'My Husband Knows Where You Live.' The Craziest Things People Actually Said To Their Bosses.
We've all worked in a job where we wished we could just unload and tell the boss what we really think about them. These people actually did it.
This piece is based on a Quora Question. Link on the last page.
1/10. I was an 18-year-old private in the military, and found myself with a new position driving the company commander around in a military jeep. We were on a training mission 'in the field' and I was driving the commander and three of the sergeants were in the back seat.
The commander was in a good mood and says, "Trumeter, isn't it wonderful the government pays you great money and all you have to do is drive a jeep?"
"Yes," I said, "but they pay you so much more and you just sit there." The sergeants were laughing for hours. The commander not so much!
2/10. In the late 90's Internet heyday, I was a marketing executive working for a brilliant but eccentric man who had a tendency to sell products well ahead of our ability to deliver. We had the following exchange once:
Boss: Make it happen.
Me: What you're asking us to do is physically impossible given the constraints of today's technology.
Boss: Maybe you didn't hear me...I told you to make it happen.
Me: I get that you are holding the bar high for us, but this is nuts. In fact, you are nuts. You are narcissistic, juvenile, crude, conniving, sexist, and lacking any ethical boundaries whatsoever. You are nuts! Yet somehow you consider that combination of attributes to be your leadership style. You are seriously troubled. In fact, you're pitiful.
Boss: [pause] You forgot "rich".
He went on to his next meeting with a smile.
3/10. My boss stormed into my office screaming one day over something I did. I looked at him calmly and told him, "my husband doesn't talk to me like that, my kids don't talk to me like that, and you arent getting away with it either. Walk out that door and come back and let's try this again"
He walked out of my office and came back in to my office with an attitude adjustment and apologized.
4/10. The craziest thing I ever said to my boss was actually the thing that got me hired. (continued...)
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I was interviewing for a job with the New York State Department of Transportation. My would-be boss was explaining that he needed someone who was absolutely not intimidated by bigwigs. Far too many VIPs showed up on his floor. "No problem," I said.
"You sure?" he asked. "Can you tell someone important something he might not want to hear?"
"Absolutely," I said. "For example, did you know youre really short?" He busted a gut laughing and I got the jobin fact, this guy interrupted my second interview that day, which was taking place down the hall. He burst in to tell the interviewer she couldnt have me because he already had dibs. He was a fabulous boss and a good friend.
5/10. A bunch of the staff was sitting in the cafeteria. I was 22 and in my first job. My boss, who was often inappropriate, asked if I was still dating this guy. I answered, no, we broke up.
He looks around to make sure everyone is listening. "Well, what are you doing for sexual satisfaction?" he asked. Everyone laughed.
I was not going to take this from him. I come across as the type of person who wouldn't say crap if I had a mouthful of it, but I was raised to stand up for myself. I looked him in the eye and answered, "Well, Bob: I play with myself. I bet you know a lot about that."
Everyone roared. I think he realized he crossed the line. He actually called me at home later and apologized.
6/10. This was back when I worked at McDonalds. I am a fast worker. Like, multiple award-winning fast, in multiple different jobs.
On this particular day, I was running the kitchen by myself. I was running the grills, the fryer, and assembling orders. This was a small store that didnt normally get a ton of business, but this happened sometimes. In fact, things were pretty slow most of the morning.
But on this particular day, six school busses pulled into the lot, and out came multiple soccer teams. (continued...)
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I started a full fryer of nuggets as soon as I saw them coming in and put as much meat down on the grills as I could. To his credit, my manager came back to help and he was also very attentive and fast, maybe even better than I was. There arent a whole lot of people at McDonalds Id say that about.
But even still, it was two people running four large grills and two large fryers and assembling orders for what had to have been over sixty teenage boys on the way back from a sporting event. And while my manager had just come in and was fresh, I was already at the end of my shift and exhausted.
Im not sure I have ever moved so fast in my life, but we not only cleared them out, we did it perfectly. We kept our times down and didnt waste any food. It was, frankly, glorious.
But at the end of it I was over an hour past the end of my shift, and utterly drained. I was starting to take my apron off when my manager came by and asked me if I would be able to stay and help clean up.
I looked at him, and then I handed him a chicken nugget box.
Boss: Whats this?
Me: Its where I keep all my f***s.
Boss: Its empty.
Me: Well, will you look at that.
And then I left. Not only did I not get fired, but he was really the only friend i made working that job. People generally like it when you stand up for yourself.
7/10. I was a mid-level manager in a leading insurance company. We used to go for annual strategic retreats with senior management. Being a private business, management did not usually have access to company financials. However, at the strategy retreats, the CEO would provide us with the numbers.
At one of the sessions, the CEO gave us numbers that showed that we had lost money for the third year in a row and as usual, I didn't hear any plan or clear strategy on how to reverse the trend. I had had about enough. (continued...)
