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(The New York Times)   Why your boss is an idiot   (nytimes.com) divider line 46
    More: Obvious  
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7691 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Mar 2011 at 3:50 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread
 
2011-03-02 01:31:49 PM  
I'm actually happy with my boss. But that's because she recognizes I rule.
 
2011-03-02 01:36:38 PM  
One of my bosses is awesome. And some of his bosses love me.

A couple of my other bosses blow monkey scrote ...
 
2011-03-02 02:09:43 PM  
The worst thing about being self employed is discovering that your boss is still an asshole.
 
2011-03-02 02:10:37 PM  
I don't always agree with them, but my bosses are not idiots.
 
2011-03-02 02:19:08 PM  
My current boss isn't an idiot, but my previous one sure in the hell was.
 
2011-03-02 02:24:02 PM  
I don't have a boss right now because my old boss was, indeed, an idiot.
 
2011-03-02 02:30:12 PM  
My particular boss is actually very intelligent and fair-minded. Also competent. There are plenty of bad bosses in the world, but there's plenty of good ones, too.
 
2011-03-02 02:43:04 PM  
Hmm, wonder who greened this.
 
2011-03-02 03:28:22 PM  
My boss is pretty cool.
 
2011-03-02 03:56:20 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: The worst thing about being self employed is discovering that your boss is still an asshole.


I always thought the worst part of self-employment was the constant sexual harassment?
 
2011-03-02 03:58:18 PM  
The article: "I don't like performance reviews, now buy my book about how I don't like performance reviews."
 
2011-03-02 04:05:48 PM  
My boss is A number 1 Duke of New York.

this shiat head, idiot project manager I'm dealing with though...
 
2011-03-02 04:07:58 PM  
I need this guy as an cousin:

www.thereheis.com

/oblig
 
2011-03-02 04:10:29 PM  
Today, my boss told me that I'll be getting an almost 7% raise and a bonus equal to 8% of last year's salary.

I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt for the next few days.
 
2011-03-02 04:28:50 PM  

Blues_X: I don't always agree with them, but my bosses are not idiots.


+1. My boss has multiple advanced degrees in Engineering, Finance, and Accounting. HER boss has advanced degrees in Mathematics and Finance, with a little Business Law (GED?) mixed in.

I like working for the smart ones. I keep hoping it will rub off someday.

/mediocre story, bro
 
2011-03-02 04:28:51 PM  

Buster Hermano: Marcus Aurelius: The worst thing about being self employed is discovering that your boss is still an asshole.

I always thought the worst part of self-employment was the constant sexual harassment?


I thought that was the best part.
 
2011-03-02 04:29:45 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: The worst thing about being self employed is discovering that your boss is still an asshole.


Very true.
 
2011-03-02 04:40:19 PM  
Performance reviews are wrong sometimes, but they are right a hell of a lot more often than keeping dead weight around, and rewarding them for not getting fired.
 
2011-03-02 04:45:58 PM  
If only that were true. As anybody who has ever worked in any institution - private or public - knows, one of the primary ways employee effectiveness is judged is the performance review. And nothing could be less fair than that.

Bullshiat. What a crappy article. This concept of goal setting is new? Collaboration? Why didn't anyone think of that before?! It's frightening that this guy is a professor at a management school.

Because I'm cool--The only place I've worked for where the performance review was used as a bludgeoning weapon was for a school district. That was only one of six public jobs I've had though. For the rest my bosses were actual human beings. I got glowing reviews but raises were strictly by seniority so not much good came of it. Idiot coworkers got the same advancement. I went to the private sector and boom, good performance reviews result in merit pay increases and bonuses.
 
2011-03-02 04:54:38 PM  

Dazrin: Buster Hermano: Marcus Aurelius: The worst thing about being self employed is discovering that your boss is still an asshole.

I always thought the worst part of self-employment was the constant sexual harassment?

I thought that was the best part.


It's the only thing that keeps me going.
 
2011-03-02 04:55:09 PM  
My current boss is. He's caused more and more problems lately with his "path of least resistance" approach to software and testing rather than doing it right the first time.

Goddammit so much.
 
2011-03-02 05:02:44 PM  
This article was basically complaining about bosses making an effort to understand and evaluate each employee for fitness and ability relevant to the work at hand, and direct them into the proper behavior with rewards and criticism.

Um... that's like 99% of the reason the position exists, man. This was an entire news column dedicated to a guy complaining about having a boss.

//the other 1% is PHB jokes.
 
