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Is Your Boss An Idiot? 235

Dracos writes "CNN Money is running an article entitled "Is Your Boss An Idiot?" Advice on how to cope with a PHB is prefaced with humorous, though suspiciously anecdotal, examples of how to identify one."
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Is Your Boss An Idiot?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:11AM (#6838075)
    So, Yes my boss is an idiot
  • by Shayde ( 189538 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:11AM (#6838076) Homepage
    What a fool! Always late for meetings, never gives any supportive commentary, the pay sucks, the hours are long, and _HE_ gets all the glory for the crap I have to do all day long! What a bozo!

    Waiddasec. I work for myself.

    Is there a doctor in the house?
  • by thogard ( 43403 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:12AM (#6838086) Homepage
    If I tell the truth my boss will feel bad.
    And he will tell his wife.
    And then she will get on his case about how I'm a bad.

    So the boss is just fine. Honest.
  • by Esion Modnar ( 632431 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:13AM (#6838091)
    So, the answer is "Yes."
  • Asinine article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rde ( 17364 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:13AM (#6838096)
    The highlight of this article, as far as I'm concerned, is the poll "Is your boss an idiot?" When I checked it a few hours ago, 51% said yes, 49% no. Now that the superior-to-all-bosses /. crew gets to vote, what are the odds that by the end of the day CNN will find that 90% of bosses are idiots?

    As for the article, it's short, lightweight filler. It could've been funny if a little substance went into it. As it it's it's only a few apocryphal anecdotes, some of which shouldn't even be in there. IMO.

    Disclosure: I'm a slasdot reader, so I voted 'yes'.
    • That's because your boss's are voting NO... Cancels out, doesn't it.

      I think in most of the Campus style CS repositories of jobs, boss's are just as overworked as the peons, but their boss's are the problem.
      EG: "Why can't I use outlook express while I'm in Texas?"
      CS: "Becasue that's bad, and opens us up to virii!"
      EG: "But it's just outlook, it's safe. It's made by Microsoft! It said it's more secure than ever. You vaule your job, don't you."
      CS: "Fine, use outlook. We'll open the port."
      EG: "Whatever."
    • by Dot.Com.CEO ( 624226 ) * on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:44AM (#6838260)
      I'm a slashdot reader too, so I sent them an email complaining of the lack of a CowboyNeal option.
    • Re:Asinine article (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BWJones ( 18351 )
      As for the article, it's short, lightweight filler.

      This is Slashdot after all. If you look at the statistics and logs after a Slashdotting, (I've had two such instances on my servers) the vast majority of people only look at the most superficial information and rarely take time (interpreted from logs) to actually read the content. Furthermore, if there is linked material, almost nobody ever goes any deeper than the initial layer. It's very sad.

      • Furthermore, if there is linked material, almost nobody ever goes any deeper than the initial layer. It's very sad.

        Perhaps that's due to all the other people hitting your site at the same time, making everything slow as hell?

      • This is Slashdot after all. If you look at the statistics and logs after a Slashdotting, (I've had two such instances on my servers) the vast majority of people only look at the most superficial information and rarely take time (interpreted from logs) to actually read the content. Furthermore, if there is linked material, almost nobody ever goes any deeper than the initial layer. It's very sad.

        I can see your point, but keep in mind, if one were to take an in-depth look at everything that gets posted to /.
      • Re:Asinine article (Score:2, Interesting)

        by generic-man ( 33649 )
        Most of that traffic, I've found, comes from spiders and off-line caching systems. For example, I used to set Internet Explorer to download the Slashdot front page and everything one link away from it. Software that formats web content for use on hand-held devices (AvantGo, for example) works in much the same way.

        Slashdot readers are superficial, but not all of them are real people. I'm actually an AI, for example.
  • I agree - get out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carmody ( 128723 ) <slashdot&dougshaw,com> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:13AM (#6838097) Homepage Journal
    The danger with "idiot" bosses is that they often become "blame you" bosses when they are in danger of being discovered. It's like a form of Darwinism - idiots who take responsibility for mistakes tend not to survive, while idiots who blame others for mistakes tend to hang around to be an example for future idiot bosses.

    I would take the articles advice and get out - as soon as possible. Even if things seem tolerable.
    • I've done that. The best part is instead of being worthless to the bad boss, I'm worth double + bennifits. Ditching the old boss & job was a great upward mobility move. Now I get stocks, health plan, retirement, profit sharing.... and a living wage.

