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This is a question Bad Management

Tb2571989 says Bad Management isn't just a great name for a heavy metal band - what kind of rubbish work practices have you had to put up with?

(, Thu 10 Jun 2010, 10:53)
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This question is now closed.

I think this is pretty fucking shit management...
Many of you already know that the lovely Jessie died last month.

Her brother lost his job last week; it was the end of his three-moth trial period and his boss told him it was because he'd had a lot of time off...

Upon expressing his disbelief and annoyance at this, and comparing his two weeks off (for which he'd offered to take annual leave) after his sister being killed to the time a colleague was shortly going to be taking off when his baby was born, the boss changed his tune to "Well, it's not really the time, your work hasn't been up to scratch, sorry"

What a cunt.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 15:58, 34 replies)
Turns out, my boss
...was a convicted fraudster (Ann Wilson), and she was in charge of selling the company (BBC Technology) I was working for. She was pretty un-bearable. She told us there was a "curve" of fear through to acceptance in regard to resisting change. (This was what she told us, when she announced we were to be sold) The first step is "denial" apparently...
Some time later, she was dismissed for "misappropriation of hospitality funds" and then the whole story came out about her changing her name after serving time in jail for fraud and so on...
A good friend and colleague of mine heard the news, and quick as a flash, texted me: "Where on the Curve is Ann now??"
Oh we laughed! Then we quit.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 15:27, Reply)
Temper temper

During a Business Management lecture about differing management approaches, the professor completely flipped out when a girl sat at the front received a text message. The beeps from her phone set him off and he just lost it, yelling and screaming for her to get out of the hall.

He was usually a pretty laid back guy and we all just sat there open-mouthed while he berated her. Her 'but sir...' was completely shot down and he yelled she was going to be kicked off the course.

As she stood up and began to pack her stuff away in tears, he abruptly changed his tone and said 'Now that's an example of overly aggressive management.'

I've never laughed so much.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 14:36, 15 replies)
Management on the fiddle
Defence contracts mean government money and lets face it a license to print money, you might think thank security on military installation construction might be tight, but due to all the cash floating around and the fact that these are non-profit they are far more slack than your average civilian job.

This isn't the case however, the project managers on this particular project were a right bunch of penny pinching gits who really were turning a blind eye to safety and hiring any old migrant worker without the permit or background checks, then this particular manager who was a particularly nasty bit of work would then threaten exposing the workers if they didn't help with his little side projects.

We've all liberated the odd thing whilst on the job but this really was taking the piss and with the help of the poor migrant workers he ended up having the audacity to siphon off entire deliveries and write them off or say they were 'lost in transit', which did actually happen on occasions when the locals really got fed up with the forces in the region. About the last lot that went was an innocuous palette of small mesh grilles that were about 2m squared.

When it came to covering that exhaust port the manager told me it wasn't an issue, anyway who'd notice?
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 14:35, 8 replies)
Academic Funding
Fresh today: my story of management woe.

Let me pre-empt the objections. I know that it looks like I'm complaining about not getting a year's paid leave here. However, research leave is important for a number of reasons. First, research is good for universities: they get funded according to the amount and quality of research that gets done. Hence it's important that staff get the chance to do research, and match-funded research leave means that their - our - home institutions don't have to shell out for it. Second, research is important for the sake of career development. Research is the main criterion for promotion, largely due to the fact that it brings in money. Third, research is what makes the difference between a university and a sixth-form college. A lecturer who doesn't do research is simply a teacher; and while teaching is admirable, if we wanted simply to teach, that's what we'd be doing. Fourth, research leave is time away from admin - it offers a precious, precious opportunity not to have to work every evening and every weekend to keep up.

Right. So.

