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  #51  
Old 05-16-2020, 05:48 PM
Ruken is offline
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Most have been way smarter than me, which is preferred. Two appeared less intelligent, but they weren't dumb unless you think I am. At least one Doper does.
  #52  
Old 05-16-2020, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Well, there was that one time when I was self-employed.
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
My manager is truly an idiot and Im self-employed.
When a rumor got around that a certain farmer was underpaying his help an inspector came to check up. "How many people do you employ?" he asked.

"Two hired men and a hired girl." said the farmer.

"I understand that you are paying them below the minimum wage, " the inspector said.

"Is that so!" said the farmer. He called the hired men and the hired girl. "Now," he said, "Tell this fellow what your wages are."

"One hundred dollars a week," each of the hired men answered. Eighty dollars a week plus room and board," answered the girl.

"Well, that's all right," the inspector said. He turned to the farmer. "Are you sure you don't employ anyone else?"

"Only the half-wit," the farmer said. "He gets his board and a little cash each week for his tobacco."

"That's disgraceful!" the inspector said. "Let me talk to him!"

"Talk to him!?" the farmer said. "Why you're talking to him right now."
  #53  
Old 05-17-2020, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Llama Llogophile View Post
Never saw anything like that during my time in education. Even accounting for how every state does things a little differently, I don't see how you could shunt someone into administration in that way. [...] It's also not true that tenured teachers can't be fired, although it's certainly a process..
Where I was in high school, the teachers were employed by the state. There wasn't anybody at the school or district who could get them fired. It just didn't work that way. The really bad, worst teacher in the school was given administrative duties. Eventually, experience in administrative duties would give him a promotion to a leadership position in another school.

When I was working as a contractor, I got to see many small offices, and I formed an opinion about managers, as follows:

Most smart people have the experience of being good at something, but also the experience of not being particularly good at something, and have no expectation that they will be any good at management. They don't apply for management jobs, because they don't want a job they aren't good at.

Some people aren't really any good at anything, and have no perception that there are things some people are good at, and things that some people aren't good at. They have no expectation that they will be bad at management. They do apply for management jobs, because it's a cushy well-paid job with no apparent requirements.

This leads to a situation where many of the people in management aren't good at anything, and have no perception that they are bad at management.
  #54  
Old 05-17-2020, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RedSwinglineOne View Post
The Peter Principle.

From Wiki. Bolding mine.
Working in technology, I kind of feel like there is more of an "inverse hierarchy of competency" than a true "Peter Principal". What I mean to say is that in a lot of other fields, you would tend to expect that moving up the latter more or less correlates to greater knowledge and ability. Instead what seems to happen is that you need the best and brightest who know what they are doing actually doing the work. While the less skilled and knowledgeable can do more of the "dumb" work like project management and sales. I'm guilty of this as well. When I started my career years ago, I found that I was an extremely competent developer - stuff like Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, SQL, Java, .NET etc. But I didn't want to write code, constantly keep learning new languages and take orders from middle managers who didn't know how this crap worked my entire career. So I went to business school and eventually got into management roles. Predictably, the technology changed over time and now I'm one of those middle management types who doesn't really know how all this shit works.
  #55  
Old 05-17-2020, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
That's fine. Maybe she doesn't know American geography outside of New York any more than I know what's a few hours outside of Sao Paulo. But another exchange went something like this:
Manager: How do we get to the subway from here?
Me: There's a station right across from the building in City Hall Park.
Manager: [angry] You're a consultant! I expect you to give me a better answer than that!
Me: [confused] So...do you want me to bill a bunch of hours putting together a long PowerPoint deck that kind of but doesn't really tell you where City Hall Station is?
I probably would have been unsatisfied with that answer as well. If I knew where City Hall Park was, I probably would have seen the subway sign. But if you didn't know where City Hall Park was, or had never gone there from the building, knowing where something is won't tell you how to get there from here. Like a hallway or vague direction.
  #56  
Old 05-17-2020, 07:12 AM
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I probably would have been unsatisfied with that answer as well. If I knew where City Hall Park was, I probably would have seen the subway sign. But if you didn't know where City Hall Park was, or had never gone there from the building, knowing where something is won't tell you how to get there from here. Like a hallway or vague direction.
If you don't know the name of the large park across the street from the building you have been working at for several weeks, that is not my problem.

