Blog, Community News

31 October 2017

Boss from Hell

While we plan our Halloween outfits and attempt to be the scariest version of ourselves, all for the fun of having a night out; every day employees fear to get on the wrong side of their boss. 

Woman shielding herself with her arm on a bright green background

We believe a company is only as good as its employees, and we encourage our staff to appreciate and learn from one another. But how many workplace horror stories have you heard? How many friends or family members have you heard complain about their boss or a superior work colleague?

Do you ever think about what your colleagues are saying about you? It can be daunting being a boss, do you think you are a good leader? Or a terrible leader? Maybe you believe you are a great boss but have never heard what your employees think. 

It can’t be easy to tell your manager “I think you’re a horrible boss,” sometimes it may be easier to write a letter. An irate unhappy employee once sent this letter to their horrible employer, here’s what they had to say:

Dear Horrible Boss,

Thank you for making me realise I’m worth more. That I should be valued for my hard efforts, and given the opportunity to progress in my career. But you delivered none of this. It’s unfortunate you could never show me the same respect that others did. You may be a few years older than me, you may be in a higher position than me; but truth is, no one wants to face the Grinch day in day out.

No, I’m not OK with working overtime and weekends, with no recognition and no pay. Yes, at the beginning I wanted to show my dedication to you and the company, but who wants to receive six missed calls on a Saturday night at 10:30 pm from their boss? 

I worry when you start boasting about how good of a boss you are. I hold my tongue instead of being honest with you because I cannot put my job on the line. I’m worried to tell you how I really feel because I haven’t built a trusting relationship with you. How can I? I feel as if I am constantly doing my work wrong, or getting in your way. If I tell you how I feel would I be risking my future at the company? I need this job, I want this job, but you are making it hard.  

I was speaking to the summer intern Abigail, who mentioned that her excitement for her internship was short-lived after feeling completely undervalued. I was shocked to hear she was unpaid and was forced to pay out over £1000 for her travel fares and lunches. This is not easy for someone who is a student, nor is it good for the company; we will soon be recognised as a firm that doesn't even pay interns the bare minimum of their expenses. She was constantly given false hope, told she would be included in large meetings, go to events, be asked to write articles, but these promises were never delivered. You make it seem like we are a burden rather than an individual trying to learn. You were once in this position, at that time who helped you?

Criticising me will not build up my confidence, I will not grow, I will not progress. I did not work hard for years to dread coming to my workplace every day. Why do you insist on making my experience here a living nightmare?! Each day you chisel away at me, constantly reminding me that I could never “be you” or “lead a group like you,” knocking my confidence every day until I realised I don’t want to be the kind of boss you are. 

I’m not ruling out that constructive criticism is needed, in fact, I encourage it. All I ask is for some effort on your part.

  • Motivate your team: boosting morale will keep your team motivated to go above and beyond and increase productivity. A simple motivational speech on a Monday morning could engage your team and keep them focused and willing to work hard throughout the duration of the week. 
  • Don't be a dictator: Even some of those who voted for President Trump worried for his presidential reign. You may have a different job title, but each member of staff is a person; ordering your team members around will not gain you respect. Direct your group to greatness, do not control and dictate, using the power of your position. 
  • Recognise our hard work: I do not mean praise us for every little activity. However, understand where we have worked our hardest to deliver the best possible work. Recognise our efforts with a short “Well Done” or “Thank you,” even Miranda Priestly eventually recognised Anne Hathaway’s hard efforts. 

My friend Tony left his secure job after seven loyal years at his company because he was promised a pay rise and promotion. His boss was never eager to teach him, support him meaning he was left stuck in the same position for years. Should I and my colleagues be worried that we will get the same treatment from you? I’ve been here five months now and I’m still waiting to have a training day with you, I’m still waiting to learn. 

I need to learn from my mistakes, not be afraid to ask for help. If I could give you any advice it would motivate your team. Recognise their hard work and criticise constructively. You are a leader, someone we look up to, we want to achieve greatness, not only for ourselves but for you and the company.  Yours Sincerely,
An unhappy employee

Employees are the backbone of your business. Whether you are the owner of a start-up, new manager of an SME or have been a manager for years, take care of your team and don’t fall into the trap of being a “horrible boss.” 


Here at we are constantly looking for ways to improve support for our staff, which is why we are introducing the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in November, a service that provides employees direct access to advisory support. This includes:

  • medical and wellbeing advice
  • legal advice
  • manager support
  • face to face counselling

We know the new system will be a benefit to our company and employees.


Ceyda Baser