Society suffers from a deficit of knowledge surrounding bosses and their origins. Are they human? Possibly. Do they fear us? Maybe. Can they feel pain and love like you or I? Certainly not.
But thankfully, like any other living being, all bosses can be easily categorized into six neat, black-and-white identities. Much like the Myers–Briggs types, these categories are rooted in rigorous psychological research that I refuse to elaborate on. I guarantee that any boss you encounter perfectly matches with one of these types. If they don’t, you are a liar. No wonder people call you “the office Pinocchio!”
Type #1: A man named John
We’ve all worked for a man named John. He may go by Johnny, or Jon, or even Jean (gross), but a recent study that I cannot link to found that at least 28% of bosses in the continental US and coastal Iceland were, at one time or another, John. Truth is stranger than fiction!
Your boss may be a man named John if they exhibit any of these traits: selfishness, cruelty, meanness, hatred, anger, danger-loving, hungry face, salt-and-pepper hair, no hair, some hair, and big, big toes.
Type #2: Old
Is your boss old? It can be hard to tell. Old bosses like to touch the edges of their desks and whisper, “This wood used to be a tree.”
There are lots of benefits to having an old boss. For instance, old bosses don’t go outside, so they cannot engage in dangerous car chases. Old bosses hate the future, so they won’t invite themselves to your exclusive Jetsons watch party. Old bosses love taffy, so they will constantly have taffy in their mouths and between their fingers.
Your boss may be old if they exhibit any of these traits: fumblehands, Jar-Jar voice, sugarplum dreams, I-Like-Ike-ism, butterscotch breath, ledgerbook mania, and cold brew shoulders.
Type #3: Famous murderer
The most empathetic of all boss types, famous murderers are born managers. They engage their direct reports with sincere interest, always looking to bolster those around them. Also, they hunt people with such ferocity and on such a large scale that their photo will forever haunt the bulletin boards of rural police departments.
If famous murderer bosses have any flaw, it’s that they sometimes get bogged down with too many one-on-one meetings. It’s important for famous murderer bosses to guard their time wisely, and to delegate tasks whenever possible. Their compulsion to protect direct reports can at times come at an expense to their own productivity. When this happens, it’s important for famous murderer bosses to reboot by focusing on what they do best: murdering famously.
Your boss may be a famous murderer if they exhibit any of these traits: an unfinished basement, multiple passports, soft features, a working knowledge of HTML, ferocious loyalty to their team, butterfly kisses, and cat-and-mouse disorder.
Type #4: Well-dressed except for their shoes
No one wants to end up with a boss like this, but hey, it happens. We’ve all heard the horror stories: a crisp, ironed shirt; a pair of well-tailored slacks; some tasteful accessories; nigh-perfect hair. But then, when one’s glance drops below the ankle—bad garbage shoes.
How do you deal with a boss like this? It isn’t easy. Bosses who are well-dressed except for their shoes respond well to intimidation, so be sure to establish on day one who the alpha is. Walk right up to their face, poke them in the neck, and scream, “ I am the one who makes rules. Rules are my domain, and I command them. Want to hear a rule? Look no further than my maw, which shall henceforth spew rules.”
Your boss may be well-dressed except for their shoes if they exhibit any of these traits: Crocs, big tan boots, those shoes with the separated toes that no one needs, hands for feet, wizard slippers, and whatever Mark down in sales is wearing, my God.
Type #5: Angela Merkel
A lot of people work for Angela Merkel. Chances are high that you are among them. Do you drive to work on the Autobahn in your Volkswagen, sucking on the succulent end of a Weisswurst and listening to “99 Luftballons”? Do you love yelling at me about soccer? Are you tall, or possibly even short? Bingo.
Your boss may be Angela Merkel if they exhibit any of these traits: European bunion, a PhD in chemistry, George W. Bush massage, a debilitating obsession with disco, and power.
Type #6: Secretly working for a rival candy factory
When I finally got a promotion and became a manager, I was surprised to find that I fit into this type. I never expected to see myself as secretly working for a rival candy factory, but I’ve learned to embrace the crucial role I play in my company.
If your boss secretly works for a rival candy factory, it’s best to approach them with solutions, not problems. They don’t want to hear a lot of whingeing or whinging—they want to hear how the eccentric genius running the company managed to invent so many delicious sweet treats. They love to reward pragmatism, consistency, and stealing the secret formula to the best-selling Toffee Coffee Butterblast. If you’re a hard worker, you can look forward to their respect and mentorship, as well as their endless attempts to get you drunk and pry valuable information about the proprietary licorice-twisting apparatus.
Your boss may be secretly working for a rival candy factory if they exhibit any of these traits: a long trench coat, glazed fingers, false mustache, sweet tooth, sugar bones, deceitful grins, and Wonka envy.