A boss plays a vital role in any organization. With a good boss, a difficult or unpleasant job can be tolerable. Conversely, with a bad boss, an otherwise gratifying job can be miserable — a nightmare, even.

The following are the telltale signs that you are extremely unfortunate, as you have ended up with an awful boss.

Poor you.

1. Your boss applies a double standard in dealing with people. He/She is known to play favorites, is selective in dishing out disciplinary action to erring employees, or is unfair in granting perks and privileges. He/She seldom shares valuable and beneficial information with his/her subordinates who fail to get on his/her good side. He/She may even go as far as creating a new position just to accommodate the promotion of a favored employee. Yes, you now have a social media specialist in the construction site, and she’s the one whiling away precious hours in the boss’ air-conditioned room while cozily “interacting with cybercitizens.”

2. Your boss inspires fear in his/her subordinates. He/She takes pleasure in knowing that they tremble and shudder whenever he/she is around. Having a tendency to be a yeller, he/she believes that congeniality in the workplace equates to likely neglect of duties, which thus adversely affects productivity. Okay, hush now. Here comes The Boss.

3. Your boss hates to see you and your colleagues shine. He/She underrates your accomplishments and contributions to the organization and tends to grab credit that rightfully belongs to his/her subordinates. When his/her own boss gets impressed with an innovative design that you just presented, he/she is quick to claim that it was actually his/her idea – not yours. Hey, I know you’re flabbergasted by his/her audacity, but will you please shut your mouth? As in, literally. It’s been hanging open for a while now.

4. Your boss has unrealistic demands and unreasonable expectations from his/her subordinates. As a modern-day slave driver, he/she seems to think that your life should revolve around your work, and your work alone. Work-life balance is an alien concept to him/her. Huh, work-life balance? What’s that?!!!

5. Your boss is apathetic about your situation. He/She regards you more like a robot rather than a breathing, feeling human being who is also susceptible to emotions, frailties and physical limitations. He/She is annoyed that you’re not your usual jolly and witty self when you were made, despite your protestations, to take on the emcee role for an event. Hey, boss, give that poor guy a break. His 10-year-old cat just died!

photo credit: headhunterconfesses.wordpress.com

6. Your boss has a strong natural tendency to bully you and your colleagues. This constant display of A-hole quality is a clear manifestation of his/her personal insecurities. He/She is often on a power trip to boost his stature or feelings of self-worth. He/She gets a kick out of humiliating you or wielding his/her power over you, particularly in front of others.

7. Your boss is so self-righteous and self-centered that he/she thinks he/she is above everyone else. A certified narcissist, he/she is arrogant and thinks that he/she has a monopoly to great ideas. Also, he/she never apologizes even after realizing that he/she commits a mistake. It’s always about him/her, not the team he/she manages. So, better keep your suggestions and comments to yourself, pal. Or, better yet, stop thinking altogether.

8. Your boss lacks integrity. He/She has a propensity to cut corners, to kowtow to his bosses (and is a notorious ass-kisser!), to lie and manipulate people, to break promises, and to promote personal interests no matter the cost. Cunning and easily corruptible, and with “the end always justifies the means” as his personal mantra, his idol is Niccolo Machiavelli. No surprise there.

9. Your boss is an advocate of the blame game. With virtually no sense of personal accountability, he/she points an accusing finger at everyone else except him/herself when something goes wrong. Make sure, then, that your presentation before the board would be impeccable. Otherwise, you would surely be left high and dry by your boss.

10. Your boss does not exhibit flexibility. Being a stickler for the rules, he/she has difficulty adjusting to particular situations or the individual circumstances of his/her subordinates. That deadline, for instance, won’t be extended just because your house happens to be submerged in floodwater for three days now. So, c’mon, go up to your roof and start working on that report. Asap!

An awesome boss, on the other hand, is someone who is a great mentor to his/her subordinates.  He/She is a motivator, an enabler, a problem-solver, and a team player rolled into one admirable package that people want to emulate or, at the very least, work with. As a true leader, he/she incites inspiration, builds trust and confidence among his/her direct reports, develops a safe and enjoyable working environment, and creates opportunities for growth for each and every member of his/her team.

If you’re in your office right now, look around you. Are the people you see working grudgingly, unhappily, or nervously? You might just be under the thumb of an awful boss.

Or you, yourself, might actually be that awful boss.

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