If you can't infer that when I say "the park" or "City Hall Park", I am referring to the large park across the street from the building and visible from our window, that is also not my problem.

Even if these things were somehow "my problem" and you were still "unsatisfied with the answer", there is a polite way to ask for additional clarification (or ask me nicely to hold your hand and guide you there like a child). It is not treating someone as if failed to live up to some arbitrary performance standard.


There's a trait I've noticed, usually with weak, insecure managers (you also see this with Donald Trump) where they need to constantly be seen as "right", "all-knowing" and "powerful". They become very hostile when they have to defer to someone else for answers. It's like they have some need to belittle them or demonstrate that the knowledge the person possesses is beneath them.
  #57  
Old 05-17-2020, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
If you don't know the name of the large park across the street from the building you have been working at for several weeks, that is not my problem.

If you can't infer that when I say "the park" or "City Hall Park", I am referring to the large park across the street from the building and visible from our window, that is also not my problem.
I'm trying to figure out how she got to work every day without seeing a subway station- is there a NJ transit bus with a stop right by City Hall or something?
  #58  
Old 05-17-2020, 08:39 AM
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Are you kidding? I’m in law enforcement. Politics, nepotism, and cronyism run rampant when it comes to people getting promoted to management positions. Then there is the Peter Principle where good cops got promoted to their level of incompetence.

During my first career there was a Captain who had slept her way to the top (no lie). She had absolutely no clue on how to manage and when there were tough decisions to make the situation became a complete disaster because of her stupid ideas. At first we rhought she would delegate authority to give everyone a role. It turned out it was because she had no idea what she was doing herself and hoped someone else would.

I had to deal with an investigator once from the state department of criminal investigation. He kept screaming at me “who the f*cks idea was this? Who wrote this report? Are they insane!?!” It’s hard enough dealing with a line deputy who is a dope. But when the dope is your commanding officer it is excruciating!
  #59  
Old 05-17-2020, 09:02 AM
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Yes, I have a boss that is stupid. Not seriously drooling incompetent. No he's the kind that will give you a % based on a specific number, tell you the dollar value of that % and explain that that is next years claims budget. If you can get claims down to x% in the subsequent year, that raw dollar amount is the bonus. Oh and good news, we're projecting a 30% increase in business and income. Oh also, please kindly disregard the fact that an annual claims cycle runs 6 months behind the annual business cycle, so you already have no control over this coming year's claims.

Yeah, he thought nobody would catch that little bit of switching between percentages and raw numbers and back again. Claims were worse for two years after that.
  #60  
Old 05-17-2020, 04:39 PM
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I've mentioned Sheboss several times. This is one of the briefest.

The woman would have been great as head of a team of newbies. When any of them started looking consistently irritated at her it would mean they were ready to be moved to a team with someone who knew the difference between managing and strangling.
  #61  
Old 05-17-2020, 04:48 PM
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The boss I had right before Christmas... there may be things at which he is smart, but I saw none of them. People skills zero, no understanding of how the processes worked either. I left after, in just two weeks, he called the agency complaining that my coworker and I "did not look me in the eye [constantly] while I was talking [for more than one hour]" when he gatecrashed a meeting we were in and blocked everybody there from going to lunch at the usual time (he'd do this to someone every day), then complained again about my coworker daring to eat a chocolate bar in front of him (after he swooped in to lunch-block us when Sean had already injected his insulin). Combined with the concept that we had to be able to design replacement interfaces without having any kind of specs for the existing ones, or that it is possible to print out a Certificate of Analysis with analytical results from a system into which you have never entered analytical results... yeah, no.

Last edited by Nava; 05-17-2020 at 04:49 PM.
  #62  
Old 05-17-2020, 07:49 PM
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Several times.

One was a 70-year-old security guard assigned to manage 20 college aged kids.
One was creepy old fart who was nose-blind to the fact his suit (worn daily ) hadn't been cleaned in 5 years.

