How to Fire Your Boss

Bad bosses – we’ve all had them before. There are many things that are bearable in the workplace and I have to say that working for a boss that cannot manage people or is incapable of performing their job (or doing it well), is not one of those things. It’s difficult to put up with – not only because this is the person you interact with frequently, but because you can’t do anything about it. You can’t fire your boss. If you could, almost every workplace would have mutiny on their hands. Employees would fire their bosses for the selfish reasons of advancing their own careers.

We all know it sounds crazy to fire your boss, but what if it were really possible? Would you be interested in firing your boss? While I have had some horrible supervisors, I am happy to say I enjoy working with my current supervisor. That isn’t true for all of my friends however. In fact, I was just talking to someone close to me and they shared with me one of the most interesting stories I have ever heard. She told me how she got her boss fired. I thought I’d integrate her story into this post so that I can help all of you with horrible supervisors.

Fire Your Boss

Why People Get Fired from Their Jobs

As the person close to me was relating her story of her bad supervisor, one of the things she had to learn along the way was why people get fired. When she set out on this mission to be free of her direct supervisor, she knew she had to get a better understanding of her options. She had a couple conversations with HR as well as other influential people that she knew. Someone gave her great advice on why people get fired from their jobs. It seemed to make sense, so I thought I’d share in case many of you are wondering. If you are looking to get your supervisor fired, you have to prove one of the following:

  1. Employee is incapable of fulfilling their job requirements - If you can’t meet the requirements of the job, odds are that you are not going to last. You would think this is common knowledge, but I have known many people to do just enough to pretend to know what they are doing.
  2. Employee is a disruption to the workplace - No one likes a disruption. When employers hire new employees, one of the major qualities that they consider is the ability to mesh with the other employees. If someone is socially disruptive or has potential to cause major problems, the employer is likely to distance themselves from that candidate. Unfortunately, no interview process is perfect and some sneak through.

These two reasons for firing someone are just broad categories. Obviously there are many reasons that people get fired, but they will often fall into one of these larger categories. They are important to consider, however, because it points out that you can’t just fire any boss. As much as I would like to say that you can fire anyone if you work hard enough, this simply isn’t the case. What I am talking about is firing incompetent supervisors, who too often continue on without any negative repercussions. Too many jokes have been made and too many careers ruined as a result of bad management. It’s time to take action.

Why My Friend Set Out to Fire Her Boss

As I was talking to my friend about her situation, she started to describe her boss. Her supervisor was hired after she was already working there. This meant that she was part of the team who brought him up to speed. She related how she liked him to start out, but that’s because he knew his way with words. He was a smooth talker and could talk his way through anything. As it turns out, that’s all he was – just words.

Over the next 6 months, she found herself covering for her boss. Her boss failed to accomplish any work and soon made a career (literally and figuratively) out of taking credit for all of her work. While I could elaborate on the horror stories that she related to me as they unfolded, suffice it to say that she finally had enough. It had to end somewhere. Whether that meant her leaving or him.

If you also have a boss that is incompetent or unable to fulfill his/her job requirements, then you may be curious how she got her boss fired. Here’s how she did it.

Steps to Get Your Boss Fired

While there is never a full-proof plan to get your boss fired, here are several steps that you can take to improve your chances:

