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Thread: Da Boss (split from Random Thoughts)

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Da Boss (split from Random Thoughts)

    Listening to some of your stories makes me feel grateful for my current public sector job.

    As a Director, it disturbs me that it appears there are so many poor and ineffecitve "bosses" in the planning realm.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Listening to some of your stories makes me feel grateful for my current public sector job.

    As a Director, it disturbs me that it appears there are so many poor and ineffecitve "bosses" in the planning realm.
    Like I have always said, I understand that you are the boss and I am the employee-- I have no problem with you coming to me and saying... "I need you to do this..." You're the boss! It is okay to tell people what to do.

    Personally, I like having a boss, knowing where I stand, and I really like getting confident direction on my questions. We'll see what unfolds though.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Glad no headhunters know that I exist to begin with and let alone be experienced or qualified enough.

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    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Like I have always said, I understand that you are the boss and I am the employee-- I have no problem with you coming to me and saying... "I need you to do this..." You're the boss! It is okay to tell people what to do.

    Personally, I like having a boss, knowing where I stand, and I really like getting confident direction on my questions. We'll see what unfolds though.
    Yeah, a boss that actually acts like a boss is a great thing. I had a boss in the public sector that was great for emergencies, but couldn't handle the day-to-day stuff. And in the private sector, I had a boss that was great at keeping us moving forward, but abdicated all responsibilities when we were in crisis mode. I guess finding someone that can handle both aspects of the boss job is hard, since they are so few and far between.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra View post
    Yeah, a boss that actually acts like a boss is a great thing. I had a boss in the public sector that was great for emergencies, but couldn't handle the day-to-day stuff. And in the private sector, I had a boss that was great at keeping us moving forward, but abdicated all responsibilities when we were in crisis mode. I guess finding someone that can handle both aspects of the boss job is hard, since they are so few and far between.
    I always told my wife that my day-to-day as a Planner I is good training for future management duties that I may take on. I am learning how NOT to do things.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra View post
    Yeah, a boss that actually acts like a boss is a great thing.
    Acting is pretty much the most valuable skill to have as a boss. Just like we're all authorities on parenting before we have kids, it's a lot easier to know what the boss should do when you haven't been one. Most first time bosses have been promoted because they had superior technical skills that impressed their boss. Unfortunately, leadership skills don't come naturally to most people so that 1st management job tends to be hard on both the new boss and the new staff. The most valuable piece of advice I got as a new manager was that you can't manage people, people will do whatever they want to do. What you can do is manage projects.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Since we're talking about bosses, here's a conversation I just had with mine.

    Boss (while look at our VERY outdated ordinances): You don't even know what a nickel and dime store is, do you?
    Tresmo: I've seen Little House on the Prairie
    Boss: Hey! We had those when I was a kid!


  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tresmo View post
    Since we're talking about bosses, here's a conversation I just had with mine.

    Boss (while look at our VERY outdated ordinances): You don't even know what a nickel and dime store is, do you?
    Tresmo: I've seen Little House on the Prairie
    Boss: Hey! We had those when I was a kid!

    Keep that geezer in his place by reminding him of his decrepitude - you go girl!

    Managing bosses and coworkers is definitely an art form. Here was a typical example one might have seen in my office until a week ago-
    Boss: "Stan the Elder, I need you to look into whether or not the Blue Moon Cafe needs a variance to replace their existing sign."
    Stan: "Ah... Luna, thy orbed presence dominating the fermament of the darkened and bleak sky, lying fallow yet not sterile in the furrowed imagination of poets and in the hearts of those whose spirit lies stricken. What price we pay beholden to thy beams...."
    Boss: "Um, you know what, on second thoughts you got alot going on right now, why don't I have Stan the Younger look into this sign business instead."


    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tresmo View post
    Since we're talking about bosses, here's a conversation I just had with mine.

    Boss (while look at our VERY outdated ordinances): You don't even know what a nickel and dime store is, do you?
    Tresmo: I've seen Little House on the Prairie
    Boss: Hey! We had those when I was a kid!

    No seat on the management bus for you! Witty repartees are just never truly appreciated by the recipient boss.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Mine (private sector) holds bi-weekly conference calls where we go through everyone's projects. The territory runs from Ohio to South Dakota, and we just added Minn and Iowa to the mix. These calls consume 4-5 hours of 18 people's time (Eastern and Central time zones).

    Also, he's short. And loud. Talks over everyone, interrupts, takes over meetings. Folks in other departments say things like, "thanks for running the call for us" but the sarcasm goes right over his head.

    A couple times a year he hosts a command performance in his regional office. We all fly/drive in and cram into a conference room where he sits and reads e-mails aloud. The "highlight" is going out to lunch, then dinner, as a "team," to some plastic sign Johnny O'Chilibee's place. (After eight hours of that, the last thing I feel like doing is spending more time socializing with these people I barely know.)

    I'm in a satellite office with five other people, the dress code is officially "corporate casual" with no examples spelled out. One day the local manager didn't like the fact that I was wearing a colorful outfit, so he ran and called up my boss...who proceeded to send me an e-mail demanding to know why I had worn clothing not approved by the code. The regional HR manager happened to be visiting that day, and she had spent about an hour talking with me (and looking at my outfit). She had no problem with it, so I filed a grievance. (This is not the only dress code absurdity that's been pulled on me.)

    After that happened, I returned to the professional jacket section of my closet...dressing for my next job.

    (The application made yesterday's postmark deadline.)

    Grass is always greener!