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I still don't know what made me raise my hand up and interrupt the CEO, but I did. I said A CEO who stands in front of his staff announcing a loss 3 years in a row should be holding a resignation letter in his other hand.
The room went quite and icy. My direct boss who was the Commercial Director called for a tea break. The retreat was cancelled and we went back to headquarters. A hastily called board meeting discussed my conduct and I learnt later that there was push to fire me with words like 'prima donna' bandied around my name.
I eventually left that company and found a business that competes with my former employer.
-Peter Kenneth Nduati
8/10. Me: "I need a letter to get out of jury duty - they want me to sit on a trial that will last a minimum of 3 weeks."
Boss: "Oh, I'm sure I can hire a replacement for you tomorrow. It is Silicon Valley after all."
Me: (ignoring him) "Plus, they want to sequester me, and my husband gets back from China tomorrow - he would be super pissed if he was gone for a month and didn't get to see me for another month and it was all your fault."
Boss (considering): "He knows where I live."
Me: "He DOES know where you live."
Boss: "I'll write the letter."
9/10. The crux of this story is an action, but it was how I handled it with my boss that probably saved my job.
I was 18 or so and working as a network admin at a nonprofit law firm. There were a pair of creepy toy pigs that sat around the office (we dealt with a lot of minors, and I can only assume someone thought they'd make them feel at ease). They seriously looked like horror movie fodder, and the executive director dreaded them.
One night, upon learning of her fear of them, I picked the lock of her office and left them sitting, in separate chairs, staring at the door. I re-locked the door and went home.
The next day the office was in something of an uproar. (continued...)
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Lacking common sense at that age even more so than I do now, I copped to it immediately, explaining "I thought you could use the company - it's lonely at the top,"
The executive director - a very nice, slightly older lady - was actually vastly amused by the explanation (and partly by learning it had been me who did it), and just asked me not to pick any more locks.
Over the course of the day I overheard at least twice co-workers discussing how anyone else would have been fired, on the spot, for breaking into her office. But my boss took it for what it was - a prank - and I think my reaction (I showed no sign of guilt or attempt to deflect blame, since 18 year-old me didn't see it as having done anything wrong) sold her on the innocence of it.
Needless to say, now when I break into executive offices, I'm billing by the quarter-hour.
10/10. I work at an unnamed large retailer. It wasn't so much what I said on this day as what I did.
The plumbing had backed up, creating a huge fecal mess, and everyone was trying their very best to be as unhelpful as possible. I told the other maintenance person that I would go get the snake and see what, if anything, can be done.
As I am going to the maintenance closet to get a snake, I have to walk past electronics, where there are no less than fifteen customers standing around waiting for help with no sales associates in sight.
Customers come first, so I stop and ask a few if I can help them. Turns out, most of them need to get product out of a locked case and, of course, the missing electronic associates have all the keys to the cases in their department.
I get on the phone and have the missing associates paged while I try to help who I can. Two associates magically appear from the back of the store for about two minutes and completely ignore most of the customers who are in need of help in their department.
About this time I hear myself being repeatedly paged to the front of the store. The nightmare has just begun. (continued...)
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As soon as I have a chance, I go up front to find the other maintenance person standing outside the bathroom, doing nothing. "Forget the snake," I said. "I think this needs a plumber."
I know at this point that even if a snake had worked, no one is going to leave me alone long enough to use one. I leave it to my colleagues to call a plumber.
With one big problem down, all I have to do is get the electronics associates out here to do their jobs, let the front end know what's going on, grab a maintenance cart, and clean up.
I finally get back up front with a maintenance cart and talk to the supervisor. I find out that not only could they not do anything about the bathrooms, they couldn't be bothered to call a plumber, and also couldn't get the other maintenance person standing 12 feet in front of them, right next to said bathrooms, to do anything except stand around and make excuses about how she cannot clean bathrooms.
And so, very calmly, without telling anyone, I went to the back, clocked out, and left.
It took less than an hour to get completely fed up with my coworkers' crap that day. About two hours later, when they figured out that I was nowhere to be found, I received a text from my boss.
"Where are you?"
"For the day?"
So I texted back: "I figured nobody else wants to do their job today, so why the hell should I? The only difference between me and them is I'm not willing to stand around costing you $12 an hour while I do absolutely nothing. I have better things to do than run out the clock. I'm not coming back today."
I called in sick for a week straight, while I wrestled with the question of whether or not I ever even wanted to go back.
Not only did I not get fired for this, I got a lot more respect and appreciation when I finally returned to work after seven days absence.
Social thumb credit: Alexandru Logel | Shutterstock.com
Laws should always protect the people, ALL the people!
Laws are amiable. We know this. They often change with the times, with enough revolution that is. Laws are there to protect and serve, however they can be too complex and just downright odd and often absurd.