1. The Slacker
This boss does not give a shit, plain and simple. How this person has survived the latest round of layoffs is a mystery worthy of the Hardy Boys, because they literally don’t do a damn thing. Their goal is to spend eight hours in the office in complete and total isolation from all other organisms in this depressing wasteland of commerce. Chances are, they’re playing some dumbass game, or, if it’s Tuesday, planning their weekend. Any interruption of their ridiculous employment is not well received, but don’t worry, getting angry requires far more effort than this lethargic piece of trash is willing to expend. “What do you want, Brennan? This is my online poker time.”
As a superior, underlings occasionally have to hijack 30 seconds of their time to ask questions that have a 25% chance of actually being important. As you walk into their office, their face visibly conveys the “damnit it to hell, I hate you get out” look to you, and quite possibly your immediate family and friends. They will stop listening about halfway through your question because they don’t give a shit, no matter how short the question is. Before they feign a thoughtful response, they will sigh out loud, much louder than necessary, but this way you know just how much they don’t want to be talking to you. A long, drawn out “Ummmm” will soon follow, and then one of three useless responses will be pulled straight from their ass: they will refer to you to someone you already asked, they will say “do what you normally do,” or they will straight up say they don’t know. If you have a document, he will not look at it. You want to tell him to go make love to the garbage disposal, but he wouldn’t be listening anyway. You begin to imagine Jay Cutler being in his position and the similarities are astounding.
2. The BFF
Some bosses take the BFF approach to management, which can be one of the best and most important stalwarts of your young and blossoming career. This boss maintains a masterful professional decorum, blending authority with equality and being truly dedicated to your growth as an employee and a fellow human being. This superior will be a friend and a mentor, the stuff of legend that you thought had died out long ago. Amongst all the shitty bosses in the world, you found a good one, and you’re on the fast track for success under his seasoned wing. If this is you, I hate you. Take your rewarding, fulfilling career and go straight to hell.
The BFF situation also has the potential to get annoying, frustrating, and just downright weird. Eventually, your questionably professional relationship will evolve to a point where every conversation involves a hand on your shoulder, and then your back. By the sixth month of this bizarre tutelage, you just pray that those creepily soft, uninvited, old hands stay above the waist. You didn’t sign up for this. You thought having a drink with them after work and listening to excruciating details of their recent divorce was a nice gesture for a friend and colleague, but now you’re confused in ways you never thought possible. The office where they hired you has now taken on the cruel façade of Neverland Ranch, and you think you finally understand why they got divorced. As you Google exactly what constitutes actionable sexual harassment and your company’s binding arbitration clause, you stare blankly into the fluorescent lights and wonder where it all went wrong.
3. The Ball-buster
This one sucks, big time. This superior usually compensates for a lack of intelligence and a human soul by being a total asshole to everyone, all the time. If something is due tomorrow, you will be getting a fresh shovel full of shit for not having it done today. When one superior gives you a compliment, the ball-buster will dilute it and water it down just enough to where you no longer feel good about yourself or your life choices. Why? Just to be a dick. For example, “Bill thinks you did a great job, but I didn’t tell him your staple on that brief was actually about a quarter inch too far towards the middle of the page.” Thanks, will blowing you settle my eternal debt or would you like my firstborn instead? Everyone hates you. There is usually an office pool running on whether or not this person is a full-fledged alcoholic and avid spousal abuse enthusiast.
4. The Mail-in Master
At the very least, the boss who has completely mailed it in is entertaining. You just have to respect the balls on them for being mentally absent every single day. He may have handed in his two weeks notice, may be about to retire, or will soon be promoted/transferred and has completely checked out. Symptoms include: laughing his ass off watching YouTube videos and reading Grumpy Cat memes all day, liberally extended lunch hours, not being as fake polite to the office minions, and/or a slow but very noticeable decline in personal hygiene.
There are several perks of reporting to the mail-in master, mostly because he doesn’t give a shit if you report anything or not. Deadlines become more like suggestions, and action items become things he’ll get to if he has time between spacing out and dicking off. Be wary though; shit rolls downhill, and this guy’s apathy has just turned him into a shit magnet, so expect heavy traffic on the Hershey Highway headed toward Cubeville. Everything delegated to him will be automatically relegated to you, so handle whatever you need to to ensure this bastard doesn’t drag you down with him. Remember, his ticket is punched, but you’re here for the long haul.
5. You In 10 years
No matter how much you try to alter it, your destiny is sitting right there in that tiny office, hating its current state. Hell, some middle manager probably sat in the exact same chair you’re sitting in now, which might begin to explain the smell. In a little more or less than a decade’s time, you’ll find yourself wondering if you run full speed at the window, if it will it break and give you the sweet release of death 10 stories down, or will you just bounce off it and look like a dumbass? You try to be nice and not give him shit, because even though he makes twice what you make, you feel sorry for him. That’s messed up.
The trick here is to be positive and embrace your eventual pay grade bump and minimal authority in middle management. First, I bet his Camry actually has leather. Yeah, he sprung for it, no sweat. Second, although he clearly doesn’t capitalize, he could easily afford that extra $30 per month gym membership. You’ll look back 10 years and laugh about when you had to choose between that or dental insurance. But the biggest perk of that job is having control over all the little shits like you. The reasons you feel sorry for Carl are the same reasons he wants to curb stomp you: you’re young, in passable shape, and not miserable yet. In 10 years, you’ll hate the little peckerhead kid sitting in your by-then-diseased chair. Circle of life, just like The Lion King taught us.