How the “world’s worst manager” lost his best employee — and went viral in the process

An office manager who lost his best and most dedicated employee after refusing to let her attend her graduation has been called the “world’s worst manager” after disclosing the details on a popular blog.

Ask a Manager blogger Alison Green shared the anonymous letter to her 25,000 plus Twitter followers leading to a massive global backlash with headlines like “World’s worst manager asks how to be even worse”.

So here’s what happened.

According to this anonymous manager, his best employee asked to come in two hours late to work so she could attend her graduation.

But because the business was launching a new product and needed all hands on deck, the manager declined the request, unless the said employee was able to find a replacement. The anonymous writer says this employee was unable to meet his request.

“I told this team member that she could not start two hours late and that she would have to skip the ceremony,” he says.

The employee quit on the spot, much to the apparent dismay of her manager.

“I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays,” he says.

In the letter, the anonymous manager then seeks advice not on improving his HR skills but on calling out his former employee for how she left the job.

“Even though she doesn’t work here any longer, I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee,” the letter reads.

The anonymous writer then goes on to reveal that this employee was an incredibly hardworking person who has overcome major challenges like homelessness to pursue a career and education.

These details and the fact that he had a great person in his team appear to have been lost on the manager.

“If anything, you should consider reaching out to her, apologising for how you handled the situation, and offering her the job back if she wants it,” Green says in response.

Here are some key lessons we can all take away from this:

  1. When your best employee asks for time off to attend something incredibly important like graduation, be flexible
  2. Empower your employees, or as Lush Cosmetics director Peta Granger says, let them use their workplace to better themselves
  3. Do participate in public forums but go equipped with self-awareness


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Syb Badger
Syb Badger
5 years ago

What a Coight !! He should be fired ! its hard enough to find dedicated and loyal employees of her caliber as it is to treat her so badly shows his true colours. Ooh I am so disgusted he has no idea none at all !! what a pathetic excuse for a manager.

5 years ago

This sounds too bad to be true,a disrespectful scumbag that Manager is she must have known he was going to say no already

5 years ago

Has it occurred to you that you are being sent up?