If you generally hate authority, you’re going to feel like any boss is a bad one. That’s not true. Some bosses are awesome. However, there are bad bosses out there. How can you differentiate a boss you don’t agree with from a bad boss in general? Here are a few signs that you actually do have a bad boss. Tomorrow, we’ll help you figure out how to cope with her.
1. She plays favorites. Your coworker Bryan has been late every single day for three years and takes three hours to accomplish tasks that take everyone else 20 minutes, but gets rewarded with company trips, special privileges, and cushy raises. You, normally prompt and unfairly underpaid, get trapped on the subway underground once and rush in 20 minutes late, leaving you harried and distracted for the rest of the day, causing you to work a little less efficiently than normal … and the next day, your boss complains to the team about how you’re all getting lazy and need to be on time. Not cool.
2. She makes the staff live in fear. If your boss confuses fear of getting fired with loyalty, she’s doing it wrong. If she’s constantly issuing ultimatums to the point of breeding anxiety throughout the office, she’s not being a leader, she’s being a despot.
3. She doesn’t respect your boundaries. Most of us don’t have jobs that warrant phone calls or emails at 11 p.m. on a Saturday. If you work 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and your boss still finds a way to bark orders at you on a Sunday morning, she’s doing her job wrong.
4. She doesn’t give you opportunities to grow or advance. A good boss wants to see you succeed. A bad boss feels threatened by anyone else advancing or succeeding.
5. She takes all the credit for your successes—and throws you under the bus for her failures. True story: A company I worked for once had a meeting, complete with slideshows, simply just to shame people for making mistakes. One mistake they showed in a slideshow was one that my boss had made on a story that had my byline on it. I had previously fixed the error so fast that they couldn’t even screengrab it to use in the stupid slideshow, but they made sure to show my name and point out, “There was a mistake here.” My boss sat there silently while the rest of the entire department threw me under the bus for her screw-up. That’s not a good boss. However, when I had an exclusive story go viral, she made sure to tout it as her department’s success in her own review when she got a raise and the rest of us didn’t.
6. She’s a micromanager. If your boss breathes down your neck at every possible second, it makes it hard for you to actually accomplish anything. If she can’t trust anyone on her staff to do things well on their own, it says more about her than it does about them.
7. She passes the buck. A sign of a bad manager? They don’t actually want to manage anything. If you bring up issues to be addressed and she passes them off to someone else or just tells you to get over it, that isn’t acceptable.
8. She gossips about your coworkers to you. Chances are she’s shit-talked you to the others. It’s unhealthy and it’s unprofessional, because their business isn’t your business, just like your business isn’t theirs.