New and Unimproved Workplace Rants

Since the other one hasn’t been updated in a couple of weeks, has over 9,000 posts and over 1 million views, I think I’ll just let it rest and start a new one.

And because fuck you, that’s why, I’m going to post a sort of anti-rant.
It is utterly amazing how good things can turn when you have a new boss who isn’t a total shit. I’ve been raising issues with her about some of the assholish decisions our last boss forced on us and her response every time has been a rather immediate “No, it should work this way”, where ‘this way’ is actually reasonable and human.

Like the last guy worked from home every day, but when we’d ask about working from home when they were predicting over a foot of snow, the asshole snarled “This is Minnesota, suck it up” and threatened us with disciplinary action if we tried it.

The new boss says work from home anytime it snows.

Old Boss walked out the door growling at me for not shutting my mouth and following the “don’t worry, I have plans for you” plans that never included me doing anything I wanted to do or even telling me what his “plans” were.

The new boss has been asking me to attend meetings in her place for things I’m interested in, or just to have someone more knowledgeable there (since she’s new to our team).

Old Boss would tell rambling stories implying that I was being disloyal or ungrateful for disagreeing with him or telling him he was wrong, as well as making several failed attempts to discipline me for it. (His boss refused to allow it)

New boss actually listens to us and changes plans based on our opinions and advice.

So a hearty FUCK YOU to the old boss. Good riddance,.

“(so-and-so) who used to work for me asked me one day if I knew what his job was. I said sure, I know what your job is. He said no, my job is to make you look like a hero”.

Dude, the team isn’t there to make you look like a hero. The team is there to get work done for the company. And no, we aren’t narcissists for wanting a little bit of that ‘hero’ shine to fall on us too once in a while. But you sure are if you think it’s all about YOU.

I’m a guy so I can say this: the differences between your Old Boss and New Boss sound to me a lot like the differences between male bosses in general vs. all the female bosses I ever had. The men were either good-ol’-boys who didn’t know shit from shinola (I could actually work around them), or they were passive-aggressive assholes. The women were enlightened and intelligent, and were my best mentors.

I realize it’s a small sample, and my last female boss was actually a jerk, but she was only my boss for 6 months or so and didn’t last long after I retired so I don’t count her much. I’m sure there are good male bosses out there. I just never met one.

I’ve had bad women bosses, I’ve had good men bosses.

I can summarize every last bad boss as “Do what I say without question because I’m your boss and I’M ALWAYS RIGHT! HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME!!!”

If this is you (generic ‘you’), get the fuck over yourself, because you’re just another cog in the wheel like I am, just one of millions of middle managers, and I don’t work for YOU, I work for the company, same as you.

Best boss I had was an old guy from the Philippines. I was on a temp assignment as a data entry clerk helping his organization get out their new membership directory and he didn’t mind at all when I’d use the old directories in his office to fill gaps in a member’s work history. Seemed to like it, in fact.

He retired a few years after my assignment was complete.

Dear HR,

Don’t ask for volunteers to play in your sexual harassment skit and then when you don’t get any volunteers, (hint because nobody wants to humiliate themselves) shove a script in front of unwilling participants,forcing them to play along.

And while we’re at it, I don’t want to shake the hand of the random stranger sitting next to me and tell him something interesting about myself.

Stop it with your nonsense!

Hey new employee!

Tell us 3 things about yourself and one of them must be a lie. And we will guess which one isn’t true!

Won’t that be a fun way for us all to get to know you???

“Well, Ok.”

  1. I killed both my mother and father when I was very young and the record has been expunged.

  2. I was homeless for 2 months one time.

  3. I am a Secret Shopper plant from your biggest competitor. Here to steal from you. Corporate spy.
    “Oh, come on!. You don’t look like you were ever homeless!”

You got me, HR department.

HR should really stop trying to force employees to play stupid games. They don’t decrease stress, they don’t make the meeting more fun. In fact, a good chunk of them are just begging for complaints, firings and/or lawsuits.

Corporate IT has instituted a new group policy that not only makes Internet Explorer (with add-ons blocked, naturally) the only browser that can be used on company computers, but they’re also forcing everyone to have the same settings – specifically, the browser is set by default to open to the home page instead of the tabs from the previous session. WTF???

