The Nit-Picker. The Nit-Picker will never be satisfied. Whether your desk space is slightly cluttered or you added a comma where there should have been a semi-colon, nothing you do will ever be good enough for the Nit-Picker. Also known as a micro-manager, this boss delegates work to you, only to completely re-do it later, to make sure it is done their way. With the Nit-Picker, there is no winning, and there is no escaping. Working for this type of boss will leave you feeling unmotivated, trapped, and useless. Why bother writing that report, if Nit-Picker’s idea of editing is just to rewrite it in their own words? Why do any work at all? But of course, voicing these doubts about your purpose working under Nit-Picker could leave you without a job. Again: there is no winning, and there is no escaping.
The Ditz. This boss makes you re-evaluate your whole career. How is it possible that you’ve worked this hard, only to be reporting to someone who shouldn’t have been allowed to graduate high school, let alone run a company? The Ditz may have been blessed with family connections, or maybe they just happened to be in the right place at the right time — regardless, they are floating through life and have no idea what the fuck is going on. When working for the Ditz, you must learn to be self-sufficient. Don’t assume that a post-it on their desk and five email reminders about the afternoon meeting is enough… plan to run the show yourself. But God forbid you aren’t there to pick up the slack when the Ditz is MIA. All flakiness aside, the Ditz knows how to cover their ass, so always be prepared.
The Bitch. The Bitch is one of the few gender-specific boss types, referring to those power-hungry women who have mastered the ability to completely degrade you to your face, while maintaining a perfectly-glossed smile on theirs. The Bitch is two-faced, so you must always be on your toes. She portrays an easy-going exterior, and her compliments on your new shirt and interest in your weekend plans erroneously lead you to believe that you two are buddies. But don’t be fooled — one false move and the Bitch won’t hesitate to turn on you. She doesn’t yell, but rather uses her passive aggressive remarks and biting comments to make you feel absolutely worthless. And right when you’re convinced that you are the scum of the earth and should pack your things, the Bitch swoops in with “I don’t know what I’d do without you” …and you’re back on her good side. For now.
The Creeper. While this type of boss can at times be gender-neutral, it is generally reserved for men. Every working woman has at one time or another experienced this boss — The Creeper. Always on the verge but never actually crossing the line of workplace harassment, the Creeper is the friendly, sociable boss who loves to joke around, especially with his female colleagues. Whether it’s a wink across the conference room or an innocent joke about your boyfriend, the Creeper boss leaves you constantly wondering if it’s all in your head or if he’s just being friendly. This enigma generally worsens at office happy hours when the Creeper lets loose after a beer or two, and puts his arm around you while telling you what a great employee you are. Any encounter with the Creeper falls on the fine line between flattering and inappropriate, so be wary.
The Under-Achiever. For all the young members of the working world who are fresh out of school and aspire to go big places in their career, the Under-Achiever is the worst boss to come across. This is the boss who has always gotten by doing the bare minimum, and has somehow fallen into a management position. The Under-Achiever is happy with their status on the career ladder, and expects you to be happy with yours as well. Looking for inspiration and guidance? Keep looking, because the Under-Achiever has only cynical remarks and sarcasm to offer you. Working for the Under-Achiever is an obstacle, because chances for promotion or reward of any kind are slim. And while deep down you know that the Under-Achiever is secretly jealous of your work ethic and CEO potential, that still won’t help your performance review, where the Under-Achiever writes that you “still have a lot to learn.” Run from this boss. Run as fast as you can.
The Workaholic. While the Under-Achiever leaves you feeling uninspired and underwhelmed, the Workaholic boss may have the opposite effect. When you work for a Workaholic — someone whose job is their life, and thus takes priority over all other things — you find yourself questioning your own priorities. This boss takes all of their meals at their desk, and takes their work home with them every night and weekend. It is not unusual for the Workaholic to send you emails on Saturday mornings, causing you to feel guilty when you don’t look at them until Monday. Having a Workaholic boss leaves you constantly feeling sub-par, for not having the slightest desire to spend YOUR Friday night at the office as well. And while the Workaholic can be considered a role model of impressive dedication to their job, they can quite equally be deemed pathetic. As a result, you find yourself thinking “I’ll never be good enough” as well as “it sucks to be them.”
The Therapist. This parental-type boss is tricky, because it’s hard to maintain a workplace-appropriate relationship with someone who is constantly prying for the details of your personal life. The Therapist believes that as your boss, it is their job to bestow upon you their worldly advice and years of wisdom. With this boss, it is common to hear a lot of “well when I went through that…” and “someday you’ll realize…” monologues. At times, encounters with the Therapist can be productive — after all, they ARE your boss and therefore at a higher level than you, at least in the workplace. Maybe there’s something to learn. Take caution in not sharing too much though, because it is easy to confuse the Therapist with an actual counselor, who is paid to be biased and confidential. One inappropriate rant about an annoying coworker or a story about your drunken escapades from last weekend, and the Therapist will know too much. Keep it simple, and superficial.
The Bull-Shitter. The Bull-Shitter is common in the workplace, perhaps as your boss or maybe just another colleague. This is the manager who schmoozes with all of the right people, gets involved in all of the right projects, and slides in at all of the right moments, just in time to get the credit. Do not confuse this boss with the Under-Achiever — it takes a definite skill to master true Bull-Shitter status. If the Bull-Shitter is your boss, you will most likely hate your life. The Bull-Shitter will take credit for all of the work that you do, they will leave early on Friday and ask you to “cover” for them in case they get an email, and they are the first ones to throw you under the bus in the event that something goes wrong. When working for the Bull-Shitter, your best bet is to take notes, in hopes of mastering bull-shittery on your own someday.