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This is a question Worst Person for the Job

In a week where it emerges that the new Health Secretary is a fan of the hocus-pocus that is homeopathy, tell us about people who are spectacularly out of their depth in a job. Have you ever found yourself wallowing in your own incompetence? Tell us. (Note: "Name of football manager/politician - nuff said" does not constitute an answer)

(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 12:48)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

My wife would come home from work and complain about her manager always having to take days off for sudden family emergencys
and how that when he was actually at work, he'd act strangely around the female employees.
Turns out he was a nutcase.....
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 14:38, 18 replies)
Fench police.
We thought the british police were bad. Not being able to find a 12 year old in a house. But the French didn't notice a 4 year old in a car.

Edit. I'm the worst person to write the subject line on my own post.

Hangs head in shame.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 14:12, 6 replies)
I once volunteered for the Samaritans
I was awful at it.

Apparently the advice "Man up and stop being so melodramatic" isn't appropriate.

(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 14:11, 2 replies)
Ian Huntley
was not a very good Caretaker.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 13:53, 10 replies)

(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 13:47, 6 replies)
Cheering himself up
A mate of mine is a teacher in an American high school. She told me of the school's football coach, who was spotted by some of the students in a video rental store (remember them?). He was checking out a stack of tapes: all porno, and all cheerleader themed...
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 12:10, 6 replies)
Those who can...
I studied engineering at uni, and many of the lecturers were people who had moved into academia after a career actually doing what they were now teaching. Sounds like a good idea? Unfortunately not always. Some of them may have been world-class experts in their field, but being able to do something, and being able to successfully convey it to others, are two entirely different skills.

The worst of them all taught statistics. Now I'd studied statistics at A level, so went along to the first lecture comfortable in the knowledge that this module would be a breeze.

I staggered out an hour later, with my head full of confusion. When I went in I could have written an essay on the different kinds of average; after his "explanation" I was no longer sure I even understood what a plain old mean actually was. Far from imparting knowledge into the students, the oaf at the blackboard actually had the ability to suck knowledge out of their heads; he had invented anti-teaching.

I did not attend another of his lectures. I achieved one of the highest scores in the exam - not difficult, because no-one else had learnt anything.

I bet he had tenure, too...
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 12:04, 5 replies)
at a games company i used to work at was a right lazy fucker. He was always falling asleep during the day and my manager was from the ostrich school of management, so never did anything about it. We worked in a very quiet open plan office and one day he was fast asleep, head back in his chair. A few minutes later his head nodded forward, and he full on face planted the desk, headbutting his keyboard in the process.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 11:51, 3 replies)
This chap?

(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 11:13, 41 replies)
That is all.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 11:04, 4 replies)
Dare we mention parents holidaying in Portugal?

(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 10:21, 2 replies)
I've just been informed that your mum used to be senior nun at a nunnery.

(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 10:05, 1 reply)
I heard that Apeloverage has written a book.

(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 9:24, 86 replies)
working for the government
Like this homeopathy idiot I work for the government. I won't tell you which one, just that it's one of the Koreas (and I have Internet, so you can probably guess which). At the best times I'm a culture and tourism reporter, and at the worst times I'm a propagandist, and it's my job to explain the local culture to the outside world.

I work with a team of writers, until recently all girls in their 20s (you can pay them less) who are fluent in English and range from quite cute to conspicuously hot. It's my job to proofread their work and keep them from making any embarrassing errors. For instance, I just stopped one from publishing an article that refers to Korean culture as "diverse."

Above me, it's my boss' job to make sure I don't cross the line, and that I stay focused on what foreigners would like about the country. Oh, and she doesn't speak any foreign languages at all. It makes it very hard for her to do her job.

Thanks to Confucianism, the older people always get their way, even if they're less competent. It's especially funny in this organisation because in Korean society, literally the younger you are the better you are at English, so you have ill-informed xenophobes making decisions about how to engage foreigners.

We are all contract workers, but my boss is a civil servant, a distinction she got by taking a civil service exam rather than actually achieving something or proving her worth in a meaningful way. She's not good at her job, a fact she openly admits, but any teams where her skillset would be more suitable knows better than to take her on as manager, so the ministry stuck her with the lowest-ranked team, us.