We're entitled to one semester of every seven off for research, and we're encouraged to apply to relevant funding bodies to extend that leave to a whole academic year. I've been granted a sabbatical from August '10 to February '11, and had applied for funding to take me through to August '11. The plan was to write a book and at least a few papers in that time. I've secured a contract for the book. (NB - that won't generate money for me: it's going to be published on a creative commons licence, so it'll be available to download for free. I'm not going to be making a profit out of public money.)

The funding application went in shortly after Christmas. I've just received an email telling me that the funding body in question has been unable to process the applications they received from this call, and will endeavour to let me know whether I've been successful in spring 2011. At the earliest. Eight months after my study leave starts, and two months after its enforced end.

Without the funding, I'll have to go back to normal duties in February. While the book ought to be writable in that time, it'll be a push - especially as I'd also have to prepare teaching materials for semester 2 - and I'd have to renegotiate the contract with Bloomsbury.

There's a number of ways this could go. Assuming that the book gets finished, I face the possibility of coming back off research leave, then being told after a few weeks that I've been awarded money for the project that I'd've just bust a gut to complete without said money. I'd then have either to come up with a similar-enough project to justify taking the cash (and to convince the funders that this wouldn't need a whole new application), or just sacking it. If I take the money, then it looks like I'll be off for a semester, then back for one or two, then off for one, then back again. In short, I'd be like a stroboscope.

If I decide to sack it, then I've effectively sacrificed funding. That's never going to be good for my CV.

Or I could try to defer the sabbatical I've got, renegotiate the book contract, and push back all my career development plans, in the hope that next Easter the funder - the very same one that's pissed up all my plans because they've moved offices and changed their application system, but can't handle that change - decides to smile on me, noting that there's no guarantee of this at all.

Length? Thirteen months, getting shorter.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 14:31, 8 replies)
Bah, the public sector.
I used to work at a quango, you'll likely guess which one. It had a long history of being above all oversight, prone to a religious bias in upper management, and with monumentally poor hiring policies. They'd take kids on for apprenticeships without proper interview, leading to us having some of the worst little emo oiks imaginable about the place, and we were continually plagued with former employees quitting to join a private competitor as soon as they finished their training period. In fact we were the only place that offered the necessary qualifications to work there, so the bosses really should have seen that coming more often.

In the end, the place went under when one of these time-serving managers decided that his parting gift to the company would be to downsize the entire training department and all our junior staff as a favour to his soon to be boss. I was made redundant next day, but at least I wasn't responsible for the office clearout!

A former cleaner, The Jedi Order
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 13:55, Reply)
Big Mother is watching you
In the impoverished world of late 1990s General FE colleges, under an office manager who was like a cross between a totalitarian dictator and your mum:

- Daily work progress supervisions.

- Preferential treatment for staff either married, with children, and especially those married with children.

- No non-work conversations allowed to last more than 5 minutes.

- Personal telephone calls limited to about 2 minutes IF YOU MUST.

- Only two staff (in an office of 12) permitted to be on leave at any time. This led to holidays piling up and denials of not approving them earlier in the year.

- ABSOLUTELY no swearing in the office. Even euphemisms were banned. I was reduced to Gordon Bennetting.

- Questioning where someone was if an unexplained absence (an unscheduled meeting, say) went beyond 15 minutes. "Where have you been? You went out nearly ten minutes ago!"

On that final point, I almost hoped I'd one day get an upset stomach and be stuck in the gents for half an hour. "Do you REALLY, want me to tell you where I've been, Mrs Manager? EXACTLY what I've been doing? Well, I'll tell you then ..."
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 12:46, 7 replies)
Supervisor Bizarro
First ever post. Hope you like.

I used to work for the council in a region of Scotland. My immediate boss often left me in awe of his wisdom. These are some genuine quotes from him-

"Graham, you've got to put your sheep out in the field before you can make bread."
"Life's like a bar of soap because you wash your face in it every day."
Me to him- "How did your appraisal go?" "Cake of soap, Graham. Cake of Soap."
"Have you tried that chicken coffee, Graham?" "Do you mean Chicory coffee?" "Aye, chicken coffee."
"It's a dog bite dog world out there."
"That boy's as squint as a £5 note!"
"I'm watching you like a hawk. Too-wit too-woo!"
When I challenged him about an error he'd made- "Give me a break, Graham. I'm not inflammable!"

