Monday, July 13, 2009

Being Bossy

I am guessing that most of you out there have, at one time or another, had a job. Being employed for most of us also means having a boss. I'm sure that there are many wonderful bosses out there, and I've been lucky enough to have had a few in my "career". I have also had, to put it politely, some bosses who really gnawed my canker.

At one time, I was employed at a gas station. My boss there was not a happy camper, perhaps because he was running a gas  station. Since he was so unhappy, it apparently made sense to him that everyone who worked for him should be unhappy too. He had many techniques for making everyone around him miserable, including screaming, throwing things, making groundless accusations, changing the schedules on a whim, and stinking up the bathroom. On Christmas Eve, he would don a Santa hat and pass out gifts to all the employees. You might interpret this as a nice gesture, but it wasn't. He only gave gifts to the employees he LIKED, thereby making the unfavored workers feel even worse. Despite all my efforts, I was one of the employees he liked. My gift? A shoeshine kit. A great gift if I ever wore anything but sneakers. I was actually unaware that shoeshine kits were still being manufactured after 1947.

Bad bosses aren't limited to the minimum wage sector, of course. At a TV cartoon studio, I worked for a "genius" whose show was the hottest cartoon on TV at the time. He had a ton of loyal employees busting their butts for him, but they never received a "pat on the back" or  any acknowledgement of the excellent work they were doing. All their faults, mistakes and weaknesses were pointed out as often as possible, however. In the  press, he would take all the credit for all the praise the show was receiving, but, when he was fired by the network for "gross mismanagement", he let it be known far  and wide that his dismissal was the fault of his "incompetent" staff. This staff successfully continued the show after he left for a few more years.

Thinking back on some of these poor leaders of mine got me to thinking. Who would be a great boss? Who would be: THE WORLD'S BEST BOSS?

Since I now work for myself, I really have no personal examples to choose from (Although I am a pretty good boss. My employee likes me, although our profits could be better). So, instead of picking a boss from the "real" world, may I suggest a candidate from TV land? My choice for the perfect boss would be:

Davros, from the British TV series, DOCTOR WHO.

For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Davros is a megalomaniac scientist from the planet Skaro, and creator of the evil robots the Daleks. The Daleks consider themselves to be the superior life form in the universe, and, to put it in business terms, their "mission statement" is to wipe out all other life forms.

I can understand if you were to think that Davros wouldn't be the ideal candidate for World's Best Boss. However, if you can just get past the whole, "wiping out all other forms of life" thing, and could see him in action, you would agree with me. Consider:

1) HE HAS A BUSINESS PLAN AND HE STICKS TO IT- He and the Daleks want to destroy everyone else, and that's what they try to do. They don't waste time on "focus groups" and sit through endless meetings, they get out there and "EXTERMINATE"!

2) HE DELEGATES WELL- Davros knows he  can't kill everyone himself, and he doesn't try. He knows his employees know their job, and he lets them do it.

3) HE VALUES AND IS PROUD OF HIS EMPLOYEES- How many companies do you know of where the workers consider themselves the ultimate life form?  Other than a Chik-Fil-A I went to in Virginia, I haven't seen many.

4) HE DOESN'T LET SETBACKS GET HIM DOWN AND DOESN'T BLAME HIS WORKERS- Sure, Davros isn't doing too well on the whole wiping out all the other species in the universe thing, but he keeps trying! He also doesn't blame the Daleks when his evil schemes go awry.
Granted, I am unaware of what kind of salaries and employee benefits packages Davros provides. Truth be told, I have never seen a Dalek on vacation. Still, I bet working for Davros beats working in a gas station.

I bet Davros never gave anyone a shoe shine kit as a Christmas gift, either.

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Blogger P.L. Frederick said...

Davros has moxie. I, too, am self-employed and my boss is awful. Davros could whip things into shape around here, maybe visit a little gas station.

July 13, 2009 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Andie said...

You forgot to mention that Davros created his employees from his own (ewwww...)flesh. Now that's what I call a team player!

So, who does a guy like Davros blame when things go awry? Well, the Doctor of course! "I name YOU the destroyer of worlds!" A bit rich coming from a guy that has tried to wipe out all life forms in this and any other universe and/or dimension, but that's the kind of guy he is. All or nothing.

By the way, Daleks don't wear shoes. Well, Sec Hybrid did, but we all know what happened to him and his two-tones, now don't we?

July 13, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger eeTeeD said...

i think the person i presently work under is a darn good boss.

i wasn't aware of your working for a certain well-known animation genius.

it's not hard to imagine this genius being extremely difficult to work for.

it's really a shame. he has many strengths, but he is also tragically flawed.

if i may ask you a question about him... looking at his work, i always suspected that as a child he was a bully (as in many of the cartoons he made he seems to find humor in the relentless torture of the helpless). knowing the man better than i ever will, would you also suspect this?

July 13, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

P.L.- Being your own boss is a blessing and a curse, but working in your PJs can't be beat!

Anita- The examples you site just show what a devoted employer Davros is.

The Mysterious eeTeeD- I hope your boss is reading this!

As for the boss I mentioned, he was and is super talented, but not as much as he thinks he is. As for the bullying, I actually think the reverse is the case. I suspect this "genius" was bullied quite a bit as a child, and when he got into a position of power, he relished "dishing out" what he had experienced.

That said, I really didn't get to know the guy very well. It takes a long time to worm your way into his 'inner circle", and I didn't have the stomach for it. Not that I think I would ever have been included, anyway.

Gee, I hope we're both talking about the same guy!

July 13, 2009 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger eeTeeD said...

rats! so much for my theory, but much thanks for your insight on this subject.

the "genius" is a topic that i could go on and on about, but discretion is the better part of valor. you've probably already said more than you wanted, so i'll hold my tongue.

July 14, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

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