One was a straight up thief. He had been banned from legally working in the finance industry in PA, but "magically" found a job in the next state over. He stole everything that wasn't nailed down. Someone told me, after I left, that he had a heart attack and died... but that was a lie. I could have tied him to a dozen felonies. ( He's now a VP at Valley National Bank aka Mob Central)

One liked to "eff" his sister. A nice enough boss, was cool to me... but he was effing his sister and yes she worked there. There were more than a few scumbags there so... glad I left.

One was a smiley-faced bimbo who said, "Starting today, we are going to recognize revenue when we make the sales!" I tried to explain that that goes against accounting rules, but one of her "muscle coaches' grabbed me by the shirt, and pulled me out of the meeting with a "C'mere, college boy...!" Her direct report was Carly Fiorina, who if you ever vote for, you are as stupid as the day is long.

One was a woman who harassed me daily to try to make me quit so she would seem like a strong manager. The only other work she ever did was chat with her friends on the phone all day long after she took off her shoes. I guess it sucked to be me, but the whole office knew that bitch never washed her feet. Several bars of soap were left on her desk, which she would stuff in her purse with glee... but obviously never used.

There was the doofus who liked to harass his employees into fighting each other in the parking lot so he could bet on them. "You can't touch me; my Dad's a Cop..." < eyeroll >

One was a straight up thief for himself and his employees. He insisted I "bank the hours' of an employee going through a divorce so it would ratchet down what he paid in alimony. (That whole place was crooked; long story)

There was the fat hen who loved bitching about how she lost power during Super Storm Sandy and how it was an affront to her and her McMansion that she went three whole days without power.

Last edited by Mundane Super Hero; 05-17-2020 at 07:53 PM.
  #63  
Old 05-18-2020, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Mundane Super Hero View Post
Several times.

One was a 70-year-old security guard assigned to manage 20 college aged kids.
One was creepy old fart who was nose-blind to the fact his suit (worn daily ) hadn't been cleaned in 5 years.

One was a straight up thief. He had been banned from legally working in the finance industry in PA, but "magically" found a job in the next state over. He stole everything that wasn't nailed down. Someone told me, after I left, that he had a heart attack and died... but that was a lie. I could have tied him to a dozen felonies. ( He's now a VP at Valley National Bank aka Mob Central)

One liked to "eff" his sister. A nice enough boss, was cool to me... but he was effing his sister and yes she worked there. There were more than a few scumbags there so... glad I left.

One was a smiley-faced bimbo who said, "Starting today, we are going to recognize revenue when we make the sales!" I tried to explain that that goes against accounting rules, but one of her "muscle coaches' grabbed me by the shirt, and pulled me out of the meeting with a "C'mere, college boy...!" Her direct report was Carly Fiorina, who if you ever vote for, you are as stupid as the day is long.

One was a woman who harassed me daily to try to make me quit so she would seem like a strong manager. The only other work she ever did was chat with her friends on the phone all day long after she took off her shoes. I guess it sucked to be me, but the whole office knew that bitch never washed her feet. Several bars of soap were left on her desk, which she would stuff in her purse with glee... but obviously never used.

There was the doofus who liked to harass his employees into fighting each other in the parking lot so he could bet on them. "You can't touch me; my Dad's a Cop..." < eyeroll >

One was a straight up thief for himself and his employees. He insisted I "bank the hours' of an employee going through a divorce so it would ratchet down what he paid in alimony. (That whole place was crooked; long story)

There was the fat hen who loved bitching about how she lost power during Super Storm Sandy and how it was an affront to her and her McMansion that she went three whole days without power.

Wow. Your workplaces sound like the sort of companies we used to help the authorities investigate at the firm I worked at years ago.





Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen View Post
I'm trying to figure out how she got to work every day without seeing a subway station- is there a NJ transit bus with a stop right by City Hall or something?
No, they all come into the Port Authority in Midtown. the PATH is about a 10 minute walk. Still, you have to pass by at least one station. I thought it was weird at the time.

