1) “That’s a dumb idea.” There’s nothing more empowering than making someone feel dumb. Impressing upon others how inferior they are will feed your prestige and strength. Especially in a highly competitive setting, you can use this phrase to your advantage to intimidate and keep the rivalry at bay. Employees rarely point out that they are dumb. So why not point it out for them? You don’t pay them to think.

2) “That skirt is really nice on you”. – Women like to be complimented. As a bad boss, appearance should be your first filter to judge any female employee’s level of competence. Always take notice of their appearance. Compliments improve their self esteem, alert them of your expectations for office attire, and improve your office atmosphere. The shorter the skirt, the more praises you give. It’s a behavior reinforcing technique.

3) “This is the way we’ve always done it.” – Avoiding change is one key trait to leading as a bad boss. Change is bad. There is never a need for change. If it’s not broken, why fix it? The current way of doing things works well…most of the time. Employees shouldn’t be so bold as to question the status quo. Changes to routines take time and energy that you don’t have. Mind your comfort zones, people!

4) “That sounds like a personal problem”. – As a bad boss, you will find that employees frequently come to you with their problems. This is not your problem. This is their problem. They need to figure this out on their own time; not time that you are paying them to work. However, you can also use this phrase when the problem is work related and you don’t want to deal with it.

5) “I didn’t write the policy. I just enforce it.” – Oftentimes, employees will complain because they don’t agree with the office policies. Voicing an opinion and making waves on behalf of your employees is a bad idea. This may put a target on the back of your own head. Senior management may try to label you as a troublemaker.

6) “Just figure it out!” – How many times has an employee come to you asking for your help? Employees should be able to find solutions themselves. They should be able to use their brains. You are paying them to do a job and should not have to hold their hand for any step of the way. If an employee consistently approaches you with questions, look for a reason to early terminate.

7) “Who gave you permission to do that?” – Employees should always follow orders, directions, and office policies. There is no room for gray area. As a bad boss, we do not encourage outside-of-the-box thinkers. If employees want to do something, they should ask. They should even ask to use the restroom! Hierarchy and permission are important!

8) “Stop what you are doing, and DO THIS NOW!” – As a bad boss, anything that you need takes priority over anything that your employee is doing. In effect, you’re teaching them better time management skills by filling their plate. They should learn to juggle all these things and still meet your pre-determined deadline.

9) “I received some anonymous feedback about you.” – Whenever a concern is brought to you by an employee, you should address it with the offending worker in question. This is called conflict resolution. As a bad boss, you should always believe hearsay and confront the issue immediately with a judgmental attitude.

10) “If you don’t want this job, I will find someone who does!” – Employees may begin to forget their place in your office. It is important to remind them often that they are expendable. There are many candidates standing in line for their current position. Make them feel like their job is always in peril. In this economy, they’re lucky to have a job at all. This should be reason enough to work harder.

Disclaimer: Bad Boss is meant to be humorous and should not be taken seriously.


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