The 12 Worst Things Managers Say, From Women Who’ve Heard Them

Woman Stressed at Work


AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
Toxic bosses aren't always explicitly demeaning, but the discomfort they spread in the office is palpable nonetheless. This is especially true when they're verbally abusive or inappropriate.
"There are things we all agree are inappropriate for a boss to say to an employee, from gossip to insults; yet, I feel that people in positions of power in the workplace make these statements all the time," FGB'er JasmineShirey asks the community board
Recently, for example, her partner's HR manager told them personal information (including financial information) about coworkers.
"What is the worst thing a boss or superior has said to you?" she asks.
Here's how the community is responding.

1. Not ready for a promotion (for no good reason)

2. Just a mom

3. Lying about appointments

4. Too many "personal problems"

5. Not a "good fit" based on gender

6. No experience

7. Not smart enough

8. Need to focus on the people

9. Too old to compete with the "hot, young things"

10. Too much anxiety

11. Not cut out for the job

12. Bad sense of humor

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.