News

These Are the Worst Bosses in Washington

Employees reveal bad boss horror stories.
Illustration by Mark Matcho.

A Gallup poll of more than 7,200 adults found that about half had left a job at some point “to get away from their manager.” We asked the nearly 10,000 area employees who filled out our Great Places to Work survey if they’d ever encountered a bad boss.

These tales stood out:

“I once had a boss call me on the first day of my ten-day vacation to tell me she’d screwed up something and couldn’t tell the board of directors, so had blamed me. She followed up by saying I might be let go when I got back.”

• • •

“An old boss asked me to tell his wife the lipstick she found in his car was mine. I said no.”

• • •

“I once worked for an attorney who, when he got angry, told employees to get down on their knees and pluck staples out of the carpet.”

• • •

“A colleague was asked by her boss to come into his office to remove a splinter from his foot.”

• • •

“I had a boss who hid fish and old food in people’s desks for a laugh.”

• • •

“My sister worked for a company in Northern Virginia that required women to wear heels. She wore flats one day due to foot pain and was told flats weren’t acceptable footwear for a woman in the office.”

• • •

“I gave my boss two weeks’ notice in the morning. When I returned from lunch, my whole cubicle was taken apart.”

• • •

“An old client would fire anyone who used their phone in front of him. Whether to check the time, check a text message, anything. He became known as the phone Nazi.”

This article appears in our November 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Get Washingtonian’s Daily DC Updates (Not Just Another Political News Roundup)