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Horrible bosses defined

Captivate Network surveyed more than 670 North American workers on their experience with bad bosses and came up with four classifications of terrible head honchos. Is your boss on this list?


August 8, 2011
Kathy Smith

Bad bosses are easy to spot in pop culture: Mr. Slate, Fred Flintstone’s short-tempered boss at the quarry; Montgomery Burns, Homer Simpson’s cruel task-master; the bumbling Michael Scott from The Office and most recently Jennifer Aniston’s sexual harasser, Dr. Julia Harris in the movie Horrible Bosses.

Captivate Network, a US company that manages content feeds to elevator TV screens across the continent, surveyed more than 670 North American workers on their experience with bad bosses and came up with four classifications of terrible head honchos. Is your boss on this list?

• Time is money boss. Likely in the engineering department. Makes employees feel like they’re squeezed and must focus only on what impacts the bottom line. Relies on staff far too much and overloads them accordingly.

• Workaholic boss. Lives in the office. No time for personal activities during the day. Works too much and feels compelled to do it all, leaving employees feeling micromanaged.

• Judge and jury boss. Generally lurking among small and medium-sized businesses, between 35 and 54 and making between $40,000 and $75,000. Spends a lot of time doing lunch, making personal calls or running errands while passing judgment on those in the office who are likely unhappy with their no work-life balance. Routinely under rates the high performers.

• Empty suit boss. Unproductive and hard to spot because they tend to be out of the office much of the time. Might be one of the easiest to deal with. Look for this guy/gal in a luxury sedan, on the way to another lunch meeting.

Employees are not above scrutiny in the survey. Captivate found they’re far more likely to engage in bad behaviour than their flawed superiors.

Indeed, workers are more likely to take excessive smoke breaks (50%), go for a work-time stroll (75%), go shopping (53%) and shop online, using the company computer (91%).

Canadianmanufacturing.com.