10 Signs of a Really Scary Boss

Bad bosses can create all sorts of problems for the businesses that employ them, causing employees to call in sick, become disengaged, and even quit their jobs. According to the Gallup Organization, having a bad boss is the actually the number one reason people quit their job.

Here are 10 signs you may have a scary boss. If some of these signs sound frighteningly familiar, it may be time to consider a new job.

1. The stalker.

One of the signs of a scary boss is when he stands behind you and watches what you’re doing—not just once or twice, but several times during the course of the day. Another scary stalker behavior is when your boss calls you far too often outside business hours.

2. Plays favorites.

This boss has a few favorite employees whose performance requirements are set much lower than everyone else—leaving it to the rest of the office to pick up the slack.

3. The dreaded Friday meeting.

Your boss asks to meet with you late Friday afternoon, before you go home for the weekend. Scary how often people are fired on Friday afternoons…

4. Inexplicably incapable.

A scary boss is one who doesn’t even know how to do his job and relies on you to cover for him.

5. Super stressed out.

It’s scary when a project kicks into high gear or goes south and the boss can’t handle the stress and begins barking orders and making everyone feel like they’re two years old.

6. Icky conversations.

There is nothing scarier than when a boss confides in you about his private life—inappropriate and embarrassing.

7. Never makes a mistake.

A scary boss never admits when she’s wrong. Instead you get excuses, or your boss turns the tables on you and somehow you end up getting stuck with the blame.

8. Weakly wishy-washy.

It’s scary when a boss tells you one thing in the morning and then completely changes direction by the afternoon. Triple scary when they claim you didn’t hear them correctly if, God forbid, you call them on it.

9. It’s my way or the highway.

A scary boss thinks the only way to get something done is his or her way—any other way is completely unacceptable.

10. Never a kind word.

A scary boss never has a kind word to say even when you work hard and succeed. Instead your boss congratulates you with another ominous work assignment.

Peter Economy is the best-selling author of Managing for Dummies, The Management Bible, Leading Through Uncertainty, and more than 75 other books. Visit him anytime at PeterEconomy.com.