It is a rare instance, but EVERY
not "the majority"
EVERY time I've heard of an employee standing up to his boss, even daring him to fire him, it has worked out in the employee's favor.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but the empirical evidence I have witnessed thus far does not lie. EVERY time I've heard or seen an employee stand up and get in the bosses face, sometimes even yelling at them, they have won and the boss has lost.
The reasons are a bit convoluted and certainly theoretical, but permit me to posit some.
1. Because of the progressively decaying nature of our population, the majority of people are at minimum flawed, if not, outright impaired. The problem is, especially if you are younger, you are conditioned to think people in positions of authority are not. That they are somehow "special." That they are somehow unique super-humans that are more intelligent, more experienced, more logical and wiser than you. That they are immune to this decaying trend.
Not by a long shot.
The truth is they are no smarter, better, or wiser than you. Just older. So convinced of this, I believe nearly 80% of American bosses today are merely bluffing the entire time and engage in such petty office politics antics to hide that fact so you dare don't peak behind the curtain and realize their ineptitude.
However, inept incompetent management can only last so long before driving underlings insane. It's not only illogical, but damaging, not to mention bad management makes employees' jobs impossible to do. Soon the stress is too much to take for some and they barge into their boss' office reading them the riot act. The boss, rarely if ever facing an angry and more competent underling, buckles and the employee gains some concessions (but never enough to solve the fundamental problems plaguing the firm).
2. Another reason is that deep down inside most bosses know they're bad and incompetent. Their ego and frontal lobes will work wonders to convince them otherwise, but deep down inside that 50 year old, gray-haired, 30 years of experience man was promoted to a level that is seriously challenging his abilities and competences. He's barely treading water. And just like a drop dead gorgeous 24 year old is insecure that she may not be the hottest girl on the block, so too are there underlying and constantly nagging doubts in your boss' head about his competency. If you challenge them, especially with superior intelligence, factual data, or a different vantage point, you may pierce their thin veil of confidence.
3. Exacerbating this doubt is the fact that most bosses get promoted not through achievement or excellence, but rather compliance, obedience and politicking. While that makes for "good" employees, those traits are not those of a good leader. This leads to an irony where the "best" employees are promoted, which is like promoting the most obedient sheep to the position of shepherd. This results in bosses who are out of their element, again, insecure about themselves, but more importantly really susceptible to an employee whose flown off the handle. They are the most COMPLIANT people by "natural corporate selection," ergo the last to say no and therefore the quickest to cave.
4. Finally, most corporate cogs in America are deathly afraid of violence. Even though you may not have the intention of causing your boss physical harm, a person (even a woman) going livid and ripping the boss a new one is such a traumatic event it will shake them to their Darwinistic core. The worst they've seen is maybe a motorist giving them the bird as they suffer their 90 minute commute in their SUV back to their SWPL suburb to watch the Kardashians and watch Jr. in the school play. I guarantee you it's a once in a 3 decade career where a furious, violent-ACTING human is screaming 3 inches in front of their face. Admittedly, sometimes they may choose fight over flight, and that presents a serious legal (and physical) risk. But again, I've only seen them choose flight.
Admittedly, these are only theories and I really don't know why employees who have it out with their bosses are batting 1.000. The sad truth is, however, daring your boss to fire you, threatening to go on welfare/unemployment, reading him the riot act, or tearing him down in front of the entire office to see will not achieve anything as you cannot fire your boss. Your boss will still have his/her position of authority. And though they may make some concessions, like a drug addict, they are incapable of fundamentally changing and your job will still suck.
This means if you have a job with an incompetent boss it pays to mentally check out, not worry about what he says, do your best, and collect that check. However, if you're like many people where the boss barks contradictory orders, is intolerably inept, and really makes it impossible to do your job, then that job is impossible and ripping your boss a new one called for.
Just be prepared to lose your job...and go on the government dole as you live off of his taxes.