I have tons of stories--I'm keeping a log of all the bizarre changes she forces me to make in the name of government propaganda. But here's the funniest.

One of my coworkers was contacted by our boss one day on messenger. The conversation went something like this (translated into English):

Boss: Your English skills are getting really bad.
Writer: What are you talking about?
Boss: In your last article, you spelled "global" wrong. You forgot the V.
Writer: I'm pretty sure there's no V in global.
Boss: Well, I'm pretty sure there is a V. Gloval.

So, my coworker had to look up the word "global" to see if it was written as "global." Turns out she was right.

Anyway, a few months later, said coworker quit. We lost three employees right in a row, only a few months after losing three other employees in a row, which is devastating to a team of ten. All because of the same manager.

It amazes me that Korean culture is spreading so rapidly these days, considering some of the minds at work on this task.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 9:10, 7 replies)
My small business course
had several lecturers. One of them specialised in telling us how to structure our business. He took the job after going bankrupt.

The funny thing was that he talked about his bankruptcy all the time.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 9:08, 7 replies)
A square peg in a round hole
I used to be a farmer. The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, now defunct and replaced by DEFRA and RPA. I had filled in a form for them ( one of many that us farmers had to fill in every year) This one concerned breeding cows. A girl from MAFF's livestock dept. phoned me up and asked me one or two questions about our beef herd, how many cows we had, how many calves, how many replacements etc.. The conversation turned to breeds of cattle and I happened to mention "Sussex cattle". "Oh don't ask me about different breeds" she replied "To be honest with you I know nothing at all about cattle!" WHAT?
On a similar note. Apparently many years ago Barbara Castle was appointed Minister of Transport and she could not drive a car.
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 8:32, 5 replies)
Apparently a certain False Amniote was the wrong person for the job of Official QOTW Defence Troll.

(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 23:13, 17 replies)
I worked for the Media dept in Salford Uni...
When the IT dept were designing the Post Production suites for the new Media City Building, their boss announced he was buying PC's instead of Apple Macs as they were 'more reliable, stable and better value'. We announced that as we used Final Cut Pro this was impossible, it had to be macs. He looked up and replied:

"Oh, we've thought about that and we are going to patch it for Windows XP" (this was in 2011)

He was being serious, we laughed, laughed hard then got angry when he debated the point. We had to point out it was illegal before he would back down.

He's still in charge and while I have long gone, I hear the network and the IT equipment for the new media building is a complete and utter fucking shambles. I'm so glad I quit months before they moved.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 21:44, 6 replies)
.....have now emailed me four times to tell me that they cannot talk to me about my wife's car insurance policy, despite asking me for more information about me, my wife and the car each time.

I understand data protection, but it's my email address they write to, I took out the policy and paid for it on my card. Oh, and I also have two other policies with them.

But apparently they aren't able to talk to me.

Heigh ho, dudes!
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 21:03, 11 replies)
The Phoenix Four.
(Rover Group).
Bosses at Marconi (early 2000s).
Sir Fred Goodwin.

I haven't named John DeLorean and Freddie Laker and Sir Clive Sinclair as they actually made something worthwhile before they went bust.

However the award goes to... Silvio Berlusconi. While in office, negotiating legislation that allows him immunity from prosecution... being in charge of a media empire (would we allow Murdoch to become PM here?) and employing friends and relatives in government positions, while having Bunga Bunga parties with underage prostitutes and models? I mean, we complain about the government here, but THAT? Only really enabled because a section of the voting nation think "He's a real man and a bit of a card, what's wrong with that?"
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 20:51, 13 replies)
Right family, wrong man
I used to work for one of the big companies nobody thinks about but everybody's heard of. From a quiet unassuming office in a business park 30 miles from the obvious place for a firm of this scale, it sits on and enjoys a rather lucrative market in semi-essential mechanical devices.

All was going swimmingly, 'til a director - of finance, as it happens -chose to leave and was replaced with the owner of the business's son-in-law.