2011-03-02 06:21:10 PM  
I've found that the effectiveness and fairness performance reviews is strongly correlated to how political the workplace is. At companies where managers runs their little kingdoms, brown-nosing is highly regarded when it comes to reviews. In other places that are less entrenched in internal power grabs they tend to be a pretty effective tool.
 
2011-03-02 06:34:51 PM  
My last boss was a joke. Too cowardly to back his people and see that shiat got done the right way instead he bent over backwards to kiss the ass of his European rival who he hated but feared was after his job. He either micromanaged and buried you with bullshiat tasks or left you to fend for yourself only to come in at the end and be like "we're a great team." 

When he got the goal-setting bug up his ass one year one of his goal recommendations for me was "don't be so dissatisfied with failure."

Ok, I'll get right on that.
 
2011-03-02 06:43:17 PM  
My boss has a paywall? Confused...
 
2011-03-02 07:14:08 PM  

My boss goes back and forth between being nice, and being a little more mean version of David Brent. Unfortunately I don't think he'll be having his Day Of Laughter Moment anytime soon.


homepage.mac.com

 
2011-03-02 07:29:21 PM  
My current boss was transferred into the job to fill a sudden vacancy and literally knows zero about our business. They were picked because they had "administrative skills", on the theory that a good administrator can administrate anything. The job is about the people you manage, not what they actually DO. Which may be true. I can't tell because this one hides in their office all day not doing a whole lot except re-straightening their desk a lot. One of those twitchy types that can't stand to see anyone not visibly busy every passing second. Because physical movement always means actual progress.

While the boss is "trainable", and has made some progress learning our business they are constantly making huge errors and wrong decisions we have to fix, because in taking over administration, they also insisted on becoming the point person dealing with our clients, who are all highly technical, and used to dealing direct with our staff experts, all with decades of experience. Now the administrator is attempting to tell me how to do my actual job, without anything but a passing understanding of what that job IS or what is entailed in the doing of it. That is pretty frustrating. It is slower, it is less responsive, it has more waste and wasted time. It is bad for morale because people who'd had long term autonomy and responsibility, with a high degree of mastery, are now kicked back to a low level status needing approvals on every little thing. Approvals by people that don't actually comprehend what they are approving. It is very much like that section of the movie "Stripes" where the LT. with no skills keeps overriding his sergeant and the troops on the mortar range.

The place ran itself for a long time with that chair empty, and we did very well, considering. Just always short of resources because that was handled by the boss in the empty chair. Had they put an industry expert in the captain's seat, we would have become a world-dominating operation by now. Instead, we are like a Ferrari being parallel-parked uphill by a 16-year-old new student driver on their first lesson.

Moral, if there is one: Some people need more managing than others, and a good manager knows when to lead and when to get the hell out of the way and let people do what they do, just help by making sure they keep getting whatever they need to do that thing they do.


Hey Marcus, nice to see you, thanks again.
 
2011-03-02 08:11:48 PM  
Got a bonus that is worth 5% of my salary. Would have been 10% but I came in mid-year. I'm happy right now.
 
2011-03-02 09:06:33 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: My current boss isn't an idiot, but my previous one sure in the hell was.


My current boss isn't an idiot. My last one wasn't for awhile, then he started acting on advice from idiots. Now all the idiots are being weeded out by the non-idiots from higher up.
 
2011-03-02 09:35:41 PM  
Some bosses are idiots. Some are capable leaders saddled with idiot employees. That knife cuts both ways.

/If everyone around you is an asshole...you're probably the asshole.
 
2011-03-02 09:38:56 PM  
Now, maybe your boss is all-knowing. But I've never seen one that was.

When submitting the article the author hastily added "except for you my all knowing and supreme boss"
 
2011-03-02 09:40:45 PM  
My previous boss was fired.
 
2011-03-02 09:52:19 PM  
I just saw one of my employees go to this page on the clock, I will find you and fire you.
 
2011-03-02 10:09:38 PM  

EatHam: Performance reviews are wrong sometimes, but they are right a hell of a lot more often than keeping dead weight around, and rewarding them for not getting fired.


I'm young yet, but in the five years of my career I haven't had a performance review that wasn't a complete farce.

Last year's was: "I personally think you're great but I have to make sure everyone gets no higher than a 2 [out of 5]. So that's why the comments and numbers don't match. You're doing a great job. Sign here."

The self evaluations are the stupidest game too. Gosh, since these are tied to merit increases that means simple economics dictates I give myself a 5 in everything and make you talk me down. And since more often than not you get middle management afraid of confrontation it ends up in hilarious hand-wringing when their bosses demand you average a 2.