I often wished I had tested the last statement.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 12:14, 12 replies)
i am currently in the middle of
rebuilding our companies website from scratch, because, as my boss claims, "words search faster than numbers."
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 10:59, 5 replies)
Perhaps if poor people had managed their finances better
The global economy wouldn't be in the state it's in.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 9:36, 54 replies)
The group who are quite co operative.
They seem to employ utter fucking idiots in management roles, usually women who are one lambrini from total emotional meltdown. I know a couple of folk that work for them, and the girls come home crying at least once a month. Bellends. AND they have that Scotts cunt doing their voiceovers! It's food, not fud.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 8:15, 6 replies)
Posting from work
Oops. Management fail. ;)
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 8:11, 2 replies)
Bad management? Bad colleagues
I had to remove a post yesterday because one of my more ambitious colleagues decided to circulate it through the office, knowing it would inevitably get to the boss concerned.
Give me a few weeks and I'll be ready for the "office sabotage - things you have done to get even with a colleague" question.
(, Tue 15 Jun 2010, 1:27, 7 replies)
Dave Nasty
The Technical Director at the last place I worked served up some gems that will stick with me forever...

"Now I'm not technical, but..."

"Can you explain that to me in words of less than 1 syllable?"

"I'm not asking you to cut corners, just go round them more quickly"

Nice bloke, but maybe the wrong job...
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 23:34, 6 replies)
The master plan can not go wrong.
Where I work the big guys want their bonus next year. Apparently the company is very behind what they were last year so they stuck their big wig noggins together and formulated the infallible plan.

Nobody is allowed to be hired from now on! Country wide apparently. Or work extra hours or up their contract. This means less wages having to be paid out. Yes, they're getting that bonus from staff. As a result of said master plan many employees are quitting. There are people who now can not afford the bills they need to pay and are having to jump ship. Which means that there are less people to work and the other staff, who can not come in extra to cover for them, have to work extra hard.

I've been told to be thankful I have a job, and to look forwards to my bonus next year, and I am thankful and looking forwards to a little bit extra to save away. However seeing my friends having to leave the place they've worked at for years and years, and all their colleague friends, is not something I'm enjoying one wee bit.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 20:41, Reply)
Seeing as I pulled a sickie today
The recession forced me out of business installing AV kit in club/pubs houses so I took a job in insurance (why do I always end up in insurance?)

The company I work for has less than 30 employees yet it's deemed necessary to have 6 managers 4 "team leaders" and 2 CEOs and none of them seem capable of managing their way out of a paper bag.

Utter shower of cunts

I need this job for 6 more months then I'm fucking off to Japan and Australia for a year.

Not long, not funny but cathartic.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 19:51, 5 replies)
I have already regaled you with the tale of Pierre (, but here are a couple more for your perousal....

1/ Bulk Female Managers.
I have worked under some great female managers (easy now!), and can without doubt say that they leave some male managers for dead.
The problem is when you have too many of them.....
We had 4 sub-managers under the department manager. All 4 subs were women. That in itself was fine. The dept manager was male, and during his tenure all was good. But when he left, a female manager took over. And so began an enormous ego catfight which lasted until that dept manager left and another male assumed the mantle. We could never understand why these competent and professional women suddenly locked horns and behaved like cats in a sack, which bought the entire department to a screeching halt. It was terrible to hear the screaming, shouting, and verbal abuse matches that were euphemistically referred to as meetings. Not exactly a confidence booster, and the CEO wasn't impressed either....