Now this owner was a very clever chap, in about 60 years he and his father had turned a beat-up old military factory in a regional power where it's still 1952, even now, into a company that had global presence and top-3 market-share. The son-in-law was not cut from the same steel, and, determined to show his worth, starts routing all daddy-in-laws personal expenses - which were on the scale expected of a multinational's CEO - through product development costs.

And his more talented staff start disappearing. A few hang on and keep their mouths shut while dreaming of the pension that would result (and are indeed rewarded. 30 pieces of silver, plus inflation, is worth it). One or two more stay to try to change the system from within by use of contacts and good sense. And good luck to them, you can imagine what happened to the ringleader.

And shortly afterward this bright shining FD gets an unsigned postcard.. and leaves the country within days.. Apparently he's in some sort of disgrace.

He really shouldn't have left the ringleader alone, consigned to filing-duty !!!!! in a room with the usual FD-level kit and a lot of incriminating documents while gathering his wits as to what to do with him. Most of the really important files in his archive room, the ones with the truth and authentic signatures on them.. are now replaced with colour photocopies.

Another, publicly funded and rather more serious-minded body of professionals has been examining the originals for a while.

A little company that made it big is about to get one hell of a knock. All because the wrong person knew he was the wrong person for the job, but tried to compensate.

Give me ignorance any day. That at least is an extreme form of honesty.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 20:12, 12 replies)
Sepp Blatter
At first glance, Sepp Blatter might seem like a perfect candidate for this QOTW; arrogant, inept and embarrasingly prone to faux pas. However, an organisation as full of cunts as FIFA couldn't really have found a more apt representative than him - as a figurehead of the sorriest bunch of wankers known to football, he's pretty much unrivalled.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 19:58, 8 replies)
A friend went to a strip club, and watched a provocative routine featuring an all-nude performer, a silk handkerchief and a variety of spread-eagle poses. Trouble was, she was engaged in a stageside conversation as she pouted her lips, whipped her long hair around, and posed with come-hither looks. As she danced, she whined about her current tedious weekend cleaning the oven, washing the windows, and sweeping the basement. The overall effect was shockingly pedestrian and completely offputting.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 19:56, 7 replies)
Eh? Why are we onto a new 'question of the week'?
The week doesn't end until Sunday. Idiots.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 19:01, 4 replies)
he was a directors nephew
he was also definitely not a scientist.

a few gems include:

taking crucibles out of a muffle furnace (at 550 degrees)and placing them on a plastic tray, observing that they were rather quickly descending through the tray and attempting to resolve the situation by grabbing another plastic tray to catch them.

while taking crucibles out of the same muffle dropping some of them on the floor and just carrying on as if nothing had happened, he had dropped the quality control sample to go with that batch of samples and didnt even bother trying to just make the result up so the senior staff wouldnt notice that he had not bothered with a QC check. anyone else would have been fired for this

repeatedly putting negative results for ash forward without repeating the sample first (a negative result means something has gone wrong everyone knew this and only he ignored it)

repeatedly forgetting how an auto pipette works usually followed by going off in a mood and not talking to you for a week when you remind him how it works.

removing sample vials from a GC and throwing them away before they have even been injected. when asked why he didnt put the vials in a bag with the date on (which was what he had been told to do when removing the previous days vials from the auto sampler) he said "they must have exploded in the bag".

it took 2 weeks training and 3 different people to train him on 1 method and he still couldnt do it. i was only given 2 days to learn the same method.

i was once tasked with sifting through a days worth of printouts from a CEM fat analyser as there were no QC results for it on the QC chart. the reason, he hadnt bothered. anyone else would have been fired for this

he had attempted to cover up a dodgy QC but everyone called bull shit when he put down a weight of 1.0000g exactly on the qc chart. anyone else would have been fired for this

you may be thinking that he got a hard time as he didnt study science or even go to university beforehand but as any graduate going into their first job will tell you you dont have a clue about what you are doing until you actually start the job and are shown what to do.

also he used to work for corus steel and they went bankrupt coincidence? i think not
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 18:17, 6 replies)
A friend works for a company whose only customer is the NHS.
I've never really dealt with major corporations, especially the NHS. Infact, I know I would get the sack within minutes because of my lack of ability to be PC and not swear. (I'm not rab c nesbitt, but theres nothing wrong with saying cunt a few times in a meeting)

I digress. His old manager was inept. Totally and uterlly, less qualified than him, and thought nothing of signing off PO's for 4k for a print job, that once he left I introduced my friend to a new print company I'd used for years and got the exact same job done for 300 quid.

