Monday, June 4, 2012

Newsflash: 'Asshole' is not a management style.

*warning, my language is less-than-lovely in this post.

Well, that’s just his/her /my management style”. This is something both my husband and I have heard a number of times throughout our working careers. This is a statement often offered in order to excuse what amounts to nothing more than unchecked douchebaggery. I’ve only really had *one* d-bag boss, and he wasn’t 100% d-bag, he just had d-bag moments—mostly when his wife emasculated him in front of her staff (they ran two businesses together in one location). He owned a private small business, and the guy went as far as to call me an idiot without really understanding what I was asking him, which I thought was pretty damned unprofessional. Luckily I was his only employee, and I was also free to snark back at him. My husband has had several of these cock-monkeys as bosses. My husband is also not a boastful ass-kisser, which makes him more disposed to being barked at by The Big B with an obviously little p.

I get really angry at the notion that being an unadulterated assmunch can be excused away with calling that a ‘management style’—because it’s not. It’s unadulterated assmunchery but nobody wants to call it that. For some reason, it’s accepted practice in various work environments, to protect and defend what is really nothing more than bullying. Too many times there are people promoted into management positions they are simply not suited for. They don’t have the personality to motivate and inspire their underlings, they don’t really understand the dynamics real management, of employee morale, and think that the only way to get people to do more than they should is to treat them like shit, belittle them, micromanage them, answer their questions with vagaries and expecting them to do it without any real guidance, except in the form of verbal and emotional abuse. What’s sad is that if there were a real manager, one that knows how to guide and motivate staff, the production would probably be much better, but since a douchebag is usually placed in that position, the rest of the company has no idea what they’re missing.

Why is this permissible behaviour in the workplace? Who the hell wants to get up every day, try their hardest; work to their best potential when all they have to look forward to is being harassed by a big asshole every day? How can anyone believe that being a gigantic jerkwad is going to be positive for production and efficiency? I know for me, that only has the opposite effect. I do my best work when I care about what I do. I know for a fact that when I am pushed around, verbally abused, mocked and humiliated by a ‘superior’, I sure as hell won’t put a lot of care into what I do for that buttcheese, that I can guarantee. People working under assmonkeys usually do barely is what is required of them. If they could feel positive about the person that has expectations of them, someone who knows their capacity, who understands their skillsets, and is willing to identify the ones that would thrive being challenged, they would do far above and beyond the scope of their duties. It’s common human psychology... Yet somehow, some big mouthed scro-sack from middle management succeeds in convincing the company they know what they’re doing, and they get put in the job instead, stalling out any real efficiency and production in the folks beneath them. Being continually frustrated by the demands of upper management, instead of looking into their own management choices for reasons of failure, they simply shift the blame of inefficiency and incompetence on the employees beneath them.

The Obvious Signs of an Asshole Manager:

When an employee goes to a Jerkwad Manager for guidance, they are often met with sarcasm, told ‘why don’t you know this already?’ or they receive some sort of Confucian reply like: ‘the answer is in the numbers...’. This is what I’ve come to decide is an unsubtle diversion. It’s the douchebag manager’s way of hiding the fact that the manager really doesn’t know how to answer the employee’s question. So they instead direct it back onto the employee in a humiliating way insuring they will think twice about coming to them again for answers. In the unlikely event that they do have an answer, they make sure they are as condescending and belittling as possible in the delivery of that answer to the employee, to insure that the employee is made to feel like an ignoramus.

Another Scro-Sack Manager tactic is the public humiliation tactic. Scuzmonkey Managers like to call meetings, select a person that particularly annoys them, and then subject that person to a public flogging for not being able to perform the impossible, for not being aware of something that has nothing to do with them at all, for not being able to foresee with their psychic abilities something that would be otherwise impossible for them to know, or not being experts about something that isn’t in their job description. This employee will be barraged in the meeting with a succession of questions and accusations they are not able to answer or not given a chance to answer, being talked over and shouted at repeatedly, until the end of the meeting, when the employee has been pushed to contemplating bringing a semi-automatic to the next meeting, and the manager feels this person has been sufficiently humiliated.

Skid-Mark Managers are also notorious for joking about certain employees in their small circle of butt-kissers, giving them derogatory nicknames, mocking them when they are present and also when not present, and finding a flaw and riding that flaw until the employee is pushed to the point of wanting to quit or commit homicide.

There are very few defenses in place for employees that are being victimized by these bullies. EthicsPoint may be something many companies provide for employees to use when they believe something isn’t being handled properly, but I’ve seen many times where these horrible managers receive repeated and various complaints by various employees through EthicsPoint, they are marginally reprimanded on occasion by utterly clueless superiors, and they just return to their old habits a few days afterwards, making sure that they come down even harder on the employees they suspect might have reported them.

Is your boss or supervisor one of these douchebags? Here are some key behaviours that might identify them as such:

If you got 50% or greater on this quiz, your boss's management style is 'giant asshole' and should be pummeled with EthicsPoint submissions or continual and numerous complaints to upper management. No employee should have to put up with that kind of BS, it doesn't matter where you work.

My husband will be starting a new job in a few weeks. He is coming out of an environment that is dominated by one of these kinds of managers. His prior job also had a manager like that, and worse, that manager was my COUSIN. My cousin was eventually fired for taking kick-backs from vendors and stealing company assets—so in this case, this ‘manager’ got what was coming to him. He received flurries of complaints from many employees, but it took him stealing from the company and using company resources for personal gain for them to finally jettison him. My husband never really felt comfortable confronting him or getting him in trouble because he was related to me. But justice did occur in this case. Unfortunately, my cousin decided that my husband was to blame for his expulsion instead of his fault, and we no longer speak. But since my cousin is a colossal idiot, it’s no loss to me.

Let’s hope the dick my husband is now escaping will also someday learn a hard lesson that his ‘management style’ is not appropriate. :D My hubby’s new job doesn’t have any direct supervisor riding his ass. So there’s light on the horizon.


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