Worker Spoke His Mind In A 'Feedback Meeting' With Bosses So They Made His Job Impossible To Continue

When you give the bosses what they ask for and it still isn't good enough...

TikToker telling toxic boss stories TikTok

Most of us have been there at one time or another — your boss or manager asks for your feedback, you provide said feedback, and you are instantly punished for it.

All too many of us have toxic boss stories stemming from these situations, where we had to learn the hard way that many bosses only ask for feedback because it makes them look like they care, not because they actually want your honesty. For one man, it ended up ruining his job entirely.


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A former industrial worker was reprimanded for giving his bosses the feedback they asked for.

TikToker Graeson McGaha, known as "@graeson.mcgaha.comedy" on the app, was responding to a TikTok career coach's call for people's worst toxic boss stories so people could commiserate about the non-sensical, unsavory, and often cruel things bosses and managers all too often do.

McGaha's story was a perfect example of all three. In short, McGaha was "reprimanded for providing feedback in a meeting where they asked for feedback."




The TikToker and his coworkers were asked to tell management how they could be more productive at their jobs. 

If you've been in the working world long enough, that question seems like a trap right off the bat, right? The kind of thing that almost seems like a prompt for a bunch of toxic boss stories. McGaha's experience quickly proved to be precisely that.

As he details in his video, McGaha used to work in a metal refinery. During one particular week, he and his colleagues "had a week where the stars aligned and everything just went great." They produced more in just that one week than they had the entire previous month. "And when you're that productive, management usually has some questions," McGaha said.

The secret to their success? The total absence of management. "The only thing I could think of is that the management was out on a leadership and developmental retreat," he explains.


Management interrupted the staff's work for multiple meetings to figure out how to replicate their previous success.

"Naturally, when they got back, of course, we started having three meetings a day about how we could be more productive," McGaha said, and that's where things went sideways. When his boss pulled everyone into a meeting and said, "We're not leaving this room till we can figure out what we can do to make this happen every week," McGaha decided to speak up and state the obvious.

"I said the only thing that changed is we didn't have a lot of people wearing shirts and ties standing around with their hands in their pockets waiting to tell us what to do," he said. McGaha then put a finer point on it. "Last week was proof that if you let us actually just work, we do our jobs pretty well."

He questioned the need for frequent meetings but, of course, rare is the manager who will brook such candor, and McGaha's were no exception. "The next morning, I was called into the office along with four other supervisors. We were talked to like dogs that had peed on the rug."

Worse still, the managers threatened to fire them if they didn't meet the production numbers they'd made the week before — which were being hampered from reaching by constant interruptions to have meetings. "That there is the reason I said at the beginning of the video, I used to work for them people."


The TikToker's story inspired several people to tell toxic boss stories of their own.

For many, McGaha's tale was instantly recognizable as an example of how management at all sorts of jobs try to hone a reputation for collaboration and equality and respect, but then do the exact opposite. "'I have got your back' then proceeds to throw you under the bus," one user wrote, which McGaha said had also "happened several times" at his former job.

"Had a new manager tell my team that family is not a good reason to miss work, regardless of the circumstances," one person wrote.

The US is suffering from a very well-known labor shortage — and according to the US Chamber of Commerce, the manufacturing sector that McGaha works in is among the fields shedding workers at the highest rates. While the job market is tightening amid economic headwinds, economists say some sectors like healthcare will not only continue to have massive labor shortages but see their shortages worsen dramatically in the coming years. 


Given this dire situation, it might be a good idea for bosses and management to think about figuring out how to manage people without inspiring more toxic boss stories that make people want to quit. Maybe they could have a meeting about it?

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers workplace, social justice and human interest topics.