Last edited by msmith537; 05-18-2020 at 02:28 AM.
  #64  
Old 05-18-2020, 03:22 AM
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If you are there and she can ask you, why should she go to the manual first? Why is one method better than the other? Why is human interaction Only called for when one “want[s] a discussion about an issue in addition to a straight answer”? It’s not inherently better or morally superior to look it up in a manual rather than ask someone. It’s two ways of doing the same thing.

What’s “wasteful” for either side? Are you being used up in some way when she does this?
monstro has already addressed this, but I wanted to add that I'm fully on her side here. Having worked for the same company for 12 years now, I feel that one of my strengths is that if I don't know the answer, I probably know who does, and will ask them. But, I often remind myself to make an effort to research the answer myself before I interrupt someone else's work to question them. Sometimes, the latter is really necessary and useful, but if it's simply a matter of looking something up in a manual, that's the best course for everyone.

In fact, I suspect this is a trait I learned from the Dope. If someone posts a thread in GQ such as "Who won the World Series in 1957?", with no other discussion, of course some Dopers will immediately know the answer and reply. Others will Google it and reply, possibly including snark such as LMGTFY. Some might include links to where all this information is available. If the same OP then posts a new thread the following week titled "Who won the World Series in 1994?", that's going to get a more severe reaction. If they persisted with the same pattern, I assume they would be warned and then banned in fairly short order. Why? Because it's essentially trolling - wasting other people's time for no good reason.
  #65  
Old 05-18-2020, 03:34 AM
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I've never had a manager I considered particularly stupid, but I've had some who were downright evil. Several were narcissists, three were religious fanatics, one was a pathological liar, and two were pedophiles who ended-up doing time for their transgressions.
  #66  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:01 AM
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I've had a couple of bosses that I considered "dumb" but they really weren't in hindsight. They were smart about some things, just not the things we dealt with in my line of work. One boss had a law degree, but had no experience in what we do. They thought their law degree would make up for that. While they were smart, they were too "dumb" to realize that they needed to spend some time learning what we do and how we do it. They managed to muff up our whole process and burn a lot bridges.
A couple of bosses before that we had one that decided that they could do anything as long as they came in under budget every year. I considered that one "dumb" mainly because it worked for a while, it caught up with them when almost every piece of equipment stopped working within 2 months of each other...which cost them their job when the Board started asking questions.
  #67  
Old 05-18-2020, 10:03 AM
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While working in retail in my younger days a man with no retail experience was hired off the street to be my supervisor. I don't believe I had a single interaction with him when he wasn't high. He seemed to be a very stupid person but somehow he managed to get hired so it could have been the weed.
  #68  
Old 05-18-2020, 11:31 AM
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Back when I was in academia I had a manager who had several responsibilities. We called him a spork: did multiple jobs, all poorly.
  #69  
Old 05-18-2020, 02:12 PM
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Oh, yeah.
  #70  
Old 05-18-2020, 02:21 PM
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Not dumb or stupid, no. Evil spawns of hell, yes, but they were reasonably intelligent.

The closest to it was when I was doing systems support for a sales department, and I reported to the sales manager. He was a good sales manager, but he didn't have a clue what I was doing. But he valued my work and let me do it, so obviously intelligent.
  #71  
Old 05-18-2020, 02:59 PM
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I knew one. I don't know that I'd say "dumb", but one more shrewd than actually smart. He didn't know much ( and never came to ), but he was able to present certain snippets of jargon to his bosses in a way that made him seem much more on top of things than he was. I guess one could say, he knew his audience and hoped his repertoire of jargon and a few snippets of knowledge he overheard would pacify them. We would chuckle at his lack of innate knowledge, but on the extreme other end, a layman would think he's a savant.

