'Sounds Like a Boomer Term': New Worker Shares Management's 'Toxic' Habits

In a now-viral video, a woman said she was berated by her boss for not understanding a term used to describe her in a company-wide email.

Posting to TikTok under the username ShayLee Raye (@shayleeraye), the woman asked: "Does anyone have blunt managers?" The post has amassed over 2 million views and thousands of comments from viewers slamming Raye's "toxic" boss.

Toxic Managers

Unfortunately, toxic management is all too common—and it's causing workers to quit their jobs.

For example, 76 percent of those surveyed in a 2018 Monster poll said they'd worked for a "toxic" manager at some point in their careers. And roughly half of U.S. adults surveyed in a 2015 Gallup poll said they previously left a job because of management.

Boss yelling at employee
In a now-viral video, a woman said she was berated by her boss for not understanding a term used to describe her in a company-wide email. Many commenters backed the woman for not understanding the term. Bojan89/istock

"Although abuse may be helpful and even mentally restorative for supervisors in the short term, over the long haul it will come back to haunt them," Russell Johnson, a researcher with Michigan State University, said.

According to Forbes, the tell-tale signs of a toxic manager include a lack of accountability, reactive decision making and unrealistic expectations, among other things.

"The unfortunate reality is that most toxic bosses only see their workers as profit producers rather than humans," the magazine warned. "No amount of money, future promises or job title is worth the mental health impact of a toxic boss."

'Can't Win for Losing'

At the beginning of her video, Raye said she started her job about a month ago, but the experience has been rough.

"I literally get yelled at by my manager, well not yelled at, but I literally get told how terrible of a person I am and how 'unsmart' I am," she said. "Today, for instance, my CEO Michelle wrote that she would love to plan a trip...for everyone to meet me and to see if I'm a 'ringer.'"

Raye admitted she'd never heard the term "ringer" before, so she Googled it. Unfortunately, her search yielded five different definitions ranging from "someone who is a fake" to "someone you can bring to a party."

"I'm like, okay, none of those sounds like what she's trying to convey in this message...I figured maybe this company has its own inside lingo that I just don't know yet, so I wrote in the group chat: 'I have no idea what a ringer is,'" Raye said.

Shortly after Raye sent her message, she received an unfriendly response from her manager.

"Hey, instead of saying messaging things like, '[I] don't know what a ringer is,' why don't you look it up? It's a very common saying," he said. "I just want you to adjust and be more resourceful...it will help you come across as more serious and educated."

Raye explained to her manager that she had, in fact, Googled the term but couldn't find a definition that she felt matched the CEO's email, so finally, he defined it for her.

"It is someone who enters a competition and ends up being like a pro," he said, before adding: "Next time, ask for help."

Raye simply laughed and said: "I can't win for losing."

Viewers React

Many viewers tried to encourage Raye by sharing that they'd also never heard of the term "ringer."

"Literally never heard of a ringer it sounds like a boomer term," Katie Lothrop wrote.

"WTH! I have NEVER heard of that term. What an a**hole. I am SO sorry," Kelly Renee Woolard commented.

Leah Forristall, RD added: "For what it's worth, I've never heard that term either."

Others called Raye's manager "toxic," and told her to quit.

"Speaking as a manager this behavior is toxic. My advice, use this job as a stepping stone and move on when you can," Amanda Roy2 advised.

"Ummm, please leave now. This is toxic AF," Dakota Gilley said.

"Baby girl leave. They don't value you and [they] belittle you. You are smart, intelligent and full of potential," DerpyD0nut encouraged.

Newsweek reached out to Raye for comment.

Other Viral Moments

Over 3,000 workers took to Reddit earlier this month to share the worst things their bosses have ever said to them. Redditors also dragged an employer earlier this month for refusing to pay their employee's PTO.