      A bad boss can make you miserable and create a low self esteem and depression. Move on and feel better, be productive, and get that promotion.
    • Re:I agree - get out (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fishbot ( 301821 )
      > I would take the articles advice and get out - as soon as possible. Even if things seem tolerable.

      Indeed. There is a very fine line between tolerance and acceptance. If you cross the line, you not only become part of the problem, you put up mental barriers to ever getting out of the situation.

      There are guys who work for us who have done 24 hour shifts for no more than the measly salary already on offer, and they can't see that it may not be in their best interests to put up with it.

      I intend to get o
    • by DaveAtFraud ( 460127 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @12:24PM (#6838850) Homepage Journal
      The Peter Principle: People rise to their own level of incompetence.

      Its really simple, if you can do your current job reasonably well and your immediate bosses job becomes vacant, you're a candidate. Run this algorithm over time and everyone eventually gets promoted to a job they are not competent to hold.

      Some firms attempt to circumvent the Peter Principle by bringing in "management" from outside. This is generally worse since the people doing the work see a constant steam of incompetents who know nothing of the business brought in to tell them what to do. With this scenario, not only is the "boss" incompetent but he or she also doesn't understand the business whereas promoting someone from inside may mean you get someone who doesn't know how to manage but at least understands the business.

      Regardless of whether you promote from inside or bring management in from outside, there will always be a percentage of people attracted to these positions because their motivations are power, prestige, etc. Since they generally have few useful skills, these people will generally be more politically adept than the poor slob who is actually technically competent and happens to be a person who still hasn't topped out against the Peter Principle. Been there; had this happen to me. That was when I decided that a management career track wasn't for me.

      Its really sad commentary about the so-called planned economies of the Soviet Union, etc. that this "system" is still more efficient than any planned economy.
      • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @12:51PM (#6839003) Homepage
        Since they generally have few useful skills, these people will generally be more politically adept than the poor slob who is actually technically competent and happens to be a person who still hasn't topped out against the Peter Principle.

        Ah, this leads to the Dilbert Principle [], which is (perversely) even worse than the Peter Principle. Technically adept people don't get promoted because they're so good at doing the actual work. Subsequently, people who are "less adept", so to speak, are promoted instead because there's no great loss to productivity at the bottom and maybe they'll be better at managing. Under the Dilbert Principle, people are not only promoted beyond their level of competence, but those chosen for promotion are selected because they're the least useful.

        • by JordanH ( 75307 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @01:41PM (#6839355) Homepage Journal
          • Ah, this leads to the Dilbert Principle, which is (perversely) even worse than the Peter Principle. Technically adept people don't get promoted because they're so good at doing the actual work.

          And this is a serious problem. From it, we get engineers who are asked to put on their "manager's hat" for a moment to evaluate a technical decision. The most famous example being the Challenger disaster, but I'm sure it happens all the time.

          Whenever someone says "put on your manager's hat", translate that as "look at this from the perspective of an incompetent".

      • A Peter Principle Postulate: If President of the United States is the highest position a person can hold in this country, and people always rise to the level of their incompetence, does this mean we have never had a competent President?
        • Err, um, no. The Peter Principle says nothing about any individual in a particular position. It only explains why there is a tendency for people rise to their level of incompetence. Any person in any position may or may not be competent to hold that position. A person who is in a position who is incompetent to hold that position probably got there by the Peter Principle: they were competent to do the subordinate job and got promoted.

          The Peter Principle especially doesn't apply to the presidency since i
      • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @03:26PM (#6839927) Journal
        Its really sad commentary about the so-called planned economies of the Soviet Union, etc. that this "system" is still more efficient than any planned economy.

        This is because there is Darwinistic filtering going on: if a company gets too stupid, it goes tits-up. In a "planned" system, the extreme idiocracy remains. It is not that capitalism is super-efficient, it is that it filters out the bottom end of the stack, unlike the alternative.
    • From 'Betterman,' Algernon [] Couldn't find a really good link that explains it all, sorry.
    • Re:I agree - get out (Score:3, Informative)

      by cptgrudge ( 177113 )
      I would agree, but ironically, I took the opposite route in dealing with my boss.

      I was in tech support, but now am a sysadmin. My previous boss, while not an idiot, was inept at his job and refused to learn new ways of doing things. For example, he figured Windows 2000 was just like NT, as far as how to manage it. We had no firewalls, no NAT, no security policy, no patching schedule. We were wide open for all to see. And crack.

      Finally, after I spent yet another day rebuilding a server for the fourth

  • by GrnArmadillo ( 697378 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:14AM (#6838106)
    Fun anecdotes to be sure, but the article has nothing more intelligent to say than (pretty closely paraphrased quote from the article) "If your boss sucks, get over it or get out of there." Anyone have mod points to rate the article "over-rated"? *mutters* Slow freakin' news day.....
  • (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:14AM (#6838107) Homepage Journal

    How about we make a site which lets people rate their boss, and if the boss gets enough bad ratings hopefully the higher ups will see the data and fire him.
  • by JFMulder ( 59706 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:14AM (#6838108)
    Not a story. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:15AM (#6838112)
    Why? It's the Peter Principle...

    In companies, people get promoted on merit, status and capabilities, going further up in the company until... they reach a position that they're incompetent or ineffective in. Why? Because they will get promoted no further and it's incredibly hard to demote people without causing harm to the way the company structure works.

    In theory you could increase productivity in a company by demoting everybody by one position. That way everybody is operating at the edge of their abilities, not way beyond them.
    • by mce ( 509 )
      While I would not ever dare to doubt the Peter Principle (I've seen it happen with my own eyes a few times already), I must say that your logic for deciding that all bosses are idiots is flawed. If we rely only on the Peter Principle to explain things, before being promoted for the last time (i.e. to his/her level of incompetence), someone who gets promoted at least once will at sometime definitely have served in a position for which he or she was competent. If that condition were to occur at the lowest hie
    • The logical successor to the Peter Principle is the Dilbert Principle []: The most ineffective workers are systematically moved to where they can do the least damage: management.
      • the Dilbert Principle: The most ineffective workers are systematically moved to where they can do the least damage: management.

        Or more succinctly, the most ineffective workers are moved away from the line of production.
    • "In theory you could increase productivity in a company by demoting everybody by one position. That way everybody is operating at the edge of their abilities, not way beyond them."

      Why not just make promotions a temporary thing pending a several month or yearly review. And if they make the cut, they stay, otherwise back they go. Might have some interesting office politics attached with the idea, but it could be interesting.

  • by Highlordexecutioner ( 203297 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:16AM (#6838117) Homepage
    Well, they give all managers lobotomies. How else would they be able to stand going to meetings for 7 hours a day.
  • I mean, everyone's always so negative around here. Is there anyone that really likes their bosses?

    • by Skater ( 41976 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:36AM (#6838218) Homepage Journal
      My current boss is great. She's sharp, knows the game, and is excellent to work for. It's a nice feeling.

      I have had an idiot boss, too. Fortunately, he's no longer a boss due to an organizational change. There were moments that I just wanted to strangle the guy.

      I've also had the in-betweens. These are bosses that are intelligent, but know nothing about your project. So, if you need help or advice on something, you're stuck.

      The idiot boss is the most annoying, though.

    • My boss is good. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Population ( 687281 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:46AM (#6838271)
      He understands basic logic (look, every one else's machine is doing what you're trying to do and doing it fine so the problem must be in your machine) even if he doesn't understand everything about computers.

      But his boss is an idiot that buys every damn toy on the market and expect me to make it work just like the sales person said it would.

      And my boss keeps giving me raises because I keep his boss off of his back.
    • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @12:56PM (#6839042)

      I've seen plenty of idiots in charge of things, but mercifully haven't worked under one for a while.

      I think good management is a culture that comes down from the top. In the company where I work, there are around 50 of us. The MD (also owner of the company) is a very down-to-earth guy, knows the technical side but is also the kind of manager who reminds you to take regular breaks because they're good for you. He hired a smart guy to lead the half of the company I work in, and he in turn hired/promoted smart team leaders for each individual project. Working conditions are among the best I've ever seen, and almost no-one ever leaves...

  • ahem... (Score:5, Funny)

    by InsaneCreator ( 209742 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:18AM (#6838126)
    Is Your Boss An Idiot?

