Are you a bad boss? Do you have a bad boss?

According to studies, these are the five sure signs that you are a bad boss or you work for a bad boss..  If you are too arrogant to believe that you could be bad, stop reading this freaking list.  The first boss I ever had was a total a-hole and that’s why I worked for myself — glad I did.  I feel sorry for people who are stuck with douche-bags like this.

1. Most of your emails are one-word long.

It may be efficient, but many bosses don’t realize how curt a one-word email — even a simple “yes” or “no” — can be, says Barbara Pachter, a management coach and author of several workplace etiquette books. She calls it the “BlackBerry effect. Basically bosses are lazy and there are usually a few people in the office who are smarter and more efficient.  The boss is aware of this and compensates by trying to be mysterious or aloof.  This is a sure sign of a real prick who probably kissed asses to get where he/she is — usually a she — sorry but its true.”

“Managers have a tendency to be abrupt, especially when they’re answering emails on the go,” Ms. Pachter says. “It comes off as an invitation for conflict. A simple addition of ‘thanks’ goes a long way.”

Some managers craft even shorter emails. When Christina Marcus emailed an idea for a project to a former boss, he responded “Y.” Thinking he was questioning her idea, she spent 20 minutes crafting a response. Turns out, the “Y” meant “yes,” not “why.” Ms. Marcus eventually left the job.

2. You rarely talk to your employees face-to-face.

Relying on email may be convenient, but bosses are increasingly using technology to avoid having tough discussions, says Robert Sutton, professor at Stanford University and author of “Good Boss, Bad Boss.”

“No one wants to do the dirty work, but it’s a boss’ lot in life to deal with difficult issues,” Mr. Sutton says. Face-time engenders trust with employees, adds Ms. Pachter.

Bosses who avoid face to face contact have low self-esteem.  You find this with overweight or unnattractive women and short, bald men.  A lot that makes up their private life gets pushed into the office and there is no rule that says your boss can’t be mentally ill.  Many of them are.  My first boss was mentally ill.  I was only fifteeen and I knew he was messed up.

3. Your employees are out sick — a lot.

Employees will fake sickness to avoid a bad boss, but there’s evidence that a bad boss may be bad for your health. A 2008 Swedish study that tracked more than 3,000 men over 10 years found that the men who said they were poorly managed at work were 20%-40% more likely to have a heart attack.  If you have a boss who makes you feel nervous or unhappy, start looking for a new job or figure out a way to get that boss fired.  Sabotage their work or something.

4. Your team’s working overtime, but still missing deadlines.

New bosses are particularly prone to giving unmanageable deadlines to staffers, says Gini Graham Scott, author of “A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses.”

A human resources executive at a New York firm who declined to be named because she’s currently looking for a new position, says that she began working 15-hour days after her new boss came on board. Her boss’ first order of business: Promising more aggressive deadlines to clients. “She would tell the client, ‘We can have this for you in three days,’ which was impossible,” says this woman. 

This kind of boss sees you as a non-person — a cow that needs to be milked.   Find out where they go on weekeneds or wherever that is far away and away from cameras.  Tell them that you are going to have their knees broken by the mob.  When they accuse you of this later, you just deny it and say that it never happened.  There will be suspicions that the boss is insane and you will put fear in his mind. 

5. You yell.

Even if you aren’t screaming angrily at your employees, speaking loudly can damage workplace morale, says Ms. Pachter, the management coach. “Employees will constantly feel like they’re being reprimanded, and they’ll avoid you if there’s ever a problem,” she says.

At one of Ms. Marcus’ former jobs every debate was a public forum, she says. “My bosses would shout freely across the office, even when they weren’t necessarily angry,” she says. “It charged the atmosphere and really killed productivity, especially when you were trying to figure out who you should be listening to.”

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