I work as a part time hostess. This is my first job ever (I'm 17) and at first one of my two managers was very nice to me but when I started to work there he became a complete jerk to me. I wasn't the only newbie either.

He seems to have it out for me but I have no clue why and he calls me into his office about the littlest things and gets on my case. Yet I am highly praised by my coworkers but my managers fail to see how hard I work.

I am really sick at the moment and called in, but he said to find someone to do my shift or suck it up. I can barely walk without tottering everywhere because of my fever.

I am moving in a few months and he is not aware of that. What should I do?

  • 5
    I have edited your question a little to make it clearer, but it needs more work from you. Your title asks about venting your frustrations on your last day (presumably when you move) but the body is asking about dealing with this mean manager and specifically his insistence that you come in, even though you are sick. Can you edit it into one question (you can ask the other separately) and make it clear what you are asking? Mar 28 '14 at 20:49
  • 4
    Have you considered being straight and honest with him. He's a manager and he should find the staff as and when he needs them. If you are worried about being fired, would you be more or less worried if you were ill at work? Is your health more or less valuable then the part time job? Your journey is yours not your bosses. In any case, don't tell your boss off, but feel free to have a conversation and raise concerns. It'll be good practice for dealing with people later and good practice for handling frustration. In the end, it's a blip in your life, nothing more, so let it slide.
    – MyStream
    Mar 28 '14 at 20:50
  • 8
    It's never a good idea to burn your bridges-- especially when you're just starting out. They have a tendency to haunt you later on.
    – tcrosley
    Mar 28 '14 at 21:17
  • 1
    tcrosley, a bridge to no where is definitely a bridge that can be burnt. This is a bridge to no where. Also, one of my favorite sayings is it doesn't matter if they like you, it matters if they remember you.
    – Paul Muir
    Mar 28 '14 at 23:35
  • 2
    The title of the question doesn't (adequately) match the problem statement in the body of the question IMO
    – kolossus
    Mar 28 '14 at 23:39

Can I tell my boss off on my last day?

Sure you can.

You'll probably feel a whole bunch better after telling him off. You could brag to all your friends. You could even record the session, post the video on YouTube or Facebook, and watch all the views and likes roll in. Hilarity will almost certainly follow. You can joke about it with your friends in years to come and talk about "the time I told that jerk off".

Or, you could choose to act like an adult.

Since you say "I am moving in a few months", you could give a proper notice at that point and leave on a professional high note - showing that you are the bigger person, and are ready for an adult work life. You could even have an adult conversation with your boss and discuss your concerns without resorting to "telling him off".

It's your choice.

It probably won't matter professionally, assuming you do move soon and never encounter any of your co-workers again. But it might matter to you personally. You might learn something about yourself that will help you long-term.

  • 6
    Depending on what OP means by telling him off, this seems a bit unfair. Yes, ranting at him to get out her frustration is immature, but if she has legitimate and rational criticisms of how he treats his employees, it doesn't seem not 'adult' to talk about those with him.
    – Publius
    Mar 29 '14 at 5:20
  • I agree, I don't think that OP worded her question in such a way that she was interested in a productive discussion. I felt that it nevertheless might be a useful thing to talk about in this circumstance anyways, but your answer is legitimate.
    – Publius
    Mar 29 '14 at 21:57
  • I think it's a little disingenuous to imply that adults never tell other adults off for the pure satisfaction of it. As the OP has very little at stake professionally (leaving the area anyways, still a minor, part-time position in an unskilled job), I'd say this one comes down purely to the OP's personal preference as to whether she'd feel more satisfied being able to say "I handled that like a true professional" or "I told that jerk off good". The tangible/long-term career impact of either option is essentially nil.
    – aroth
    Aug 7 '14 at 15:11
  • I am not sure why it is so immature to tell someone who is a jerk that they are a jerk. Would the world really be better if everyone just let jerks get away with it?
    – Lembik
    Aug 7 '14 at 16:33
  • 2
    It seems like the appropriate time to tell a jerk that they're a jerk is probably sometime before the last-day-anyway-so-absolutely-no-consequences-for-me time. @Lembik Why not tell the jerk that they're a jerk early enough on that you give them a chance to change their behavior toward you? If someone told me off on the last day they'd ever see me, I'd have a hard time taking them very seriously and assume that they were merely venting frustrations. I'd probably most likely feel the problem is more on their end than on mine.
    – nhgrif
    Feb 4 '15 at 23:38

No you should not tell your boss off. Even when someone else is being rude, unreasonable, and disrespectful, by sinking to their level the only person you are really disrespecting is yourself. Should you choose to you will walk away feeling worse about yourself. But if you take the high road you can walk away knowing you did what was right and stayed classy.

If he fires you for being sick there is not much you can do about it, since you are still in school and only 17 there are basically no protections for you to prevent this. So if having the job is worth it to you, and you are able, then you should attempt to work the shift.

But, if you are sick and have a fever and are not in a condition to work, just tell him you will not be able to work or find someone to cover your shift. Apologize, and leave it at that. If he becomes rude on the phone apologize again and tell him you need to go. There is no reason to tolerate the abuse but do not get rude back. Stay respectful, and keep to the high road.

  • 1
    Think of the experience as the answer to the interview question, "Tell me about the time you had to deal with a difficult person, and how you handled it." Telling a prospective employer "I called my boss a jerk" will probably not land you the next job.
    – LexieLou
    Nov 15 '15 at 22:05

Your reaction to this depends on what you plan to gain (and stand to lose).