/since then I've discovered consulting
//overtime? I'd be glad to!
 
2011-03-02 10:17:08 PM  

jobskee: Bathia_Mapes: My current boss isn't an idiot, but my previous one sure in the hell was.

My current boss isn't an idiot. My last one wasn't for awhile, then he started acting on advice from idiots. Now all the idiots are being weeded out by the non-idiots from higher up.


Unfortunately my previous boss was an idiot from the beginning & she only got worse as time went by.
 
2011-03-02 10:20:39 PM  
The Gervais Principle as explained on RibbonFarm has a more likely explanation.
 
2011-03-02 11:12:58 PM  
Yeah, I remember one year, the big boss who sees me three times a year was out of town, a sub-manager calls me in, a person I do not report to, works in another division, I see them perhaps three times a year at office pizza parties.

"Legal says these evals are three months overdue and we have to submit them today or else heads will roll, so since your boss is out today, I'm going to be doing your evaluation."

I had done some of my finest work in years, worked harder than I had for a long time. Brought in three new accounts, won an award.

I don't know anything you've done, so I'm just going to mark you down as average/meets expectations, and re-set your same G&O as last year. Sign here."

MO TI Vation.
 
2011-03-03 12:18:55 AM  

m0llusk: The Gervais Principle as explained on RibbonFarm has a more likely explanation.


Bookmarked. I love you.
 
2011-03-03 04:01:30 AM  
my last boss seemed like a good guy at the start. after a while he tried to become my bestest buddy in the whole world. im not a big fan of hanging around with workmates on my days off.. especially when we have no common interests. well he got mad because i would avoid him while not at work. finally quit when i woke up one saturday morning to find that he broke into my house and was roaming around looking for me to prove i wasn't busy and was just avoiding him. thats when shiat got creepy.
 
2011-03-03 04:53:14 AM  
I'm not entirely positive that the person I directly report to even knows where my department is, so the fact that she does my performance review is an utter joke.
 
2011-03-03 07:29:19 AM  
My boss isn't an idiot. He's nice and he leaves me alone to do my work.
 
2011-03-03 07:44:15 AM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: I'm young yet, but in the five years of my career I haven't had a performance review that wasn't a complete farce.

Last year's was: "I personally think you're great but I have to make sure everyone gets no higher than a 2 [out of 5]. So that's why the comments and numbers don't match. You're doing a great job. Sign here."


That does sound quite a bit like a first job type of issue - it does get better than that most of the time.
 
2011-03-03 08:31:59 AM  

EatHam: That does sound quite a bit like a first job type of issue - it does get better than that most of the time.


That was the second job. I left the first job because it was paying $20k less than industry average (I took that after being a year out of school, desperate for experience and drowning in debt) and got the second job to pay me that and then some. That's more of a typical first job situation, I think.

That second job was a nasty culture. A place where management was always hired from outside and non-management were never promoted. The results were pretty predictable and we as staff shared information to better our leverage.

Management was trying to leverage the recession claiming that "we all had to tighten our belts" and when that failed to garner sympathy they explicitly said in a team meeting, "Well, you're lucky to have a job in this economy".

It would have been less insulting had we not all averaged 55 hours a week on salary for 2009 to accomplish a major project. The peons got a 2% raise, the managers got $20k bonuses for getting that done. Meanwhile they moved to a matrix-management style so instead of having one asshole boss (which I could deal with) I ended up with about seven (that's too much). Sure, only one does your review but six other people suddenly find themselves with the ability to throw insubordination charges...

I don't stand for that kind of abuse. Took me a month to find a consulting gig that paid $50/hour and I don't have to deal with performance reviews any more, just contract renewals (which are more satisfying anyhow)

Maybe I'll give it a whirl again some day. Or maybe I'll ride off into the sunset and leave Information Technology for greener pastures (whatever those might be).
 
2011-03-03 10:04:18 AM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Meanwhile they moved to a matrix-management style so instead of having one asshole boss (which I could deal with) I ended up with about seven (that's too much).


i678.photobucket.com
 
2011-03-04 12:58:14 AM  
I frequently call my boss an idiot, and many other worse things to his face. He tells me I'm fired, we both laugh about it and get back to work.

I have a very strange job.

/strange, but awesome
//bottle of gin in the office fridge. mmmmmm
 
2011-03-04 03:33:21 PM  
Is there a way out? I believe there is, and it works for both government and business. It's something I call the performance preview. Instead of top-down reviews, both boss and subordinate are held responsible for setting goals and achieving results.

That is pretty much how my company does it. I am fortunate to work for a good company.
 
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