msnbc.com
updated 3/27/2007 6:58:35 PM ET 2007-03-27T22:58:35

This week's "Your Career" column offered tips on dealing with a bully boss . We asked readers to share their tales of bullying bosses and how they handled the situation. Not surprising, we received a high volume of mail. Here is a sampling:

'Focus on me!'
My worst boss ever yelled at me three days after my dad died for not being as focused at my work and in tune to his needs as he felt I should be. He told me that I needed to leave my emotional problems at home, yelling at me in front of all my co-workers. Specifically, he said, "We're all sorry your dad died, but now you're at work and you need to focus on me! If you want this job then you'd better start showing it. Otherwise, get out!" So I packed up my desk and left. He then called me at home demanding to know why I wasn't at work and when I would be back! — Allison Carey, Waterford, Mich.

'Chuck'
I had to quit a job last year because of a boss from hell. I worked as a sales rep for a home health company, and he was the manager. This guy I'll call "Chuck" went to the gym, went home, worked other jobs, and pretty much goofed off on company time. He stole company equipment. "Chuck" would use F-bombs every chance he could, even leaving them on my voicemail. It got to the point where I could not answer his calls because I was afraid that clients and customers would overhear his unprofessional rants. "Chuck" would ask about what my wife and I did in bed, tell me what he and his wife did. He called me names and threatened to fire me on a daily basis. Several times he threatened to do bodily harm to people including murdering his current wife (if she ever cheated on him) and if he did that, he might as well knock off his ex-wife and her mother. I had enough of his tirades so I put my two weeks notice in and he had me let go that day (even though the company still paid me up to the last week). "Chuck" and another employee quit less then a month later and went to work for a competitor. The company I worked at lingered for several months then closed the office. I asked for my job back and told them why I quit and let them know what "Chuck" was up to. It seemed like they didn't care. — Anonymous

50-year-old toddler
My current boss is a bully. I hate to tell you this, but I find the "solutions" presented in the article unacceptable. I refuse to pamper a 50-year-old who acts like a toddler. I have told him his behavior is causing me stress, is demeaning, and is unacceptable. I am currently looking for work elsewhere. The very last thing I'm going to do is volunteer to do part of his work. I already perform a significant portion of his assigned tasks. I don't get credit for it. I just get berated for the slightest "mistake," which equals not thinking like him. Then he goes to his boss and tells her I'm doing a bad job. — Holly, Fayetteville, AR

A dinosaur
I think the boss who yells and screams is going the way of the dinosaur. It's the boss who engages in passive-aggressive behavior, the boss who uses public forums to dress you down or question your judgement, is far more destructive. I know, I work with one. – Anonymous

Regrets
I was working in Dallas at the time. This guy would talk down to people and did not mind humiliating people in front of their coworkers. When he fired people, he did not bother to tell them that they could be denied unemployment benefits under Texas law. It was so stressful working under this jerk that I almost started smoking again after 18 smoke-free years. I regret not quitting the very first day I was assigned to be under this individual. I stayed in this situation for six months. (Six months in the gulag Texas has for a prison system would have been much more pleasant and much less stressful.) I also regret not pushing this bum through a window — he would have made a very lovely victim impact statement on the sidewalk 20 floors below.  — Louis M. Smith, Charleston, SC

Lower your voice
My former employer was loaded with yellers from the top down. The owner of the company used intimidation as his means to get things accomplished, and most of the directors and managers followed suit. I was yelled at in front of customers and co-workers on a regular basis. My executive director once left a very memorable nasty message on my home answering machine after I had left for the day — and it concerned a situation over which I had no control! I kept the job for five horrible years in order to allow my husband time to get his degree. After he completed his degree, I was blessed to find a wonderful job. My bosses are respectful and kind. There are no raised voices in our office. If only the yellers would realize that most employees perform better when motivated by respect, rather than fear, I think they would be surprised to discover how much more productive they could be. — Stephanie, Lexington, KY

Understanding sort
After months of being sick with an undiagnosed illness, I was finally told that my tonsils needed to be removed. Sadly, I had some post-operative complications which resulted in my missing more work. My then-boss, being the very understanding sort that he is, informed me that my required surgery was "elective" in nature and not necessary (even though I had been running a fever for 10 months straight). I no longer have my tonsils and no longer work for that man. — H.P. Kang, Raleigh, NC

Back and forth
Try two. My boss and his counterpart (both vice presidents) actually sit in meetings with their respective staffs swearing and yelling at each other. It's kind of like two strange birds puffing their chests out at each other. They lose a lot of credibility in the eyes of their reports by failing to collaborate on virtually everything. You have never heard so many f-bombs in single meeting. It's bizarre and unproductive. — Anonymous

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