6/13/2008

Management

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.

31 comments:

Bennet said...

hehehe..

It's been awhile LBB.
It took a bit of reading just to get back in tuned with your clever wit.

I think this is why upper management hires so many people under him. So he can head off to tend to important emergencies like donating to needy lap dancing strippers desperate to feed their starving children.

Bennet said...

BTW, since I don't post much I figured I should let you know I just posted something you might enjoy.

http://battlebennetthecapt.blogspot.com/

Violet said...

My sister used to say that she wanted to be a teacher so that she could "boss people." I guess that is because she always had her big sister (me) telling her what to do and she was tired of being low-man on the totem poll.

I spent several years "managing" one of the local aquatic centers. I loved training the lifeguards. I hated dealing with obnoxious parents who left their children unattended or wanted to fight with me because their kids weren't tall enough to go down the slides. It was not worth the $12.00 an hour I got paid.

The Doggy Did It said...

There is also the extremely uncomfortable personal information your forced to know about your employees. Like how they had diphtheria all morning so they cannot come to work, or that they have a slight crystal meth habit they are trying to kick. I do not know what it is about being management the forces your employees to vomit all of their deepest darkest personal issues onto your desk...as if you will manage that shit for them as well. There is such a thing as TMI people.

Loving Annie said...

Good Saturday morning to you, LLB.

I always saw being part of the managing team as a pleasure. The power, the brains, the ability to get things done, the open door policy of others in power who want to hear what I (you) have to say as an equal, it was a thrill.
No complaints here. The stock market was good to me as an investment counselor/portfolio manager.

p.s. I read more about Sex in The City (I'd never watched it on tv - DUH - NOW, I know who Dante is. How embarrassing... But yeah, you were right - it would be a GREAT match !

p.s.s. Happy Father's Day tomorrow :)

Genuinely,
Loving Annie

just me said...

I've never been a manager.

But I HAVE had countless people do an impression of how I talk.

...something about being Italian and wild hand gestures.

Qucifer said...

Agreed 110%, also add: you'll end up hating yourself possibly more than your employees hate you, if that's even a possibility?

Ari said...

Same reasons that I don't want to be the principal... EVER.

On a sort of related note, I've been reading a book called Status Anxiety by an amazing (though French) author, Alain de Botton. It's about how our place in society (such as whether or not you are the manager) affects our whole being... It's a great read, but he collected some quotes about advancing at the job written hundreds of years ago that are still true. Examples:

"If you are involved in important affairs...you must always hide your failures and exaggerate your successes. It is a form of swindling, but since your fate more often depends upon the opinion of others rather than on facts, it is a good idea to create the impression that things are going well." -- Guicciardini

And my favorite:

"You are an honest man, and do not make it your business either to please or to displease the favorites. You are merely attached to your master and your duty. You are finished." -- La Bruyere.

(I think that was my longest comment ever.)

Amandarama said...

I actually applied to be department head last summer. I didn't get it. I get to watch what kind of headaches she has to put up with this year. Now I'm glad I didn't end up getting it.

Yo Momma said...

I have never went for a management position because quite frankly, I've haven't found a job that I truly liked enough to go for a management position. I felt like no matter what it was, it would end up being like a glorified babysitting position. And I would compare the stress vs. the pay and it was never worth it. I was happy to sit in my cubicle and waste time on the internet.

random moments said...

You couldn't be more correct.

In my current job my boss tagged me as "office manager" in the beginning because we had 2 interns that needed "guidance". Let me tell you, two 21 year old girls who've been in the office longer than you have pretty much laugh in your face when you tell or even ask them to do something.

Good to have you back Bugs. :)

Bella said...

I've been "threatened" with mgt many a time and I'm not stupid... just like you said above...NOT worth it!!!

Mona said...

I had no idea that it was the ass that was running the management machine...How do you do it?

I guess you plug the running handle in the obvious hole & rotate your ass ..or rather revolve your ass with it...

No wonder my ass used to hurt so much when I was running the restaurant...

Jeannie said...

I manage a lot - too much and hate it. I have fired myself numerous times but it just doesn't stick.

I once had a customer threaten to call the boss and have me fired. I laughed at them and said go ahead.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

managing people is usually like herding cats. i dont have the patience for it. id just start screaming profanities and throw a stapler if i had to manage people.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Be prepared to fly on Father's Day because your in freaking management....

**don't ask...**

Are you back for a good while now??!! I hope! I gotta tell some people your back and definitely up to speed. ;-)

And here.... some dot, dot, dots just because I know how much you like the dots.....

Mona said...

To Violet> I sure do have a lot of time on my hand...

..for those who are worth it and matter...

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Management, schmanagement....I just want to do my job and keep my head down until I hit the lotto. I don't want to be responsible for ANYTHING if I don't have to be. (Unless, of course, it's arranging another beer run....then I'm all there...;)

Becky said...

I could have once upon a time empathized, but I quit that job about a year ago! In all fairness everyone has a shit job where you have to pick up someone else's slack, that is why your job was created to pick up the slack. Or maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

snowelf said...

The management at my job is not hands on at all--we worker bees do everything while they are forced to micro-manage the stupidest crap. They stick up for us though, so we love them anyway, but I would NEVER want to be a manager at my job--it's ridiculous the stuff the higher ups ask them to do. I'm fine right where I am.

--snow

Blogget Jones said...

I work in academia, so it's not exactly management. It's administration. Ugh.

And I asked for it. I was tired of doing great work and my bosses getting credit. I was tired of having opinions that mattered very little.

So, I applied for and got an administrative position. Finally, I was going to be heard! I was going to influence how things went!

What did I get? Meetings.

Ugh.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

I left my team leader position to go back to being a plain old programmer, and my meetings went from 5 a day to one or two a week. Much more fun to DO then to TALK about doing.

And I was sick of all the whining.

Dave Morris said...

To be a manager, a little part of you must be a megalomaniac. Managers definitely get something out of doing it. A power trip, something. Otherwise, you're right - it's a bite in the ass.

Preposterous Ponderings said...

People suck!

Where I live they are all tards and it would take a miracle to manage them.

The thought of it makes me cringe.

NWJR said...

I'm self-employed and I can barely manage myself.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, you failed to luck out, I can see that right away. When I was a manager I golfed all I wanted, and hauled in all the big bucks too. Loved it.

Call of Doody said...

for someone who hates "management" you sure do "manage" to come up with more and more unfunny articles. mmmmmmmmm gotcha Long Live Socom.

Mona said...

LBB (((HUGS)))

I'm glad you are not dead!

Mr. Friendly said...

Management at large, light industrial less than truck load carrier known the world over for its brown panel trucks nearly drove a 22-28 year old to burgeoning alcoholism, an early heart attack, and a premature death. I would rather be part of the problem than part of the solution. Now I'm a lowly worker bee like Shamus....

And loving it.

Meghan said...

I can't manage myself muchless other people. It would be the trainwreck leading the blind.

Not worth the hassle. Middle management is the way to go.

honkeie2 said...

I work in management and it did suck at first. But now I have learned a niffty new word: deligated work. And now I run to the golf range and blog all the time and the work still gets done. It is all about how you ride the devil and not let him ride you.