Meet the World's Worst Bosses

Do you think you've got the world's worst boss?


On this Labor Day, we take a look at some employers who, by just about every imaginable measure, are worse than your boss -- far worse.

For three years, Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has held a contest asking workers to share their worst boss stories.

One of the best stories – or worst, depending on your point of view – comes from Joan, a woman from Kansas. (The AFL-CIO refused a request by ABC News to interview Joan.)

Joan, an office manager, was asked by her boss to organize an employee outing. She planned a trip to a major league baseball game two months ahead.

Sign Up for Our RSS Feed and Get the Latest Business Headlines From ABC News

Apparently a lot of planning went into the game: Joan got a group ticket rate, arranged for snacks, carpooling and ticket distribution.

Just one problem: Joan apparently wasn't able to predict the future.

You see, when she planned this outing two months in advance, she didn't realize that it would rain on game day. Uh-oh.

Most bosses would understand that even the best employees can't control the weather, right?

Well, not Joan's boss.

"My boss informed me that I had picked that particular date because I knew it would rain," Joan wrote in her worst-boss submission to the AFL-CIO.

Thanks to a bit of rain and a nasty boss, Joan ended up losing her manager's title and became an assistant manager. She even had her pay cut.

But this waterlogged story doesn't end there.

A few months later, the boss asked her if she would like to organize another picnic. She declined. The boss then went to the company's board and said Joan refused to organize the event.

That story was the top pick from the staff of Working America.

The group chose another equally disturbing story as its top pick. Both get a free vacation and spending money thanks to the labor union.

Ambulance Ride From Hell

The other winner calls himself "Thunderstruck" and hails from Illinois.

This story shouldn't just strike fear into the heart of any worker, but also anybody who might ever need paramedic services.

Thunderstruck used to work for a small, rural ambulance company. All three of the company's ambulances had problems. One had no lights or sirens, another had no functioning brakes and the third had no heat.

One cold Christmas day, Thunderstruck and his partner "were left to pick the lesser of three evils to take out on calls." They chose the one without heat "and had to fib to our patients regarding the frigidness of the ambulance."

"Looking back, I suppose I could have stuck my head out the windows and made 'Woo-Woo' sounds," Thunderstruck wrote.

To compound matters, this boss liked to pair workers who ticked him off with a certain member of the staff that no one liked.

"This employee was well aware of her reputation, and thought it funny," Thunderstruck wrote. "You were then exposed to 12-14 hours … of her marital problems, health problems and other assorted goodies. Her husband was also an employee of the same ambulance company. Her stories made it impossible to look him in the eye without your mind racing back to details revealed in her stories."

That's enough to send a shiver down your spine, that and the lack of heat in the ambulance.

But the story gets worse.

Thunderstruck's boss had him train a new worker for two weeks. Then at the end of that period the boss' sister fired him, saying it was because of an incident that happened months earlier. Basically, "he was too cowardly to face me."

Death Is Not an Excuse

But wait, there's more tales of bossly woe.

A worker in Illinois who was a runner-up in the contest had to call an ambulance to take his wife to the hospital one morning. (We hope it wasn't Thunderstruck's ambulance company.)

After arriving at the emergency room and seeing that a doctor was treating his wife, the worker called his boss and said he would not be in. The boss was not too receptive, questioning why the worker wasn't coming to the office.

"You said she was with the doctor," the boss told the worker.

A few months later, that same worker's grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given less than two months to live. After telling his boss of the situation the boss just said: "I don't know why you are worried about him, he is just your grandfather and he is going to die anyway."

And finally, here's a story from a fast-food manager working the night shift. The phone rang and his wife frantically told him that their house was on fire.

So he called his boss, who said that he couldn't find anybody to come into work and that he must stay and close down the business. The worker then asked his boss why he couldn't come in. It turns out it was "family night" and he wasn't going to ruin it.

Well, the worker closed the store, went to be with his family and lost his job.

So as we celebrate on this Labor Day, throw another burger on the grill and raise a beer to all your fellow working Americans who have to put up with bad bosses.

Then remember, Friday is one day closer this week.