Hilariously Dumb and Sadly True Stories about Jobs Like Yours


By Phil Edwards

By Matt Kraft

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD




ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 28, 2011. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Launched in 2009, Dumbemployed.com has been committed to letting people know they’re not the only ones facing dumbemployment. In 300 characters or less, each entry details the stupid, bizarre, and ridiculous things that happen in the workplace. It’s F My Life for the working person. From the boss whose letter of recommendation merely said “Joe works hard,” to the manager whose “special task” for his employee was leveling up his World of Warcraft character, the laugh-out-loud workplace humor in Dumbemployed includes 800 hilarious occupational outtakes, complete with tips, charts, and illustrations throughout.



There’s a word for the work you do.

Believe it or not, you aren’t the only one sipping the bitter cocktail of boredom and frustration that is your job. Work feels like work for just about everyone. Employment pollsters report that 92 percent of all people are unhappy at their jobs and the other 8 percent are lying. As for the pollsters, they’re all looking for new work as soon as possible.

It’s not just one thing that makes your job terrible—it’s a mix as delectable as Dr. Pepper on your Chex Mix. There are a thousand things to blame—though you should never blame yourself, of course. That twitchy feeling you get as soon as you punch your time card or step inside your office lobby? It’s not because you have deep-seated issues with responsibility and the necessary concessions of adult life. It’s because your job sucks.

Like cartographers in hell, we’ve mapped out the five factors that make your job so infuriatingly dumb: Bosses, Customers, Just Dumb, Overtime, and Weird Shift. In each section, we chart your misery with blistering accuracy and a whole mess of testimonials because, as we mentioned before, you are not alone.

We’ll give you glimpses of work at its worst, tips on how to make it through another day, and a whole host of pretty pictures that will make you feel slightly better about your own job (or at least distract you from that boring Excel spreadsheet). All these elements define modern work. Whether you’re in a fast food kitchen or a corporate office, a truck stop or a law firm, or an office park or a trailer park, you know what it means to be frustrated. It doesn’t matter if your job requires brains or brawn, or if you’re a CEO or an intern. We all have the same complaints in common, and they’re not going to change anytime soon.

Fortunately, there’s a word for what you go through. There’s a word for what you, your friends, your family members, and even your enemies face every time you drag yourself out of bed, clock in and out day after day, show up at nine a.m. on the dot, and fill out your taxes. There’s a word for what you are, and this book is our way to offer our condolences.

It’s time for you to face the truth and confirm what thousands of people have already realized before you. Just sit back, relax, and take a deep breath, because there’s only one word that defines what you do.

You’re dumbemployed.


Bosses are as inevitable as death and taxes, but they aren’t quite as forgiving. You can look forward to a lifetime spent laughing at your boss’s mediocre jokes, dodging his bad breath, and trying not to come up with better ideas than his. Assuming you survive the gauntlet, your reward will be a promotion with a newer, worse boss you hate even more, in addition to underlings that can’t stand you.

At work today, my boss gave me some instructions on my recent report on global corn futures. His first was to make it shorter. His second was to make it local. And his third was to make it about soy instead of corn. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was interviewing for a higher position at my company. My boss introduced me glowingly—so glowingly, in fact, that she said she “didn’t believe any of the bad things people were saying.” I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my “team” and I met around one of the small tables in our restaurant. Our shift manager came in and slowly poured water on the table. “This team,” he said, “is the glass. Without it, we spill.” Great metaphor, boss. Then he made us clean it up. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss asked us if we had any questions about the new system for stocking shelves. I asked him something about alphabetical order. “I meant good questions,” he said. But I think he just didn’t know the answer. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I scheduled a vacation trip for my boss. It’s not my job, but whatever. The bad part was that he asked me afterward to make it “more fun.” The trip was to rural Wisconsin. Should I have included cow tipping? I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, the guy I work for told me that I “really need to show some maturity.” He’s my fast food manager and was exactly one grade above me in high school—after he was held back a year. I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: Your boss may be stupid, but remember that’s also the reason you were hired.

At work today, my cheapskate boss made me both cook a meal and bake a tray of brownies. I’m not good under pressure—halfway through, I realized I was baking butter and sautéing with brownie mix. Can I have my nap now? I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss was sweeping outside, which is my job. I asked him why and he said he wanted to “keep in touch with the little people.” I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my supervisor called us into the break room for a meeting. “All hands on deck,” he said. “We need to talk about cleaning bathrooms.” I didn’t realize that when he said “deck,” he meant the poop deck. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was making a profit-and-loss spreadsheet. “Great, we’re in the red!” my boss shouted when he saw it. Then I pointed out that red is bad. “Oh,” he said and frowned. “I always get those mixed up.” I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: It’s easy to impress your boss with chocolates, hard work, and plausible threats.

At work today, my boss actually had me pick him up Pepto-Bismol at the store. My title is vice president of marketing, but it should be vice president of babysitting. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my supervisor offered me a Corona in the break room. I appreciated the gesture—but I’m not sure if that’s really appropriate for our daycare center. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, the dentist I work for said we should push glow-in-the-dark floss on our patients, because he wants to “mack on” the sales representative. Some quality care, doctor. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I filled out three index cards with my talking points for an afternoon presentation. I returned to find my boss looking through them. He then used them for his own presentation and I was left to mutter. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, we had an office party to celebrate my coworker’s new sales. Of course, my boss bought the “champagne.” How many times do I have to tell him that sparkling apple cider is not champagne? I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I realized I’ve been working at my current office for five and a half years. In that period of time, the president and I have had two conversations—both of which were in the elevator when he asked me to move out of his way. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my supervisor had me pricing oranges in the produce aisle. He told me I did it wrong—then he realized that he had confused oranges and tangerines. I had to do it over. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I started as a lawyer. Three years of law school, two major internships, and one job finally begun. My first duty? Interpreting a senior partner’s coffee order. I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: There’s a reason you’ve never seen your boss and the devil in a room at the same time.