2/ Dumbness 101.
I worked in a customer service call center, that had a very large residential section and a small business section. Both parts were 24x7x365. We in Bus section had it quieter on the weekends as we had few 24x7 customers, so only two bods were rostered on for weekends - one morning starter, one afternoon starter.
Simple so far.....
Sometimes, Res would get hammered on on a weekend. So one manager thought it would be clever to get the Bus person answering Res calls in their down time.
Logical enough, but not quite.
Y'see, you never knew when you'd get a Bus call.....
Result - Bus person is answering Res calls, thereby missing some Bus calls! Customers complained. When managers saw the Bus call stats, they went nuts.
M - "Why did you miss the Bus calls?"
S - "I was on Res calls - check the stats again!" They did.
It was proved. So - dilemma reached.
At this point the logical thing for catching all the Bus calls would have been to stop the Res calls going to the Bus person, right?
Apparently not.
In a flash of brilliance, same manager decided to roster TWO people on each shift. Logic being, whilst one was on a Res call the other was free to take a Bus call. Right?
Wrong again. Both Bus people would end up on Res calls, and still miss the Bus calls! The stats didn't change. Customers still complained. And now there were 4 less people on during the business week (our busiest time) instead of 2, so the weekday stats suffered. Managers started asking questions again.
M - "Why are you still missing the Bus calls? There are two of you on."
S & colleague - "We were both on Res calls - we can't answer two calls at once. TAKE US OUT OF THE RES QUEUE AND THINGS WILL IMPROVE!"
Nope. There had to be some other way......
I left not long afterwards, but until the department was restructured they still hadn't sorted it. And the managers remained mystified as to why it wouldn't work....
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 19:40, 4 replies)
I actually hope one of them reads this
Currently I work for a High Street Bookstore, which is pretty well run in branch bar a few niggles, but whose head office appears to be staffed entirely by idiots who have never read a book in their entire lives.

Problem 1. A meeting was called and we were told our lease was going to expire and wouldn't be renewed, but we couldn't be told exactly why. The HR woman told us off for being annoyed. We were told that we would get one month's wages to tide us over. We were given a year's reprieve, but the fact remains we are unlikely to still be in employment in 2011. Could be worse. We were given a month's notice, compared to a week's given to a Dundee store.

Problem 2. The CEO decided to change the delivery system to a central depot in England, thus getting rid of around 300 jobs in stores throughout the country because the new system meant we shouldn't need a Goods In section (we still do). Unfortunately this means that goods take longer to arrive, our customer orders are slower, and things get mixed up in deliveries. Also, local books (including those from publishers down the road) have to go England, and then back to us in Scotland. At Christmas the new system couldn't cope and we had to order direct from publishers anyway. Stuff is meant to arrive stickered, but often arrives stickered wrongly or not at all or for offers that expired weeks before.

3. The CEO was 'Asked to Leave' as a result of the failure of this new system, which was late in being implemented and still hasn't had all the faults ironed out. He was given a year's salary as compensation, unless he gets a job in the meantime. We thought this was interesting as he was fired, but gets a year's worth of redundancy pay, but we did nothing wrong (in fact our store makes a reasonable amount of money for its size) but were only offered one month's worth.

4. The Buyers are not always the brightest bulbs. Our Graphic Novel offers are only on TV tie-ins, and our sci-fi buyer ordered in 16 Iron Man tie-in novels (we sold one) and 20 Cory Doctorow hardbacks with a pitiful £2 off. Cory Doctorow, for those who aren't aware of him, gives away his books for free online.

5. When books are taken off offers we could not order them in for about a month afterwards, even if we didn't have any left. After about 18 months of complaints, this practice was changed.

6. Books are sometimes re-ordered automatically, even if you set the Model Stock to 0. One time a comic we had sold 1 copy of, ever, had 30 copies ordered. We received 14 before it was cancelled. We have not sold any of them.

7. The returns process was changed so that we cannot keep books we think we need, even though the books picked are often popular titles that sell regularly.