(Fortunately, the browser itself appears to remember the previous session regardless of which option is selected – I just have to remember to change the setting every time I open the browser. :rolleyes: )

Dear Coworker: Please quit the random outbursts into song when you randomly start singing some 80’s or 90’s ear worm. The only place I’ve worked where I heard someone singing at work was a restaurant/bar and at least there was alcohol and background music to blame .

A trade desk at a brokerage firm really doesn’t need your musical off key contributions.

Can you maybe find a way to route your mail cart so that you avoid that particular desk?

Is it at least a recent IE? The corporate IT at my workplace has the same policy, but it’s IE9 (probably to maintain compatibility with some custom app some group, somewhere uses). This means that an increasing number of websites just straight-up refuse to load, instead telling me to upgrade to a modern browser, like IE11. Sigh.

Yeah. I can’t even load our companies webpage properly witn the IE version we have.:smack:

Wish it was so simple.

I was thinking about some of my old bosses yesterday (had an interview for an in-house position close to home; well-wishing and crossing of appendages appreciated). Good bosses include both genders; bad bosses include both genders. Sample in no particular order…

Male bad boss the one: decided to steal the research of his doctoral students. After careful application of a flamethrower, he now teaches at a CC instead of at one of the biggest universities in the US. His tenured accomplice (also male) retired “due to bad health”.

Male bad boss the second: I only had to put up with him for one day, as thankfully he was my great-grandboss, but apparently the best career choice for a woman is whore. Note that he had a thirteen year old daughter.

Male bad boss the third: “why can’t we all be friends” and “let’s hug and make nice” were his mottoes. To the first, because your pal Matt is a thief and a liar, and to the second, mind if I use the hug to verify if it’s true that the path to a man’s heart goes through his stomach? Or, in Matt’s case, if it’s true for lying, arse-kissing, conniving thieves.

Female bad boss the one: she asked for, and obtained, a team of experienced, get-go professionals (subcontractors, all from the same firm, all interviewed directly by her). Turns out she actually wanted yes-men, oops. Insults, yelling. I was the first person to get another offer and leave the ship, which is when our subcontractor finally woke up, called each of my teammates individuallly asking “but, things at work are really that bad?” and got a string of “uh… dude, I’m having interviews…” She’d been right after

Male bad boss the fourth: also yelling and insults, plus physical assault (not on me, on the dudes, and boy was he surprised when one of them turned out to have been an international-level wrestler); kissed the clients’ asses when they were present, insulted them constantly behind their backs. Had to be reminded to wipe off the white dust on his upper lip several times, after his first thing in the morning visit to the toilet.

Female bad boss the second: most change-resistant person in the project. Did not want us to take any decisions. Everything had to go through her desk. She took vacation several times, including a month-long trip to Hong Kong and Australia; we could not take any vacation other than what had already been approved before joining the team. We got caught up during that long trip; after she came back and started blocking everything again, one of my coworkers was heard saying “but why the fuck doesn’t she go back to Australia and let us work!”

Female bad boss the third: the manager of the second. Funny thing is, I didn’t have much of a problem with her, as she didn’t scare me and I had more than enough ovaries to call her on her bullshit and lack of manners; turns out she actually didn’t mind. She’d designed this enormously complex database on her own, didn’t document anything, would do things like call someone at 3am telling him to add another field to whatever table (at megaspeed of course, so they’d have to ask her to “please repeat it slowly, my brain is still on the pillow”). I refer to her as My Evil Twin: yeah yeah she may be intelligent as all get-go in pure problem-solving terms, but she has no idea how to deal with people, much less manage a team. The woman has the socialization skills of a half brick in a sock.

It’s IE 10. Speaking of custom apps though, we were on Windows XP pretty much up until the last minute due to the number of custom applications in use throughout the company. (Also, a significant number of employees had difficulty with the loss of the Start button.)

The last place I worked had a corporate IT policy that everybody have the same computer desktop wallpaper. Believe me, I tried to change mine and it was locked down. I learned to tolerate the mediocre wallpaper they used until HR got involved and used it as a platform to force the workplace wellness program down our throats. Specifically the one where if you got a physical, had your doctor sign an affidavit for such and submitted a silly insurance plan quiz in order to get a discount on your premiums. I hate those, and don’t need it rammed down my throat. It’s none of the company’s business if I see a doctor or when or what for.