  1. You could tell him off for just the satisfaction of telling him off. That's it. It's not going to result in any real value other than you getting to (publicly) ridicule your manager. The satisfaction is very real, but it's not going to get you anything. Your coworkers might also derive some satisfaction from being able to vicariously ridicule the guy, your manager resents you even more but at the end of the day, it's not going to get anybody anything

  2. You could manage to show up at work, hobble around for a little while and sit put somewhere, declaring that you simply cannot do it. This has some advantage in that it shows effort, you'll garner some sympathy from any observers and make it obvious what an asshat your manager is. Customers might even ask to speak to the manager about the hostess that's clearly in no shape to work. Your manager still gets to look like an ass, you'll probably get sent home anyway and your manager resents you even more

  3. Write a strongly worded email to your manager, cc his manager. Roughly the same effect as (2), with a different audience. Only this time, it's official and it will be on record. It has the added bonus of opening the avenue for further complaints from your coworkers on the same jerkwad. Hopefully management agrees with everyone else that the douchebaggery has to stop. Your manager resents you even more

The course of action you elect depends on what your desired outcome is. Pick wisely

  • #2 is usually pretty transparent. If you are going to show up for work always give your best effort. If you legitimately can not work it is better not to show up at all. Feb 9 '15 at 16:56

It's obvious that you are in no shape to do any work. I don't think any of the customers want to see you tottering among them. Worse, you may have a contagious condition, which could spread like wildfire in the small confines of your working area.

Your health comes first. Without your health, you have nothing and you can't do anything. Call in sick - you don't need to tell the creep off because your next calls are to the TV station and to your high school newspaper - and let him sort things out. Go to the doctor and get yourself treated. The visit to your doctor will be evidence of your veracity. Call the local TV station and call your high school newspaper, they'd probably love to hear a story like yours. I am sorry - and incensed - that someone would treat anyone in this way, especially a 17-year old girl.

  • 4
    In the US, many restaurants don't provide any or adequate sick leave, sick employees are expected to come to work anyway, and no TV station will be interested in what are pretty normal conditions. Crazy, huh? Mar 28 '14 at 23:29
  • 1
    @thursdaysgeek really? Remind me never to eat in a US restaurant ever again!
    – gbjbaanb
    Mar 29 '14 at 0:09
  • It is an extremely common practice in all lower paid job functions here in the US. Nearly anyone you come across in the service field is forced to work under the wrong conditions. Personally, as a manager, I always sent employees home when ill both for their benefit and my customers'.
    – Paul Muir
    Mar 29 '14 at 0:19
  • PaulDonny: good man :) Mar 29 '14 at 0:21
  • @PaulDonny - And don't forget the benefit of your other employees, as well. Letting a sick employee continue working is one of the best ways to ensure that you'll have more sick employees in the very near future. Sending them home is a good move for everyone.
    – aroth
    Aug 7 '14 at 23:19

First Haley, hello and welcome! The fact that you are here asking such questions at such a young age and lack of experience is an extremely positive sign. Keep it up and remember knowledge is power.

Now, to answer your question. Typically, I would say absolutely not, you shouldn't do this and this could ruin your career etc etc.

Since you are 17, he seems like a jerk and the job will likely have no impact in your future make sure that it is epic and represents what all of your co-workers certainly want to tell this person.

I would also recommend trying to explain how pathetic it is that a 17 year old seems to have more business sense than him and that he should learn how to properly treat an employee.

As for reasons to not do it, you could attempt to learn from adversity with it and such. That's always a good skill to have. But to be honest, one of my favorite memories from working is telling off one of my bosses when I was 15, telling him what he could do with my job and walking out. It's not often you get a free chance in life to do this without any consequence, I say go for it.

To make this more friendly and PC to avoid a ton of downvotes:

Avoid profanity, insults and the such. Instead, stick to the facts. They will hurt worse anyways. If you want to do it in such a manner here is a decent starting point. This would be in a letter format. I would print 3 copies, one for them, their boss and for yourself.

Dear [Boss],

I am resigning my position effective immediately. I am sorry that it has come to this but I can no longer subject myself to such horrible working conditions. While I am young, I do understand the basic principles of business and management. Treating employees in the manner which you choose to treat employees is not only disrespectful to the employees but it is overall one of the worst possible ways to manage a team.

While I do not want to personally insult you, I feel that you need to be shown the errs in your ways and I truly hope, for your sake, that you can see this and correct this. It will be beneficial for your long-term success hopefully. If you are personally offended, I am sorry.

I believe areas where you can improve are as follows:

  • Treating your employees with respect.

  • Recognizing that customer at our establishment do not want a sick employee present.

  • Continue with areas you think he can improve if any,

I want to thank you for what I have learned during my brief stint at your establishment and I hope that you have learned from myself as well.

Kind Regards,


  • 1
    tempted to downvote.. could you patronise the OP a little more? :-)
    – gbjbaanb
    Mar 29 '14 at 0:08
  • I am not patronizing in the slightest bit. It is my honest opinion that she should do this. Not only will it be beneficial for her (Learn to be able to stand up to a boss) but it will be beneficial to the boss because apparently, he isn't aware how horrible of a boss he is.
    – Paul Muir
    Mar 29 '14 at 0:10
  • 1
    it was wording "while I am young", and "asking questions at such a young age". All sounds a bit well done you young person you. IMHO your comment in the question was much better, which is really impressive work for a man barely into his 30s, well done you!! ;-) (I'm not having a pop at you, its a good answer, just not expressed the best way)
    – gbjbaanb
    Mar 29 '14 at 0:17
  • I am sincerely impressed by her being conscious enough to recognize at such a young age to get advice on such a situation. It is not common and I was giving her a compliment. And thanks! I have worked extremely hard to get where I am!
    – Paul Muir
    Mar 29 '14 at 0:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .