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The 10 Most Horrible Bosses of All Time

Updated February 27, 2020 5.1k votes 1.7k voters 859.2k views10 items

We've all had a bad boss or two, one that makes us stay later than we want to, doesn't pay us enough or makes us do demeaning things like take out their trash when it's full. Bad bosses get a lot worse than that, though. From firing an employee who just donated a kidney to the boss to one that made staffers tattoo his birthday on their necks, to one who installed sniper towers and canons when workers asked for a raise, these are the worst, most horrible, bad bosses of all time.

Who are the worst bosses ever? If you think you've got it bad, just read a few of these and come into work tomorrow morning at peace with the fact that your bad boss isn't going to fire you over liking a Facebook page. All of the bad bosses you've ever had likely don't even compare to the worst bosses of all time. And if they do, maybe it's time you looked for a better place to work.

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  • 1

    Boss Fires Employee for Time Spent Off After Heart Surgery

    New Zealander Murray Gardiner was admitted to the hospital after suffering a week's worth of major chest pain. He ultimately had to endure double bypass heart surgery. Afterwards, records noted that the procedure was "uneventful" and had "nil" complications" - successful by all accounts. Except one.

    Gardiner's boss dropped by the recovery room for a visit. However, he didn't bring with him flowers or balloons, but rather, the news that Gardiner would be fired from his job after 11 years. His manager tried to defend the decision by saying the operation had not been fully successful, and Gardiner would not be able to resume his former duties. He stuck to this story even after the doctors explained that the surgery was completely successful. 

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    Worst boss ever?
  • 2

    Employees Forced to Get Birthday Tattoos - For Their Boss

    What would you do if someone demanded that you get their birthday tattooed on your neck? Even if that person was your boss? In 2010, an employee at Day and Night Spa in Mount Prospect, IL, told police that her boss Alex "Daddy" Campbell forced her to get three tattoos. One was a horseshoe - a "brand" he required of all his female employees - and another was the date of his own birthday (Sept. 17th - "917") on the back of her neck.

    But that was just the beginning. It turned out all the women working out the "massage parlor" were undocumented individuals from Belarus and Ukraine, and Campbell held on to their passports and visas. He forced a few into intimate encounters with him and one another and recoded them for blackmail purposes. 

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    Worst boss ever?
  • 3

    Walmart Employees Disarm Thief, Save Lives, Get Fired

    Four Walmart employees in Utah were confronted by a robber and pushed into an office. One worker, in a heroic move, ripped the weapon away from the man and disarmed him until police arrived. After saving the day, they all got fired. According to Walmart, the employees were released for violating the store's policy on shoplifters, known as "AP09." ​​​​

    AP09 stipulates employees are allowed to use reasonable force to limit movements of struggling suspects. But if a weapon is brandished, associates must disengage and withdraw.

    Playing the hero role could endanger customers, but what choice did the employees have? They literally had their backs against the wall. 

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    Worst boss ever?
  • 4

    Boss Takes Out Workers for Asking for Salaries

    In March 2009, a group of minibus drivers working in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod went on strike following a salary cut. The men - all Uzbek nationals - were especially upset because their boss not only cut their wages, but also took their passports. That meant they couldn't even leave the country.

    The strikers confronted their boss to demand payment, but things got heated when he took out a weapon and fired at the crowd. He wounded 47-year-old worker Aktam Khuzhamuratov and fled the scene. Khuzhamuratov passed later that day.

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    Worst boss ever?