Friday, July 01, 2011

How To Be A Really Bad Boss

by L.S.S

1. Be Kewl.

Don't worry about being professional. Worry not of leadership, or excellence. Instead, be kewl. Be hip. Be who you wanta be if you didn't wanta be who you are. Yo.

To be kewl, you'll need style, and "every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man."

So, go down to Macy's, and go on a shopping spree. Don't worry about what anyone thinks. Just pick out whatever you think is chillin -- like a villain. Your gonna need to drop some serious benjamins. And, remember this rule, "the older, the tighter, the tighter, the better."

After your spree, go home and take out your new 9 megapixel digital camera. Yeah, you roll with techies too. Yeah, photography is your hobby (since just now). Yeah, you have this unique thing (since just now) where you like to capture the eccentric corners of life by photographing starving, but unsuspecting, stray kittens in an abandoned warehouse while the sun sets at exactly 5:52 every day. Or, something like that.

Anyway, so now you have your threads. It's time for a fashion show. So, take out your massively expensive camera and stage several vanity shots of yourself in your new clothes. A pensive shot. A trying-to-be-natural-and-not-look-at-the-camera shot. A fake-laughing shot. A just-one-of-the-guys shot. A guy-with-big-group-of-girls-he-doesn't-know shot. A fun shot. A serious shot. A shot of you awkwardly coming out of the bathroom. A shot of you rescuing one of the warehouse kittens (you can drop him off later at the shelter).

Then, just take a bunch of pictures of yourself doing cool stuff: you at the club; you at the pool; you at the pool just before going to the club; you at the club shooting pool; you posing as a caveman -- with a club, eating gruel.

Now, sign up for a Facebook account and send friend requests to all your employees. Friending your employees on Facebook is one fairly easy way to make them extremely uncomfortable. Now, post all your new pics on Facebook, and send "pokes" to your employees. Yeah, you're on Facebook. Yeah, you saw the movie Social Network which is about Facebook.

2. Set a bad example.

Make sure to show up late every day in a state of hysteria, and then send out an email demanding, "People start getting to work on time around here."

Have a meeting focused on "the productive use of office hours." Then, when everyone leaves the meeting, leave your door open, and take a nap in the middle of the floor on a rollout bed with Yanni playing loudly in the background.

Basically, tell your subordinates to do things, and then do the opposite.

Try this. Send this mass email to everyone in the office, "NO ONE IS TO TALK ON THEIR CELL PHONE DURING WORK HOURS. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN." Side note, send all caps emails as often as possible. 

Then, go and purchase one of those giant cell phones from the 80’s. Show up at work and walk around the office, talking as loud as you can, saying things like, “Whatcha you doing, playa? Oh, I'm not doing much. Just wasting some time.”

3. Take no responsibility.

Find a way to blame everything on your employees.

This is harder work than you might think. You never know what might go wrong. So, pick out two of your most diligent employees, and circulate rumors in the office that you are "disappointed in their performance," and for some reason, “you just don’t trust them.” This will set the stage if you ever need a scapegoat.

The time may come when the owner of the company comes to you and says, “I'm disappointed in your leadership.”

Go into crises mode, and deflect with some overreaching commitment, while also subtly blame-shifting, "I take personal responsibility for everyone who works here, even myself. If Sadar buys a pack of gum on his lunch break at the Mumbai office, I will know about it. Which reminds me, Sadar has been taking an extra 5 minutes for lunch, or so I hear, and I think that may have something to do with us not meeting budget."

Now, if the owner of the company says, "The buck stops here," this is a sign he's getting tough. Change the subject as quickly as possible. Say something like, “I don’t know who Buck is. How long has he worked here?”

4. Publicly humiliate your employees.

If ever an employee does make a mistake, make it a point to yell at them in front of everyone else. Also, make it a point to take the error as a personal slight.

Pitch a total fit, throw a pen, and yell, “How could you do this to me? What have I ever done to you? Don’t you love me?”

For extra dramatic effect, after the public altercation, send around a vague email warning everyone of, "hurting people's feelings."

5. Give people no direction.

When you hire someone, and they ask what their job is, simply respond, “Your job is to work! What did you think? Did you think we were going to pay you to sit home?”

Do not communicate any real expectations about how long a job should take. Someone may come to you, and ask you directly, “When do you want this done?”

You must not, under any circumstances, give them an exact date. If you are really pressed, you can give them a ‘star date,’ like, “Star Date 1569, on the Starship Enterprise."

If someone asks you for their job description, simply reply, “To do your job the best you can!”

6. Make up lots of nonsensical rules that have no bearing on anything. The more rules, the better!

Rules like,

"New dress code: green and/or fuchsia slacks may only be worn on every fourth Tuesday of every odd month."

As you make up rules, use bizarre grammar, and connect the rules to one another in mysterious ways. Example:

"New dress code: men must wear dress slacks at all times when on sales calls. Also, if you have a worker's comp claim, and you are dressed in slacks on a business meeting when said incident happens, you must contact Cliff in HR within 27 hours of the incident."

The more nonsensical, the better,

"We need to trim our our budget in the area of non-necessities. Therefore, office condiments are only to be used by people who live in condominiums."

The more complex, and pointless, the better. The more personally intrusive, the better. The more threatening, the better. Consider,

"If anyone calls the company asking to speak with Marketing you must first connect them to Jane in Customer Service -- until her job is outsourced to Mumbai (sorry Jane, now you know). Unless it is the last day of business cycle, and then you must connect them to Tom in New Accounts. Unless Tom quits in the next week, which he probably will, because I heard he is visiting a psychiatrist for work related stress. Or, if the caller actually wants to speak to someone directly in Marketing, you know what to do. If they want to speak to speak specifically to Dave in Marketing, send them to Bill in Maintenance. That is, if anyone named Bill even works in maintenance. On second thought, you should probably just connect them straight to Linda, the Marketing Receptionist. If Linda is not at her desk, you know what to do. This is a fireable offense!"

Note, for extra dramatic effect, you can always footnote rules with the phrase, "This is a fireable offense."

After someone makes a mistake, be sure to totally overreact with a rule like this (make sure to post this and other new rules in conspicuous places, like bathroom doors):

"After Jim left his soup in the microwave yesterday, I decided action had to be taken. Therefore, no employee may use the microwave ever again to cook food. You may use it for other purposes, but not for cooking. Also, no employee is allowed to eat soup on company premises, or in the privacy of their own homes. Employees may eat soup at restaurants on the last Monday of all even months. This is a fireable offense!"

Make sure to use your rules to inspire awe in your distant but aggressive leadership. So,

"No one may enter my office between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. without an appointment and a bag of Frito-Lays as an offering. No one may interrupt me, or look me in the eye, or even look in my direction, during staff meetings. No employee may, under any circumstances, use my first name, or my middle name, or my mother's maiden name, during work hours, or on Facebook posts."

7. Fire people for no reason.

If you have to give a reason, simply say, “I didn’t like the look of him.”

Or you might just turn tough, refuse to give a reason, and use a Clint Eastwood line,

"I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six people or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kind of lost track myself." 

"It's really something firing a man. You take all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have."

8. Hire an evil number 2.

So, you don’t want to be the bad guy all the time. You want to be the good guy. You want to be invited to everyone’s BBQ this fourth of July. Yet, you know that you have to do difficult things. Take heart. You can still be the good guy. You just need to hire an evil number 2. A sort of vice president of meanness. Then, get him to do all your dirty work.

Now, there may come a time when your vice president of cruelty and carnage goes on vacation, and you have to deal with things directly. Again, no need to panic.

Try this. Get a hamster and name him something ominous like “Darth Davis.” Then, get him an office next to yours, and place a gold plate on his door, “Boss of All Bosses.”

Now, if something uncomfortable arises, all you have to do is pretend like you are just doing what “Darth Davis” told you to do.

You can say, “I really wish I didn’t have to cut back your benefits, but that Darth Davis just doesn’t understand the plight of us regular employees. All he cares about is getting more hamster snacks, and getting in shape. He runs on that wheel all day. I can’t really help you. You could schedule an appointment with him, but I think he is booked up for the next 10 years. That Darth Davis!”

9. Take on the role of guru at staff meetings.

Devote the first 30 minutes of staff meetings to what you will call, "Personal Improvement and Strategies For Wholistic Living in and out of The Workplace (PISFWLIOTW)." Or, something like that.

Then, use the first 25 minutes of that time to tell stories about your college days.

Then, the last five minutes of PISFWLIOTW, totally change your tone. Get super serious, and say, "I want to talk about something serious today."

Then, urge life lessons on your employees with a slew of inspirational mixed metaphors. Such as,

"An bun in the oven is worth two in the bush."

"You gotta break some eggs before you count your chickens before they hatch."

"Life is like a box of chocolates -- so think outside the box."

"Love is blind -- so love yourself."

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