Welcome to 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. Email me your asshole boss story here.
Uhhhh… this seems grossly irresponsible
My girlfriend had just finished he BA in psychology with a minor in social work and her first job was working with special kids at a group home. She called me on her lunch break to tell me how weird her new job was and how every kid had to wear a collar. This is important later.
She was also complaining about her supervisor and how she treated the kids, yelling at them and man handling them in a borderline physical abuse sort of way. She expressed to me that she didn't really like the job but she would stick to it.
Fast forward about 3 hours later when she calls me crying and hysterical on the phone. Between sobs and crying I found out she quit her job because her boss made her shock one of the kids. Apparently at this group home all the kids wore shock collars because their cognitive level was so low they didn't understand basic commands. How this shit was legal is beyond me, but one of the kids would not take directions to sit down for a snack.
Her boss came up to her and handed her a key fob and told her to make the kid sit down and if he didn't to push the button. She had no clue as to what the button did, so she asked. He told her it would, "make the kid listen, at least for 10 seconds and make everyone's life easier."
My girlfriend refused to do it and spent 10 minutes trying to coax the kid into the chair. Finally her supervisor came over, put the key fob in her hand and squeezed it until the kid got shocked. He then told her she was going to get written up if she refused to use the key fob again.
Now I got a sick sense of humor, but holy shit is that wrong or what? It was a privately funded place and I think it got shut down a few years ago because one of the staff was sexually abusing some of the kids.
And now a handful of stories from the quickserve industry
I worked off and on for a pizzeria back home during high school and college run by a sheisty Italian dude who was fond of telling the other guys and me stories about how he taught a goat to blow him 2-3 times a day when he was our age.
My boss LOVED hiring illegal immigrants, then paying them $2/hour to make pizza (a job where a normal citizen can make up to 50g a year.) He would hire 2-4 high school kids at a time to work the register, since we could speak English and didn't threaten his 4th grade education. And he claimed $60,000 in taxable income on a restaurant that routinely netted north of 200k during the time I worked there. Oh, and he's fathered at least four kids by three different women.
Back to the narrative. Scene of the crime: A busy Monday night in June a few years back, where the shop's half-priced special drew gobs of local high school-jock types. My boss, who spent most of each night searching for snuff porn and soccer scores on his dinky laptop (thus making one of the two registers inoperable by unplugging it) is pissed that my coworker is moving slowly (since he has to run tabs on a handheld calculator.) My boss took periodic breaks every ten minutes or so to berate the kid (16 at the time) for moving slowly, screaming a garbled mix of Italian, Spanish and Soprano-ese English at the kid in front of customers, many of whom were this kid's classmates.
This goes on throughout the two-hour business rush. As things are winding down, my boss takes the kid behind the sandwich counter (my other coworker and I escaped to sweep the floor) and starts screaming at him again. The kid snaps a little, telling my boss that if the register had been free, there wouldn't have been a problem.
At that point, my boss flips out like nothing I've ever seen. He starts in again, first in Italian, then a little Spanish, before crescendoing in a sociopathic rage by asking the kid, "Are you calling me a fucking LIAR!?!?!" With that, my boss takes his own bare hand and slams it down on the flat grill, which was heated to a solid 350 degrees, and holds it for a solid ten seconds, breathing louder and louder while turning beat red. Everyone's left the area but the kid in front of him, who's peeing himself at this point. My boss takes his hand off, shoves it in the kids face, and goes, "WELL!?!?! MY HAND STAYED ON THAT GRILL WITHOUT BURNING!!!! AND YOU CALL ME A LIAR?!?!?! FUCK YOU!!! GET OUT OF MY PIZZERIA!!!"
The kid sprinted through the doors, never to return (leaving behind approx. $200 in unclaimed paychecks, no small sum for a high schooler.) And I drove my boss to the hospital about five minutes after he left, since he had suffered third-degree burns.
Those crackers have edges, you know
I used to work at a local pizza place. My manager was the owner's middle-aged son who looked like a younger Danny Devito, including the permanent upper lip sweat. If he's reading this, it's called hyperhidrosis and it's very treatable. Get that shit fixed.
To this day, I've never met a bigger asshole. He only hired teenage girls to work up front as cashiers. On afternoons when there were no customers, this slimeball would corner us in the back and tell dirty jokes. "Have you heard the one about the old broad who slipped Viagra in her husband's coffee? She can't ever show her face in Starbuck's again!" Gross. The story that takes the cake though, happened before I was hired. Apparently, one chaotic Friday night an old women became fed up with his bullshit (his idea of customer service? "Get the fuck out of my restaurant"). She chucked a handful of Ritz crackers at him. He called the police, and pressed charges against her. For throwing crackers. Not even Mark Sanchez displays such poise.
Every Hardees fry boss gets a taste of the skim
During high school, I got my first real job at McDonalds when I was 15. It was a decent job and decent money for someone that age. After working there for about a year, I quit to go work at Hardees with a couple of my best friends. A couple of months into my tenure at Hardees, the GM came up to me one evening and told me that my register had come up short a few times the previous two weeks for a total of about $100. She then told me that if it happened again, that I would be fired. Now, I have never once, or ever will, claim to be a genius, but I was an honors student who went on to graduate college. This has to put me in at least the 90th percentile of fast food workers as far as intelligence goes, so I was in shock that I could make such a mistake multiple times.
Cut to the next day I worked and the GM tells me that it happened again and I was fired. I was in such disbelief that I didn't even go home, I just sat down at a table trying to figure out what the hell I was doing wrong. After about 20 minutes, the GM came out to talk to me and told me that she would give me one more chance. I never spoke her again and about 4 weeks later, SHE WAS FIRED FOR STEALING MONEY FROM THE STORE! It turns out that she was using me as a scapegoat for her thievery.
A couple of months later, another manager at the store decided to take $600 from the safe, go next door to the gas station, play some video poker, win, keep the profit and return the money without anyone knowing. He was arrested the following morning after he surprisingly lost all $600.