We spent our whole, entire day today at one of those workplace Town Hall sessions. I know you’re feeling sorry for me already. Thanks. It was pretty painful.
The managers were all trying to act like fun people. The executives talked about “visions of the future” (like so many sugar-plums) and re-evaluating our “core competencies” and briefed us on “strategic positioning”. (I don’t know what any of that means anymore, if I ever did) There were a few group exercises. And the requisite motivational speaker who told us all how to be more effective leaders and better team-players.
Then because the Head Cheeses are always obligated to have some time for questions and answers, we had a few minutes for questions and answers — just before lunch … to discourage lingering. A handful of employees who didn’t know any better, asked some questions to which they got the party-line answers. Then we had lunch. Then we did more stuff in the afternoon which I barely remember because the room was extra hot and stuffy and smelly after lunch and I was nodding off.
For me, the whole day reinforced how very much I do not ever want to be a boss. If it was painful for me and my fellow employees, I can only imagine how it must be for those in charge trying desperately, in one day, to undo years of lethargy, apathy, antipathy, suspicion, cynicism and hostility.
It was sad.
So anyway, I have to be very careful at this point in my career to avoid any further success. One more rung on the ladder and I’ll be obligated to have staff. I hate staff.
I’ve had staff during assignments. Staff make your life a living hell. You have to make sure they have enough work to do, but not too much or they’ll freak out and have nervous collapses or go crying to the union or something.
Then you have to make sure they’re doing the work they’re supposed to be doing and not spending their day updating their resumes. And you have to be responsible for all the work they do produce; all the work they fail to produce and all the work they totally mess up.
Staff are always whining about something. They’re always getting into “conflicts” with other staff that you have to resolve. They have personal problems and expect you to do something about them.
And no matter how nice you are or how accommodating and pleasant you try to be, your staff will hate you just because you’re the boss of them.
You really have to walk on eggshells when you have staff. I’m terrible at walking on eggshells. The whole analogy is terrible because walking on eggshells results in a lot of crunching and grinding and pulverizing of eggshells. How is that even supposed to mean something like “being really, really careful”? No matter how careful you are; if you walk on eggshells, you’re going to make a mess.
Just like being a boss. It’s a lose-lose proposition. You can be as careful as all get out about absolutely everything you say and do and think because it can all be taken the wrong way so easily by staff who really want to take things the wrong way. And they always do.
You have to look like you’re working much harder than any of your staff or they’ll stop working altogether. You have to get in before them in the morning and stay until the last one is gone. And when you finally go home you can’t relax because your mind is full of your aggravating staff.
Okay, maybe it’s not always like that. Maybe some bosses have only great staff just like some people have only great bosses just like some people ride unicorns to work.
I just think the whole “manager-staff” set-up is a bad idea. I don’t think anyone really likes being a boss and for sure, no one really likes being staff. Being staff is still better than being a boss — except for that whole money thing and that whole being bossed around thing. The whole thing, however, sucks.
But, as Red Forman once said, “That’s why they call it work. Work is not about fun; it’s about work! If it wasn’t work, they’d call it ‘Super wonderful crazy fun time,’ or ‘Skippedy-do!”