10 Super Annoying Things Bosses Do

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You may not be one of those bosses that crawled from the pits of hell but if you do any of these annoying things you may be starting to grow horns.

The thing is, these are so easy to just stop doing.

I’ve studied and practiced leadership for 25 years in military, corporate, and volunteer settings and I’ve seen bosses do all of these things. Actually, I’ve done most of them myself before I realized how annoying I was!

If you do these things, please just stop. Your employees will thank you.

#1. Setting Meetings or Asking for Reports at 4:45…Especially on a Friday

I was out to eat with someone recently who had to keep leaving dinner to make calls at 6:30 on a Friday because their boss emailed the entire department at 4:55 demanding various reports/tasks be done “ASAP” as in right then or over the weekend.

Except in cases of an extreme and unusual nature, this is just asinine.

Why would anyone do this except to flex their socially unaware bossy muscles? Setting late meetings and demands, especially on Friday, adds an entirely new level of icing on the crap cake of an employee’s day with you.

Even if the meeting is about good news, it’s still annoying to schedule it for the very end of the day…unless it’s quick and everyone leaves free and clear afterwards.

#2. Having Meetings for Things That Could Be Handled With a Call or Email

Death by meetings is a favorite for many managers. They feel they need to meet about everything so they can bloviate their wisdom all over a paid-to-sit-there audience. Their spouse won’t listen to them but these people have to!

According to research by Clarizen, almost 50% of employees polled say they’d rather do almost any other unpleasant thing than sit through another meeting with you. They’d rather be getting their teeth drilled than be there.

Meetings are needed of course and they can be great depending on how they are run. If the meeting is necessary and run efficently then it’s all good.

But if it can be handled via email or a phone, then do that for Pete’s sake!

#3. Telling You How to Word Something

I once had a boss who would tell me exactly how to word emails. Last I checked I knew how to transfer thoughts from my brain through my fingers and onto a screen. It wasn’t just sensitive emails where the wording was critical as I could understand some of that, but it was almost every email he asked me to send.

He’d say things like “So write this: Yes, you can pay with a Visa. Just be here before 4:00” or “Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today. It was great to meet you.” Seriously.

Don’t micromanage your employee’s speech unless wording and phrasing are absolutely critical.

#4. Asking You to Check Your Phone on a Sick or Vacation Day

“Take vacation but keep your phone close.”


I hate this. I can understand if there’s a critical issue that requires my possible attention during time off but that should be very rare.

If the office can’t function without me being plugged in 24/7, that’s a problem.

A problem that will lead me to burn out sooner than later.

On sick days or vacation days, do all in your power to not bother your employees.

#5. Act Like They Are Smarter Than Everyone Under Them

I once had a boss who thought that now that they were the boss they were endowed with infinite knowledge and had to have the last word on the truth about everything.

Even things where their subordinates obviously were the experts, they’d have to always one-up them or change something slightly about their ideas to put their own super-smart twist on it. (eye roll)

Honor the expertise of your people. Defer to them when they have good ideas.

Don’t act like you are smarter about every single thing all the time unless you want to have annoyed employees.

#6. Overreacting About Everything

I once had a boss I called “Can of Worms” because anything I brought to him was overanalyzed, over-managed, and overreacted to. Everything.

Because of this, his employees stopped bringing anything to him, especially the bigger problems as he’d always make them worse.

There was an entire subculture built around not sharing anything with that boss because once it was handed to him, he’d over-handle it to death.

Apply your level of response in direct proportion to the issue itself. Kind of like how a cop isn’t supposed to shoot jaywalkers, you shouldn’t overreact to insignificance.

#7. Giving “Shotgun” Correction

“Some of you have been arriving late.”

NOOOO! Instead…

“Can I talk to you in my office, please? I noticed you’ve been arriving late.”

Don’t correct everyone if only one or two people are messing up. It’s the lazy way to make corrections.

Talk to that person who is having the issue. Plus, doing this demotivates people who aren’t making that mistake by being lumped in with the “some of you.”

#8. Not Prioritizing

I once had a boss that was like a bullet with no barrel. He had a lot of energy but didn’t have the focus to prioritize any of it.

So one day he’d get down in the weeds on a completely meaningless item that made no impact on the big picture and waste all his time wallowing there. The next day maybe he’d get lucky and actually focus on his job. Hit or miss.

A good boss prioritizes what they need to focus on first.

They don’t waste time and energy on the minuscule items then have nothing left for the important things they need to do.

#9. Lacking Patience or Always Being Annoyed

Being an on-edge boss, ready to pounce if an employees messes up, is a boss that spreads fear through the ranks.

Employees do what they have to do to stay under their radar. This means employees won’t take initiative because initiative often leads to mistakes.

Initiative-based mistakes are acceptable for a good boss as they know that is how progress is made. But for a bad one, any mistake is just not worth the price so the entire team stagnates in the status quo.

Have patience for people and mistakes as long as they’re honest ones.

And don’t always be annoyed at everything. Being always annoyed is super annoying.

#10. Not Making Tough Decisions

That’s why you get paid the big bucks!

A boss must be decisive. When they lack the confidence or will to make decisions, everything slowly starts to backlog.

Employees stand around frustrated that you’re still mulling over a decision 3 days later when it should have taken 3 minutes.

Decide! Act! Employees respect decisive bosses.


When you stop doing these things, those devil horns you’ve sprouted start to waste away and soon fall off.

I could recap everything I just said in detail and we could even have a meeting about it but that would be super annoying.

It really all just boils down to some of the greatest management advice I’ve learned over the years…

Don’t be annoying!

Family Man. Leader. 3x Top Writer. MBA Strategy and Management. Marine Corps Veteran. Winemaker. emaxklein@icloud.com

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