“Mmm, yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday, too” – Bill Lumbergh

Your boss may not be as bad as Bill Lumbergh from the movie Office Space, but as another Boss’s Day comes and goes, although the 2011 holiday fell on a Sunday (is this a slap to the boss’s face?),  I was wondering what makes a bad boss?

The internet is full of websites relaying stories of bad bosses:  reallybadboss.com, workingamerica.org/badboss and employeesurveys.com, just to name a few.

You will find thousands of real life personal tales of employees and their experiences with a ‘bad boss’.  Some are quite funny while others are outrageously horrifying – leaving you to wonder how one human being can treat another with such disdain.

There are accounts of a boss taking away all of his employees’ desk chairs, leaving them to work standing up.  Yet another employee, upon returning to work from a well-deserved vacation, found their work space was severely reduced and re-arranged.   Then there is the employee who was berated for keeping their desk too clean – the boss’s rationale was that a messy desk is evidence of an employee hard at work.  And the stories go on and on and on.

Then I thought, well these are extreme cases – sad for sure – and certainly on the edge of ridiculousness and hopefully rare in occurrence – but what about the ‘bad boss’ who isn’t mean and nasty, rather he just doesn’t know any better?

The Micro-Manager, The Belittler, The one who gives little or no direction, The UN-rewarding boss, The UN-approachable one.

These bosses are much more common in many workplaces – and seemingly easier to correct simply by having an open and honest conversation with your boss.  Do so, by not finding fault with your boss or shifting blame, but ‘guiding’ him/her to what your needs are in order to make you a better employee.  In other words – help them to help yourself.  Many times they may not realize the error of their ways  (insert snicker here!).

If you’re a boss reading this – take a few moments today to evaluate how well you interact with your employees on a day-to-day basis.  Find any areas for improvement?

On the other side of the coin, if you have a good boss, acknowledge them.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gift, a big ole heartfelt “Thank You” goes a long way and always works.