A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the Healthy Workplace Bill that seeks to protect all employees from emotional maltreatment at their jobs. As a result of that column and the interest in this bill, I received several emails from people who reported having very abusive work environments. Many of them said that they had nasty bosses.


Their comments have motivated me to write about the bosses they described. I have created bad boss categories based on their remarks.


See No Evil Hear No Evil Boss — One employer knew that money was being stolen, via money paid for bogus bills, and just made believe it wasn’t happening. The employee, who wrote to me, ended up being a whistleblower and lost her job.


Functional Alcoholic Boss — The drug doesn’t have to be alcohol. But it was the one mentioned most often. Obviously this creates many issues for the entire staff.


Political-Appointee Boss — Some of us have political friends that might help us get a job. That’s no big deal. But some “appointees” in supervisory or management positions don’t have the proper credentials and/or the pertinent skill sets.


Innately Mean Boss — Some workers who contacted me communicated the belief that their supervisors were “born bad.” They suggested that they had a nasty gene or pathological DNA. One employee used nicknames like “Hitler and El Diablo.”


Significantly Insecure Boss — He or she always thinks you are plotting against them. They will never compliment you and will micro manage you to death.


‘I Am Your Pal’ Boss — They will smile and socialize with you until some important challenge comes up; then you are a stranger.


The Oppressed Who Became the Oppressor Boss — These supervisors, who once were just and honorable, have become devious and sadistic because someone higher up has treated them poorly.


I am sure you can come up with your own categories. But I will end with the one mentioned below because of the lengthy description that I received.


The Work Is My Life Boss — “The person has no clue regarding family responsibilities and priorities. This boss has a singular focus: Work. They don’t care if it is your wedding anniversary tonight or if your mom is being rushed to the hospital. They will still ask, ‘Is that report done?’ They would prefer not to know if you have kids or are married or that you even have a mother.”


“This type of boss treats you like a widget. They don’t want to know you, and they don’t want you to know them. They create that distance to remove all emotion from the relationship. You are a means to an end. You are a part of a machine that gets pushed every day. When it fails (or quits), you replace the part.”


“There are rarely ever accolades from this boss; it is on to the next assignment. It is a challenging style to work with especially if you actually care about the people you work with and try to be sensitive to peoples’ needs outside of work.”


“As a boss I could never be that way. And as an employee, I struggle with working with someone who is this way. My thoughts are if you treat people with respect and understanding, then you have people who will go to battle for you. In this type of relationship, the effort if given grudgingly makes you more a mercenary than a devoted employee.”


At a recent press conference at the state Legislature, Tom Witt ,a state coordinator for the New York Healthy Workplace Advocates, stated: “The Healthy Workplace Bill addresses repeated abusive mistreatment at work and offers recourse to the targets of workplace bullying.”


According to a new Zogby poll, more than 93 percent of working New Yorkers (that is 8.4 million people) support enactment of a law that would protect all workers from repeated abusive mistreatment at work.


John Ostwald is a professor at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. His column runs every other Sunday.