There were some times he'd ask us for updates to pass along to his bosses, and of course he'd embellish to make himself look good. The problem was, the nature of the tasks didn't lend themselves to progress that occurred in a linear fashion and follow the metric of progress that his bosses framed it in. We'd give a synopsis, but he wasn't satisfied, and asked for minute details. Failing that, he'd hear us talking among ourselves about small details and try to use them. Even though he was an annoying micromanager, he was somewhat likeable as a person and a few times we'd feel bad for him. We'd level with him and tell him that if he presented to his bosses his version of the status, that it'll look just like what he is: a guy in over his head and trying to bluff his way around it by spouting technical word salad. It was so obvious.
  #72  
Old 05-18-2020, 03:20 PM
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The only boss I had who truly asked me idiot-level questions wasn't actually stupid, he just didn't care, was a sexist entitled shit and overall a terrible fit for the company. He was of the old-school belief that the boss didn't work - that's what employees were for - and therefore, his "job" was to look at pants online and post to Facebook and get pissed when we didn't read his mind.

The other ones that asked me dumb questions were usually people who were so deeply stuck in their own heads that when they actually paid attention to the world around them it was like they'd never seen it before and panic at the realization that they had no idea what was going on. It wasn't stupidity, just obliviousness and poor listening skills.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm like those bosses. I'll occasionally ask an employee, "You're really down in the weeds - is there something specific that you need me to do with this information or is this something you need me to be aware of in case things go south?" Which is a nice way of saying, "I have no idea what you're saying, but if you need me to help you I am happy to yell at whoever needs to be yelled at so you can do your job."
  #73  
Old 05-18-2020, 04:57 PM
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My current manager isn't dumb but she is a scattered micromanager who is controlling down to minutiae, which is super aggravating. Then she acts surprised when I tell her that it's driving me nuts. This tells you how bad it is, that I'd risk my tenuous contract position to tell off someone who could fire me on a whim and not have to fill out a lot of paperwork.

I always thought this was more a characteristic of where she works, because she is not the only manager who is like that. This is a nameless Big Tech Company. When they have to reduce headcount, they savagely ream the unlucky ones in a performance review out of the blue, as an extra kick in the pants on the way out. So her stressed-out behaviors are partially a reaction to this overall climate of mostly benevolence but with an undercurrent of Ticking Bomb.
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  #74  
Old 05-18-2020, 05:55 PM
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I've had a boss or two that was willfully stupid, but not necessarily dumb.
I had a boss who was *evil.* Malicious, malignant as a wasp. One guy got fired for not being in two places at the same time. (Sent him on an inspection tour, then called an all-hands meeting, and fired him because he didn't attend the meeting. Hey, he was in Tijuana at the time...per *your instructions!*) Evil.

But what makes it worse is that she was *fiercely intelligent.* Smart as a whip-crack. Not just canny and cunning, but, frankly, brilliant.

Evil.
  #75  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:14 PM
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My dumbest manager was when I was in a department of only five employees, which was fine with him since it gave him time to play the stock market and get rich with his Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets (spoiler: he never became rich).

His downfall was claiming his "wife" as a dependent for health insurance. We had met them several times at company parties, and despite different last names, they had been together over ten years, but never bothered to get legally married. He was dumb enough to think that a common-law wife would escape notice in a Fortune-100 company.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:54 PM
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I had the weird situation of having two co-equal bosses at a marketing firm, one of which was clueless. He would make us start marketing campaigns all over at the last minute because "I just don't get it"... (spoiler: he never "got" anything).

The other boss was brilliant. Had to be, to be so devious in her cheating (clients, vendors, the IRS, and the employees...).
  #77  
Old 05-19-2020, 04:20 AM
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My current manager isn't dumb but she is a scattered micromanager who is controlling down to minutiae, which is super aggravating. Then she acts surprised when I tell her that it's driving me nuts.
It has to be a form of narcissism. Of all the micromanaging jerkweeds I've met, at this one place, only one would admit he actually was, and only did so out of true fear. His stomach must've had a hole in it the size of a basketball. Every other one expressed dismay or outright anger at being accused of being one, and they came and went. We still reminisce at how one who stamped his feet at every syllable of "I. AM. NOT. A. MICRO. MANAGER!!! "I'm just doing my job" or somesuch tripe was the most often reason. As if every one before them was a failure.
  #78  
Old 05-19-2020, 10:17 AM
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His downfall was claiming his "wife" as a dependent for health insurance. We had met them several times at company parties, and despite different last names, they had been together over ten years, but never bothered to get legally married. He was dumb enough to think that a common-law wife would escape notice in a Fortune-100 company.
Firstly, people who are married do not necessarily have the same last name. Neither DesertWife nor my sister-in-law took our names when my brother and I married. In the libertarian circles we ran around in (DW and me) when people married it was common to tuck a card into the announcement/invitation letter about what name(s) the couple would be using after they were hitched.

