Patrick Ball @PatrickBall

recovering journalist. content and strategy at writing about policies, problems and benefits affecting working families.

33 Horrible Bosses You'll Meet Over Your Career

While the Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell characters from Horrible Bosses take horrible to the extreme – coke-head, sexual harasser and psychotic – the fact of the matter is that bad bosses are a reality many employees face. 

Horrible bosses are a fact of life

With Horrible Bosses 2 hitting theatres this week, we’ve rounded up a few other bad boss traits you’re likely to encounter over the course of a career. What else would you add?

  1. The Hot-Tempered Boss – Uh, let me go ahead and move that stapler out of your reach … just in case

  2. The Loud Mouth – Sorry Joe, better luck next year on that performance review, signed your coworkers

  3. The Breathy Boss – Tuna three times this week … really?

  4. The Sexual Harasser – Yes, in fact I have been working out … a way to talk to HR about our little talks

  5. The Mixed Message-er – The door’s always open, except when it’s not

  6.  The Silver Spoon – No, I did not forget your father built this company from the ground up … 40 years ago

  7. The Cool Boss – Of course I’ll accept your Friend request

  8. The Michael ScottThere’s no such thing as an inappropriate joke … that’s why they’re jokes

  9. The Inappropriate Dresser – Excuse me, but I think you forgot a button

  10. The Workaholic – You’re right, it is unacceptable for me to take 7 hours to return an email … that you sent at 11 p.m., on a Friday, when I'm supposed to be starting my vacation   

  11. The Micromanager – Sorry, I forgot how much you hate contractions … even if I’m just declining an email invite to lunch

  12. The Miranda PriestlyI promise your non-fat, with whip, soy, lightly-salted caramel macciato was 141-degrees when I picked it up … must have cooled during the 12-block, $45 Uber ride that I won’t be expensing 

  13. The Thinker – ‘Sure, I’ll get right back to you.’ … Three days later … crickets

  14. The New Mom – Yes, please, tell me more about the emotional experience that was your son’s first haircut

  15. The Pet Mom – Because 100 pictures of someone else’s puggle are never enough

  16. The Absentee Boss –  Bueller?

  17. The Gordon Gekko'Lunch is for wimps.' ‘Greed is good.’ Need we say more?

  18. The Big Baby – Temper tantrums and leadership positions don’t mix  

  19. The Oversharer – Oh fascinating, I didn’t realize a crayon could fit there. Wait, why are we talking about blue boogers again?

  20. The Stall Gabber – Boundaries? What boundaries? Let’s discuss this over bathroom stalls

  21. The Fast Riser – You’ve been out of college how long? I have shoes older than that

  22. The Grizzled Veteran – We’re going to do it that way because we’ve always done it that way 

    TPS reports are no fun.


  23. The Weekend Warrior – Nope, no weekend plans … other than finishing those TPS reports

  24. The Don DraperNothing like a whiskey-breathed womanizer to bring you back to the Mad Men era

  25. The Busy Body – Never has time to talk, but what is she doing all day?

  26. The Obsessive-Compulsive – Wears navy every Thursday, assigns seats for the weekly meeting

  27. The Pushover – You really shouldn’t, and yet you can… because who’s going to stop you?

  28. The Fixer – Cares too much and gets too involved with employees … even their personal lives

  29. The Gossip Queen – Every conversation is totally inappropriate, but also awesome

  30. The Bridge Burner – Lays waste to everything – and every one – who gets in their path

  31. The What-Have-You-Done-for-Me-Lately – You know there’s a point system, and you know you’re way behind

  32. The Space Invader – Every cubeside conversation is too close for comfort

  33. The Leslie Knope – The enthusiasm is exhausting. Nah, who are we kidding. Leslie Knope makes public service seem awesome.