8. We have been told that we need to expand our range, but also that we need to clear space in sections so we can have store-picked features to make the shops less homogenous. We also had the auto-replenishment system installed while being told we would have more control over what was ordered in. Then we were told that we needed to get out and walk around the store to offer help and recommend more books, supplying the personal touch. At the same time we were told that we needed to do better on getting customers to pre-order new titles, and increase the number of Link-saves (spend over a tenner and get one of two books for a reduced price) we sell.

So despite the new CEO being more of a book person, we're getting massively mixed and conflicting messages from the head offices, and none of it is likely to be answered quickly, given how long it took them to get over problems in the past.

The fact these people get paid more than us pisses me off, because they make the same number (if not more) of mistakes as we do, but theirs have bigger repercussions, and cause more hard work for other people.

So, if anyone from Head Office in Waterstone's is reading this, please use some common sense once in a bloody while, stop giving us completely conflicting instructions, and stop giving us a checklist of things to say at the till headed with 'REMEMBER - DON'T BE A ROBOT'.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 19:10, 18 replies)
I was a Bad Manager
I ran a large department with two other guys - the two most professional managers I've ever had the pleasure to work with.
They/we made sure everyone had the latest and best gear and plenty of training.
We discouraged long hours and allowed more time off for family emergencies than company policy.
We made sure workloads were evenly distributed, encouraged ideas & feedback, settled disputes professionally, never took sides or listened to gossip.
We made sure people got credit for their successes, and never, ever threw anyone to the wolves.

One recession-hit year, when the bonus budget was miserably low, we gave up our own bonuses so there would be more to go around the rest of the team.

A couple of months later they got up a petition to have the three of us us fired.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 17:57, 5 replies)
A huge amount of years ago, in my first *real* job, I worked in a call centre.
If 95% of calls were answered by midday, then we were afforded a 1 hour lunchbreak (would be 30 mins otherwise) and a 15 minute break in the afternoon (would be just enough time to buy a coke from the machine and get back to your desk otherwise).
Of course, if a full page national newspaper ad was put out that day, then that made no difference. If was simply impossible to answer more than about 60% of calls in those instances.
So, people would simply answer the calls, and then cut (potential) customers off straight away, and get to the next call to do the same ad nauseum - that is, until after midday of course.

I can't believe that they employed this tactic as an 'incentive' and didn't foresee what 260 18-22 year olds (the ages of pretty much everyone in the call center - this was before minimum wage, so people of this age would be more likely to take a lower wage) would do when faced with it.

It's probably impossible to quantify the lost revenue, but I would bet it's in the millions each year.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 16:38, Reply)
roasting this too (though slightly rewritten)
Some years ago, Mrs Sandettie worked for Asda. It was ok, she worked away from the rst of the rabble on the clothing bit and the pay wasn't bad because she worked Sundays and Mondays. Which meant double time on the Sunday and double time on bank holidays plus a day in lieu.

Then Wal-Mart took over and it all went very shit. The entire ethos changed. Making sure the store was customer friendly was approached with an almost fanatical mindset. They introduced a scheme where you could return a product, no questions asked. A bit like Argos with their 30-day policy. Except this was 100 days and you didn't need a receipt. So, those savvy customers who were happy to take the piss were effectively using the place like a clothes hire shop. Buy a shirt, wear it for 3 months, take it back and get something else.

CCTV cameras were removed as they are not customer friendly, same goes for having a security presence on the shop floor. Eventually, someone saw sense and repealed those ideas. I imagine it was a change of management who probably saw the shrinkage figures.

However, they still introduced policies with a knee-jerk reaction methodology. For example, a customer complained that whilst she was getting served, the girl serving her spoke to the girl on the next till. So a policy was introduced that people serving on till must not chat with each other and must stand waiting, 'looking eager' and once serving someone, are to engage in small talk with the customer.