Secondly, common-law marriages depend on the state. When my parents were married in 1942 it was not legal because of some minute error in the license -- the preacher had signed the wrong line or some such. When this was discovered they'd been living in Arizona for some times and when they inquired, since they'd been living in the state "as man and wife" and consummated the union, with issue, even (me), they were married as much as they could be. This was nigh on sixty years ago. I would imagine things are rather loser than back them almost everywhere in the country.
  #79  
Old 05-19-2020, 10:33 AM
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The only really dumb managers I've had were retail. A sequence of them, in the same place. The manager when I started was nice, but yeah, dumb covers it.

Part of his job was doing the open and close, on the computer; basically inputting the day's worked hours for each staff member, takings, and sending the stock control to regional or head office. I'm not entirely sure of the details, because he not only refused to train me to do it, he wouldn't show anyone. It was 'too complicated', and he appreciated the offer, but no, it was a really confusing system and it still took him about half an hour to do open and 45 minutes to close after several years and a training course. No way would anyone else be able to get their head round it, so he came in every day before 6am to do open, then at 10pm to close, 365 days a year (it was a small convenience type store, open every day).

I'd been there only a few weeks when he had a heart attack at work and got rushed to hospital, leaving an 18 year old supervisor in charge, who called in the deputy manager to help him work out the arcane mysteries of The Close.

It took them about half an hour, using the manual.


By the end of the week, all 3 late shift supervisors could do it in under 15 minutes- one did show me once, and it was laughably simple; it was literally type the info the labelled boxes and press enter, and it told you if anything was unusual or didn't match up.

Although he recovered fine from the heart attack, he was signed off work by his doctor for 6 months, and we had a new temp idiot manager sent in by corporate, to try out for being permanent. He was fine with computers, but clueless with staff. Briefly we had two competing temp managers who were both as dumb as a sack of rocks, and communicated via texts to the deputy. He actually showed me on saying 'Tell Chris I'm not working Saturday, I'm not talking to him'. The professionalism was incredible. We were pretty sure one of them had just been dumped on the store to give him enough rope to hang himself, as it were; he had been the protégé of the area manager, who was clearly very, very sick of the lump. He was only there a few weeks before quitting in a big sulk because people didn't respect him.

The one left appeared more competent, but alas... Appearances can be deceptive. High points included the time he decided that the deputy shouldn't be the one who got to do the rota. Next week's paper rota went up Saturday morning as usual, then idiot manager then took the rota home when he closed that night, brought a shiny new totally altered one in on Sunday and pinned it up instead. He didn't mention this change to anyone, nor did he bother checking things like staff availability when he wrote it. Like roughly half the staff, I'd seen the Saturday version, so got a furious phone call on Monday morning asking why I wasn't in. I was at my volunteer job, like every Monday, as agreed at interview. For the whole week, we were alternately understaffed and overstaffed, and no-one had any idea who was going to show up when.

He also announced a staff competition, to increase customer takeup of a particular offer; the staff member with the highest number of sales won a prize, can't remember what it was, nothing huge, but on the crap wages there it was worth having. Except... just before the end of the contest period he found out that he was going to be made permanent (guy who had heart attack came back for one day before being moved to a smaller store). Suddenly he just stopped talking about the contest, never announced a winner and literally ran off and locked himself in the office if anyone mentioned it.