    Is that a rethorical question?
  • by GuardianBob420 ( 309353 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:19AM (#6838129) Homepage
    Of all the annoying bosses I've had, the 'technical' bosses were the worst... Early in my career, I had a boss who would want to try and 'fugure out' my code. He would stay all night and call me at 4:00 am because my code was 'broken' and I had to fix it be the open of business THAT DAY... would turn out he had changed the code to see what it would do, broke it, deployed it to check if it was broke, and then couldn't remember what he had changed! Source control saved me many many hours of work during that stretch...
    • IMO, the problem is not how technically knowledgable the boss is but rather how inept he/she is and whether there is too much micromanagement involved. I would suspect that an inept but knowledgable boss is invariably more dangerious than an inept and unknowledgable one.

      The worst bosses I have ever had were the inaccessible micromanager types-- you know the kind-- the kind that thinks they know exactly how best to do your job and assume that they don't ever need to be available to discuss issues with the
  • caveat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lust ( 14189 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:22AM (#6838143) Homepage
    Most people, and therefore employees, are also idiots.
    • Re:caveat (Score:2, Flamebait)

      Amen. However if most people weren't stupid, it would be significantly harder to be successful. A moderately intelligent person can get ahead. If everyone was Einstein the market would be a bit harder to work in (at least for me).
  • lots of non-idiots (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aNonMooseCowherd ( 169745 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:23AM (#6838145)
    I've never had or even seen an idiot boss. The closest thing I've seen is one boss (not mine) who thought that the only way to get people to do anything was to scream at them. People mostly just ignored him.
    • by Crash Culligan ( 227354 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @04:07PM (#6840149) Journal
      I've never had or even seen an idiot boss. The closest thing I've seen is one boss (not mine) who thought that the only way to get people to do anything was to scream at them. People mostly just ignored him.
      Idiocy comes in many forms, grasshopper.

      I had a boss once who (no foolin'!) asked me if it was possible to track internet users by GPS. Clearly, he was a dip.

      But depending on the role the boss plays in the organization, he (or she) has to understand many different things: the product or service the company produces, the tech the company uses to do what it does, management of the company's resources and inventory, its finances, and especially its people.

      Among skills in the people category is motivating workers, giving instructions, solving interpersonal problems, and getting feedback. If he gives instructions in such a way that people fail to listen to him, or he causes more interpersonal problems than he resolves, then congratulations! Houston, we have achieved idiot!

  • No, never. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by heironymouscoward ( 683461 ) <> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:25AM (#6838162) Journal
    I've worked for many people and also for myself and my boss has never been an idiot. I would have been an idiot to work for an idiot, and the one time this almost happened (reorganization in the company I worked for), I quit and found another job.
    It does not say much for someone who knowingly works for an idiot! Yes, tell me about job insecurity and so on, but if your boss really is a fool, your job ain't safe either.
    Work for competent people. It's so much more fun, more secure, and generates more money.
  • Jeanne Sahadi fired over a dispute about calling her boss an idiot. Film at 11.

  • by daniel_yokomiso ( 641714 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:29AM (#6838189) Journal
    I for one welcome our new idiot masters...
    Wait I don't, but they're already here.
  • by hype7 ( 239530 ) <> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:31AM (#6838196) Journal
    There was an office manager where I worked who had absolutely no idea. He just happened to be the brother-in-law of one of the Directors of the organisation (an ISP).

    Other than having a propensity to open up every infected email he received (the best one was when he sent "I Love You" to all the employees), he did some other things that were pretty stupid. My favourite, however was when one of our bigger clients needed to talk to him about something. We looked all round the office, and couldn't find him, so we suggested to the client that they called him. The boss answered the phone, and they had a conversation about whatever it was that was required, though there was a really bad echo on the line. The disucssion was, however, suddenly punctuated by quite a loud "plop!", as if something was dropped into a bowl of water. It then dawned on the client why nobody could find him when we went looking.

    He was on the crapper!

    This guy had answered his mobile phone to one of our largest clients, while sitting on the john! The client had called the manager in front of us, and we wondered why he at first went bright red and then broke down in laughter.

    He didn't tell us what had happened until later.

    -- james
    • Well, that's a common complain among helpdesk people. For the longest time, the internal travel reservation web site at a Large Computer Manufacturer had a list of dos and don'ts containing this little gem:

      Don't call us while performing bodily functions. We can hear you flush.

      It lasted until a higher management type made a reservation himself instead of bugging his secretary. The "unprofessional wording" was then quickly removed.

      You know this web thing is not a geek-only affair anymore when managemen

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is the first time I have posted anonymously, but read on...