His new boss is quite happy to spend (her imagined cost) 27k on a new website. They are an internet data company. They need nothing more than a simple site with blog feeds, twitter feeds and to post some pretty pictures once in a while.

The list is endless. The woman (part time) been there decades, is on about 10k more than my mate, chooses what she fancies doing if she doesn't 'fancy it' wont do it. But then will need hand holding through any task anyway.

This is a company with a billion pound turn over providing 'stuff' (purposely vague) to tax funded NHS, yet cant replace a broken office window.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 17:28, 3 replies)
Me as project manager
About 10 year ago I was working in London as an elearning developer, a good job considering I had no real programming or graphic or instructional design skills. Always fearful of being replaced by someone who actually knew the job, I applied for a job as project manager, changing three of my past jobs to say project manager on my cv and that I knew prince 2. But this is not about lying, it is about unsuitability.
I got the job, a huge semi-government IT shitfuck. I was put in charge of several million pound production projects all running concurrently, including managing both public and private sector teams.
Now, if I am honest about my personality profile, it would be diametrically opposite to that of a good project manager.
I am bone lazy, very very disorganised, pay no attention to details, take no notes at any meetings, in fact I'll happily play civilization on my laptop while occasionally faking attention if I think no one can see my screen, have no actual project management skills to speak of and just a rudimentary grasp of the terminology. I don't follow up on anything or check peoples progress, and my main interest each day was securing a free newspaper and checking the dumpsters out the back to see if any furniture of equipment worth taking home had been left there. Still, I got on well with my boss as we both liked cricket.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 17:03, 3 replies)
Kevin the car crash victim.
Many moons ago the company I worked for decided to go all PC and employ a disabled person. As it was in an old silk mill with limited access it was unsuitable for wheelchairs or people with limited mobility. This was no problem for Kevin as his disability was that he was an ex Programmer who had had a severe car accident that had stoved the back of his head in. After years of therapy his carers felt he was ready to get back to work.

Outwardly he seemed like a normal and nice enough chap but his particular problem was a next to zero short term memory, however once he'd got a concept in his mind long enough for it to migrate to his medium to long term memory it was fine.

So what job did the bright sparks in Management give him? Helpdesk 1st line support.

Typical conversations went like this:

*phone rings*
"Hi, It's Kevin, I've got a customer on the phone for you."
"Who Is it?"
"I forgot."
"Aren't you supposed to write down their name before you forget it?"
"I forgot that"
"Can you find out who It is first?"
*phone rings*
"Hi, It's Kevin, I've got a customer on the phone for you."
"Who Is it?"
"I forgot."
"Look. Just put them through."
"Hi, Is that Sarah?"
"No, This is Airman Gabber, Did you want Sarah?"
"I asked for Sarah."
"I'll put you through to Sarah."

This went on for weeks until the not-as-yet Mrs Airman gabber siezed an opportunity to be his handler, which basically meant he was her bitch for the rest of his employment there.

The best bit was he left us for a better job as he decided we were all a bunch of amateurs.

He was probably right.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 16:36, 1 reply)
gary 'little' herbert and dan 'they're coming, they're coming again' topolski.
Aunties 'go to' race commentary team for rowing.

now, gary won a gold in barcelona coxing the searle brothers. dan's hubris led to the boat race mutiny and the only vaguely interesting film about rowing.

both are not just bad at commentating, but between them manage to uphold and encapsulate every stereotype about what is actually a very easy and relativley cheap sport to get into. Also a sport that isnt actually dominated by Oxbridge. not that you would notice with an ex oxford coach bashing on about 'coming' all the time.

