3 Ways You Know Your Boss Stinks

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard those three words…

My Boss Stinks

“I work for the world’s worst boss!” people have said to me. But really, how do you know if your boss actually deserves that title?

The other day it came to me that I needed to write my own first-person account outlining how you know if you really do work for a truly world-class, stinky boss. And you don’t even need to bother telling me that you agree with me. Because if you read this, I know that you will.

1. Horrible Bosses Promote Kiss-Ups!

Your boss stinks if he or she has an incredibly distorted eye for talent. For example, rotten bosses care nothing about who’s got the most tenure on the job. Instead, horrible bosses actually seem to go out of their way to find and promote the most pretentious suck-ups at work.

Kiss-ups. Suck-ups. You know them. The ones who come in early and work late? The ones who always have time to ask for extra work? But where are those suck-ups when the rest of us stand around complaining? Where’s their extra time then?! When the rest of us do our little daily, informal team-building around the water cooler, these suck-ups say stuff like “I’m too busy” or “I have a deadline.” Which is another reason I resent them: these people wouldn’t know a piece of juicy gossip from a piece of Juicy Fruit gum!

2. Horrible Bosses Keep More Pets than the Humane Society!

Every stinky boss I’ve ever worked for has played favorites. These bosses love their pets as much as rich people love gold. It’s true. Just ask anyone.

One time I heard that we were taking on a new, important client, and since I had been in the job longer than anyone else, I should have been the automatic and only choice to serve as the account manager. But I knew I wouldn’t get it. In fact, for two months I told anyone who would listen to me in the office:

“That Bozo in charge will never give me this client. Why would he? I’m not his pet like Chris!”

And you know what? I didn’t get it. Chris did. Told ya.

You know what else? Chris got approval to “work from home” when a blizzard hit in January of 2012. But that same year, I was told that I would need to take a personal day when my grandmother passed away for the third time in as many years.

3. Horrible Bosses Value the Wrong Things!

Your boss stinks if he or she always focuses on stupid, little things like who shows up smiling at work each day, who works through breaks and lunch hours, and who generates the most praise from customers and other people in the office.

Anyone without a life could do those things!

There’s a reason why I get paid more and have more vacation days than anyone else. I am invaluable to this organization. I’ve been here long enough to know things. For example, I know why things change. It’s THE MAN trying to take something away from us little guys and put more money in his own pocket. I’ve been here long enough to know that words like “measure” and “performance” are nothing more than tricks that THE MAN uses to try to get rid of senior employees like me. And I’m irreplaceable. Who else around here has the uncanny ability to find a problem for every solution? Do think just any employee could do that?


Crappy bosses are more common than dandelions. As proof, I can tell you that in all my years I’ve never had a good one. Yet some still claim they exist somewhere.

Give me a boss who carries me up the corporate ladder. Give me a boss who treats me like the favorite. Give me a boss who values my 24/7 contribution (that’s 24 hours of actual work every 7 weeks).

You give me that kind of boss, and I will give you my lackluster commitment to doing a not-so-bad job in spurts on every day I choose to show up.

Now, don’t even get me started on how you know that you work for a rotten company. Or how to tell that your colleagues are all idiots. Or proof that the customer is dead wrong…


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