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Da Boss

    I guess I have been fairly lucky and had a string of competent bosses for a longer run than I had any right to expect. How would you evaluate your present or past Boss? Alternately, if YOU are da Boss how do you candidly rate your own management skills?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Also, he's short.
    Hey, I represent that. Give the poor b*stard a break on the one thing he can't do anything about. Give him hell on everything else.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #13
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    My boss is a mico manager, nit-picking, and just mean. I got my a** chewed the other day for having the wrong subject line in an email. I wonder if he's proud that he's made every woman in the office cry at least once....

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I guess I have been fairly lucky and had a string of competent bosses for a longer run than I had any right to expect. How would you evaluate your present or past Boss? Alternately, if YOU are da Boss how do you candidly rate your own management skills?
    Over the years, I've had the full range of bosses from incompetent to outstanding. The majority have been pretty good and, although as a man I hate to admit it, the female ones tended to be better than the men. The strange thing there was that only applied to 1st level managers, that is, female managers with direct reports who were not themselves managers. While I was a manager, my best bosses were men and the worst were women.

    As for my self-assessed managerial skills, I was o.k. Some people liked me, others didn't. I got projects done without leaving (many) bodies along the way. I didn't allow people to mess with my staff but didn't shield them from deserved criticism. Delegation was/is the hardest thing for me but I was not a hands-on manager. Once I assigned projects, I let them run with it.
    Last edited by ofos; 23 Oct 2007 at 5:59 PM.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    "Look, y'all just come to the office everyday, do what I tell you, finish your work in a competent manner, and we'll give you a paycheck every two weeks.
    You should be happy to have a job!!!"



    No, I haven't said that....but sometimes I think it....
    Annoyingly insensitive

  16. #16
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I guess I have been fairly lucky and had a string of competent bosses for a longer run than I had any right to expect. How would you evaluate your present or past Boss? Alternately, if YOU are da Boss how do you candidly rate your own management skills?
    What if you're both?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Da Boss

    I thought this thread was about Bruce Springsteen. Bummer!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    I’m a boss in a small way (7 peeps reporting to me plus some other ‘dotted lines’) and I guess I must be doing ok because my (anonymous) 360s look good.

    Just remember this, every boss has a boss of their own to deal with.

    In my line of business bosses can be at times (though only rarely) rude or dishonest but at least they are always smart and hard-working.

    I’ve met some very cool people as bosses.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I'll put it this way:
    You don't have to say NO all the time, but you don't have to say YES all the time either.

    I get people agreeing with an applicant's request here at work, and then when I point out that the applicant's way will not work, then I get people agreeing with that as well...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  20. #20
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    My new boss rocks. (dark side) He encourages each of us to be self starters and look for projects. The office has a meeting every other Monday and everyone knows what each other is doing. Overall he has a hands off managment style but is more than willing to help when we need it.

    I think that Maister's view of my old boss is correct.
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    My boss is a mico manager, nit-picking, and just mean. I got my a** chewed the other day for having the wrong subject line in an email. ....
    Not to play "Topper" (from Dilbert) or anything...

    Backstory: My pointy-haired boss fully supports his staff with longer seniority (definitely playing favorites). The Barbie type in the cube right outside of his office can do no wrong. The "golden boy" in Wisconsin, likewise.

    Golden Boy rips on my vendors for not changing the subject line in e-mails. But guess what he routinely fails to do!

    It's pretty bad when you have several e-mail and digital folders entitled, "Barbie issues," "Golden Boy issues," "PHB issues" and you save CYA documents in same.

    Last year I had a solo command performance in Cleveland because one of my "team" eavesdropped on phone calls that I held with my vendors...and told PHB that I was not being "nice" to one vendor. So I had to come up with documentation on the many incompetencies of this vendor (it's a brother-in-law situation), as well as examples of how others aren't being "nice." (So much for "teamwork." Yesterday's events convinced me: I have never worked at a place with so much back-stabbing, public confrontations, disparaging remarks, and immaturity...it's been several decades since grade school.)

    (Local Municipality HR Department: please hear my prayer.)

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    No seat on the management bus for you! Witty repartees are just never truly appreciated by the recipient boss.
    Actually I think he appreciates having someone send something his way. Plus this is the first smart remark I've made in months and I won't be making another anytime soon.

    As far as bosses go, it's easy to criticize, not so easy to do well. My last boss was a great guy, genuinely caring, wanted each of us to have good projects and valuable experiences. However, he could not stop talking, and it was a huge impediment to the office's day-to-day function. I couldn't stop by and ask a quick question about anything, because I would be guaranteed a 2 hour stay in his office. My current boss, new to our office, does a good job of balancing all the interests without stepping on toes and is trying to make positive changes in our rules and regulations. One of those changes would be removing the "nickel and dime store" from our ordinances.

    Of non-planning jobs, the best boss I had was a stern and strict woman who tried to be courteous and friendly with her employees but wasn't trying to be friends with us. She made it clear what the expectations were and no one wanted to get on her bad side. She commanded respect.

    I'm just trying to observe and learn.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Whenever I've thought I had a bad boss, I take a new job, and then in hindsight realize they weren't that bad. I've had some doozies, but I've been lucky, because they all "had my back" when need be.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    As a 1st time manager, I totally agree with ZMan. I learned so much about what to do and what not to do as I was working my way up. I have had some incredible managers (present one included) that really encouraged the best work from me and the rest of staff, I had a cocaine snorting buffoon (and this was not even in the 80's) that thought everyone was out to get them (clients and staff alike), and I had an idiot that could not plan his way out of a paper bag. I think it gave me a good foundation for managing people. The best bosses I have had treat people fairly, listened to employees (even if they do not get the answer they want to hear), and support them when times get tough. If that happens, the office environment is usually pretty good.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    ... (dark side) He encourages each of us to be self starters and look for projects. ....
    So when are you going to start making those cold calls???
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

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