You’ve started your first week at your new job. Your co-workers are cool, the culture is chill, and you don’t mind your work. All in all, pretty good, right?
Until you find out what a raging pain in the ass your boss is. He yells at you in front of your coworkers. She expects you to work late and on the weekends. He grinds you hard and promises a raise – only to give a 100 ringgit bonus at the end of the month.
Simply put, your boss is an asshole.
We hope you don’t have one, but here are stories of some of the worst bosses in Malaysia.
Quitters need not apply
Start-ups demand a lot out of their workers and pay very little. Naturally, you’d have to have the passion working for one. Despite the measly pay with no overtime rates, Xin Yen loved the work and liked her team. The boss? Not so much.
The company was his brainchild, and he expected every one of his employees to commit 110%. He’d come in a few minutes before work ended for the day, and told her team that he was expecting everyone to stay until midnight.
“No excuses,” he said. On top of that, he insisted that there was not going to be a dinner break, because working at a start-up meant getting used to skipping meals.
When asked by the full-timers if they could claim a leave day for all the overtime, he asked them that if they thought they deserved a rest after the bad work they’ve done.
In her 4 months of working there, 3 full-timers resigned. The working conditions were affecting their health. When she asked him about it, her boss said, “I don’t need quitters.”
Not a mind reader
Employers often stress the importance of good communication skills. It’s a shame that not many practice what they preach.
When Jack joined the company as a copywriter, he was new to the business. The boss promised to assign him a mentor—a senior member on the team. The first week passed, and there was no mentor. Jack reminded his boss.
He said that he didn’t remember making such a promise. Jack was told that he would learn on the job instead.
Naturally, on his first assignment, he made mistakes. The boss went off on him.
It was “fucking shit” because it didn’t fit certain criteria—which he had forgotten to email to Jack earlier. Still, Jack apologised, and told him that he’d take his advice. He’d try better next time.
A few months later, Jack was yelled at three times more—all for the same reasons. He realised that it wasn’t because he didn’t follow the criteria, it just wasn’t what the boss had in mind. Instead of helping Jack improve, his boss got personal. He started to blame Jack’s anxiety and low self-esteem. His boss told him: “You should try writing an instruction manual, because this is as boring as one.”
As it turns out, everyone in the company was subjected to his verbal abuse, and for the same reason—not being mind readers.
Still in high school
We all remember our teenage years – all the drama and backstabbing. You‘d think that all that stayed in high school. I mean, work is hard enough as it is, right?
That wasn’t the case with Hafiq’s 56-year old manager. She smiles and compliments, but behind their backs, it’s a whole other story. She takes credit for their work, and gossips about them with the board of directors.
He brought it up with his other colleagues, thinking that he could trust them. But in the next meeting, she outed him in front of the department heads. Someone ratted him out to her. As punishment, she decided to publicly humiliate him, and destroyed his credibility with the senior management.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Hafiq’s close colleague had just resigned. She hated the office politics, so she applied for another job which paid better, and one she was passionate about.
The manager found out, and as it turns out, the recruiting employer was a friend of hers. She sent an email saying that Hafiq’s colleague was a slacker, she gossips, her work is terrible, and that she used company resources for her own gain. It was all a lie of course, but all the same, his ex-colleague never got that job.
Profiting off the dead
Corporations have a reputation for being greedy and heartless. Profits are the only thing that matter, not the consequences. Gina witnessed first-hand just how far people would go for money.
Gina worked in the human resources department in a construction company. The nature of her job dealt with sensitive information—wages, performance reviews, disciplinary actions against employees.
Gina was privy to some the shoddier actions of her director. He recorded lower profits (for tax evasion), underpaid foreign workers, and refused to pay benefits—all for a bigger profit. Still, this was normal, right? It’s not like this was the first company that was dishonest.
However, one day she got news that an employee had died from accident on-site. He was a foreign worker, trying to make ends meet for his family in Bangladesh. The company had an insurance policy for their staff in case of accident or death. The policy was a lot of money—enough to provide his family an easy life, at least for a while.
Instead, the director pulled some strings to wire that money into his account. Gina didn’t find out until she was told by her department head. It was another secret she had to keep. She decided to leave a month after.
Yikes. Maybe that awkward chat in the lift isn’t so bad, now that I think about it. And there you have it, 4 horror boss stories in Malaysia.
(Names have been changed.)
Do you have a horror boss story? Share it with us in the comments below!