  • Keep Record of Everything - When it became evident that she no longer wanted to work with him, she started to keep track of the incidents with him. This was primarily for the sake of protecting herself. She knew that because he had kept his job for this long without doing anything substantive, it would be possible for him to get her fired if she didn’t protect herself. As time moved on, she realized that this list might help get him fired.
  • Communicate with Boss’ Superiors - She also started communicating with the two people above her boss. This happened naturally at first as she was close friends with one of them, but as time developed she realized how important it was for her to build this relationship. Communicating with her boss’ superiors was not only a way to tell her side of the story, but also claim credit for her own work.
  • Let Him/Her Fail - At first when the boss started to miss a few steps, the person close to me covered for him. She didn’t want it looking bad on her, so she put in the extra effort. Despite the fact that he was making significantly more and the roles should have been reversed, she hated the idea of her department failing to meet their goals. Yet, she soon realized that everyone loved her boss because everything was getting done. The only problem? She was doing all the work and he was taking credit. She soon learned that she had to let him fail. She didn’t do anything to sabotage him, but she stopped covering for him.
  • Threaten to Leave - While many people would hesitate to tell their employer that they are planning on leaving, my friend had no other choice. She couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t stand to work with him with any longer. She started to apply for other jobs because it has been almost an entire year without any sign that he was actually getting fired. She eventually let it be known that she was applying for other jobs. There’s nothing more motivating than the fear of a beloved employee threatening to leave.
  • Don’t Give Up Hope - Last, but certainly not least, don’t give up hope. My friend, throughout the entire process, related her desire to give up. She began to doubt herself and whether anyone above her actually knew how bad of an employee her supervisor was. Yet, she persevered. She stuck it out, despite seeing no signs that he was on his way out.

A little over a year after her supervisor was hired, he was officially let go. It took a long time, but he was successfully pushed out. While it is hard to say what the driving force in him getting fired, it is just proof that no one is untouchable. If you are working for someone who is truly incompetent, it is possible to improve the situation. Just because they are your boss, doesn’t mean that they are untouchable. Everyone is responsible for their own job responsibilities and if you are diligent to expose what is really happening (or lack there of), it will catch up with them.

Have you ever had an incompetent manager? Did you live with it or did you take action to get them fired?

11 Responses to How to Fire Your Boss

  1. Forgive me if this is stating the obvious, but did your friend and her co-workers try talking to the boss about his behavior before actively plotting to get him fired?
    Some organizations have a very top down approach where it is completely normal for a boss to “get credit” for the employees’ efforts. If that’s the type of environment he came from, maybe he needed some additional help having the company culture pointed out to him.
    It just seems like a pretty awful thing to do – plotting to get someone fired – without taking the time to try and address the situation head on with words first.

    • Corey says:

      Great question Mrs. Pop. Absolutely. I should have included that. She and her co-workers tried to resolve it directly with her supervisor and then a couple more times with her supervisor and his boss together.

  2. Very interesting story! She must have really liked her job to want to stay through that whole year. I’ve actually never had a bad boss, but I also haven’t had that many.

    • Corey says:

      She did like her job, with the exception of her supervisor. I think she started looking for new jobs at 9 months. The first 6-8 months, she was hoping it would get fired (sooner).

  3. Finance Fox says:

    5 years ago i worked at a food corporation in my town. We were the very first generations of CSR’s and i remember eating my boss’s and clients ranting like breakfast. Thing is that, the salary wasn’t that worth it but what can i do? It was one of the companies in my town that was looked up by everybody so i had to pretend i was doing fine. I used to do a lot of task at a time and my boss just don’t appreciate it. After 3 years of bitter working i handed him my resignation letter, i couldn’t forget the look in his eyes as he begged me not to leave and offered me a Supervisory position. In the back of my mind i was like “DAMN YOU! CAN”T FALL FOR THIS SH%%%%%%T! whatever! That was the day, i am glad i left, now i am doing great with my current job with a great boss and co-workers plus i get to have a chance to do a side business.

    • Corey says:

      Wow, I can’t imagine working for a boss that I couldn’t stand for 3 years. Throughout the past year, my friend was telling me her story and I couldn’t help but feel frustrated (and that was just 1 year). A good sign that you have a bad boss is someone who waits until you threaten to leave to offer you a promotion, IMHO.

  4. So similar to my story on workplace bullying. I did get my boss fired, but I had already left!

  5. The biggest item in all of your steps is to keep records of all the things your boss does. If you start standing up for yourself then she has a reason to get rid of you. You need to have proof that she has no reason to fire you and instead she is the one who needs to go.

  6. I did, but I left. There was no way I was going to be able to get them pushed out. They were deeply entrenched.

  7. Fox says:

    By the way, i forgot to tell you guys, i think it was last year, my friends told me HE (my old boss) left his job but the rumor is that he was advised to leave because he was found guilty of anomalies. If that was true then the company must love him so much to not sue him.

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