People calling out of work:

We at the desk are not your supervisors. We do not care why you are calling out. You don’t need to rehearse your sob story with us. You need to speak to your supervisor directly. She comes in at 8, just like every other morning. Call and speak to her then. Not at 7:30, not at 5:00, not at 6:45. The eighth hour after midnight. That is when she will be in the office so that is when you need to call to speak with her.

Now that’s just plain evil.

This will be long so some may want to skip it, but I’ll try to write it so it’s an easy read.

After close to 20 years in corporate jobs (not counting one decade in local government), I think my patience with corporate inefficiencies and shenanigans has run out. I’ve noticed that in my last few jobs, it only takes me two years now to start seeing the silly games and get frustrated with them and then burned out because of it. I have a very low tolerance for stupidity.

I’m the kind of person who sees someone doing something unnecessary or that causes someone else extra work and asks why, and tries to diplomatically propose solutions. You always hear that you should never complain about something without suggesting a solution, right? In my experience nobody wants to hear your solutions either, so just shut the hell up. As best I can tell people perceive this as either telling them what to do, implying that they are the problem, or just being a busy body.

There was one job where the engineering team half-developed a software product for a specific purpose and didn’t document it. I was asked to implement it for an external customer. After struggling to make it work for several weeks (including using the debugger because I actually thought there was a bug in it somewhere), only to finally learn that someone on another team had the same exact problem I did. When I finally got the bastard working (it was a design choice, not a bug), I made a few suggestions to the engineering manager: please document the details that we were tripping over (because THEY knew what they were and just didn’t feel motivated to tell us apparently), or really just make the document explain how to install and configure the thing right the first time. No dice, suck it up sistah.

Much later, I finally - FINALLY - learned that the main reason this engineering team didn’t finish their half-done products or document anything was because they didn’t have a budget. Yeah, WTF! Basically they worked on things they were asked to for a very precise and limited amount of money and when the money ran out, they stopped working on it.

Another thing about process improvement is that if your suggested solution causes the other team more work they’ll be reluctant to accept it. But in my experience, even if the solution causes them no additional work at all, or no changes to their current work, they still don’t want to hear about it. Case in point is the time I did a lot of work to identify, write up a justification for and get implemented, a way to sell new maintenance contracts to external customers. It would bring in $15,000/customer/year additional revenue. Caused nobody any extra work because I would be the one doing the maintenance work. I even wrote up the marketing “collateral” that the sales guy could simply hand the customer and say “hey, give this a look see”. Nobody would sell it. Just not interested.

Oh well, maybe one way to suggest process changes is if someone in upper management solicits ideas, right? Think again. At the current gig, our executive director paid for us all to attend onsite training for two days. The first morning, and the last afternoon, he interrupted the class to give a little speech. The speech was a pep talk about the importance of innovation and how critical we all were to the future of the company. He said both times that he wanted us to think of things we can do to move the company forward. No idea is stupid, no idea too large. If we thought of any good ideas, just let him or our managers know.

So I thought a bit and decided to propose that we implement formal project management. We currently have silo’ed development where the business team does requirements and the IT team develops solutions. But there are no project managers tying the two together. Which results in things like what happened to some of my projects: a project nearly launched before the executive team even signed off that it was a good idea to move forward with it; IT doing development, moving the code to QA and then doing a code freeze because in their eyes it was done when the requirements weren’t done yet. My proposal to implement project management? No interest, dead on the vine. So much for the pep talk.

I’m starting a work from home entrepreneurial thing. Hopefully it will launch well enough that I can retire from corporate life soon. I don’t expect it to be 100% roses and rainbows but if my job and company consists of only me, then I won’t have to tolerate anybody’s stupidity but my own, and if I see processes that need to be fixed, I can just do it.

Good for them. A very good boss once told me to never, ever commit to doing the same amount of work on a reduced budget. A, they will cut it some more, B, if you put in some slack to deal with emergencies you lose it, and when the emergency hits you are screwed. Or C, everyone works 12 hours a day, gets burned out, and makes mistakes to make up for the inadequate budget. And will almost certainly not get thanked for it.
People like you are collateral damage, alas.

The problem with the work at home entrepreneurial thing is that you still wind up working for some asshole that demands unpaid overtime and will cut your vacation time to the bone.