Recently, u/disastrous-use-2373 took to Reddit to ask, "What's the worst thing your boss has ever said to you?" And the replies made me want to hunt every single one of these bosses down to personally fire them myself. Here are some of the top comments:
1."'Why are you coughing so much?' It was my first day back after having COVID."
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2."I was working front desk at a small, family-owned chiropractic office. It was early in the morning, and patients hadn’t started coming in yet. I laid my phone on the desk and start scrolling. Boss walks in, pulls up a chair next to me, and says firmly, 'Instagram doesn’t pay your bills. I pay your bills.'"
"I just sat there as he went on about no phones. I was making about $400 a week. That wasn’t enough to even cover rent so I had to DoorDash on my lunch break to make extra money."
3."My manager called a store meeting to discuss how sick calls were costing us big time. He said, 'Everyone one who calls out costs our store $10,000 a day in lost sales.' My man straight-up told everyone how valuable their labor was to the company, in stark contrast with how much we actually made per day."
4."My boss told me she didn't know what happened but that I was not the same person from the previous year. She wanted that happy, cheerful person back. She knew what happened. She was at my father's funeral two months before."
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5."A guest described what they were looking for to me in vague terms. I managed to deduce what they wanted, led them directly to it, asked them if they had a size and color preference, fished that exactly out of the racks, handed it to them, and directed them back to the fitting rooms. Then I was re-hanging clothing with my store's assistant manager standing right next to me."
"The guest comes up and hands me what she didn't want and asks the assistant manager if she's the manager. She says yes, obviously bracing for a complaint of some sort. Guest gushes about how I am friendly, knowledgeable, treated her wonderfully, found exactly what she needed, and that I deserve a raise.
My manager said point-blank: 'She makes too much already.'"
6."'Geez, how many more aunts are left to go?' His words to me when I told him I couldn’t come in for a full day due to a funeral. This was my third family member to pass away in less than a year so that shit hurt to hear."
7."I worked for a small, understaffed eye clinic with only three staff members and the doctor. We worked our assess off and kept it running. Six months in, the doctor finally gets around to doing my 90-day performance review. For 30 minutes, she proceeds to point out all of my flaws, how she doesn't really like me, and thinks I'm not good at my job."
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"In reality, I was doing the job of two or three people and keeping up with it. My patients loved me, and I never had a single complaint from any patient or my coworkers.
I later interviewed for the same position at a different clinic and when I mentioned I quit due to only having a staff of three people, my interviewer literally blurted out, 'How the hell does an office run like that?!'
Now I have 11 coworkers, and I do a third of the work I used to do for more money and get treated with respect. It's amazing."
8."I used to work at Walmart, and they were rolling out these new scanners that were basically large Android smartphones with barcode scanners built into them. Anyway, I normally worked in the back unloading trucks, but on this particular day, I was sent out to the toy department to stock. I used the scanners to locate where items are supposed to go since I wasn't too familiar with the layout. A customer came up to me and asked for help looking for something."
"The customer was nice, thanked me for my help, so on. About 20 minutes later, the store manager comes up to me and asks me to follow him to the office. After he closed the door, he told me that lady had complained that I was 'using my cellphone on the floor,' and he started chewing me out over it.
I explained that it was the scanner, not my phone. He said, 'I believe you. They do resemble phones, but I still have to coach you' (Walmart's term for giving a write-up). I asked why, and he said, 'Well, a customer complained and I have to follow up.'
So basically, I got written up for doing my job. I was a good worker, barely called off in the four years I had worked there, and that was my first write-up. After that incident, I noticed a huge difference in how I was treated by other managers. I didn't work there much longer."
9."This was during a team meeting regarding dissatisfaction at the shitty 1% salary increase we received. Again. After the CEO promised we’d be rewarded for perseverance and high productivity during lockdown and layoffs. My boss said, 'You know, all of us are struggling with inflation and rising costs. I’m not taking my Range Rover out as much and have a four-bedroom house I’m selling!'"
"I will never own property unless I meet someone, one coworker is putting off having kids, and another coworker cares for an elderly relative by taking a part-time job on top of this one.
I was stunned."
10."I worked for a startup for three and a half years. Started as an intern and worked my way up to production manager. When it came time to decide my salary, I sat down with the then-COO to discuss pay. When I asked for a compensation that was fair and the average for my city, he said to me that it was too high for my role and that they could 'find anyone fresh out of college or off the street' to do my job. I was floored."