By which time, Mrs Sandettie was getting very disillusioned and decided enough was enough and jacked it in.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 16:01, 16 replies)
The GP managing my bipolar disorder
is hopeless. EDIT: Brilliant! EDIT: Hopeless. EDIT: Wonderful! EDIT: He's fine, I'm the problem.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 15:33, 7 replies)
I work for myself
and when I get big enough to bring other people in I'm going to structure it as a labour cooperative. So this QOTW is like a big advertisement for me.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 15:31, 2 replies)
The new system surrounding expenses claims is a nightmare. I barely know how to claim for my second home.

(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 15:03, Reply)
Regarding the NHS; starring JC+ and ATOS.
I'm depressed; and I have been, to varying levels, for years now. I don't know if this is fair, but I feel the NHS has been mismanaged with regard to mental health care.

The specific poor management? Well, apparently there is high demand for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is why local waiting times are estimated at 14 months last time I checked (I understand CBT to be the most effective treatment, especially when combined with antidepressants; the best hope for recovery when drugs alone don't do it). In the real world, if there is a high demand for a service you increase capacity; in the NHS you just keep people's lives on hold for over a year, all the while apparently hoping that somehow the growing backlog will just vanish. While I accept you can't train more psychiatry staff overnight, there has been underprovison for many years now; I'm just dropping into a long-existing problem.

Please note that mental health is quietly yet specifically excluded for the otherwise much-vaunted limits on waiting time, Sure, get treated within 18 weeks or get sent privately if you've got a surgical problem that occasionally affects you; but if you're nuts and it wrecks your life, forget it: You're waiting until the sun freezes for treatment. I guess crazy people unshaven in dressing-gowns aren't photogenic enough for politicians to fawn over; and people who never leave their house probably aren't going to vote anyway.

So, instead of being treated briefly and promptly for what was relatively mild depression; I'm getting worse all the time which presumably will take longer to fix. To use a metaphor, instead of using a fire extinguisher and putting out a small rubbish-bin fire; I'm forced to wait helpless as the fire spreads, possibly beyond the ability of the fire service to extinguish.

Overall, the drugs alone are ineffective. A couple of months ago, the GP and I found one drug-and-dosage that worked well; I got a few hours a day of functioning back: a perfect window of opportunity to begin treatment. However, after a few short months intolerable side effects developed; I was forced to discontinue, the window shut. CBT without a concomitant effective antidepressant lessens the odds of success.

It might not have been so bad, but there were additional months of delay in simply getting the GP to agree to put me on the waiting list in the first place; as opposed to getting my name down and cancelling me if a spontaneous or pill-based recovery occured.

There's extra layers of mismanagement in effect, worthy of posts of their own: Job Centre Hyper Mega Plus and their accomplices. Apparently, a diagnosis built over years by hours of consultations with several medical professionals isn't enough evidence of ill health; the sole fact of manageing to turn up on time for a single appontment with their subcontractors ATOS Origin is taken as proof that I am fully fit for work. Which is news to me. I do appreciate the irony; I can appeal the decision by completing a process I can't do because I'm ill enough to be claiming in the first place.

edit: I could fill this QOTW on behalf of myself and people I've known. Keeping more strictly with the spirit of the QOTW; there may be a post to follow about my previous employers, who are why I'm in this current mess.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 14:12, 19 replies)
I've roasted this,
About 6 years ago, I worked for a web-design company. Back then, it was one of the few proper web companies here in Dull (oops, typo) and comprised of the boss, the sales guy, 3 programmers, a designer, and a vacuous proj managemer who was as clueless as anti-sherlock. She freely admitted that the only time she used the web was at work to check clients sites and occasionally to look for cheap holidays.

Anyway, they took me on as a programmer. A week later, I arrived on Monday morning to frantic rushing about. Over the weekend, the server went down, which ran NT Server 4.0 (with service packs I assume). Nothing to do with me, I assure you. Pure coincidence. Clients were calling to find out where there site had gone. Not many though, the majority of the clients were 2-bit local companies but I digress.