      To set the scene, at a small midwest tech company late one morning the president is taking an early and VERY long lunch with the married (to someone else) secretary. The vice president, son of the president ("we don't have any nepotism here, do we dad?") has taken a flight to NYC on the spur of the moment to meet with a potential client. The shop guy is out sick. The sales staff are away pushing systems that haven't been developed yet instead
    • by jujuchef ( 452269 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @06:18PM (#6840891)
      Small medical IT department of two with a supervisor:

      One day while in a meeting with a vendor over purchasing a new server(20-60k), our Supervisor turns to our CEO during the meeting and asks, "What can we afford?"

      The CEO quickly responds, "Well first you tell me what we need and then we'll figure it out and I'll decide what we can afford."

      Our brave supervisor tacking on but another gem in a long list of brilliant acts, turns to the vendor, "What do we need?"...

  • some advice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Talia Starhawke ( 650311 ) <<talia_starhawk> <at> <>> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:34AM (#6838211) Homepage Journal
    I don't work in too technical of a field (I'm a receptionist), but I still work with computers for at least 95% of my job. The other 5% is the customers that call me.

    Anyway, compared to a lot of these comments, I feel quite lucky. My boss (her name is Kari), is very nice. She's not too nosy, trusts me to do my job correctly, and takes enough time off for her family that she doesn't mind when I take a "sick day" here or there. Others I've heard, aren't so lucky. I have a Worst Case Scenario Handbook for work (quite humorous), and it lists three different types of bosses in there. The Micromanager, The Workaholic, and The Buddy.

    The Micromanager - I think everyone has had one, a boss that wants to be into absolutely everything you do, and is basically breathing down your neck 24/7. The advice the book gives is to flood this boss with information. Copy them on every e-mail, no matter how miniscule the subject matter.

    The Workaholic - I've never had this type of boss, but this certainly seems like sound advice: put vacation pamphlets on their desk, tell them about your family, show them pictures of your kids, etc. This type of boss has lost touch with the real world, they say. Unless you bring him back to some degree, or show him you're not the same, and that you have a family (or computers) that need your love and attention, this boss will demand the same performance from you.

    The Buddy - I've been accused of being this way in other positions. I like to get to know the people I work with, and I'm constantly giving them too much information about my personal life. I'm a bit nosy too, so I ask a lot about things that they did over the weekend. I'm a people-person, I can't help it! ;) The book recommends that you either avoid this boss at all costs or you "make up" a hobby that you can safely tell them about without divulging any information that is of any consequence.

  • by jtauber ( 250659 ) * on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:42AM (#6838251) Homepage
    I've had some really good bosses and some so-so bosses. But if you ask them I'm sure they'd say they've had some really good staff and some really bad staff.

    From my own experience I would say having a bad employee work for you is worse than working for a bad boss.

    I've always thought people complaining about their bosses generally ends up sounding like teenagers complaining about their parents.

    Many people's attitude changes onces they've had staff of their own.

    • Bad employees can be negated, compensated for, and eventually disposed of.

      Bad bosses destroy entire teams, even departments.

      A bad employee irritates and annoys the boss, amuses or annoys the co-workers, costs the company their wages.

      A bad boss can stress employees to the point of breakdown and/or suicide, has all the downsides of a bad employee (because they are one) and can cost the company much much more than just their own wages.

      All in all, I'd rather had a bad employee than a bad boss. And I've know
  • Indeed... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MoeMoe ( 659154 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @10:43AM (#6838254)
    You try dealing with a guy who seriously yelled at the entire IT department for keeping livestock on premises... He was refering to the server farm, and no I'm not kidding...
  • QUICK VOTE Is your boss an idiot?

    View results []

  • While it may be difficult to call my current boss just an "idiot," he is still an asshole. On the other hand I know people who have nice bosses, but are still idiots.

    Someone I know has a boss who treats everyone extremely well, but is out of the loop so much that his actions nearly caused the whole department to be laid off.
  • Was it SGI head honcho that wanted to fire all of its 'c' programmers, because they only wanted 'a' programmers on staff a few years back?
  • by jburroug ( 45317 ) <> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:02AM (#6838337) Homepage Journal
    Ok I'm the IT Manager at an oncology/diagnostic imaging clinic and holy shit is my boss, the general manager (COO if you ask him) an idiot. Some examples include:

    Asking a patient out on a date.

    The patient he asked out didn't want to date him but did set him up with a friend of hers who just left her husband a few weeks prior, who also happened to be a patient at our other clinic across town. After going out with her he decided to hire her as our new receptionist. Ten minutes after the Doctor saw one of his other patients working the phones she was gone and Frank got an ass chewing.