At work today, my boss had a housewarming party. He and his wife live in a palace in the sky with leather chairs and a huge plasma TV. Naturally, he spent half the party talking about how “cutbacks will be an inevitability.” I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was writing copy for a brochure about our services. My boss came by and said, “I think you flipped the clauses here.” He was pointing at a one-clause sentence. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my manager had me write thank-you notes to 312 regional suppliers. I know his signature so well that I could probably forge a check. Hmm, I think I’ll go do that right now. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss chided me for making “small talk” in the hallway at work. All I did today was spend five minutes asking my coworker about a work project. Apparently, even on-task discussion is illegal now. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I showed up five minutes late due to road construction. “I told you to get an SUV,” my boss said. “You need to take the drive into your own hands.” Sorry, sir—I’m not risking my life to make fast food. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss, whose jean shorts aren’t exactly the height of sophistication, spent about twenty minutes making fun of “the hicks in Nebraska.” That would be funny—but we live in Kansas. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss made the grand announcement that he had bought us a rice cooker for the kitchen. That would be really cool—except that we were kind of hoping he’d buy a microwave first. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, there were about one hundred phone calls coming into our telemarketing center because our product was featured on the local news a couple of times. My boss was ecstatic. Then I reminded him that the news stories were about a recall. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was working the returns desk. My boss leaned over my shoulder the entire time and then criticized me for “grilling” the customer. All I did was ask for a receipt—which I’d be fired for not having. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was talking with a coworker about the Jets. My boss sidled up to us and started laughing. “I’m a fan of Bennie.” It took us five minutes to get the joke. But we laughed right away—we had to. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss showed up with an intense haircut. Now I feel morally obligated to give him an update on the status of the mullet. Sir, it’s still dead. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, we were doing icebreakers around the office and asked what everybody’s favorite Beatles song was. My boss’s answer? “Satisfaction.” No one corrected him. I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: If you have a boss who likes golf, shouting “Fore!” around the office is a great way to get his attention.

At work today, my boss came in dressed like a cowboy with boots, a leather vest, and a hat. The reason? He’s going apple-picking after work. This is the man I work for. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss decided that it’s part of my duties to clean out his pickup truck. That would be fine, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s a hunter. Now I smell like a deer. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I double-bagged a customer’s groceries, at her request. I was later called aside by my boss for “wasting resources.” Last time I checked, a paper bag cost about a tenth of a cent. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss said that our competitors deserved “a new square of hell.” I’m pretty sure the expression is “a new circle of hell.” But maybe that’s why they’re killing us in the marketplace. I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: You may want to kill your boss, but simply kidnapping him may be sufficient.

At work today, I was folding blue jeans. My supervisor tapped me on the shoulder gently and asked me where I’d learned how to fold. She spent twenty minutes showing me the “right way” without realizing she was the one who’d taught me the “wrong way” eight months before. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I catered a Bar Mitzvah and had snobby thirteen-year-olds ask for more cheese. My manager saw me and told me to “sex it up a little.” I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was working out of a coffee shop in order to focus on a very tough project. My boss’s reply to my meditative mission? “Get me a decaf mocha latte with cinnamon sprinkles.” I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I got a chance to decorate my own office. It was a momentous occasion, until my boss palmed a framed picture of my daughter and asked me who the hot chick was. I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: Friends with your boss on Facebook? Make sure to tag yourself in pictures where you’re drinking and doing drugs so that he knows how cool you are.

At work today, I was selling concessions and gave a customer three ketchup packets, which resulted in my supervisor yelling at me. Apparently, two is the maximum, and my pay will be docked for the third. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, the company taxes were being organized and filed. Fun stuff. That’s also when I discovered that my boss flew first class as he was downsizing the company. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, a very overweight man and woman came into our restaurant and sat down. They were incredibly rude to me and insisted on two bottles of ketchup, one for each of them. Only later did I learn that they were my manager’s relatives. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my supervisor insisted that we institute a number system in order to deal with our overflow of customers. We did it—and reached No. 4 by the end of the day. I’m dumbemployed.

Tip: It’s always good to protect yourself in the workplace. Play it safe and force your boss to show you identification each time you meet.

At work today, I was standing in front of a bland piece of corporate art in our lobby. My boss sidled up beside me and nodded his head. “It’s about sex,” he said. I had to agree. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was drinking a weird soda that I bought at a special grocery store. My boss saw me and asked for a sip, which he took directly from my can. Then he sneezed on it. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss asked me if we should create a mobile app for our store. We sell yarn. I don’t think our customers know what apps are. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, I was setting up for a gig, where I guess the bar’s owner is my boss. He asked me if my band could play an Elton John cover during the gig. We are a metal band. I’m dumbemployed.

At work today, my boss asked me if I enjoyed baseball. I told him I do, so he asked me to explain it to him before a meeting with a client who is a big fan. Ten minutes in, he quit because it was too boring. I’m dumbemployed.


On Sale
Jun 28, 2011
Page Count
224 pages
Running Press

Phil Edwards

About the Author

Phil Edwards and Matt Kraft are the founders of Lonely CEO Media. They launched Dumbemployed.com in May 2009 and have a large presence on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. They live in Chicago. Visit them at dumbemployed.com.

Learn more about this author