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Showing 21 - 25 of 34 Tales in "Management".
Tale # 160
Dept: Management Score: 14
Jan 27th 2009 Submitted by Anonymous
“The Mystery Task”
A donut I think this story is best told in dialogue format. Here's how the conversation between my boss and myself just went:

Me: "Here are the contracts for you to sign."
Boss: "Great. Hey, when are you leaving today?"
Me: (smiling) "Whenever I'm done."
Boss: "When is that?"
Me: "Well, whenever I'm finished with whatever task you're about to give me."
Boss: "Well, when would you be leaving if I didn't give you anything?"
Me: "Uh...probably at 5, so I can finish my homework."
Boss: "Well, then come see me before you go, because I have some stuff for you to do."
Me: "Um, why don't you give it to me now so I can finish it early?"
Boss: "I don't know what it is yet."

All I can figure is that he needs the time between now and then to invent something for me to do, just so I don't get to go home. LINK
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Tale # 141
Dept: Management Score: 14
Mar 2nd 2008 Submitted by Anonymous
“Watch behind your back”
A donut A new district director was transfered in. All managers were warned that she would be insulted if anyone more than two pay grades lower than she tried to talk to her. As she stayed in her office and spoke to very few people, this did not present a problem.

Then came the day the headquarters executives would come to town. She determined that the most important thing done by her staff was the recruitment of minorities and handicapped people to entry level positions. She would put on a meeting for all employees at a hall to display the new employees to the hq execs.

Fate can be cruel. The managers warned all the minority and handicapped employees not to speak to the director under any circumstances. They were all quite a bit lower paid than the director and any attempt at conversation would be dealt with harshly.

The day and time of the presentation came and the employees filed into the hall. The hq execs, too, sat for the presentation. The director hurried to the meeting and excused herself from the rest of her staff and went to the ladies' room. Her staff went ahead and checked the stage. All the new employees were dutifully sitting at the curtain, so the director's staff sat down in the front rows.

The director entered from the center stage curtain. She walked to the podium and started her speech. The newly hired looked at each other. At first they seemed shocked, then confused as to what to do. Finally, they did as instructed, "Don't talk to the director."

The director finished her speech to polite applause. She turned around and walked back to the curtain. Her dress had been tucked into her pantyhose, revealing more of the director than anyone want to know. LINK
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Tale # 128
Dept: Management Score: 13
Nov 27th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“Teambuilding Company - Tyrant President”
A donut I contracted with a teambuilding company - something like Outward Bound, but not at all as professional. This company solely focused on working with companies ranging from Fortune 500s to small local businesses. We would create 1/2 day to 3 days programs for these companies so that they could challenge their groups, sales forces, managers, etc. We would use group challenges and high ropes course events to build team communication, time management and stronger leadership. We helped to build better teams.

The President of the company that I contracted with was not a team player. His introductions to the groups would always include his tales of how he got started and how his employees and company rallyed around each other and made a wonderful team.

But the reality was much different. He hired young people and family members. He dictated his will. He failed to communicate clearly and expected you to know what he was thinking. For instance, an employee - his nephew - was instructed via notes on a napkin to build an outdoor ropes course. One of the challenge events was to be an 8 foot wall between two trees. The nephew went out, built the wall by himself using 2 x 8 boards. When he finished, the President (his Uncle) came out to the property looked at the wall and said "Hmmmmm... we need to raise this entire wall 5 more inches." The man was like the character Vizzini from The Princess Bride.

My personal story is when I was hired to Tech (gopher) for the President's own program. The event was to happen on a Friday in the mountains about 6 hours or more away from our office.

Communication failures - The President left no schedule or agenda so I had to pack his program by calling around to get ideas for what he might want. I found out that one event he wanted was a bosun's chair. I had no idea what that was, but found out that I would need to (1) find a large ditch on the property, (2) rig safely two cables across the ditch, and (3) secure a swing (the bosun's chair) to the cables so that the chair would become the way to transport people over the ditch.

Long story short... I was expected to pack for a program that I had no idea what it would entail, know about some items that I had no idea what they even were, know the layout of property that I had never been to, and make sure that the President was kept informed of all that was going on.

Once I got to the property, I scouted the area at night in the dark. Next morning, in sleet no less, I set everything that I could up except the bosun thing. Then with my hands numb, I went to ask the President when he would be leading his group out to the program. The reply was "We are going to stay in and continue working in the conference room. We will not be going outside." LINK
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Tale # 159
Dept: Management Score: 12
Dec 28th 2008 Submitted by PED
“We're All In This Together”
A donut I worked almost 20 years at a Fortune 500 high technology manufacturing company. After several years of poor performance a new CEO was brought in to turn things around. In late October, several months after he arrived, an All Managers meeting was called at which the new CEO talked about a number of changes which were going to be made.

A key component of his message was that "We are all in this together." One thing we would all be doing together was that there would be no Management Bonus Program for the year. As the CEO said, "None of us will receive a management bonus."

About five months later, while reading the fine print of the company's SEC report, I learned that corporate VP's and above had aactually received tens of thousands of dollars of cash and stock bonuses for the past year. They had done so because they were covered not by the Management Bonus Program but by the Executive Bonus Program.

And corporate executives wonder why they have a bad reputation!
LINK
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Tale # 107
Dept: Management Score: 11
Apr 20th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“Once Upon A Midnight Bonus”
A donut The service company I work for has several interlocking policies which combine to make the office staff miserable.

You can't take vacation unless the office is in total compliance. Total compliance is impossible to achieve, by design. If you reach the end of the year without taking vacation, you lose it. Recently, due to excessive cashing out, a new policy was instituted. You are no longer allowed to cash out your vacation. HQ is said to be very surprised at the increase in office staff turnover.

Corporate takes 10 percent off the top of your location profit and loss statement. Unless you are shown to be making a profit at the end of the year after the cut to HQ, no Christmas bonuses. Due to the nature of our business, we often have unplanned overtime circa the end of the year. One year we were already promised Christmas bonuses when -- you guessed it -- December's P&L came in and the bonuses went away. Merry Christmas.

The senior manager in the office decides who gets the Christmas bonus. They are usually very bitter and disillusioned. My first year: I got $150 bonus in cash. My second year: I got a $30 gift certificate to Honeybaked Ham. Found out the manager had dipped into their own wallet for it. My third year: a cocoa mug. My fourth year: nothing. My fifth year: almost certainly nothing.

HQ takes about thirty-five days to pay expense reports. Expenses are routinely challenged and audited. After twenty years of stellar service with the company, an office manager was accused of defalcation because she attached the wrong receipt to a $25 expense report. Senior managers are therefore very unwilling to throw down their own money on behalf of the company. We lost a million-dollar client bid because none of the three managers present were willing to pay for the client lunch.

Our workplace violence prevention policy appears to be taking the office staff out every few months to a nationwide chain of arcade/restaurants. Anyone seen to have played a shooting game is counseled by HR. Really.

Recently a new change was instituted. HQ would no longer pay for food expenses not associated with travel (such as meetings, training, etc.) but would pay for coffee service. We immediately changed to a brutally expensive coffee service. So we snack on wafers and crackers from home while drinking premium java. Who knew? The driver: a salesperson who is no longer with us, who became very cranky when deprived of her caffeine. She is now much happier and sells coffee systems.
LINK
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Showing 21 - 25 of 34 Tales in "Management".