiate between weekdays and weekends, you constantly live under a sense of guilt that you are not at par with the “requirements”. He lives and works as if he has no world, no family, and no friends beyond his office.

What should you do? – keep him updated with your work. Highlight the outcomes rather than the number of hours in the office. Share with him the stories of your outings with friends. His is a poor fellow who has forgotten to live. Teach him.

6. The counselor

He is the fatherly figure who thinks your overall development as his primary and moral responsibility. His supervision is not limited to work hours but he walks extra mile to know your issues and preach you for hours at length. His talks generally draw examples from his own life where he made all the f*****g mistakes and he doesn’t want you to repeat the same. He seems to be wrongly landed in corporate jungle instead of school.

What should you do? – Be utterly selective in divulging information beyond your work. Set agenda before meeting him and stick to that. If he still gets into instructor mode, listen patiently and try to change the course of discussion.

7. The devious

He is present in every workplace. He is extremely astute and power hungry. He is different than dumbass, as he knows his shrewd ways to get the desired success. He mingles with all the right people, he is on all the right projects, or he slides in at the right moment to get the credit. He is limelight hogger and knows the right buttons to press. He is generally very friendly and supportive to you, but beware! he will not think twice to throw you under the bus if that fulfills his devious plans.

What should you do? – Connect with the right people in the organization beyond him. Blow your own trumpet in subtle manner without offending him. Let the people know the brain behind the prominent successes.

Its extremely tricky to work with “The devious”. He can make you infuriated and test your patience to the fullest.

8. The Bureaucrat

He makes everything process oriented with hierarchical approval structure. He is typical 9 to 5 fellow who works within his boundaries and maintain every single document to sue the culprits or save his a*s in future. He is generally docile and emotionlesswithno foes until they defy the laid norms.

What should you do? – Work exactly in a way he wants you to. Document every meeting and process. Remember that your slightest mistake can turn fatal for your career. He is copybook man to the extreme.

9. The Ego-maniac

While working with him you feel that he is psychologically abnormal. He is narcissist to the core. He comes across as apparently over-confident and brave person, but beneath all this lies an extremely fragile personality who suffers from acute complexes. He remains obsessive about himself and utterly lack appreciation for others.

What should you do? – Don’t expect appreciation for your good work because there won’t be any. He tends to add (?) value to everything you do. Keep falsely gratifying his requirements until it doesn’t hurt you. Don’t shy away to take head-on if required. Others are very well aware of his disorder and you may get many supporters.

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Hardeep Handa

Hardeep Handa

I am a seasoned marketing professional. I am ardent reader and avid writer. Management and technology equally excite me. I write regularly in my blog www.biztekmantra.com and www.virginwords.com

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  • Sunidhi

    Great. Comprehensive list. I enjoyed reading.

    My boss is the person from outer space who has no feelings earthly creatures.

    Include “The aliens” in the list….

    • Good Sunidhi. Aliens counted in the list.
      I trust you tackle your alien well.