Their main crime though, what i and the rowing community cannot forgive them for, is making what is a fairly dull spectator sport to the outsider into something excruciating to listen to for everyone.

yes, dan by all means criticise purchases's sculling technique. but not as they cross the line first in the beijing 2x final, you mammoth fruit.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 16:26, 1 reply)
Grade A tool
His name was Rix. I won't give his first name as I don't want to go to court. He'd only been in the company for six months when I was put in a new team under him. Well, more of a double-act really, just me and him. Due to my ten years' experience in various parts of the company and the exams I'd taken, I'd finally managed to get a job in a relatively interesting area: Strategy. He, supposedly, had had similar roles in different companies and came highly recommended.


How can I put it? He was so fucking clueless that if he was chained down to a chair in front of a Bumper Book of Crossword Puzzles, with Inspector Morse on his left and Sherlock Holmes on his right to help him, he still wouldn't have been able to discover a single, solitary, fucking clue. I can honestly say that he added absolutely no value AT ALL in the year or so I worked with him. Mostly, I did the work then he picked over it. He fussed like an old woman, and he knew nothing and nobody that would help in our role. He was 100 percent, guaranteed free of gorm.

Funny thing was, I quite liked him at first. He was fairly easy to get on with and although ten years younger than me, that wasn't a problem for me: virtually all the managers I work for are younger than me, because they've had a decade's head start.

But then his habits started to annoy me. Constant stories about his car, some BMW or other, e.g. it had a scratch and he spent the best part of three weekends sanding and spraying it until he'd ruined a whole panel and had to get it done professionally. OK, but why tell us the whole story every single day? Also, he'd constantly, but surreptitiously sniff his fingers - yuk, and when he said 'marketing' it came out as 'margeding' or ‘strategy’ as ‘stradegy’ and WITHOUT FAIL, at every single meeting we ever went to (and there were lots), he'd use the word 'predicated'.

He would moan about how the work we were getting wasn't interesting enough. He thought he should be advising the executive board on ‘stradegy’. The sum total of his knowledge was a passing familiarity with the BCG Growth-Share Matrix (see Wikipedia), which is probably taught in term one of A-Level marketing [that's Marketing 101 for our American cousins]. Imagine going to see the top guys at NASA and suggesting that to get more thrust for their rockets, they should have a look at skateboard propulsion technology principles.

This numpty I then discovered, was actually TWO whole grades higher than I had originally supposed and, as a consequence was earning over £50,000 a year, while I scraped by on roughly half that, doing his job as well as mine. Towards the end, as everyone else cottoned on to how useless he was, we weren't given any new work to do. Stuff we should have been doing was given to other people and what did Rix do about it? Did he have a frank discussion with his boss, ask why, suggest stuff we could usefully do? Did he fuck. He'd call a 'team meeting', which meant we'd get up from our desks with our pads and pens and wander off to find somewhere to sit. Then he'd bitch about everyone and everything and I'd advise him to pull his frigging finger out of his arse, stop sniffing it, and get something done. Then we'd go back to our desks no further on; this went on for a year. Gradually, he started taking more sick days and 'worked from home' a lot, it was only a matter of time.

In the next reorganisation he opted for redundancy and was refused! Ha ha! So he had to resign, while I finally got a decent job. Hurray! That was back in 2007...

About two years ago we were recruiting for a new strategy manager, our department boss (a very nice guy) came over with a c.v.

'Che, you were in the team when this guy Rix worked here weren't you? What do you think of him?'

So I said (pretty much verbatim) 'He was a complete and utter waste of space and if you give him a job, then I'll have to leave.'

'Well, that's fairly clear. I think we can forget him then.' and he dropped the c.v. into a re-cycling bin on the way back to his desk.

Out of curiosity, I fished it out of the bin and read an account of his role at our company that was about as accurate as a creationist’s explanation for dinosaurs. Not just a grade-A tool, but self-delusional, bullshitting tool. The kind of guy that puts the ‘wanker’ into: ‘that guy is a complete and utter wanker’.

Good riddance.
(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 16:16, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

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