He was also dumb enough to cancel my promotion to supervisor after I'd been given a start date and half the training, then tell two other staff members that this was because he didn't want female supervisors. This despite the fact that that kinda thing is definitely illegal here. I didn't wind up taking it anywhere only because I quit a few weeks later anyway, and the deputy, who was not an idiot, had asked me very nicely to give him a few weeks to get the idiot to see sense before calling corporate, because the store was about this ][ far from being closed down due to the numerous violations caused by previous idiot manager, which corporate had just uncovered before installing a new idiot-in-chief. He reckoned one more complaint could just tip it over the edge. He didn't ask me to drop it, he did say he'd confirm what he was told if I did take it to corporate or whatever, so I agreed to the few weeks delay.

Ironically, incidentally, that idiot 'didn't want female supervisors' because he was apparently worried the area was too rough and we wouldn't be able to handle trouble. I say ironically, because he was fucking terrified of me. While I was working my notice, he decided to compromise and signed up to a security guard agency for the late shift, so wimmins would be safe when the teenage male staff had gone home. The lady the security company sent was really nice

God I don't miss that place. I did feel sorry for the deputy though, who would have been a good manager if he wasn't constantly overridden by idiots.

Last edited by Filbert; 05-19-2020 at 10:35 AM.
  #80  
Old 05-19-2020, 11:16 AM
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I had one. He ran a company that maintained the servers in other companies' server rooms. I was hired to administrate their database that kept track of spare parts in inventory and how recently each part in each server had been replaced and so on. Overall inventory would be topped off by a buyer who would periodically come in and dump a dozen more hard drives and some fans and power supplies and whatnot.

The Stupid on display:


Sept 25: "Hey, AHunter3, I don't want the buyer messing with the database. And I don't want the service techs who take parts out of inventory for the servers to be messing with the overall inventory numbers, only me." // "No problem, I'll set the permissions up that way, you and only you will have authority to modify overall inventory".

Oct 1: "Hey, AHunter3, the number for one gig ram chips remaining says 'minus 5'. There can't be a negative number in stock!" // "Umm, the buyer brought a bunch in, I see entries in purchase. Then the old ones and some of the new were taken out of stock by the techs. Once you update the total inventory, it's correct" // "No, I don't want it to show a negative number. So make it so that they can't enter anything that would take it down below zero!"

Oct 10: "Hey, AHunter3, I got techs calling to say they can't enter the drives they're taking out of inventory to fix the servers! Error message is telling them it would make it go below zero, but there are a half dozen in stock!" // "Yeah but you haven't updated overall inventory so it's only seeing one as being in stock. If they tried to take out more, the number remaining would go below zero and we don't allow that". // "Well make it display zero but keep the real number in a separate field. My techs gotta be able to take parts out to do their repairs, ya know"

Oct 14: "Hey, AHunter3, why can't you get this inventory working right? I got techs adding up the quantities showing what we got in stock compared to last week, and the number of hard drives is the same, but they've put six new drives in servers this week, that doesn't add up!"

Last edited by AHunter3; 05-19-2020 at 11:18 AM.
  #81  
Old 05-19-2020, 02:21 PM
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Ann Hedonia is offline
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I had an extremely stupid boss once. He owned the company which he inherited from his dad. The company manufactured and sold stage lighting.

I was a salesperson. Dumb Bob had one rule for his salespeople. That rule was “never say no to anything”.
Now maybe there is some truth to the idea, but Bob took it pretty literally.

Which meant that if someone called and said “Do you sell and install carpeting?”, we couldn’t say no - even though the call was most likely a wrong number. It was a fellow salesperson that got into trouble for that call and I think she was told she was supposed to draw them out and find out if she could interest them in some quality stage lighting fixtures instead.

The real trouble came when someone called or came in with a very specific technical question, something dependent on the dimensions of a fixture or the specific capabilities of a controller. Especially when what they were looking for was highly non-standard and probably didn’t exist. Some of the promises he wanted me to make regarding product performance were just so wrong I couldn’t do it.

I left.

I few years after I left I was in another job, pricing and selling lighting packages for architectural lighting projects. At one point I got a specification that included a controller made by Dumb Bob’s company. It didn’t seem appropriate for the project so I called the lighting designer.
She explained what she was trying to accomplish. She told me about how hard it was to find a controller that did what she needed and how she thought she was out of luck until she called my old company and spoke to Dumb Bob. I had to break the bad news to her and she was practically in tears.

