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This is a question The Boss

My chief at a large retail chain used to decide on head office redundancies by chanting "One potato, two potato" over the staff list. Tell us about your mad psycho bosses - collect your P45 on the way out.

Bruce Springsteen jokes = Ban, ridicule

(, Thu 18 Jun 2009, 13:06)
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Too much ambition? Or just nuts?
My ex-boss was onto a good thing. He and another guy had got together developing simple computer applications for a little niche in the market. He was the business brains, and the other guy was the techie brains. It was going very well, so a friend was recruited as more techie brains, and I ended up on the bandwagon too.

This could have worked. It was raking in enough money to keep them both in a pleasant enough lifestyle, but it wasn't enough. This guy wasn't going to be happy until he was running something with a seven figure turnover. He hired a factory unit, and proceeded to stuff it full of programming staff.

This was where it all went wrong. He'd start project after project, and then shelve each one weeks or even months into development because he'd had a better idea. Most of the products were based on what would be useful to him or his business. What the potential customers actually wanted seemed to be irrelevant.

But the biggest mistake was supposedly the cleverest part of the plan: Hire talented but unqualified programming staff, and pay them bottom dollar. That worked fine when they were just hacking out code, but then he decided to promote some of us to management roles.

We didn't have a clue, and we certainly didn't have much in the way of discipline or self-control. Every time he'd run off to a meeting, we'd be flying round the car park on office chairs, hanging off one guy's Yamaha. Even the projects that he didn't lose interest in never got finished.

The company found itself briefly in administration while one lucrative contract was sold off, before being wound up. He took the opportunity to come round to several of our houses and personally call us "cunts" (This was years before the Internet, let alone b3ta, so I hadn't heard the word much prior to that.)

When I left, I courteously thanked him for giving me the experience I'd need to get a proper job.
(, Thu 18 Jun 2009, 20:04, Reply)

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