    He reportedly said, in the middle of a meeting with the doctor and a female employ: "Sometimes when I get home after a day like this it's just brain masturbation." There's nothing I can say to put this in context because there was no context, he apparently just blurted it out for no apparent reason.

    He's a verbal train wreck in general. Last week he interupted a group us working by the MRI desk (not together, just happened that a lot us needed something from that area at the same time) and shouted "Hey if none of you have any work to do maybe I should dock your pay, har har har!" He then proceeded to hold us hostage for about 20 minutes while he told stupid stories about being a self made man, tried to sell my assistant some old suits he couldn't wear anymore and then told us all the story of how his father died of a heart attack at 52.

    Fortunatly he didn't hire me and can't fire me. The Doctor/owner of the clinic hired me directly a few months ago and loves me because I'm finishing projects my predecessor spent the better part of a year fucking up.
  • "NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - You can't live with 'em. And you can't shoot 'em. "

    Apparently they missed their own headlines a few days ago:

    "Salvador Tapia returned to the Windy City Core Supply warehouse where he had been fired six months ago and killed six of his former co-workers, police said Wednesday."

    Apparently, if you can't live with 'em, you can shoot 'em.

    • You find their wording a bit disturbing? ;) Did you look at your .sig recently?
      For the benefit of those with them turned off:

      "-Kate "You could slit my throat, and with my last gasping breath I would apologize for bleeding on your shirt.""

      Tell me that's lyrics from a song, or something...
  • by militantbob ( 666209 ) <militant AT nycap DOT rr DOT com> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:12AM (#6838397) Homepage
    Reuters. Midwest headquarters, Chicago. Stock trading workstations. Instead of taking a 14 dollar NIC off the shelf at the Radio Shack in the lobby of the building 3 blocks away, the company forced me to send the machine to London for NIC replacement. The customer lost his workstation for 3 weeks, during which time he was unable to conduct transactions on the Mercantile Exchange without calling a middleman and paying fees. Fees he had originally avoided by leasing one of our Globex machines. Fees I would have saved him by spending 14 dollars from my own pocket to have the machine fixed in under an hour, walking time to the store and back included. Not to mention the risk to his data during the trans-Atlantic flights, a risk I was not allowed to alleviate by tossing his drive in my machine back at the office and burning a couple CD's for him before shipping out the box. Which is why I quit.

    That, and I taught my boss how to say a few bad words in his wife's native language (Polish), and it got him slapped so he quit talking to me in the smoking lounge.
    • I worked for Lucent, and we had a little lab for building machines. We asked if we could get a little 100 Mb hub, as the 10Mb one was maxxing out doing Ghosting.
      Due to corporate bullshit, ah, I mean politics, the conversation went like this:

      Can we get a little 100Mb hub - about 100 pounds?
      No, we're not allowed to buy any gear that isn't Lucent.
      OK, can we get a Lucent hub?
      No, they only do switches.
      OK, can we get a switch?
      No, they're too expensive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:29AM (#6838504)
    He is the world's smartest, most capable boss. He is truly a genius and an inspired business leader

    Oh and my review is coming up soon. I've working incredibly hard, so I'm sure I will get a good pay increase. Isn't that right of most noble lord of the workplace?

  • My boss (Score:4, Funny)

    by TrippTDF ( 513419 ) <> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:36AM (#6838546)
    The other day, the moron walked up to my desk, looked at me for a moment, and then said "uh...". He kept looking at me for a second, and then he walked into the bathroom.

  • sharktank.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by jeffy124 ( 453342 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:37AM (#6838556) Homepage Journal
    For a daily dose of those needing a clue-stick: []

    Bookmark it people! Put it on your daily reading list! A new story every day!
  • More example cases (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr3038 ( 121693 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @11:54AM (#6838664)
    I can't believe nobody (or at least no high-scored-post) has yet mentioned that Scott Adams has written many books about this. All the books are full of real life examples of stupid boss behaviour but some of the content is disguised as humorous instead of being documentation for real life. Don't fall into that pit! Scott Adams has even a web site dedicated for idiot boss and cow-orkers []. You might want to become a member of DNRC, too.
  • by sebastian_proteus ( 544725 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @12:17PM (#6838810)
    I remember an article some time ago, saying basically that after Sept. 11 there was a growth in the number of idiot bosses.

