One of the worst bosses I encountered was at a small Japanese company located in Watford. The under manager a young thirty-something at the time went straight to work from school. He had in fact done well and had risen quickly to management through changing jobs and moving company gaining solid work experience. On the other side he had an arrogant streak and made sure everyone knew he was the person who made the decisions.

However, he had a number of darker traits:

  • he kept a small collection of short porn movies on his laptop which he occasionally showed to his female staff
  • he signed a leaving card with “F*** off you moron.”
  • A colleague found his CV which clearly showed he failed his A-level result. He told us he applied to go to university but didn’t go as he found a job; the truth was his final exam results were so bad he wasn’t able to take up a place at university
  • More worrying was the fact he was a subtle bully ensuring if he had anything to say to you he’d be sure no one was within earshot to hear his barbed comments. In my opinion, it all stemmed from his need to enhance his status in the company. He was also manipulative and patronising. His idea of managing people is to patronise them and sit on them until they responded with what he wanted despite the fact he knew they lacked the knowledge to perform the task, to top it all he could help, but preferred not to help.
  • This, of course, placed him in a position where he would criticise your work. However, his criticism seemed to be an exercise in humiliation as once he started he never let the matter go. Despite that, he handed me some work one day to complete without an apparent deadline. There was little structure to the work and I placed it to one side until I finished what I was working on. Hours later he asked where the work was. When I said I hadn’t started I took the blame for the lack of progress.
  • His constant criticism of my work left me drained. The fact was I was trying to amend his cock-ups which he would pass off as my work
  • To maintain control he would refuse to sign holiday forms because he was certain your holiday will be during a busy period. You can have a holiday when it is less convenient for you.