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"Fast-forward to months later when the company started laying people off and folding, I resigned because I could no longer do my job as a manager since the companies I was managing haven't been paid by us.
They begged me to come and teach them all of my processes, forms, and documentation I had set up because they didn't know how to do my job. I simply told them, 'You don't need me for that; you can find anyone right off the street to teach you.' Ahh, sweet bliss."
11."'You need to schedule your medical emergencies.' Mind you, I went to the ER to make sure I was not in diabetic ketoacidosis again. I was lucky enough to survive it last year, but I got written up for being admitted to the hospital."
12."Eight years ago in my early 20s, I was a receptionist at a hair salon, and the owner/main stylist was my boss. He would make fun of me every day. He even gave me a terrible haircut on my second week, and I was so broke and insecure I pretended everything was fine. I caught him laughing at me more than once. One day he looked at me, scoffed, and said, 'My socks cost more than your shirt.'"
"He fired me exactly the day before my third month, and I cried I was so happy.
I felt ashamed to quit as I was raised never to quit, but I have learned there's no shame in knowing you deserve better."
13."I woke up to my house on fire, so I texted my boss and his response was, 'Are you still coming in?'"
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14."'Didn't you have cancer?' My manager of five years said that after finding out his wife had cancer and recalling I had had medical issues under his management. Medical issues that he tried to fire me over and were not cancer."
"I had actually told him exactly what was going on at the time. He had four employees total, and our offices were right next to his.
Nothing that any manager has ever said to me in my 22-year career has hurt as much as that question. Four fucking employees for over five years."
15."In high school, I worked at a Subway. My boss asked that the team come in on a Sunday night after closing for a meeting. As soon as everyone was settled, my boss said, 'We all know there is one person in this room who isn’t efficient like the rest of the team, and it’s becoming more obvious by the day.'"
"She turned to me and asked me how it felt to hold others back because I wasn’t quick when it came to making sandwiches and cleaning up. My boss then asked three others to give examples of my 'poor' performance in front of everyone.
I ended up crying out of sheer embarrassment and was asked to leave the meeting. It bothered me for days and kept me up at night for a few weeks. It’s still such a vivid memory. No one has ever made me feel so low before in my entire life."
16."When asked for junior resources to better fill out our team, they said, 'You are our junior resource.' This wouldn't have been a problem if I didn't carry 12 years of experience, which in my field is considered senior level."
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"As if that wasn't insult enough, they went on to say, 'I'm getting paid three times your salary to do a better job than you, so no need to worry about me or my workload.' I'd have quit right then, but I have an ailing parent to take care of. Actively looking out for something better though."
17."I used to have a terrible boss, and she said terrible things to everyone, but this was to a coworker. We worked at a restaurant, and my friend went to school two days a week. She decided to quit school for whatever reason, and the next time my boss saw her she said, 'Hey, beauty school dropout!'"
"This absolutely crushed my friend. It happened years ago, and I still feel bad for her."
18."'People with kids are able to schedule appointments. Why can't you? This is really inconvenient.' They said this when I asked for the day off to put my cat to sleep. It was for a Friday, and I didn't want her to suffer over the weekend."
19."I had a boss tell me, in the middle of the office and in front of my co-workers, 'You're weird; no wonder you aren't married.' I'm still pretty angry about that, and it's been years. But I did end up marrying someone who appreciates my weirdness. Suck it, Joanne!"
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20.And finally, "At my last job, I started bleeding heavily. It was early on in my pregnancy, and I, of course, freaked out and went to my supervisor and told him I had to leave right away because of what was happening. I was sobbing, and he just gave me an annoyed look and told me that I needed to get my priorities in order, that he needed me there, and that he hoped this wasn't going to become a reoccurring thing. I told him I was going to the ER and left."
"The baby was OK, but I spent the next eight hours in the ER terrified and upset and angry. The first thing I did the next day was go to HR with my doctor's note and told them what happened and how his attitude was unacceptable — especially after they had been shoving down our throats how they were cracking down on asshole supervisors and trying to cultivate a more 'caring and understanding atmosphere.'
They tried to brush it off as, 'Oh, he's a man. He might not know about those types of things.' Which just made me even more angry. I stood my ground and told them that he needed to be reprimanded and put through SOME kind of training or, at the very least, made to apologize. Walking out of that meeting, I passed him in the hallway and heard him bitching about how I 'wasn't cut out for the job and always making excuses' to some team leads.
I regret not losing my shit on him. I regret not going straight back to HR."
Note: Comments have been edited for length and clarity.