Are Bosses really like Dirty Diapers?
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 9, 2012
Who hasn’t heard the joke that “Bosses are like dirty diapers: Always on your ass, and full of shit.”?
It’s a proverbial oldie, but goodie.
And, like all humor, it must contain an element of truth.
While the purpose of this post is not to delve into the theory of humor, suffice it to say, that whether we’re interested in such mundane topics or not, we can all laugh at them.
Whether it’s an episode of the teevee show “The Office,” “Seinfeld,” “M*A*S*H,” “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” any episode of “The Three Stooges,” any Warner Brothers or Looney Tunes cartoon, we can only laugh at things that are real… even if they’re tragic.
It is a different type of tragedy – comedie noir, if you prefer – which I will address in this post. The setting is one with which most are familiar – the work place.
It matters not whether the workplace is an indoors office or an outdoor field. We all have bosses, because we’re all accountable to someone, somewhere, sometime.
Even the independent business owner has a boss, who is called “the customer.”
As an aside – a personal or anecdotal observation – I witnessed two events yesterday at the same business, and within minutes of each other, which spoke volumes about a company.
One, in which the employee walked right past the customer without even greeting the customer. Another, in which an individual was needing some immediate help – as in a type of medical help, though it wasn’t a life-or-death situation – was almost wholly ignored. The irony of it all was that it was a medical product & services firm.
With such atrocious relations, how do people manage to stay in business?
Following are the comments to:
“How to be a bad boss”
• Show your leadership by jumping to conclusions.
• Only take credit for successes. When things go wrong, make sure you know who to blame.
• Hire a plethora of vice presidents. Require them to issue dictates that are mutually exclusive.
• Have employees be responsible for something without giving them authority to get the work done.
• Just keep those pie charts and glossy presentations coming.
• When a lower-level management of supervisory position becomes open, completely ignore anyone within the unit who has been working as a leader.
• Give the employee of the month award to the guy who stayed in the office when told his son was in a car wreck.
• Keep people in the dark and then criticize them for not knowing what is going on.
• Use initials to stand for information.
• Hire consultants who do not trouble to take the time to find out what your staff does.
• Give one of those quality seminars. Then have your management make up a slogan like “spectacular customer service,” which they repeat mindlessly over and over.
• Take insufficient time to pick the right people for the job.
• Give big pay raises to your cronies, the folks at the top, and then lay off the low-level workers because money is tight.
• Demand death certificate from an employee who puts in for one day of bereavement leave.
• Keep trying to implement a failing idea.
• Tell your employees that quantity it a measure of quality.
• Make ridiculous, nitpick comments to show you have input and made a difference.
• Sit on reports and project requiring your signature.
• Tell your staff that it is quite possible to to the impossible with fewer people.
• Set up an employee engagement committee, but then don’t follow any of the recommendations.
• Be cheap, not frugal.
• Create an “ethics hotline” and then instruct the person at the phone to report those who file complaints.
• Delegate everything and spend all your time on personal matters.
This post may be found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/how-to-be-a-bad-boss/2012/03/08/gIQAW0i8zR_gallery.html#photo=1