    The reasoning was this: after that fatal day many bosses/managers/etc. were able to hide their incompetence by blaming the downturn in economy caused by Sept. 11.

    I personally worked for such a company, which managed to get from 300 employees to less than 70 in two years. And I'm not talking about some "dot com" startup, that was an well established company, owned by a bigger corporate, with good products and satisfied customers.

    But a new management was put in place and strange (and obviously stupid) decissions started to be made. Customers started complaining, the books got red.

    Management's strategy when the owners started to ask questions? Just keep blaming "Sept. 11" and keep sacking people to save the costs - starting with the best techs. So the company is dying because of idiot bosses.

    Has anyone else had bosses using Sept. 11 to hide their own incompetence?
  • by ngyahloon ( 655557 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @12:26PM (#6838864) Homepage
    All those who work in the White House say: Amen!
  • Bosses aplenty (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Edunikki ( 677354 )
    I work for a relatively new company that is establishing itself. I have three effective bosses (co owners) and they break down like this: The guy who I used to share a flat (apartment) with who will make any and everyone laugh and taught me that the most important thing in the workplace is communication. He understands that people have to be given the opportunity to screw up and will not assign blame without their being good reason. The guy I go to the gym with who goes out of his way to ensure the compan
  • by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @01:47PM (#6839395) Journal
    I love my job. I love my boss. I wake up looking forward to work.

    (And no, I'm actually NOT being facetious!)

    My manager used to be a tech geek. After the company was bought out, he left due to personality conflicts. When the subject of said conflicts was fired for being utterly incompetent, he came back as manager of a tech group, and has steadily worked his way to manager of the entire Unix team (about 40 of us or so).

    His job, officially, is to make sure that we provide the best possible service (Unix hardware and software both) to our customers. His idea of how to accomplish that is to fight like hell to ensure:

    1) We don't have to deal with corporate bullshit.
    2) We have the equipment and tools we need to do our jobs.
    3) We get the training we need, initially and ongoing.
    4) We don't have to deal with client-side politics. If the customers have problems with us, they take it to our manager. (who in turn deals with us fairly)

    And on top of that, he's been away from the command line for a few years now but he still at least understands the work we do.

    Am I just bragging here? Maybe. :-) But let it be known that it IS possible for managers with good technical knowledge and managerial/people skills to exist. They're rare, though. If you find one, you'll probably be happy to deal with the odd bits of shit that get through to you.

  • CBC radio airs a program called "Workology". [] Past show subjects can be reviewed and listened-to (RAM) here [].

    A lot of it is pretty funny and useful.
  • My boss was great... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by poofmeisterp ( 650750 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:43PM (#6839719) Journal
    The buddy system worked for me.
    My former supervisor was a very nice guy and talked about his personal life JUST enough that you felt like he was your friend. He never used anything you said against you.
    He lived about an hour and 15 minutes away from the office, and would almost every day talk to me for the entire drive home about all of the stupid crap that went down.
    I'm not dumb; at first I didn't state that I saw anything wrong with the way things were done... I let him throw the first punches and name names. After that, it was a nice bitch session every day, including smoke breaks that I would spend with him complaining about the idiots that run the place, and how ineffective the entire management structure was. It was great.
    I was laid off due to financial constraits (and I was the last in the door; the customer [I was a contractor] decided on me, not my supervisor).
    My boss went to bat for me and tried to find me positions on other teams in the company. After he told me about that in my "we have to let you go" meeting, he actually produced a STACK of papers that were email trails with the leaders of the teams he was trying to get me positions with.
    He left the company since because he couldn't stand the way they ran things. He left cold without another job lined up. He can't even get unemployment as a result. Things were THAT bad there.
    In closing, I'm very glad that I got to have discussions about all of the "water cooler rumors" that spread around the office with him, and got to share my TRUE concerns and hear his about the way the company was run. I still talk to him on the phone to this day... He is a little more free to talk to me about what happened there now that his job is no longer at risk ;)
  • by MsWillow ( 17812 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @03:08PM (#6839851) Homepage Journal
    Back when I used to work as a software engineer, we had a large automotive engine tester that we made. Our boss, VP of Engineering, was out trying to help sell gobs of them to some large car repair chain. They asked him, "What operating system does it use?" His reply? "We use Microsoft Word."

    There is no hope for him. I'm glad I'm out of there now.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein