Welcome to our final edition of Asshole Boss Digest, where we regale you Deadspin folk with stories of the meanest, cruelest, most batshit insane bosses, coaches, and teachers you ever had. Off we go.
Quick note: This is the last Asshole Boss Digest. After this week, I'mma start doing more freeform posts around here. Now, onto the assholishness.
He didn't put her through a table?
Back in the late 80's I worked in Ocean City, Maryland at a big family restaurant that served the tourists. It was a cool place to work, everyone was young and we partied a lot. But this one manager we had went crazy over the course of the summer. She told me she had been a registered nurse, and knowing what I know now if you're a registered nurse assistant managing a restaurant something must have been up. In the beginning of the summer, she was fairly normal and would talk to you, but by the end she screamed at everyone, cooks, waitresses, busboys, and customers. Since it was a beach town, she would always walk around saying, "I can't wait for you guys to leave," to the summer help.
She had a rule that if there wasn't a waitress on duty in a section she wouldn't seat people in the section. She'd make them wait in line. Which really pissed people off because they'd be standing there waiting and there was all these empty tables that the customers could see. If they did sit down she'd make them move.
One day Captain Lou Albano, his family, and one of the Wild Samoans come into the place. He's on vacation but he still has the rubber bands in his face and the Samoan is still huge and has the crazy hair. The whole restaurant is buzzing because this is a big deal, it wasn't too long after the Cyndi Lauper video, and Wrestle Mania had just taken place. She makes him stand in line. The other busboys and I can't believe it, no one whether he'll trash the place. At this point wrestling was still real. After about 5 minutes he calls "crazy manager" over she gives him shit, so Captain Lou leaves. She follows him out the door yelling "See Ya" and waving at him. It was the worst I've seen a customer treated, let alone a famous one, who was very large and acted insane for a living.
That was the highlight of the summer. That and getting glared at by Lefty Driesell.
Oh, this is golden
At the time I was 18 years old, in college, and held two jobs. The first was Lowe's, the second was at a small sports store in the same strip mall. My boss (manager of the store) was a guy in his late 20's named Evan. On my second day of work at the sports store, it is just me and him working. The shoes we sold were shitty, and about 2 years behind stores like Foot Locker. On the day in question, we get a shipment that Evan is PUMPED about. Apparently he had won the contract to supply cheer uniforms for three local high schools and junior highs. This will probably triple the stores normally terrible monthly sales. We helped the UPS guy unload around 15 or 20 large boxes full of uniforms.
As we are cutting open the boxes I start noticing that Evan is sweating and muttering softly to himself. I actually watched as the sweat marks appeared on his shirt. Every single uniform was red, white, and very small. There are no teams that wear red and white in our area. Apparently the company he ordered from royally fucked up. Evan calls the company, and they inform him that they wont be able to ship the correct uniforms for 2 weeks. The schools need the uniforms in 4 days.
Evan then proceeds to lose his shit. Literally. He throws the phone across the store, and I start to get the aroma of something god-awful. He is knocking over racks of clothes in a rage and his face is a strange shade of purple/red.
I look down, and in the midst of his rage, he has shit all over himself. He is wearing khaki pants and diarrhea is running down his legs and dripping onto the floor. He paces around the store spreading droplets of shit everywhere he walks. He then walks over to the cash register area and is in full fucking meltdown mode. He assumes a catcher's stance (almost like a standing fetal postion) and I can now actually hear his bowels coming undone. Whatever he had been trying to hold back all comes out at once.
After shitting all over himself and the store for probably 2 or 3 minutes, I guess it dawns on him what has happened. He sprints to the back room and into the bathroom. I haven't moved from the place I have been standing during the entire ordeal. I stay behind the cash register for about 15 minutes waiting on him to come back, but instead he calls the store and tells me to clean up the "mess" in the store, and that he left through the back entrance and is heading home to change.
I put the closed sign on the door and start picking up all of the racks of merchandise he knocked over, being careful to avoid the shit drops. I decide that he can clean up his own shit stains and that I will just keep the closed sign up until everything is done. It is about 3 p.m. on a Friday, and we don't close until 10.
Here is the asshole part of the story. Evan never comes back. He leaves me, on my second day of work, standing in a store full of mismatched cheerleading uniforms and his shit all over the place. I have no idea what to do. I looked for numbers for someone to call, but could find nothing. I then just hang out all night in the back room watching TV and waiting for Evan to show up. At closing time I realize I don't have a key. I eventually have to call the cops, because there are no other options, other than just going home and leaving the store unlocked.
Being my second day, I haven't had a chance to get a shirt with the store logo on it. I'm afraid the cops are going to show up and assume I'm a crazy asshole who ripped open boxes of cheer uniforms and then crapped all over the place. Thankfully they just make me do a walk through of the store with them, and I explain why there is shit all over the store and my manager is missing. After that experience I decided that I really didn't need a second job after all, and didn't show up for Day 3. About 2 months later the store is closed and replaced by a Subway. I haven't eaten there yet.
"YOU GOT A NERVE TO BE ASSSSSSKING A FAVOR…"
About three months into my time there, my boss told me to go to the very back of our stockroom, where we kept the 50 pound bags of livestock feed, and clean things up. This didn't seem like a big deal until she said, "You might want to wear some rubber gloves too. About a year ago we had a rat problem in there, so we put down rat poison on the floors and shelves. Don't worry—there shouldn't be any dead rats in there, but I need you to make sure every bit of the poison is cleaned up." I looked at her in shock. Then she said, "I'd help you out, but I had meningitis a few years ago." "What does that have to do with it?" I asked. My boss said that since she doesn't take medicine, she had to "pray her way through it," and the meningitis had weakened her immune system permanently. "I can handle unused rat poison," she said, "but if I touch it after it's been used, I'll probably die." I had no clue what she meant by the word "used," and I was so blown away by the stupidity of not taking medicine to treat meningitis that I didn't ask.
When I went back to the stockroom, I immediately understood what she meant by "used." Apparently, rats don't digest the poison once they swallow it—they vomit it up in large clumps, then scurry off to die. There were chunks of bright purple poison everywhere, especially in the places where only rats could go. Corners, baseboards, the one-inch space between a crate and a the wall: regurgitated rat poison. Looking back, I should have quit right then, but the tax free and higher than minimum wage money was too appealing. Instead, I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed poison garnished with bubonic plague off the floor.
My GMC Yukon's gotta breathe
This is a trivial thing yet it bothers me. Our parking spot at the office has around 60 spots. It usually doesn't fill up everyday and leaves around 10-15 spots open. But because of this snow those spots are gone. Yet my boss decides to do his usual routine of parking in 2 or 3 spots. He's the first one here every morning and decides the lines don't apply to him. Those spots are necessary now and people that come in later need to use them. He isn't even the head honcho here, he's just a department head.
Well, we clearly can't finish this series without a racist boss
As a kid I worked a lot of construction in order to make money for college expenses (books, extra classes, meal plans, drinking money, etc.). The thing people don't realize is that construction sites are pretty much racist white guys and Mexicans. I'm a black guy working for my step-uncle's plumbing company (he's white and his brother married my mother), so I'm the exception to that rule.
I apprenticed with this grizzled old guy named Bill who was just as much of an asshole as he was grizzled and old. He constantly made fun of the Mexican guys and their accents, while he drank and smoked on the job and made constant mistakes. He would also try and take jabs at my race and try to blame his mistakes on me. Two stories come to mind of how he shit on me and I got him back.
One time while finishing off some plumbing under an under construction house, he claimed I got the hot water and cold water confused. I called him on his bullshit and knew, even before signing up for this job just from observation, that cold is on the right and hot is on the left. He doubted me and switched it. After telling me to "get your black ass upstairs to see your mistake", Lo' and behold he switched my correct work to his mistake. I came under and told him about the new mistake and he threw his toolbox and a map gas torch at me and told me to fix it. Telling me how he knows what he's talking about because he's licensed and bonded by the company and I'm a driver with a toolbelt (remember the drinking part? Two DUIs and he can't drive the company vehicle anymore)
I told him to apologize for being a jackass for no reason and he told me to shut my mouth up and crawled up whispering a few colorful words. I grabbed him by the ankle and pulled him back and asked him again to apologize. He refused and so, using my high school wrestling experience, put him in a headlock and told him to apologize nicely for saying some really harsh stuff. Fearing getting his ass kicked by someone more than half his age, he finally did, I let him go, and fixed his mistake.
Fast forward two days later and we're called out to this grandmotherly type woman's house in nowhere Virginia because her toilet's backed up. We go under the house and find the problem, a cast iron pipe that's backgraded (everything needs to move downhill, not uphill, so backgrading is a bad problem in plumbing) and I assume, clogged with everything this woman put out of her body for the past week.
Bill tells me to go under, knock out the section of pipe that sounds full, so we can replace it and correct the grading. I told him I couldn't do it, I'm not licensed and bonded, I'm just a driver with a toolbelt and he's the one who's supposed to do actual repairs because I make so many mistakes.
So Bill crawls under the house with a 3 pound hammer to break off the clogged piece. After a few minutes of heavy hammering I hear a scream from a horror movie, some scurrying around, and Bill comes out covered in everything that has come out of that woman's ass, swearing up and down, and calling me every name in the book.
The best part is that he had to finish up that job covered in filth. The ride back to the shop was hellish in the Virginia summer, and we had to bleach the passenger seat of the company vehicle, but it really was worth it to see him shit on.
The next 2 years I spent at that company working with him, we got along better, but little things would come and go. He stole things from people's houses and blamed me, he would drink on the job constantly and pass out in the vehicle with the AC on full blast for 2 hours while I fixed his mistakes. A few times we grabbed a beer after work and he would constantly hit on girls only a year or two older than his daughter, using me as bait. I learned a lot about home construction and plumbing during those years, but I really learned about people and how to deal with someone's assholish ways.
We shall never surrender!
Her best moment was, in a fit of rage a couple years ago, screaming that the CEO of our competition was like Hitler and that our organization was like Churchill. Sadly our Jewish CEO was not around to hear this tirade.
Framed with porn!
I had just graduated from high school and was working as intern at the law firm of a neighbor and friend of my father, since the law was where I envisioned my employment future and I wanted to pad the ol' resume. This was a smallish firm of 4 principals partners, 10 associates, 25 or so paralegals and assorted interns and gofers like me. Naturally, I was assigned to work with my dad's friend in his "Band of Bitches" of interns and paralegals like he calls them.
Outside of the office this guy seemed like the nicest guy in the world. He coached little league, was president of our temple, let you use his snow blower write you a letter of recommendation etc. In the office he transformed into some sort of Michael Scott/Donatella Versace from SNL hybrid. He treated everybody like crap. He would comment on how much or how little skin the female interns showed and what he would do to them if they stayed late. God forbid you took too long getting his coffee he would ream you out in front front of the whole office. Pretty much he was a huge dick.
One day I was in the office before he got there while his office was being cleaned by the middle aged Eastern European woman from the building's service. She runs out of his office and asks for my help. I follow her to his desk and on the screen is some hardcore fucking. I try to stop it but it's playing a loop of clips that might make Cockeye Jones blush. I try to close the window but these scenes just keep on popping up and playing. I figure he must have downloaded a virus.
So I call my dad's friend on his cell and let him know of the situation. He tells me to see if I can delete some of the files from his computer tight and he will be there in a few minutes. I sit down in his chair and try to delete some of the files. Next minute one of the IT guys and asks me what the hell am I doing. I try to explain the situation before he calls over one of the other partners I am taken into the conference room. My dad's friend then arrived and said he will take care of the situation. He then calls my father and gives him the whole "Bernie, I don't know how to say this but I think Mark might have a problem" talk. I was fired and had to have an awkward conversation about respecting women from my parents. Of course every time I tried to explain what had happened I got the "I wouldn't believe that about Jim". Dad's friend told me he wouldn't tell anybody and thanked me for taking one for the team. What an asshole. On a positive note he did write a nice letter for my law school applications.