I ended up sourcing an appropriate part for her, but it was way more expensive. I called the manufacturer of that part and told them the story and got her a huge price break so she didn’t have to go back to her client and tell them about her mistake. It was the least I could do.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 05-19-2020 at 02:25 PM.
  #82  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:23 AM
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panache45 is offline
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I briefly worked for a small company that had two dumb owners. They both had been unsuccessful salesmen who thought they'd do better if they owned their own company. They didn't know a thing about the actual work we did or how to evaluate prospective employees. So a few of us who were good at our jobs pulled the rest along with us.

These owners soon became legends in the industry. One of them tried to use a computer mouse as a foot pedal. The other interrupted a major computer backup by unplugging the computers. They also told us to work more slowly, since they billed by the hour. And one of them brought in a very graphic video of his wife giving birth, encouraging us to pass it around.

One day, the other three member of my shift were out sick, and I had to handle everything myself. I was doing ok until the owners decided to "help." They micromanaged everything, though they had no idea how anything worked. I finally had to yell at them, "If you really want to help me, just stay the fuck out of my way."

They eventually went out of business. There was only so much we could do to save them from themselves.
  #83  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:00 AM
Spoons is online now
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I was a technical writer for about twenty years before I went back to school for another career (I'm now a lawyer). I never had a dumb manager, but I did have a number who were engineers (who are definitely not dumb), but who had no idea what to do with, or more importantly, how to deal with, the English, history, journalism, and language majors who were in their employ as technical writers.

My favourite was the engineer-manager of our tech writing department who was giving me my annual performance review. She claimed that my writing skills were lacking, and would be happy to recommend me for a raise if I could provide proof that I had enrolled in a technical writing course at a nearby community college. It took place at night, so I wouldn't miss work.

It sounded familiar. "Is that the one that runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm?"

She replied, "Yes! You've heard of it then. You must have been looking into it already. Great! Just show me the enrollment papers, and I'll make sure you get that raise."

She was rather taken aback when I told her, "I know all about that course. Because I'm the guy who teaches it."

I got the raise without providing proof of enrollment, but not until after she called the college to make sure that I was, in fact, the instructor. She also scaled way back on trying to edit my documents--she knew she had nowhere near the capabilities I did.
  #84  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:00 AM
Dead Cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
It sounded familiar. "Is that the one that runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm?"
I started chuckling at this point as I could see the punchline coming, absolutely perfect!
  #85  
Old 05-21-2020, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
"Is that the one that runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm?"... She was rather taken aback when I told her, "I know all about that course. Because I'm the guy who teaches it."
And I took the course. Because Spoons taught it.
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  #86  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:16 PM
amarinth is offline
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I've had weird bosses, but only one who was "not that bright." He was the definition of failing upwards.
He was affable and nice enough to his subordinates. And he knew a lot of the industry buzzwords and trends. He'd work somewhere for a while, then the company would restructure or fall under, and so he'd interview for the next level up when it was time to look for a new job. And he'd say enough of the right things and had enough of the right experience that get the job until the cycle repeated itself.
But, if you worked for him, after a while you'd realize that he doesn't know things. And not just the technical things, he didn't know the managerial things either. Nor did he really understand the buzzwords that he'd pepper into conversations. He'd try to cover up that he didn't really understand what was going on by asking for more information...in a meeting to be held in a month... if there was time.
Most people just ended up working around him.
  #87  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:10 PM
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I think most people in Corporate America are pretty dumb. Let's be honest, unless you are working at some place like Google, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, NASA, or some cutting edge Silicon Valley startup, chances are your company isn't hiring the best and the brightest in the first place. Not like they are hiring stupid people (for the most part). They are just hiring run of the mill people. And they aren't hiring them to put a man on Mars or develop a new high frequency trading algorithm to rip people off faster. They are hiring them to do boring, run of the mill, corporate bullshit work. And even if you work at one of those places, I would expect that organizational politics would render the smartest person effectively "dumb".
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