Have you striven for a promotion to management? We all have, at one time or another, imagined ourselves in charge of the office, shop, restaurant, or wherever we go to work. It's natural to look upward. When we were kids, we imagined ourselves as the boss behind the big oak desk, not the lowly worker bee. In college, we fantasized about climbing the corporate ladder to a prestigious management position. It happens for some. Congratulations, you're the manager! Is it every little thing you hoped for? Or, is it a daily 10-hour Mr. Toad's Wild Ride with a detour into Dante's 9 Circles of Hell?
I'll never take a job in management. The way I see it, management looks a lot better in the brochure. In real life, management sucks. Just the word “management” evokes dread. “Hi Steve. How are you doing?” “Well, I guess I'm managing.” Gosh, it sounds like Steve is ready to commit hari-kari. “So Betty, what are you and Herb going to do now?” “We'll manage somehow.”
The only thing I want to manage is a way to do less work while making more money. I can barely manage my own problems, let alone those of a restaurant or office. Hell, I'm often one of the problems that needs managing, what with my attitude problem and all! Promoted to management, I'd have to fire myself, post haste, on the grounds of poor work ethic and incompetence. Irony.
Basically, a management job is 10% higher pay for 110% more headaches. In economics, this is called diminishing returns. In psychology, this is called insanity.
Here's another bad thing about being the manager: you're the subject of the employees' ridicule. The minute you leave the room the employees take to mocking you. There's always one guy at the office who's a crackerjack impersonator. He's been practicing you in his bathroom mirror for a few weeks and he's got you to a tee. Oh, how they laugh at him doing you in the most absurd scenarios. And the ladies at the office make detailed mental notes on anything gross you've ever done. Particles of lunch lodged in your teeth? A stray booger at the last meeting. An accidental fart in the break room. Spontaneous boner tent-polling your slacks? Rest assured that the girls will disseminate all your bad habits and embarrassing foibles like bagels in the break room. Women are like that.
Think about management for a minute. Look at the big picture. Meditate for a moment on what they ask managers to do. Every manager's job description should read as follows:
To management candidate: I've got a hot little money machine going here, but it's a pain in the ass to run. It consumes all my free time and I can't get to the golf course with my ridiculously expensive clubs and brag to all my golfing buddies how well my business is doing. So, I'm keeping all the profits for myself -- and leaving you with all the headaches. This job typically requires 45-60 hours of your week, so my organization is pretty much your life. Multitasking a must. There are no limits on your duties. If it's a problem, it's your problem. Either fix it or make it work. They only time I want to hear from you is when it's time to deposit the money in the bank. Feel free to exploit employees as you wish. Just remember, their fuck-ups are your fuck-ups. Always be near your cell phone for when there's a problem.
Do any of you managers out there have anything to add? Please share.