Now, a year or so before I started, some previous employee had written a little VB 5 utility that was scheduled to load up during the night, back up the data and close again. Why the frig he didn't just configure Backup is beyond me.

Anyway, this utility had more bugs than a tramp's vest and after a couple of months, threw a wobbler which meant nothing was being backed up and the application was being repeatedly spawned and crashing until eventually, after 8 months it went nuclear and wiped a load of data and the server went down.

Now, a lot of the websites were backed up to CDs (of all things), and the final just-before-going-live development files were on another drive, but the live databases were gone for good and 8 months of transactions and so on disappeared.

Clients were called, and told their site would be back up in a week at the most. Clients were prioritised by how much they paid, and some didn't see their site back online for almost 3 months.

To prevent the problem happening again, the boss finally shelled out for an external USB drive off ebay and on a Friday, would go in the server room (which as a working environment was similar to an abandoned allotment shed), plug it in, physically copy the entire live sites across, unplug it and take it home. No upgrading the servers, creating RAID arrays or anything normal.

To help security, he installed AVG on the servers but oddly no firewall. Not even a free one. Apparently, about a year before I started, one of the other programmers was poking about on the servers (all of which were shared to the drive's root) and found a load of movies. Someone had hacked in and set it up as a p2p node.

Also, he'd registered as a Microsoft Partner so he could subscribe to the Action Pack and get XP and Office 2k3 along with Server 2k3 (but to upgrade the systems to that would mean upgrading the hardware).

Notwithstanding that all computers were installed with Dreamweaver and Photoshop and others, all of which could be found with cracks in a folder, 'software' along with another folder 'cracks'.

He got everything off ebay. Computers, the printer, the telephones etc etc. None of the CD-RWs in the PCs worked. When the piss cheap second-hand Epson Stylus 300 failed, he attempted to fix it by taking it apart. He could've replaced it for £50.

Cutting all these corners though did allow him to have a brand-new top-spec Audi TT on the road every year. Bless.

Length? Girth's more important..
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 13:38, 11 replies)
I've generally not had bad management experiences...
...well, apart from when I worked at the cinema. Two particular supervisors spring to mind.

The first liked to supervise by CCTV. At the cinema, the supervisors were also members of the department they were in charge of. This supervisor decided that meant that he could sit up in the office when we had queues out the door and had just enough staff to cope including him. He would phone down to tell us what to do. Then, when it got quiet, he would suddenly appear, tell us what needed cleaning, restocking, etc (most of which we already knew and were on top of) and vanish again.

He also boasted about the fact that he knew the code word for the taxi company that would take people home if they worked after midnight and was tempted to use it to go into town for nights out.

The best story about him was the time he called me a little cunt, in the middle of the cinema, at the top of his voice. Unfortunately, there were no customers around at that point otherwise I'd have happily reported him.

But the other nightmare supervisor took things further. Due to college, I generally worked the closing shift on a Friday and Saturday. Now, in an ideal situation, there would be three of us on the closing shift. This allowed for two people to close the department and start on the bigger cleaning jobs while the other one cashed up the till. Also at this time, they decided that that each supervisor would work a certain number of closes a week. Except whenever it was my supervisors turn to do so, she'd be ill. Every time.

As said above, the supervisors were also members of their department. Meaning we were always short handed for the close those days. Now, you could close the department with two people. I knew this from experience. But, imagine the problems when it was supposed to be just me and her on the close and, yet again, she was ill.

(The third close shift was opened up to anyone who fancied some overtime. strangely, no-one ever did fancy volunteering to work till midnight...)

So it was just me. Someone from another department did agree to help out, but they wouldn't be available till about 10:30. Unfortunately, this was also the day that all the tills, apart from box office, decided not to work. End result? We had no hope of getting the place cleaned properly. After that, there was always three people scheduled for the close.

I did get some satisfaction, however.

At the time I was an officer in the Boy's Brigade. As such, I could not work Wednesdays. Guaranteed, at least once a month, I'd have to remind her of this. Despite this a) being on my available hours and b) having been the case since before she became my supervisor. One week I asked for the Friday night off, due to it being open night (where the boys showed off for their folks). Sure enough, I was off on the Friday but supposed to be working on the Wednesday. I pointed out that I couldn't work Wednesdays and she started to rearrange the rota so I was working on the Friday. I pointed out that I couldn't work the Friday afterwards.

Now, had I been in her position, I would have asked the person why not. She decided to point out that she had other peoples availability to worry about (which she got paid for). I thought about trying again and decided against it.

Instead, I went into work on the Tuesday (cos I was buggered if I was losing money cos of her stupidity) and passed on a letter to my manager pointing some things out, finishing with that thing and stating that I would not be at work on Friday, I was not arranging for someone to cover my shift, I was not phoning in sick and if the area was short staffed (as I knew it would be, it being a Friday night, traditionally our busiest night) she was to blame.

Length? Each was my supervisor for about 6 months.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 13:20, Reply)
Turns out, I worked for Jesus
I used to make and sell the staple of any balanced Canadian diet Ė donuts. As such, one would assume that my manager had an experience of, say, baking, perhaps even management. Alas, no. He was plucked from obscurity for the job because he was a down-on-his-luck Baptist minister. He was a man without a flock. What is such a lamb of God to do without a purpose? That lamb was to BAKE.

It became clear, however, that he was flockless for a multitude of reasons. Mental instability was one, the other was that he was never ordained - in fact, he could hardly read. He believed that he had a direct connection to God, and God would often help him manage this donut shop. God, however, was also a piss-poor manager.

I could run through tales of mismanagement, racism and long hours, but thatís been done already. Instead, Iíll leave you with this: my boss quit his job as a bakery manager so he could set up his own cult based on Christian Identity. Last I heard, my old bakery boss was the second coming of Christ calling for an end-of-times race war.

Had I known that I worked for Jesus, I would have turned up on time. My soul is TOTALLY not saved.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 11:56, 6 replies)
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth
I really don't have the energy to go into the details of my experience as I'll probably end up in a tearful mess with my head on my desk moaning "WHY?" as the pools of snot puddle on my keyboard.

However as I'm sure many of you can testify, bad management at its worst is the sort that goes against all justifiable reasoning and that you can do absolutely nothing about. There is anger when a choice that seems obvious, sensible, cost effective or even ethical is not made due to some obscured or flawed reasoning. If there is no opportunity to change that decision you get the frustrated impotent rage that seems to turn your insides to pure bile.

Those of you who have been able to right the wrongs or get revenge on the "system" must know how good that feels. Not all of us get that opportunity. For some even walking away would feel disatisfying - leaving colleagues behind, not able to offer at least one customer a decent service in the mire of crap, knowing that you weren't able to change the system for the better. For others leaving is not possible, they are trapped in a nightmare where their hands are tied, shackled to a job they hate and makes them ill.

The stories that have come to mind as I write this are the B3tan who managed to escape from his employment in Dubai, the HMRC staff and customers who are both trapped in a cycle of problems (as per BBC1's Watchdog) and the tale of the "environmental" team from a few QOTW's ago who would place a fan on each desk rather than invest in turning the central heating system down a few degrees.

In fact, reading this again has made me feel lucky. The decision that I'm waiting for is not income-threatening, the most I'll lose is my desk and my projects. If I go I'll move teams and end up back where I was 3 years ago, if I stay our team is to be reduced to a shadow of it's former self with no hope of improvement for at least 6 months. Either way I'll feel like I've gone backwards. Oh crap, my keyboard's getting wet.
(, Mon 14 Jun 2010, 11:39, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

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